Craig Breslow had an outstanding 2013 season. The left-hander, working out of the bullpen, went 5-2 with an impressive ERA of 1.81 and WHIP of 1.12. Breslow had a BB/9 of 2.7. The only real dent was a meltdown during the World Series.
Breslow has a two-year contract with a third-year team option of $4M in 2015.
The 2014 season has been one of disappointment for Red Sox fans and Breslow’s sudden failures have been part of overall poor team and individual performances.
Breslow’s ERA has skyrocketed to 5.40 and his WHIP, inflated by a 6.7 BB/9 rate, has expanded to 1.91. Left-handed batters are checking in with a .302 average against the 33 year-old Breslow.
Is it time to move Breslow?
Left-handed pitching is always at a premium. Breslow, who has been with six MLB teams, has a track record of positive performances and his career numbers show that. This may be a blip or it may not be.
The salary savings would be minimal for moving Breslow – somewhere in the vicinity of $2M. I imagine a team wishing to solidify its bullpen structure for a pennant run would find Breslow an attractive option. The Red Sox may be able to pick-up a mid-range prospect or higher depending upon market conditions.
At Pawtucket, Tommy Layne has had a very productive season. The left-handed Layne, four years younger than Breslow, has limited MLB experience with some positive results. Layne, in 25.1 innings, has an ERA of 2.84 with a WHIP of 1.06. At Pawtucket, Layne is 5-1 with a 1.51 ERA and a WHIP of 1.03 in 41.2 innings. Time to give Layne a chance.