Today, with their second move in the last three days, the Red Sox signed relief pitcher Edward Mujica to a two-year contract. Mujica has spent parts of the last two seasons in St. Louis and has really seen his career flourish there, as he has posted a 2.27 ERA over the past one-and-a-half or so seasons with the Cardinals. On a 2 year/$9.5 million contract, the Red Sox seemed to have really gotten a bargain with Mujica, who should be a reliable and generally solid bullpen arm in Boston.
Aug 1, 2013; Pittsburgh, PA, USA; St. Louis Cardinals relief pitcher Edward Mujica (44) pitches against the Pittsburgh Pirates during the ninth inning at PNC Park. the St. Louis Cardinals won 13-0. Mandatory Credit: Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports
After injuries and ineffectiveness with incumbent closer Jason Motte and his replacement Mitchell Boggs, Mujica– acquired from Miami at the 2012 trade deadline– was thrust into the closer role. Mujica’s success as a setup man translated directly into the closer role, as he put together a fine season, showcasing a 2.78 ERA (with slightly worse but still impressive 3.71 FIP and 3.53 xFIP marks) and a remarkable 9.20 K/BB ratio, brought upon by his incredibly stingy 0.70 BB/9.
Mujica will join a core of control-oriented relievers as between himself, Koji Uehara, Junichi Tazawa, and Burke Badenhop, the Red Sox now have last year’s #1, #3, #8, and #13 ranked relievers in BB/9. Adding Andrew Miller and Craig Breslow to the mix, the Red Sox now have an excellent front six members to their bullpen, featuring two former closers (three if Andrew Bailey comes back healthy).
Mujica looks like an excellent pickup and even if he does regress, a likely scenario moving from Busch Stadium to Fenway Park, he should be a decent setup man or excellent middle relief option. For the money, that’s a bargain either way. Mujica did have some groin issues last season, but they appeared minor and if he is back healthy, then the Red Sox have made a hell of a deal.