The Red Sox appear to have moved on from the “big move” period of the offseason in favor of compiling depth and Boston maintained that trend today by signing a former standout reliever in Mitchell Boggs to a minor league deal.
Boggs has been out of the major leagues since 2013, when he posted an 8.10 ERA, with 7.7 BB/9 and only 6.2 K/9, in 23.1 innings between the Cardinals and the Rockies. Before completely collapsing during the 2013 season, however, Boggs was a consistent and dependable reliever in St. Louis from 2010-2012.
His best season came the year before his collapse, in 2012, when Boggs threw to a 2.21 ERA with 7.1 K/9 and 2.6 BB/9 in 78 games and 73.1 innings. Boggs, a hard-thrower with great stuff, has never had any problem getting batters out as long as he has harnessed his command. However, in 2013, his command completely disappeared and his WHIP jumped from 1.05 in 2012 to 2.06 in 2013.
If Boggs is able to correct those control issues, then he could be an excellent bargain for the Red Sox. The mysterious disappearance of his command is the only thing holding him back from being a solid middle reliever or setup man once again. And of course, while a resurgence in Boggs’ command is not certain by any means, the Red Sox do have an excellent coaching staff for pitchers between Juan Nieves and John Farrell and, even if Boggs doesn’t recover, he is only signed to a minor league contract.
With the Red Sox’ bullpen looking a bit shallow after the loss of Andrew Miller, it’s no wonder that the team is attempting to add some depth through low-risk, high-reward signings like Boggs. Boggs represents the epitome of that “low-risk, high-reward” mantra as he has the potential to become a very worthwhile bargain for the Red Sox, possibly with a chance to earn a bullpen gig out of spring training.