Anthony Varvaro, now age 30, was born in the New York City area and was a draft choice of the Seattle Mariners in 2005. Varvaro was claimed on waivers by the Braves in 2011 and has pitched exclusively out of their bullpen since 2011.
In the 2014 season Varvaro, a right-hander, appeared in 61 games for the Braves posting a 3-3 record with an ERA of 2.63 and a WHIP of 1.08. Varvaro’s stat line also shows a 3.21 FIP with a GB% of 49.7.
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Varvaro relied primarily on a fastball (58.8%) with a curve ball (25%) and change (15.9%) as the other pitches in his pitching tool box. Varvaro posted a K% of 8.23 for the Braves
The Red Sox acquired Varvaro in exchange for minor league pitcher Aaron Kurcz and is expected to be assigned the same bullpen role for Boston that he had for the Braves. Varvaro expects to be in competition with Heath Hembree, Matt Barnes, Zeke Spruill and possibly Steven Wright for work out the bullpen, but Varvaro’s experience resume gives him an advantage over that competition. However, the real challenge could be fellow newcomer Alexi Ogando. Ogando, unlike Varvaro, has to prove himself. Spring training will be interesting.
With the closer position assigned to Koji Uehara and set-up to Edward Mujica and Junichi Tazawa the option is that Varavro could join that group as necessary support in-case of performance, trade possibilities or health issues. Varvaro appears to be poised to fill the slot that Burke Badenhop provided for the bullpen in 2014 as either a bridge to Tazawa and Mujica or occasionally filling their role when needed.
Varvaro will not be arbitration eligible until completion of 2015 season and thus under team control until 2019.
** Statistics are courtesy of fangraphs