Sep 12, 2014; Kansas City, MO, USA; Boston Red Sox pitcher Edward Mujica (54) delivers a pitch against the Kansas City Royals during the ninth inning at Kauffman Stadium. Boston won 4-2. Mandatory Credit: Peter G. Aiken-USA TODAY Sports
The rumors of the Red Sox looking to deal Mujica sort of came out of nowhere. However, considering that they appeared immediately after the Red Sox added both Robbie Ross and Alexi Ogando to their bullpen, those rumors may have a bit of credibility. Boston now has eight viable members of its bullpen, and that’s not even counting for many of the high-upside flyers that litter the upper minors, and Mujica looks to be the most likely one to be traded.
Signed by the Red Sox to a 2 year/$9.5M contract last winter, Mujica had a disappointing first season in Boston. A year after posting a 2.78 ERA and 37 saves for the Cardinals, Mujica’s ERA jumped to 3.90 in a setup role for the Red Sox. However, his numbers still weren’t as bad as they appear on first glance.
After a horrible month of April, Mujica really turned it around, posting a 2.82 ERA from May onward. He was especially good in the second half, when his ERA dipped to 1.78 and he even spent some time as the closer.
Even so, there were some warning flags with his performance last season. While Mujica has never struck out a ton of batters (7.1 K/9 in his career, 6.5 K/9 last season), he has always made up for that with an incredible walk rate. And while Mujica’s 2014 walk rate of 2.1 BB/9 was still excellent by any barometer, it was well above his 0.7 BB/9 in 2013. Mujica is a fine arm to keep around and should be a solid performer next season, but given his salary commitment and last season’s red flags, the Red Sox might look to move on.