Red Sox Release Mitchell Boggs


Unfortunately, for Mitchell Boggs, the comeback is over. At least, in a Boston Red Sox uniform.

The Red Sox released the six-year veteran pitcher from his minor league contract on Thursday, according to‘s Jen McCaffrey. The move was made with just about a week left in spring training. The righty reliever, “who had an opt-out in his contract if not on the major league roster by April 4,” was let go after only pitching four innings, this March.

Boggs signed the deal with the Red Sox in January, but poor play combined with other relievers’ successes found him the odd man out of the bullpen. With his contract set for him to look elsewhere for a job in April, the Red Sox brass must have seen enough, allowing Boggs time to find another team before the regular season begins.

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The 31-year-old native of Georgia was set on making a comeback to the major leagues. After being named the closer for the St. Louis Cardinals, Boggs never really seemed to find what his team saw in him, at least his numbers didn’t reflect the role. Between 2011 and 2014, he only made 6 saves in 16 attempts. After seasons of 48 and 58 strikeouts, Boggs only amassed 16 between St. Louis and the Colorado Rockies, the team he was traded to, last season.

The comeback was even in the works before the Red Sox took notice. Boggs toiled in the minors for both the Chicago White Sox and the San Francisco Giants to regain his form, but the lack of consistency never changed the outcome.

Staff reports from The Daily Citizen, a North Georgia newspaper group, revealed that Boggs claimed that “he had a strong showing in camp, [but he] was not caught off guard by his release.” Boggs said, “I know that if I’m going to get back to the big leagues, I’m going to have to go wherever a team sends me and excel, and I’m fine with that, ready for that. Hopefully I’ll get that opportunity. I’ll work extremely hard waiting for that.”

There are some issues with his statements.

Taking into account that all professional athletes are quoted about their careers, which are very personal and should be protected, Boggs’ attitude to his performances and his contract do not seem to parallel.

Mar 1, 2015; Ft. Myers, FL, USA; Boston Red Sox pitcher Mitchell Boggs (41) poses during photo day at JetBlue Park. Mandatory Credit: Steve Mitchell-USA TODAY Sports

When did the realization that he should be smiling and nodding at MLB team execs about the possibility of playing in the minors start? After the Red Sox released him? Boggs had the contract clause put in to have himself released if he didn’t make Boston’s roster shortly after signing the contract. How much evaluation time did he think he needed?

The man bounced around a bunch of teams who didn’t want him in their own minor systems, at least not enough to sign him for the long haul. He blew more saves than he closed out, by a great deal. His strikeout total was significantly lower than previous seasons. Where, in this recent production set did Boggs think a month of spring training action, on a team that signed a number of arms and had top pitching prospects was going to magically translate to a roster spot in the bullpen?

According to Boggs, “If an opportunity arises — and when that arises — I will be ready for it … Up until then, I’ll just be a husband and a father, and that will be just fine with me.” Not to kick the man while he’s down, but maybe if he wouldn’t have had that clause in the contract, he would still be playing professional baseball now, whatever the quality of the opposition or town that would host him. For his sake, maybe someone will take the chance, like the Red Sox, but it’s highly doubtful a similar clause would be featured in the contract. That’s what Boggs should be just fine with, at least for the present.

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