Red Sox possibilities for 2018 from the baseball landfill
By Rick McNair
With 31-year-old right-handed Javy Guerra, it is best to get the negatives out-of-the-way first and there is quite a list. Foremost is a 50-game suspension for a drug violation. Next is a list of three surgeries including one on his right shoulder. Guerra has also been Designated For Assignment (DFA) three times in his career.
What is a positive – at least his most positive moment – happened in his rookie year with the Dodgers in 2011 when Guerra finished 2-2 with a 2.31 ERA while getting 21 saves as the Dodgers primary closer until he spun three blown saves and was replaced by Kenley Jansen.
In 2012 Guerra worked in a non-closer role for the Blue and finished 2-3, 2.60 in 45 games. In 2014 Guerra had some respectable numbers with the Chicago White Sox with a 2-4 record and 2.91 ERA in 45 games out of the bullpen. In July the following season Guerra grabbed his 50-game suspension.
Guerra relies on a four-seam fastball in the mid-90s, a cutter and a curveball. What Guerra does lack is the one item that can make a relief pitcher a risk – a career 4.2 BB/9. On the plus side, Guerra has a career 0.5 HR/9.
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Guerra is closer material in the minors and certainly has all the signs of a veteran that you often find in Triple-A ball – just think Erik Cordier with Pawtucket last season. Guerra comes with some heavy baseball baggage, but also some decent MLB experience. Signing a Guerra is pure 3A with a very limited upside for Boston unless the entire staff goes on the DL.