Red Sox free agency: Looking at potential bullpen options
Jim Johnson twice led the American League in saves while with Baltimore, but that was in another life for the 35-year-old right-hander. Last season Johnson did some commendable work for the Angels (5-3, 3.84) in 62 games.
Johnson has lost a tick off his fastball but can still get into the mid-90s and mixes it in with a curve and occasional change. Expect the veteran to match his 2018 salary of $5 MM. Matt Barnes and Heath Hembree are better options.
Right-handed Fernando Salas posted respectable numbers for Arizona (4-4, 4.50) in 40 innings. The now 33-year-old relies on a fastball (90.5 v), slider, and change. Doesn’t walk many (2.9 BB/9) or strike out many (6.8 K/9). May end up with an incentive based contract somewhere.
Ryan Madson had a quite forgettable 2018 season (2-5, 5.47) after a long and quite successful MLB run of 13 seasons. In 2018 Madson threw with greater velocity (95.5) than any time in his career mixing in a curve and change. Madson may be a risky but cheap bargain.
Jake Diekman still throws hard (95.0 v), walks too many (5.0 BB/9), and fell apart in Arizona (7.53 ERA) after being traded from Texas. Classified as a lefty specialist Diekman had lefties whack him around to the tune of .329 versus just .188 for righties in 2018. Maybe a bargain.
Left-hander Justin Wilson is 31-years-old and had a far less than impressive 5.4 BB/9 for the Cubs in 2018. That was balanced out by an 11.4 K/9 and 7.4 H/9 as Wilson can certainly get into the high 90s with his fastball. The Cubs are Wilson’s fifth team in seven seasons and that may soon be a sixth team. Too many walks.
VERDICT: Nothing Special