Boston Red Sox: Not losing Eduard Bazardo in Rule-5 Draft will be big

BOSTON, MASSACHUSETTS - SEPTEMBER 29: A general view of the Fenway Park sign and grandstand during the second inning of the game between the Boston Red Sox and the Baltimore Orioles at Fenway Park on September 29, 2019 in Boston, Massachusetts. (Photo by Maddie Meyer/Getty Images)
BOSTON, MASSACHUSETTS - SEPTEMBER 29: A general view of the Fenway Park sign and grandstand during the second inning of the game between the Boston Red Sox and the Baltimore Orioles at Fenway Park on September 29, 2019 in Boston, Massachusetts. (Photo by Maddie Meyer/Getty Images) /
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Eduard Bazardo was one of the better pitchers in the Boston Red Sox minors last season. The fact that they didn’t lose him in the Rule-5 Draft will be big.

Eduard Bazardo was a star in the Boston Red Sox minor league system in 2019. The pitcher was eligible for the Rule-5 Draft this year though, and at serious risk of being snatched up by another team. That didn’t happen, however, and that could be big for Boston.

One of the biggest knocks on the Red Sox in 2019 was their bullpen. In all honesty, it really was not bad. However, they did have some truly poor performances and miserable stretches.

With that in mind, the bullpen is something you would imagine the Red Sox would want to focus on fixing this offseason. There’s an issue with that though. They have made it clear that the number one goal is to save money.

Boston is not likely to go out there and make any big splashes to fix the bullpen. That means they will likely want to go the cheap route. And nothing is cheaper than looking at your minor league system.

For the Red Sox, one of the best options they have down there could be Bazardo. Lucky for them, he was not scooped up in the Rule-5 Draft.

Bazardo was eligible to be drafted, but no one took a chance on him. That’s surprising honestly, considering the 2019 season he just had.

Bazardo turned 24 on September 1. So he will be 24 for basically the entire 2020 season. Keep that in mind when considering the numbers. The right-handed pitcher threw 73 1/3 innings between Advanced-A and Double-A last season.

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In that time, Bazardo posted a 2.21 ERA, .206 BAA, and 1.06 WHIP. He also struck out 88 batters and allowed just three home runs. To put it bluntly, he was untouchable.

Now, he only threw 32 1/3 innings in Double-A so far, and before last season had never gotten past Full-A. However, the pitcher has shown at every step of his journey that he can handle the challenge.

Bazardo might not be ready for the Majors just yet, but he’s getting close. If the Red Sox were smart, he would already be on their radar.

Boston needs cheap solutions for their bullpen. Not capitalizing on teams passing up on Bazardo seems irresponsible honestly.

Yes, he’s far from a sure thing. However, he’s already a top-30 prospect in the organization according to MLB (number 26). Clearly, the Red Sox have at least a decent opinion on him based on that.

Bazardo might not be ready to contribute to the Major League team immediately, but at the bare minimum, he’s starting the season in Double-A.

Giving him a shot in Spring Training seems like the smart route. Get a look at what Bazardo can do against the competition and go from there.

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Whatever happens, Bazardo will likely earn a chance to pitch in the Majors in 2020. What he does with that opportunity will be up to him. However, the Red Sox should consider themselves lucky that teams passed on the reliever, he could be a great addition to their bullpen in due time. Not just a great low-cost addition, but an arm that could stick in the bullpen for years to come.