Red Sox Free Agency: Boston adds Matt Andriese to its pitching ranks

Sep 25, 2020; Los Angeles, California, USA; Los Angeles Angels starting pitcher Matt Andriese (35) throws in the fifth inning against the Los Angeles Dodgers at Dodger Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Robert Hanashiro-USA TODAY Sports
Sep 25, 2020; Los Angeles, California, USA; Los Angeles Angels starting pitcher Matt Andriese (35) throws in the fifth inning against the Los Angeles Dodgers at Dodger Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Robert Hanashiro-USA TODAY Sports /
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The Boston Red Sox have signed free-agent RHP Matt Andriese

The Red Sox have delivered their own bit of holiday cheer this afternoon as they’ve signed former Angels RHP and current free-agent Matt Andriese to a one-year deal, with a club option for 2022. Boston’s new hurler hasn’t been assigned any role just yet but has his sights set on competing for a starting spot. He’s also willing to work from the bullpen if that’s where Alex Cora believes he’ll fit best.

Now I know this isn’t some Earth-shattering signing that many have been hoping that the Red Sox would have made by now, but it’s at least a step in the right direction. This team is in some serious need of pitching support and Andriese can offer exactly that. In 2020, the righty went 2-4 with a 4.50 ERA through 32 innings. More importantly, he had a stellar 1.000 WHIP in balance with a 3.1 BB/9 and 9.3 K/9.

Much like recent signee Hunter Renfroe, Andriese has roots with the Tampa Bay Rays, Chaim Blooms former club. The big difference is that Bloom and the right-hander spent time together with the Rays and are familiar with one another, whereas Renfroe doesn’t have that relationship yet. Either way, they have all spent time under the same roof at one time or another and can use that in building a report.

"“I signed here with the Red Sox to do both (starting and reliever),” Andriese said Wednesday. “I have a lot of flexibility.”"

For Andriese, there couldn’t be a better time to be joining this pitching staff as literally every position within the ranks is ready for the picking. There aren’t any true safe spots as the rotation and relief corps have massive gaps. Though he has the goal of being a starter for the Red Sox he very well could also anchor the bullpen and be a solid bridge to whoever closes as he’s primarily been a reliever in recent years.

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The righty credits his history with Bloom and friendship with Nathan Eovaldi, all based on their time in Tampa, on top of his ability to both start and relieve as the key reasons for signing. Having familiarity with a new club right out of the gate is something that may not seem important but could make his transition to Boston much easier. Taking some stress out of the non-baseball part of the equation means he can focus solely on what happens on the mound.

Andriese’s ERA tends to average right at the 4.57 mark for his career which may not be lighting the world on fire, but comparing it against the corpse’s Boston trotted out in 2020, he looks like a Cy Young candidate. If I had to guess where we’ll see him this upcoming season it’ll be in the starting rotation until we for sure know what Eduardo Rodriguez and Chris Sale have in the tank. When the southpaw duo makes their way back and shows they’re at full strength then I can see Cora moving him to the relief portion of the game.

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Boston still has a lot of things to check off of their to-do list this winter but this is a step in the right direction. Adding a reliable arm to the early season rotation and possibly the bullpen for down the road is a good move by Bloom. Andriese may not be the name that Red Sox Nation was hoping to see come across the newswire but he’s a solid arm and has a strong chance to make some waves this season. Whether in the starting rotation or coming out of the bullpen, Andriese feels like the perfect low cost high reward signing that Chaim Bloom has built his name on.