Red Sox reunite with former reliever but lose Gio Urshela in embarrassing fashion

Boston Red Sox v San Francisco Giants
Boston Red Sox v San Francisco Giants / Lachlan Cunningham/GettyImages

The Boston Red Sox are still adding to their spring training crew in an attempt to bolster their bullpen. And one man is already at Fenway South, getting work in with the rest of the Sox's staff.

Reliever Joely Rodríguez has re-signed with Boston on a minor-league contract after the team declined his option for the coming season back in November. The news of Rodríguez's signing was broken by Julian McWilliams of The Boston Globe.

Rodríguez spent his season with the Red Sox plagued by injuries. He pitched just 11 innings due to oblique strains as well as shoulder and hip inflammation. In his small sample size of games, Rodríguez posted a 6.55 ERA with 13 hits, two of them homers, six walks and 14 strikeouts.

The reliever is a six-year MLB veteran and has also played two seasons in Nippon Professional Baseball. He excelled in Japan, logging a 2.30 ERA in 2018 and 1.64 ERA in 2019. In the U.S., he's a career 4.70 pitcher but he's improved over the last few years.

The Red Sox have re-signed veteran reliever Joely Rodríguez to a minor-league deal

Since returning from Japan, Rodríguez has pitched to a 4.28 ERA and he's struck out 25.5% of batters he's faced. His walk rate is higher than league average, but his strikeout and ground ball efficiency could make up for it.

Rodríguez is also a lefty and the Red Sox's pitching staff lacks southpaws — Brennan Bernardino is one of the only lefties in Boston's 'pen. Rodríguez and fellow veteran left-hander Lucas Luetge will fight for a spot on the pitching staff. Without much competition in the way of lefties, one of the two hurlers could make the major league roster.

Under new pitching coach Andrew Bailey and director of pitching Justin Willard's program, Rodríguez could thrive and hone his strikeout skills, missing more bats than ever before. With any luck, Rodríguez can stay healthy long enough to bring his arsenal to Fenway this year.

Red Sox lose out on Gio Urshela to the Tigers

But the Sox whiffed on Thursday, too. It was reported that the Red Sox had shown interest in former Yankees third baseman Gio Urshela as a backup option for their infield. In 2024 Red Sox fashion, they lost out to another team for a shockingly low price.

The Detroit Tigers signed the infielder to a one-year, $1.5 million deal. One year. $1.5 million. That is nothing! It was rumored that the Sox weren't pursuing Urshela aggressively, but letting him go elsewhere for that cheap is sad, even for Boston's offseason standards.

The Red Sox will now need to look elsewhere for a backup infielder, but it seems as if Bobby Dalbec may well be the next best option.

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