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MLB Roundup 12/21: The reliever market is starting to move

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A couple of big relievers find new homes.

Divisional Round - Houston Astros v Cleveland Indians - Game Three
Andrew Miller
Photo by Gregory Shamus/Getty Images

Andrew Miller signs with the Cardinals

We all know the last area of the roster the Red Sox are likely to address is the bullpen, but a report came out Thursday night that says Boston is still waiting to see what happens with Craig Kimbrel before making their move. Well, the reliever market isn’t going to wait for them, and it started to move in earnest on Thursday. Part of that was Andrew Miller signing a multi-year contract with the Cardinals. As of this writing, the terms of the deal are not yet known. Miller was connected to the Red Sox plenty earlier in the offseason, but to me it always felt more like speculation given the past between the two sides. I never got the sense there was actual interest on the part of the Red Sox front office. Still, Miller is clearly one of the bigger names on the market, and while there were definite risks there is major upside as well. St. Louis now has Miller and Paul Goldschmidt added into the fold as they look to compete in a loaded NL Central.

Joakim Soria comes to terms with Oakland

Another one of the top potential relief options for the Red Sox was Joakim Soria, and he seemed more likely to actually be targeted by Boston. Whether or not that is true doesn’t really matter anymore, because he’s reportedly going to sign with the Athletics. As Oakland tries to rebuild a bullpen that dominated in 2018, they’ve added Soria to slot in behind Blake Treinen. Soria has been an underrated late-inning arm for basically his entire career and the A’s got him for a solid deal from the team’s perspective. According to reports, the deal will come in around two-years and a total of $15 million. That’s exactly the kind of deal Boston should be looking at if they balk at Kimbrel’s asking price. Fortunately for the Red Sox, there are similarly talented relievers who should demand similar contracts.

Daniel Murphy signs with the Rockies

Relievers weren’t the only ones making deals on Thursday as both teams and players try to get their moves in before the holidays start taking over. The Rockies have an uphill battle with the Dodgers in their division, and they’re going to have some trouble with the Nolan Arenado potentially leaving after this season, but they’ve addressed one of their biggest needs and signed Daniel Murphy on Thursday. The former Met, National and Cub has spent most of his career at second base but is expected to move over to first base with Colorado. This one doesn’t really affect the Red Sox too much as it was never realistic for them to pursue another second base option, and even if they did Murphy isn’t much of a second baseman at this point. The one possible affect is that the Yankees can’t get him, though they don’t appear to be as connected to first base options as I thought they might be.

Aníbal Sánchez signs with Washington

Old friend alert! Aníbal Sánchez is, of course, a former Red Sox prospect who was dealt to Miami way back when the Red Sox acquired Josh Beckett and Mike Lowell. The starting pitcher is still chugging along, though, and after looking like his career was just about over he had a resurgence in Atlanta last season. Now, he’s been rewarded on the free agent market with a two-year deal from the Nationals. I’ve always had a soft spot for Sánchez given his Red Sox ties and was pleasantly surprised with the kind of season he had last year. That being said, I don’t think I’d be willing to give him a two-year deal, though the Nationals can afford it if things go poorly.