Shawn Kelley signs one-year deal with the Rangers
Another day has passed and the Red Sox bullpen still looks the exact same. We really haven’t heard much over the last few weeks on this front besides the fact that it is unrealistic for them to target Craig Kimbrel and that they would like to spend $2-$3 million on an arm if they do sign one. Can you taste the excitement?! The one name with whom the team has been connected during all of this has been Shawn Kelley, who has been an intriguing arm on-and-off over his career. Well, now he’s off the board like so many others have gone in recent days and weeks. Kelley signed a one-year deal with the Rangers with a team option for a second year worth a guaranteed $2.75 million. That does fall in the Red Sox’ supposed price range, but this is one I just can’t get too upset over. Kelley showed some flashes towards the end of next year and for the money he is absolutely worth a shot, but I don’t see him being more than a bit piece in a major-league bullpen. The Red Sox already have those guys. They needed another late-inning arm to add to the thin group they already have, and unless they change their tune on Kimbrel they just aren’t going to get it.
Jarrod Saltalamacchia announces his retirement
We think of baseball players relative to other baseball players because, well, how else are we going to do it? That’s the only logical way to do so, but that kind of view can naturally lead to forgetting just how great at the game these guys are relative to the general public. We all know that, of course, but we probably don’t acknowledge it enough. Anyway, Jarrod Saltalamacchia officially announced his retirement on Monday, and he embodies this idea. Salty was a first-round pick and former top prospect, but he never lived up to that hype. He hit decently well, but even at his peak at the plate most of the conversation revolved around his defense could be better. Hell, even as he was the primary catcher in 2013 when the Red Sox won the World Series, it feels like more people identify with David Ross from that team. Saltalamacchia didn’t live up to the hype from his younger days, but he had a 12-year career, won a ring and made about $31 million in his career. You’re doing better than most of us, Salty.