Brad Boxberger signs with the Royals
Another one of the relievers in the Red Sox apparent price range for bullpen help has come off the board, this time in the form of former Rays closer Brad Boxberger. Among the lower-tiered options for Boston, Boxberger was one who was brought up a lot given his relative familiarity with the division and his upside. On Wednesday, he signed a one-year deal with the Royals worth $2.2 million. If you’re a big-time Boxberger-head you’re in luck, however, because teams like Kansas City make these signings (and they are right to do so) in order to catch some lightning in a bottle and make a trade if the pitcher does well. If we see the good version of Boxberger in the first half, we’ll hear the Red Sox connected to him in trade rumors I’m sure. For all the perceived upside he has, though, Boxberger is coming off a rough year with the Diamondbacks despite spending most of it as the closer. He couldn’t work around his control issues this year, and despite a humidor being added to Arizona’s park he still watched his home run rate shoot up. Boxberger is fine and has stretches where he’s more than that, but I’m not going to lose sleep about him pitching elsewhere. Particularly as long as Craig Kimbrel is still out there.
Bryce Harper met with the Giants
It has been a brutally slow winter as we wait to see what happens with Manny Machado and Bryce Harper, two of the best and brightest stars in the game. Harper in particular is interesting because even if he hasn’t been on the field to produce as consistently as we’d like, his general star power is greater than that of probably any other major-league player right now. He’s a recognizable name, a recognizable face, and when he’s not getting weird perms it’s recognizable hair. Despite all of that — and that he’s, ya know, a great hitter — there haven’t really been any concrete reports of sustained interest. The Phillies and Nationals have been most connected, with the Padres and White Sox hanging around as well. Now, the Giants have entered the fray after reportedly meeting with the slugger last week. San Francisco is in a strange spot with some veterans and many see them as a rebuilding squad. However, even if you’re rebuilding it doesn’t hurt to have a draw as good and charismatic as Harper hanging around. That said, I’d be surprised if he headed out to the Bay Area.