The Red Sox have made their first, but presumably not their last nor their biggest, addition to the pitching staff, at least in terms of free agency. The team announced on Wednesday that they have signed right-handed pitcher Matt Andriese to a one-year deal with a club option for a second year.
According to a report from Chris Cotillo of Masslive, the deal is for a base salary of $1.85 million in 2021 with the option for 2022 being worth $3.5 million with a $250,000 buyout. There are also some escalators that could bring the total value of the deal up to $7.35 million, with it maxing out at 150 innings.
Andriese is a former third round pick back in 2011 who made his debut with the Rays in 2015. Of course, that was when Chaim Bloom was with Tampa, so there is an obvious connection there right off the bat. The righty, who will be 31 for most of next season, has pitched more recently for the Diamondbacks and Angels over the last couple of seasons. In 2020, with the Angels, he pitched to a 4.50 ERA with a 4.29 FIP over 32 innings.
Over his career, he has bounced between the rotation and the bullpen, and given the escalators maxing out at 150 innings it looks like a swingman role is likely what he is setting up for in 2021 as well. As we have pointed out previously, this is a roster that is going to need a lot of help from those types of versatile long relievers, and Andriese should be able to fit that bill well. Obviously this shouldn’t be the defining addition to the pitching staff, but for what it is they could do worse. He is likely to join Rule 5 draftee Garrett Whitlock in this role.
The other part of this move is that, in order to make room on the 40-man, the Red Sox put Deivy Grullón on waivers. The catcher was claimed by the Reds.
C Deivy Grullón today was claimed off waivers by the Cincinnati Reds.— Red Sox (@RedSox) December 23, 2020
This is a bit surprising, and Grullón appeared to be a very good third catching option for the team, and I would have assumed there were at least a handful of players ahead of him on the chopping block including but not limited to Joel Payamps, Marcus Wilson, and C.J. Chatham, to say nothing of the Dustin Pedroia situation. Without Grullón, Boston still has Christian Vázquez and Kevin Plawecki in the majors, but are now left with Jhonny Pereda and Connor Wong as their top catchers in the minors. Don’t be surprised if they bring in a veteran catcher on a minor-league deal a la Juan Centeno of years past when camp gets closer.