This Red Sox season, it seems, will be defined by the pitching. Well, I mean, their season and everyone else’s season will be defined by the weirdness that comes with playing in the middle of a pandemic, but besides that it will be about the pitching. More specifically, it will be about the lack of pitching and their search through a pile of mediocre arms to hopefully find some diamonds in the rough. It seems that search will not be limited to their own organization, either. Chaim Bloom made a deal with his old team, acquiring right-handed pitcher Dylan Covey from the Rays. Bobby Poyner was removed from the player pool in the deal.
The #RedSox today acquired right-handed pitcher Dylan Covey from the Tampa Bay Rays.— Red Sox (@RedSox) July 21, 2020
He has been added to the Club Player Pool.
It is worth noting that the Red Sox nor any of the beat writers have said how they acquired Covey. I am going to assume that they did not kidnap him, and that this was either a waiver claim or a trade. There was no news of Covey going on waivers, either, so my guess is this was a trade for either a player to be named later or cash, though we’ll provide an update when that becomes more clear.
As for Covey himself, the first thing I’ll say is don’t think this is somebody Bloom is trying to get that he liked from his time in Tampa. He may very well have long had a thing for the righty, but Covey was acquired by the Rays in February, long after Bloom was out of the organization.
The righty until this spring had spent the bulk of his career with the White Sox. He was originally a fourth round selection by the Athletics back in 2013 before landing in Chicago as a Rule 5 pick back in 2016. Since then, he has spent a good chunk of time in the majors bouncing back and forth between the rotation and the bullpen for the White Sox. In his career he has 250 1⁄3 innings under his belt, pitching to a 6.54 ERA with a 5.58 FIP and a 6.56 DRA. That is not great! Last season was his worst career year, pitching to a 7.98 ERA with a 6.09 FIP and a 7.92 DRA.
There must be something here the Red Sox are willing to take a chance on. The 28-year-old (he turns 29 in a few weeks) has actually been a bit worse in terms of strikeouts out of the bullpen, though he’s never really been a strikeout pitcher at all with a career rate just over six per nine innings. He is mostly a four-pitch guy with a sinker, a cutter, a changeup and a four-seamer.
Meanwhile, Bobby Poyner gets taken off the player pool, which means he cannot be placed back on at any point this year. It’s been a bit of a fall from grace for the lefty after impressing in the high minors and pitching fairly well in the majors in 2018. Last season was a rough one with his command both in the majors and Triple-A, though, and it appears he’ll have to wait until 2021 to get another chance.
The Red Sox apparently got Covey for nothing, according to Pete Abraham.
The Sox obtained Covey for nothing.— Pete Abraham (@PeteAbe) July 21, 2020
He had an assignment clause in his minor league contract that required the Rays to offer him to any team with a spot open.
The Sox essentially claimed him. The ultimate no-risk move.