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Red Sox sign Alex Claudio to a minor-league deal

They also released Marcus Walden.

Los Angeles Angels vs. Oakland Athletics Jane Tyska/Digital First Media/East Bay Times via Getty Images

The Red Sox are not going to be able to add any kind of big addition from outside the organization at this point with the trade deadline beyond us and the days of August waiver trades only a memory. They can, however, try to find some quality depth in veterans that can fill in where and when needed. They did that last week by bringing in veteran outfielder Delino DeShields Jr. on a minor-league deal, and now they’ve added a veteran reliever to the Worcester roster as well, signing left-handed pitcher Alex Claudio to a minor-league deal. Chris Cotillo reports the move.

Back in the middle of the last decade, Claudio looked like one of the more underrated lefties in the game and was always a guy I wanted the Red Sox to target in trade. Texas never really seemed interesting in moving him, however, and he finished each of his first four seasons with an ERA under 3.00. That run culminated in his 2017 season in which he tossed 82 23 innings with a 2.50 ERA. Since that time, however, his pitch-to-contact approach has hurt him, and he hasn’t finished a season with an ERA below 4.00 since that 2017 season.

Most recently, Claudio was pitching in the Angels bullpen. The 29-year-old made 41 appearances for Los Angeles this season, pitching to a 5.51 ERA with 30 strikeouts and 15 walks. Over his career, he’s been particularly effective against lefties, allowing a .258 wOBA compared to a .341 mark against righties. He figures to be looked at as an option if Austin Davis contiues to struggle and/or Darwinzon Hernandez has a slow road back.

In addition to the Claudio addition, Worcester also announced that Marcus Walden has been released from the organization. The righty had been with the Red Sox since 2016 when he signed a minor-league deal with the club. He was an underrated player in the 2019 season, pitching to a 3.81 ERA over 78 innings of work. Things haven’t been the same since then, however, and this year he pitched to a 4.01 ERA over 42 23 innings at Triple-A. Walden turns 33 next month.