As we all know, the owner-imposed lockout prevents any significant player movement around the league, as 40-man rosters cannot be changed until the lockout is lifted. That prevents almost all player movement in the offseason, but not literally all of it. Teams can still sign players to minor-league deals, which is something we see a lot of this time of year anyway with players grabbing what basically amount to audition roster spots signing minor-league deals with invitations to major-league spring training. The Boston Red Sox have signed a few of those this winter, and over the weekend added another one. According to reports, they’ve signed former Chicago White Sox right-handed pitcher Tyler Danish to this kind of minor-league deal.
Danish was once a second round pick by the Pale Hose back in the 2013 draft, and he’s spent most of his career to this point with the White Sox. The righty, now entering his age-27 season, first made the majors in 2016 and hasn’t really been able to stick there for any significant period of time. He’s spent parts of three seasons at the highest level, but never for more than seven appearances and for a grand total of 13 innings. In those 13 innings he’s allowed seven runs (4.85 ERA) to go with 11 strikeouts and 13 walks. It’s always less than idea for the walk total to be higher than the strikeouts.
Following the 2018 season, Danish signed a minor-league deal with the Seattle Mariners, then spent the 2020 season in Indy Ball before getting back to affiliated ball last season in the Angels organization. In 2021, he spent most of his season in Triple-A, making 20 appearances (17 in relief, three as a starter) totaling 60 1⁄3 innings, pitching to a 4.33 ERA with 67 strikeouts and 15 walks.
For the Red Sox, Danish is likely to serve simply as pitching depth who can fill in as either a starter or a reliever, wherever a body is needed in Worcester. He will, of course, be shooting for more than that and another chance in the majors. To do that, he’ll need to find a way to miss some bats while avoiding mistakes. Last season he did post a 26 percent strikeout rate, which is well above his career norms, but also was hurt by plenty of hard contact. He’ll be tested in Worcester’s home park, which proved to be a hitter’s haven in its inaugural season. All that said, every organization can use more pitching depth, and on a minor-league deal there is virtually no risk here for the Red Sox.