With the Trevor Story rumors starting to heat up, all eyes are on the Red Sox, so it makes sense that now is the time they swoop in with another mid-tier signing in the bullpen. This one involves a familiar face, with Mike Rodriguez reporting that Hansel Robles has signed a deal with the Red Sox. Ken Rosenthal confirmed as well.
It’s a minor-league deal for Robles. A previous version of this story incorrectly indicated it was a major-league contract.
Robles was part of the stretch run for Boston last year, ultimately becoming one of the more trusted arms in the bullpen for Alex Cora through the playoffs. He’s an erratic pitcher, but he’s also one that can get hot and excel in the late innings for stretches through a season. Overall last season, he pitched to a 4.43 ERA with 76 strikeouts and 37 walks over 69 innings of work. In fairness, the numbers did look better after getting to Boston after the deadline, with his ERA falling to 3.60 and his FIP dropping from 4.83 before the trade to 3.37 after.
But as mentioned, that’s part of the experience with Robles. He will have those stretches where he looks like a terrific reliever, and others where he’s at the bottom of the depth chart. Assuming the money is reasonable, in isolation it’s not a bad thing to have these kinds of pitchers. The issue for the Red Sox is that it’s all they have in the bullpen, excluding Garrett Whitlock with his unclear role. If Whitlock is going to be back in the ninth inning, then this group can work. But if they’re relying on Robles, Matt Barnes, and Jake Diekman to finish out games, there’s a lot of volatility there.
We’ll update this post when more information about the contract is released.