The Red Sox have been adamant that they do not want to pay for extra bullpen help since this offseason. What can they do going forward?
While the Red Sox have been hesitant to make a big trade they should get in contact with starter Matt Harvey, who was recently released by the Los Angeles Angels. Additionally, Dave Dombrowski could look to work out a deal with the St. Louis Cardinals for recently DFA’d LHP Chasen Shreve as well.
Both options could be added for little cost as reclamation projects. These would both be cheap high-risk, high-reward type additions. Harvey has struggled for the Angels this season after signing an 1-year, $11 million contract this off-season. He has an ERA over 7 this season in 59.2 innings, which is by all means bad. However, working with guys like Brian Bannister and Dana LeVangie may help him learn how to pitch with his decreasing velocity.
Harvey would be available at the pro-rated minimum or even at a minor league deal, so if the Red Sox could bring him aboard and help him sort through his issues this season it’s a win-win. The likelihood of a deal like this that would work out is slim, but taking a flier on a 30-year old guy who once had an ERA in the mid 2’s is a no-brainer in my opinion. Even if they cannot get him back to being a successful starter, they may be able to morph him into a reliever and reclaim some of his lost velocity.
With Chasen Shreve, he was recently DFA’d so he can be traded for, released, or retained at the Minor League level within the next week. It is unlikely that he would be released, or else he would have to forfeit what is left of his 900k salary. That means the Red Sox would need to send a low-level prospect or cash considerations in order to pry him away.
Currently, Boston’s left-handed bullpen options include Josh Taylor and Darwinzon Hernandez. Taylor has a 3.97 ERA in 22.2 innings out of the ‘pen and Hernandez has not allowed a run when coming in for relief, but that is in just four appearances.
Shreve was only thrown out there for three appearances this season, including scoreless outings versus the Pittsburgh Pirates and Cincinnati Reds. However, he got lit up in his last appearance yesterday against Pittsburgh, allowing two earned runs and getting only one out.
This decision to DFA him seems a bit reactionary to me, especially considering his 3.07 ERA for them last season through 14.2 innings. He was acquired from the New York Yankees in the deal that sent Luke Voit to New York.
As Steve Adams in this MLB Trade Rumors article said, “This season in Triple-A, Shreve pitched to a 3.80 ERA with 10.6 K/9, 4.0 BB/9, 1.05 HR/9 and a 36.3 percent ground-ball rate.”
Shreve seems like more of a sure thing than Harvey and can keep Josh Taylor or Hector Velazquez as far away from Boston as possible. I’d say that’s a win-win.