Apparently general manager Theo Epstein and company really liked Minnesota’s bullpen down the stretch, because Gordon Edes of ESPNBoston.com reports that the Red Sox “have their sights focused on” Twins free agent relievers Brian Fuentes, Jesse Crain, and Matt Guerrier.
None would require giving up a draft pick to sign, as Guerrier is the only Type A free agent and the Twins forfeited any compensation by declining to offer him arbitration.
Joaquin Benoit and Scott Downs have seemingly set the market for top setup men at three years and $15-16 million, but Edes notes that “the Red Sox were not willing to go to three years on Downs.” However, because Downs is a Type A free agent who was offered arbitration it would have meant giving him a three-year contract and losing a draft pick.
Pitcher David Phelps has a torn UCL and will undergo Tommy John surgery, ending his 2018 season, the Mariners announced on Wednesday. Phelps was making brief one-inning stints in the Cactus League as he worked his way back from a procedure to remove a bone spur from his elbow last September. He said he felt the ligament tear on his final pitch against the Angels in his March 17 appearance.
Phelps, 31, was expected to set up for closer Edwin Diaz. The right-hander, between the Marlins and Mariners last season, posted a 3.40 ERA with a 62/26 K/BB ratio in 55 2/3 innings. He and the Mariners avoided arbitration in January, agreeing on a $5.55 million salary for the 2018 campaign. Phelps will become eligible to become a free agent at the end of the season.
As the Mariners noted in their statement, the expected recovery period for Tommy John surgery is 12-15 months, so this very likely cuts into Phelps’ 2019 season as well.