From Gordon Edes of ESPN Boston comes word that the Red Sox have agreed to terms on a contract with right-handed reliever Dan Wheeler.
Sean McAdam of CSN New England heard Thursday that the Sox would not give the free agent righty anything greater than a one-year contract. It remains to be seen if they stuck to that.
Wheeler, 33, turned in a rock-solid 3.35 ERA and 1.05 WHIP over 48.1 innings for the Rays in 2010, holding opposing hitters to a .207 batting average and .273 on-base percentage. He struck out 46 batters and walked only 16, showing good life on an arsenal of five pitches.
The 10-year MLB veteran should do well in a middle relief role next year in Boston.
The Red Sox also added free agent Bobby Jenks earlier this week to what should be a strong 2011 bullpen.
UPDATE: Alex Speier of WEEI.com reports that Wheeler’s contract includes a vesting option for 2012 that can be triggered if the right-hander makes 65 appearances next season.
In a world where Scott Downs can command a three-year, $15 million contract from the Angels and Joaquin Benoit can score a three-year, $16.5 million deal from the Tigers, the Red Sox probably had to add that option year in order to secure a signature.
UPDATE: Steve Phillips of AOL Fanhouse has the financial terms. Both the one-year agreement and vesting option are worth $3 million. That option can be pushed to $3.25 million if Wheeler appears in 75-plus games.
It’s always a bit deceiving to see offseason workout photos of players who are said to be getting into great shape because guys in those pics are wearing compression shirts and crap and we’re used to seeing them in baseball uniforms. I remember pics of Miguel Cabrera and David Ortiz in the offseason looking svelte, only to see them in uniform come spring as their familiar beefy selves. Uniforms are often loose and billowy and the players wear a couple of layers when they’re suited up, so at least visually speaking it’s better to compare apples to apples.