As first reported by Jim Bowden of ESPN and Sirius XM Radio, the Red Sox are preparing to name Bob McClure as their next pitching coach.
McClure was a major league pitcher from 1975-1993, posting a 3.81 career ERA over 1158-plus innings. He joined the coaching ranks in 1999, first serving as a pitching instructor in the Rockies organization before moving on to the position of big league pitching coach in Kansas City. The Royals fired him in September of this year after six years on the job.
McClure will be replacing Curt Young, who was let go by the Red Sox soon after the departure of manager Terry Francona. Boston posted a 4.20 team ERA in 2011, which ranked 22nd in the major leagues.
Free agent right-hander Ervin Santana picked up a minor league deal with the White Sox, according to various reports Friday. Per Bruce Levine of 670thescore.com, Santana will make $4.33 million if he manages to crack the major-league roster this spring. Any official confirmation from the team is still dependent on the results of a physical.
The veteran righty hasn’t seen any action in MLB for some time. He was laid low by prolonged discomfort in his right middle finger last spring, and underwent a capsular release/debridement procedure that kept him off the mound for all but 24 2/3 innings of his 2018 campaign with the Twins. When healthy, however, he’s been as durable and productive as they come. Santana earned his second career All-Star distinction in 2017 and pitched to a 16-8 record in 33 starts with three shutouts, a 3.28 ERA, 2.6 BB/9, 7.1 SO/9, and 2.9 fWAR through 211 1/3 innings.
Barring further complications with his pitching hand, the 36-year-old should be a stabilizing force for the White Sox’ rotation in 2019 — assuming he can beat out southpaw Manny Bañuelos and right-handers Jordan Stephens and Dylan Covey for a back-end role, that is. According to FanGraphs, the club’s starters ranked worst in the league in 2018 with a collective 5.07 ERA, 5.18 FIP, and 3.1 fWAR.