Andrew Bailey’s stint as Red Sox closer was short-lived because he’s been placed on the disabled list with right biceps inflammation.
To take his place on the roster and in the bullpen the Red Sox activated Craig Breslow, who’s been on the DL all season with a shoulder injury, but Joel Hanrahan will get a chance to reclaim the closer gig.
Breslow has a 3.00 ERA in 342 career innings, including a 2.70 mark after joining the Red Sox last season, so if healthy he’ll provide manager John Farrell with a good late-inning option from the left side. Bailey was pitching extremely well with a 1.46 ERA and 20/4 K/BB ratio in 12 innings, but has a long history of arm problems and missed most of 2012 with torn thumb ligament.
Bailey’s stint is backdated, so he’ll be eligible to return on May 14.
Former Red Sox right-hander Nathan Eovaldi is up for grabs this offseason, and Nick Cafardo of the Boston Globe says that as many as nine suitors are interested in bringing the righty aboard. While the Red Sox are eager to retain Eovaldi’s services after his lights-out performance during their recent postseason run, they’ll have to contend with the Brewers, Phillies, Braves, White Sox, Padres, Blue Jays, Giants, and Angels — all of whom are reportedly positioned to offer something for the starter this winter.
It wasn’t all smooth sailing for the 28-year-old in 2018, however. After losing his 2017 season to Tommy John surgery, he underwent an additional procedure to remove loose bodies from his right elbow in March and didn’t make his first appearance until the end of May. He was flipped for lefty reliever Jalen Beeks just prior to the trade deadline and finished his season with a combined 6-7 record in 21 starts, a 3.81 ERA, 1.6 BB/9, and 8.2 SO/9 through 111 innings.
Despite his numerous health issues over the last few years, Eovaldi raised his stock in October after becoming a major contributor during the Red Sox’ championship run. He contributed two quality starts in the ALDS and ALCS and returned in Games 1-3 of the World Series with three lights-out performances in relief — including a six-inning effort in the 18-inning marathon that was Game 3.
A frontrunner has yet to emerge for the righty this offseason, but Cafardo points out that the nine teams listed so far might just be the tip of the iceberg. Still, he won’t be the most sought-after starter on the market, as former Diamondbacks southpaw Patrick Corbin is expected to command an even bigger payday following his career-best 6.0-fWAR performance in 2018.