From Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports comes word that veteran reliever Jose Mijares officially opted out of his minor league contract with the Red Sox on Sunday morning to pursue a better opportunity.
Mijares was buried too far down the Boston bullpen depth chart to have a legitimate shot at an Opening Day roster spot and will try to latch on with a team that is a little more desperate for relief help. He had an ugly 5.14 ERA in seven innings this spring in Red Sox camp, but the 29-year-old left-hander boasts a 3.23 career ERA in 259 total major league frames.
Mijares has held left-handed batters to a .225/.288/.335 slash line since breaking into the bigs as a 23-year-old in 2008 with the Twins. He should have no trouble finding another contract.
Two guys who spent some time in the bigs but who have found more success in Asia have decided to stay in Asia.
Darin Ruf has re-signed with the Samsung Lions of KBO, per MLB Trade Rumors. Ruf, who played five years for the Phillies but didn’t really have the numbers to stick, has stuck just fine in Korea. In two seasons in the offense-friendly league he has hit 64 homers and has put up a line of .322/.412/.587. His new deal with Samsung will pay him a guaranteed $1.4 million with $300K in potential bonuses.
The other guy — Nick Martinez — has signed a $2.5 million plus incentives deal to stay with the Nippon Ham Fighters of NPB. The former Rangers starter went 10-11 with a 3.51 ERA for the Fighters in 2018. He was 17-30 with a 4.77 ERA in four seasons with Texas.
Maybe Ruf and Martinez still have U.S. major league dreams, but guaranteed bucks in the Korean and Japanese majors is better than signing minor league deals and riding busses here.