Edward Mujica to temporarily take over as closer for the Red Sox


WEEI’s Rob Bradford reports that Red Sox manager John Farrell has temporarily removed Koji Uehara from the closer’s role and inserted Edward Mujica. Uehara has slumped, allowing runs in five of his last six appearances. That includes last night’s stint in which he allowed a game-tying solo home run to Mark Teixeira and a walk-off solo homer to Chase Headley in the ninth inning.

Farrell stressed that Uehara is healthy and that the right-hander isn’t being shut down for the season, as has been speculated. Bradford adds that Uehara himself requested to be taken out of the closer’s role.

Uehara had one of the best relief seasons of all time last year, finishing with a 1.09 ERA, 21 saves in 24 opportunities, and a 101/9 K/BB ratio. He also only gave up five home runs. This year, he has a 2.64 ERA with 26 saves in 30 chances and a 75/8 K/BB ratio. The two home runs Uehara allowed last night bumped up his total to 10, doubling last year’s allowance.

Mujica, who closed for the Cardinals — the runner-up in last year’s World Series — has had mediocre results as a set-up man in the Red Sox bullpen, posting a 4.13 ERA with a 39/11 K/BB ratio in 52 1/3 innings.

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Rays’ Díaz gets $24 million, three-year deal, avoids arbitration

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ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. – Tampa Bay Rays infielder Yandy Díaz agreed to a $24 million, three-year contract on Tuesday that avoided a salary arbitration hearing.

Díaz’s agreement could be worth $36 million over four seasons.

The 31-year old will receive $6 million this season, $8 million in 2024 and $10 million for 2025. The 2026 club is $12 million with no buyout. There is a $1 million assignment bonus that would be payable by receiving team.

Díaz has spent parts of six seasons in the majors with Cleveland (2017-18) and Tampa Bay (2019-22). He has a career average of .278 with 39 home runs and 198 RBIs.

Acquired by the Rays in a three-team trade on Dec. 13, 2018, Díaz hit .296 with nine homers and 57 RBIs in 137 games last season, He career highs with 71 runs, 140 hits, 33 doubles, and 78 walks.

Díaz was the third Rays’ arbitration-eligible player to reach a deal.

Reliever Pete Fairbanks agreed Friday to a $12 million, three-year contract that could be worth up to $24.6 million over four seasons. The 29-year-old right-hander was 0-0 with a 1.13 ERA in 24 appearances last year after beginning the season on the 60-day injured list with a right lat strain.

Left-hander Jeffrey Springs also agreed last week to a $31 million, four-year contract that could be worth $65.75 million over five seasons.

The 30-year-old began last season in the bullpen and transitioned to the starting rotation in May and finished 9-5 with a 2.46 ERA in 33 appearances, including 25 starts.

Tampa Bay remains scheduled for hearings with right-handers Jason Adam and Ryan Thompson, left-hander Colin Poche, and outfielder Harold Ramírez.