MLB.com’s Steve Gilbert reports that Brad Boxberger is no longer the Diamondbacks’ primary closer. Going forward, manager Torey Lovullo will close out games based on matchups.
Boxberger, 30, has struggled recently. He blew Sunday’s save chance against the Braves, yielding three runs while recording only one out. He has given up runs in three of four appearances to start the month of September, causing his ERA to balloon to 4.41.
Boxberger had been solid prior to September, ending August with a 3.45 ERA, 31 saves in 37 chances, and a 67/24 K/BB ratio in 47 innings.
Yoshihisa Hirano, Brad Ziegler, Archie Bradley, and Andrew Chafin could all see some save opportunities down the stretch. The D-Backs entered Monday’s action 2.5 games out of first place in the NL West and three games out of the second Wild Card slot, so this change will certainly have an impact on whether or not the D-Backs reach the postseason and in what fashion.
The White Sox won’t make a bid for free agent outfielder Bryce Harper, Bruce Levine of 670 The Score reports. Believed to be the favorites to land shortstop Manny Machado in free agency, the White Sox watched him ink a 10-year, $300 million contract with the Padres. The club is apparently content with its roster otherwise.
Harper would certainly be an upgrade in the outfield, which currently features Adam Engel, Nicky Delmonico, and Jon Jay. It will soon feature prospects Eloy Jiménez and Luis Robert.
Last season, Harper hit .249/.393/.496 with 34 hom eruns, 100 RBI, 103 runs scored, and 13 stolen bases in 695 plate appearances. He led all of baseball, drawing 130 walks. Harper is also a six-time All-Star who won the 2012 NL Rookie of the Year Award and the 2015 NL Most Valuable Player Award.
The Phillies are still believed to be the favorites to sign Harper and the club is confident it will land him, Matt Breen of the Philadelphia Daily News reports.