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Félix Hernández signs a minor league deal with the Braves

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A new beginning or a soon-to-be-forgotten coda to a great career? No one knows yet, but next month former Cy Young Award winner and six-time All-Star Félix Hernández will break camp with the Atlanta Braves. He signed a minor league deal with an invitation to big league camp the with club yesterday.

King Félix endured his third straight below league average season in 2019, and last year was particularly ghastly for him on the mound, posting a 6.40 ERA in 15 starts. While he’s still only 33, Hernández came up for good at 19 and was a full-time starter at 20, so there are a lot of miles on that elbow, that shoulder, and those legs. Smart money would not have him returning to his old form or anything particularly close to it in the future. Smart money may even be laid on the idea that he’s, frankly, done as a pitcher.

But he’ll get one more crack at it at least, as he’ll try to make a Braves club which seems to have a good number of pitchers who stand a much, much better chance than he does of landing on the big league staff. Still. Hernández is a legend, and you take a no-risk chance on a legend if you have the opportunity to do so.

Whether that chance turns out to be a memorable, late-career mini renaissance or the baseball equivalent of Johnny Unitas playing for the San Diego Chargers remains to be seen.

Report: Red Sox to sign Zack Godley

Red Sox sign Zack Godley
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Chris Cotillo of MassLive.com reports that the Red Sox are nearing an agreement with pitcher Zack Godley. It is still unclear whether the contract will be of the minor or major league variety.

Godley, 30, was with the Tigers on a minor league contract but the club released him in early April. The right-hander pitched for the Diamondbacks and Blue Jays last season, amassing 92 innings with a 5.97 ERA and a 70/42 K/BB ratio. Godley was quite solid for the D-Backs in 2017, posting a 3.37 ERA over 155 innings, so the Red Sox are hoping to see that version of him.

The Red Sox need starting pitching depth with Chris Sale out for the year due to Tommy John surgery and Eduardo Rodríguez sidelined because of a positive COVID-19 test. Collin McHugh is also still on the mend from an elbow injury. The starting rotation at the moment includes Nathan Eovaldi, Martín Pérez, Ryan Weber, and Brian Johnson. It is certainly the club’s biggest weakness.

The Red Sox open up the 2020 regular season at home against the Orioles on July 24. Eovaldi would seem to be the one to get the Opening Day nod. Godley could slot in anywhere else in the rotation, from No. 2 to 5.