A day after reaching an agreement on a two-year, $14 million pact with super-utility player Kiké Hernández, the Red Sox have reached an agreement on a one-year, $10 million deal with righty starter Garrett Richards, a source told MLB.com. The club has not confirmed the deal.
Upgrading the starting rotation
A day after reaching an
Upgrading the starting rotation has been at the top of chief baseball officer Chaim Bloom’s priority list this offseason.
In Richards, the Red Sox would get a pitcher who won 15 games for the Angels in 2015, but has logged a total of just 198 2/3 innings in the ensuing five seasons due to injuries.
Richards underwent Tommy John surgery that cut his 2018 season short. He returned to make three starts for the Padres in ’19, and he was healthy during the shortened ’20 season but the Padres moved him to the bullpen from mid-September through the end of the year.
The Red Sox hope that Richards can re-establish the form he had earlier in his career. He was at his best during the 2014 season, when he went 13-4 with a 2.61 ERA in 26 starts. His year actually ended early in a start against the Red Sox when he injured his left knee trying to cover first base.
Richards could be an important part of a rotation that will include Eduardo Rodriguez, Nathan Eovaldi, Nick Pivetta and Martín Pérez. Earlier this offseason, the Sox landed another depth piece in righty Matt Andriese, who can start or relieve. Ace Chris Sale isn’t expected back until around midseason, as he recovers from Tommy John surgery.
Once the 42nd overall pick by the Angels in the 2009 MLB Draft, Richards is 32 years old. According to Statcast, Richards averaged 95.1 mph with his fastball last season, throwing the pitch 46.3 percent of the time. He also utilizes a slider, sinker and curve. Richards got a 39.5 percent whiff rate on his slider.
In 187 career appearances, including 128 starts, Richards has compiled a 47-41 record with a 3.62 ERA. Last season, he went 2-2 with a 4.03 ERA in 14 outings (10 starts).