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Boston Red Sox 2015 Bullpen Preview

The Boston Red Sox have gone through some changes this year in their bullpen, including trading one of their top relievers, Andrew Miller, to the Baltimore Orioles. With their closer Koji Uehara and other relievers Craig Breslow and Burke Badenhop hitting free agency, their could be more moves made. Here are some of the odds for the pitchers in the Red Sox organization.

 

Koji Uehara: There is no question the Uehara is a lockdown closer. There is also no question that the Red Sox would like to keep him. But what remains to be seen is if they can re-sign him. He could command a lot of money in free agency, but the Red Sox might not be willing to pay that to someone who will be 40 by the time opening day rolls around. There is still an excellent chance the Red Sox re-sign him however, a deal for him could probably work out in the 1 to 2 year range. Odds of making bullpen: 80%

 

Junichi Tazawa: Tazawa has been a very solid eighth inning guy for the Red Sox and is under team control until 2017. He may be the most solid piece in this bullpen puzzle. The one slight chance he is not in the bullpen on opening day, is if he is traded. He was placed on revocable waivers recently and could be dealt before the August 31 deadline. Nevertheless, if the Red Sox want to contend next year, they need a strong bullpen and it starts with Uehara and Tazawa. Odds of making bullpen: 90%

 

Burke Badenhop: Badenhop has been a nice addition as a very good ground ball type pitcher for the Sox, who seem to call on him in tricky situations. A 2.50 ERA is a career best and he will be a free agent this winter. He looks to have a role with this team assuming he re-signs but he could command more than the $2.15 million he’s making this year. Odds of making bullpen: 90%

 

Craig Breslow: Breslow is in his third straight year with the Red Sox but unfortunately for him, it is also his worst with this team. After two really good years, his ERA has soared over 5.00 this year as opposed to 1.81 last year. Making matters worse, it is a contract year. This looks like the end for Breslow unless he turns it around dramatically in September. Odds of making bullpen: 10%

 

Tommy Layne: Layne came over on a minor league deal from San Diego and has been a very pleasant surprise. While we haven’t seen too much of Layne, he does have a sub 1.50 ERA and could be a nice situational pitcher in the future. Odds of making bullpen: 65%

 

Edward Mujica: Mujica was the big bullpen signing in the offseason but got off to a horrible start. Since then, he has settled down but just hasn’t come close to expectations thus far. Nevertheless, he is under contract through next year and will likely get a chance to redeem himself. He hasn’t done enough to warrant a nice haul in a trade, so he should be back. However, he will be on a tight leash next year. Odds of making bullpen: 90%

Alex Wilson: Wilson has looked good in the few times he has been up this year from Pawtucket. A 1.69 ERA in six appearances helps his case tremendously. If someone like Burke Badenhop were to leave in free agency, Wilson would almost be a lock. His chances are still pretty good nonetheless. Odds of making bullpen: 55%

 

Brandon Workman: Despite starting almost all year for the Red Sox, if Workman doesn’t impress, and other rookies lap him, he could be moved to the bullpen. Workman has been there before, pitching out of the bullpen in the 2013 World Series. The chances are better than you might think. Odds of making bullpen: 55%

 

Heath Hembree: One of the pieces of the Jake Peavy deal, Hembree saw his first action in a 19 inning marathon vs. the Angels, going four strong innings not allowing a run. He was sent down to Pawtucket to get some rest, but he showed a lot of promise. He is still young so he may get the call next year at some point but might not make the opening day bullpen. Odds of making bullpen: 40%

 

Steven Wright: Wright is in the mold of a guy like Wilson, except he is unique because he is knuckleballer. Wright may get more chances to prove himself, and he could present a matchup problem for many batters. Odds of making bullpen: 45%

 

Predictions:

Closer: Koji Uehara

Other Relievers: Junichi Tazawa, Burke Badenhop, Edward Mujica, Tommy Layne, Brandon Workman, Alex Wilson, Heath Hembree

Tune in for my next article breaking down the position players for 2015. Some bold predictions will be made!