Addison Reed

Report: Ex-Red Sox reliever Reed gets deal with Twins

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Report: Ex-Red Sox reliever Reed gets deal with Twins

He was dubbed "Closer B" by Red Sox manager John Farrell when acquired at the trade deadline last summer, now Addison Reed is "Closer B Gone"...to the Twins.

The right-handed reliever, 29, has agreed to a two-year, $16.75 million free-agent deal with Minnesota, pending a physical, Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports and TheAthletic.com reports. 

Reed began last season with the Mets and had 19 saves and a 2.57 ERA before being traded to the Red Sox, where he had a 3.33 ERA in 29 games (27 innings) without a save as a setup man for Craig Kimbrell.  
 

Drellich: Red Sox bullpen must be ready to empty tank in Game 2

Drellich: Red Sox bullpen must be ready to empty tank in Game 2

HOUSTON — Let David Price loose. And Addison Reed and Craig Kimbrel.

The monster was built late in the season. It's operational. Now, to employ its full destructive force.

The silver lining for the Red Sox after the Jose Altuve show lies in what we have not yet seen.

Chris Sale flopped and the Red Sox floundered in Game 1 of the American League Division Series, 8-2. The score got out of hand, and manager John Farrell was wise in at least one way: he did not touch the prime pieces of a bullpen envisioned as a newly improved difference maker, a group of relievers who make for perhaps the team’s only clear advantage against Houston.

If Game 1 was about Sale — the perceived constant on a team of many question marks — Game 2 is about the bullpen. It has to be. Farrell needs to empty the tank to keep the score close all afternoon at Minute Maid Park.

Price is fresh for maybe 40 pitches and a couple innings, you figure. Reed and Kimbrel can get more than three outs, maybe as many as six.

Of course, the Sox need Pomeranz to keep the game close early. Two home runs in the first inning, a la Sale, would be a problem. But his start should be short no matter what, unless he’s really carving up the Astros. 

Then, whether Pomeranz leaves with a lead or not, the bullpen has to give an offense without much power a chance.

It’s not like Sale or Verlander carried it deep into the night in Game 1. Verlander made it six innings, and even that wasn’t guaranteed. Pomeranz isn't known for consistently long starts generally.

“The early part of the game showed us how difficult it is to conserve your pitches in a playoff atmosphere and against two playoff teams that are good because both guys had to exert a lot of energy and a lot of pitches in the first third of the game,” Astros manager A.J. Hinch said of Sale and Justin Verlander. “I was proud of Verlander getting through the 6th inning because as the game was unfolding early, I didn't think either guy was going to last as deep as what we all anticipated. But our guy lasted a little longer.”

Enter the Sox bullpen, the meat of it. It’s a weapon that was assembled at the last minute and has had a couple test runs in the regular season, including Saturday when the Sox at last clinched the American League East. Now, for the real thing. 

There’s an off-day between Games 2 and 3, when any and all relievers used Friday can recuperate. At this point, there’d be only one time in this series Price could pitch on back-to-back days, if he throws in Games 3 and 4. That’s better for his arm. 

The Sox have to now ensure they get to a Game 4, and the best way to do that is arrive at Fenway Park with a split in Houston.

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Drellich: Red Sox bullpen was good, then they changed for the better

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Drellich: Red Sox bullpen was good, then they changed for the better

BOSTON — Only the Indians had a better bullpen ERA in the regular season than the Red Sox’ 3.07. What’s both strange, and welcome, is how different the Sox’ David Price-reinforced bullpen is expected to look heading into the playoffs.

Makeovers don’t usually await a group that has been so reliable for so long.

“It’s been added to a lot with the addition of [Addison] Reed and obviously Price's now placement in it,” manager John Farrell said. “But for the majority of the season, we've had guys that have stepped up in the face of injury when [Tyler] Thornburg wasn't available, when Carson Smith took maybe a little bit longer than anticipated to come back.”

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In games the Sox are leading in the postseason, the ideal plan seems to be a progression of Price, Reed and Craig Kimbrel. Throw in a potentially dominant Smith as well.

But Kimbrel’s the only one who has been in his role all year long. Reed joined midseason via trade, and Price and Smith are both September additions.

Consider that there were eight Sox pitchers with at least 35 relief innings pitched for the Sox in relief this year. The way things are shaping up, maybe three of them will be in the team’s postseason ‘pen: Kimbrel, Joe Kelly and lefty specialist Robby Scott.

“There's going to be some guys that are disappointed, plain and simple,” Farrell said. “Guys that have been contributors. We've got 35-36 players [on the roster overall] that have contributed in some way, and yet there's going to be 11 that are not active. I wish they all could be. But I think guys get it. The tough decisions, I think there are different degrees of decisions when it comes to who's active and who's not, and those explanations are deserved to the individuals, and we'll provide those.”

Righties Heath Hembree and Matt Barnes could be on the outside looking in, even though Barnes threw more relief innings for the Sox than anyone, 69 2/3. He had a 5.59 ERA in the final month of the season.

Change has been kind of a constant in the Sox bullpen the whole year, though. The depth of the 'pen proved perhaps the most pleasant surprise of 2017 for the Sox.

“When you look at the growth of individuals by increasing their responsibility, how they executed, it's never been a question of stuff," Farrell said. "From Kelly to Barnes to Hembree to Robby Scott, Fernando Abad — who has had a strong year and yet has not maybe been one of the focal guys of the bullpen — but they've performed very well."

“They've been leaned on, and then when we've had some additions with Reed. What they've done in the last 7-8 weeks is the reason why we sit here today [atop the division]. You look at our record in extra innings, and it's large in part because of that group, and they've been fantastic. They've been powerful, they've pitched, I would venture to say, the highest number of leverage innings throughout the league, and they've responded extremely well.”

Farrell has not outlined his bullpen for the first round down to a man yet, but he has said the Sox expect to carry 11 pitchers — four starting pitchers, and then seven relievers (including any starters moved to the bullpen).

Here’s one projection: Kimbrel, Reed, Price, Smith, Scott, Kelly and Doug Fister. 

Fister is insurance if Rick Porcello, Eduardo Rodriguez or anyone else has a rough start, so that Farrell can very quickly swap out starters. Or if the Sox are getting blown out, he can use Fister and not waste the other higher leverage relievers. (There’s always the extra-inning possibility too.)

Fister has 16 career relief appearances in the regular season, with a 2.86 ERA in 28 1/3 innings, with 6 1/3 innings coming this season for the Sox.

But Fister could well wind up with a start and one of the other starters moving to the ‘pen instead. Farrell hasn't committed yet to carrying all his starters on the postseason roster, but that seems the proper move.

One reliever to keep an eye on who has a bit of length if the Sox don't carry all their starters: righty Austin Maddox, who allowed one earned run in 13 2/3 innings in the final month of the season. He went 2 1/3 innings in his final outing of the regular season.

Maddox struck out 14 and walked two in 17 1/3 innings overall, good for a 0.52 ERA.

Another righty, Brandon Workman was at times impressive, but had a 6.43 ERA over his final 14 outings, and also doesn't do particularly well vs. lefties.

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