The Boston Red Sox have been quiet in terms of chasing big names to bolster their bullpen, but the team announced that one reliever from last year will be back in the fold.
Boston announced Friday that it has agreed to terms with Heath Hembree, avoiding arbitration with the 29-year-old right-hander. The Red Sox and Hembree agreed to a one-year, $1.3 million deal, which is a $731,000 raise from last season for the righty.
Hembree has made more than 60 appearances and thrown at least 60 innings for the Red Sox in each of the last two seasons. Last season, the right-hander stuck out 76 batters in 60 innings and held opponents to a .233 batting average, both career bests for a full season. He held left-handed hitters to a career-low .186 average, surrendering only one home run to the 105 lefties he faced in the regular season.
There are 10 remaining Red Sox players eligible for salary arbitration: Matt Barnes, Mookie Betts, Xander Bogaerts, Jackie Bradley Jr., Brock Holt, Sandy Leon, Eduardo Rodriguez, Blake Swihart, Brandon Workman, and Steven Wright.
Hembree factors in as a viable middle-relief option. The Red Sox remain in the market for a closer.
Thumbnail photo via Kim Klement/USA TODAY Sports Images