It didn’t take long for new Boston Red Sox chief baseball officer Chaim Bloom to get down to business.
The Red Sox on Thursday claimed left-handed reliever Josh Osich off waivers from the Chicago White Sox. It’s the first roster move the club has made since Bloom took over earlier this week.
Osich has experienced various levels of success throughout his five-year big league career. His best season was his rookie campaign in 2015 with the San Francisco Giants where he posted a 177 ERA+ (with 100 being league average), allowing seven earned runs in 28 2/3 innings pitched.
The left-hander was claimed off waivers by the White Sox prior to the 2019 season and appeared in 57 games for the South-Siders. Osich struck out 61 batters in 67 2/3 innings while posting a 99 ERA+ for Chicago. Plagued by control issues for much of his career, Osich seemed to control that some last year, posting a career-best 4.07 strikeout-to-walk ratio, issuing just 15 free passes in those 57 appearances. Osich gave up a lot of home runs — 15 in 2019 — but the majority of those (10) came against right-handed hitters. He’s probably best used as a lefty specialist of sorts after holding left-handed hitters to a .171 batting average in 2019.
The Red Sox could have the southpaw for three full seasons and are getting him in his first year of arbitration eligibility. MLB Trade Rumors projects Osich to earn $1 million for the 2020 season. Boston didn’t have much in the way of left-handed relievers in 2019. Josh Taylor was used the most (54 games), but the Sox didn’t have another left-hander who appeared in more than 28 games.