Red Sox Sign Veteran Pitcher Collin McHugh, DFA Hector Velazquez

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The Boston Red Sox have added some much-needed veteran starting pitching depth.

Boston on Thursday signed former Houston Astros pitcher Collin McHugh to a one-year contract. To make room for McHugh on the 40-man roster, the Red Sox designated pitcher Hector Velazquez for assignment.

Here are the reported details of McHugh’s contract with the Red Sox, per MLB Network’s Jon Heyman:

McHugh, a former 18th-round pick of the New York Mets, turned around his career in 2014 when he joined the Astros. The right-hander finished fourth in Rookie of the Year voting that season with a 11-9 record and 2.73 ERA. A year later, he finished eighth in American League Cy Young voting, going 19-7 with a 3.89 ERA while logging a career-high 203 2/3 innings.

McHugh primarily was used out of the bullpen in his last two seasons with the Astros with varying levels of success. Working solely out of the bullpen in 2018, the 32-year-old struck out a career-high 11.7 batters per nine innings while also sporting a career-best 0.912 WHIP. He made eight starts in 2019 in addition to 27 relief appearances, with a 4.70 ERA for the year. He was, however, much better as a reliever in 2019, as he went just 3-4 with an unsightly 6.37 ERA in eight starts.

It’s likely McHugh will compete for a spot in the rotation for a Red Sox team that badly needs starting pitching help. Boston had just four clear-cut starting options, including Chris Sale, who will miss at least the start of the season with an ailing elbow.

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