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Thursday, December 6, 2012

Red Sox Bid Farewell To The 2012 MLB Winter Meetings With One Last Move

After signing catcher David Ross, outfielders Jonny Gomes and Shane Victorino along with first baseman/catcher Mike Napoli in the last few weeks, we are still waiting for the Red Sox to improve their god-awful pitching rotation. At least they are starting to address their bullpen heading into next season: today they reportedly agreed to a one-year deal worth $4.5 million with reliever Koji Uehara.

The 37-year-old (he turns 38 on April 3) right-handed native of Japan spent the last year and a half with the Rangers after he debuted in MLB with the Orioles (2009-2011). The name probably doesn't mean much to you but believe me when I say that he was statistically one of the top relievers in the American League last season albeit in not very intense situations for the most part. In 37 appearances (36 innings), he had a 1.75 ERA with a ridiculous WHIP of 0.639.

He doesn't throw particularly hard, his strengths are location and a variety of pitches. In 2012, he struck out 43 and only walked three batters in 36 innings which is incredible. For his career, he has a 5-9 record, 2.89 ERA and 0.921 WHIP with 231 strikeouts and 29 walks. Baltimore used him as a starter in 2009 but in the last three seasons, he's been strictly a short-inning reliever.

The only thing to worry about with him is injuries. He missed a month in Texas last season with a lat injury. Obviously, a player of his age and mileage (he had a long career in Japan as well) is bound to break down at some point. For Boston's sake, hopefully that doesn't happen in 2013. If he can stay healthy, he should be a very nice addition.

UPDATE 12/10: For the second time in three months, the Red Sox claimed righthanded pitcher Sandy Rosario off waivers, this time from Oakland.

UPDATE 12/12: Apparently Rosario has become MLB's version of Ross Ventrone (former Patriots legend). Today, he was claimed by the Cubs off waivers. Make it stop!

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