BOSTON — The Boston Red Sox needed to address the back end of their bullpen, and the team did that and then some with the addition of Addison Reed.
The Red Sox acquired Reed in a deal with the New York Mets on Monday afternoon in exchange for three prospects. The right-hander was considered one of the best relief pitchers available at the Major League Baseball none-waiver trade deadline, and his versatile skill set should immensely benefit Boston.
Reed is poised to be the Red Sox’s eighth-inning man, but as manager John Farrell noted prior to Monday’s game, the 28-year-old can be used outside of set-up duties.
“With the acquisition of Addison, it gives us a chance to fortify the back end of the bullpen,” Farrell told reporters. “Someone that’s for a number of years been a set-up guy, he’s been a part-time closer and he’ll be in that role when he comes to us, which will be for tomorrow night.”
The addition of Reed likely will cause a ripple effect within the Red Sox’s bullpen. Relievers like Matt Barnes and Joe Kelly, who have been used to pitch the eighth inning this season, probably will enter games earlier. And as Farrell touched on, Reed provides a security blanket on nights when closer Craig Kimbrel is unavailable.
Red Sox president of baseball operations Dave Dombrowski understood his team’s bullpen lacked a complete identity, and feels the addition of Reed helps form the mold.
“We like him a lot,” Dombrowski said. “We think he’s come in to be a premium set-up guy and makes us deeper in our bullpen. He pushes other guys back to pitch earlier in the game. He can close an occasional game for us if he needs to when Craig needs an extra day off. I noticed that our bullpen was third in Major League Baseball entering today in earned run average. It’s kind of that one guy to pitch the eighth has not been there on a consistent basis for us. So that’s what we figured. We liked him, we kind of identified him as one of the guys that we really felt could fit that role for us.”
If Boston’s starting pitching continues to be strong and go deep into ball games, opposing clubs will have their work cut out for them facing a one-two punch of Reed and Kimbrel.
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