Jason Frasor

Source: Red Sox considering former Blue Jays reliever Jason Frasor, who was just released by Royals

John Tomase
July 14, 2015 - 3:02 pm

According to a major league source, the Red Sox are sorting through options to improve their bullpen, and one of them is Jason Frasor, who was recently released by the Royals after being designated for assignment. Frasor, who turns 38 in August, did not seem a likely candidate to be DFA'd after posting a 1.54 ERA in 26 games. But the Royals have a loaded and crowded bullpen, and Frasor's peripheral numbers tell the story of a pitcher who's not what he was in 2013-14, when he posted a 2.62 ERA between Texas and Kansas City while striking out 94 in 96 1/3 innings. Frasor's strikeout rate has fallen to a career-low 6.9, and his walk rate of 5.8 is just off his career-worst of 6.0. Still, the right-hander has a track record of success in the American League East, having spent the first nine years of his career in Toronto, where he posted a 3.73 ERA. Red Sox relievers currently rank 23rd in baseball with a 3.89 ERA, but the bigger issue is a lack of reliability beyond closer Koji Uehara and setup man Junichi Tazawa. Hard-throwing right-hander Matt Barnes owns an ERA of 10.13 over the last 28 days, while right-hander Alexi Ogando has allowed eight homers in just 40 1/3 innings. Left-handers Craig Breslow (6 HRs) and Tommy Layne (4.7 walks/9) have also struggled, especially recently. Frasor was designated for assignment on July 6 and then cleared waivers. He elected free agency and isn't expected to remain on the market for long, with the Mariners reportedly interested and Minnesota a potential landing spot as well. Frasor isn't the only recognizable veteran with AL East experience to be released in the last week. Right-handers Joba Chamberlain (Tigers) and Brandon League (Dodgers) are on the market, too.