Source: Red Sox agree to minor league deals with former Cardinals closer Mitchell Boggs, 2 others

Rob Bradford
January 05, 2015 - 10:36 am

According to a major league source, the Red Sox have agreed to terms on a minor league deal with 30-year-old pitcher Mitchell Boggs. He will make $750,000 if he makes the team. Boggs, who will turn 31 on Feb. 15, is a right-hander who has pitched almost exclusively out of the bullpen since first arriving in the major leagues with St. Louis in 2008. A fifth-round selection by the Cardinals in the 2005 draft out of the University of Georgia, Boggs didn't pitch in the majors in 2014 after being released by the White Sox at the end of spring training. He had signed a one-year, $1.1 million with Chicago last offseason. The 6-foot-4 Georgia native has shown a propensity to induce ground balls during his big league stints, managing a 54 percent ground ball ratio in '13. At the peak of his powers, Boggs' sinker was among the hardest in baseball, clocking in regularly at 96 mph. Boggs got an opportunity to close for the Cardinals to begin 2013 after the season-ending injury to Jason Motte, possessing a sinker that averaged 96 mph. But his trial as St. Louis' game-ender didn't last long, with Boggs allowing 21 hits and 20 runs in his first 14 2/3 innings. He would ultimately be dealt to the Rockies later that season for international signing bonus money. His best season came in '12 when Boggs appeared in 78 games, posting a 2.21 ERA. The Red Sox believe Boggs' struggles can be traced back to the midsection discomfort he first felt while pitching for the United States in the 2013 World Baseball Classic. After two years of dealing with the pain, the pitcher finally went through hernia surgery in October, and is expected to be ready for full action when spring training starts on Feb. 20. Boggs last pitched in the Giants organization, posting a 6.10 ERA in 10 appearances in Triple-A after signing with San Francisco in July. He is of no relation to former Red Sox Hall of Famer Wade Boggs. Per another major league source, the Red Sox have also agreed to minor league deals with invitations to major league camp with catcher/outfielder Luke Montz, and slick-fielding infielder Jeff Bianchi. Montz last saw major league action with the A's in 2013 season, playing in 13 games. The prior season the 31-year-old played in 10 games with the Nationals. Montz spent 2014 in the A's minor league system. The 28-year-old Bianchi is a defensive specialist, having played second base, shortstop and third base for the Brewers in 2014, appearing in 29 major league games. He was the Royals' second-round pick in the 2005 June amateur draft. Bianchi appeared in 100 games for the Brewers in 2013, hitting .237 while primarily playing third base and shortstop.