Boston Red Sox: Sign or pass on 3 rumored free agent targets

Jorge Soler #12 of the Atlanta Braves (Photo by Bob Levey/Getty Images)
Jorge Soler #12 of the Atlanta Braves (Photo by Bob Levey/Getty Images) /
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Boston Red Sox
Collin McHugh #31 of the Tampa Bay Rays (Photo by Winslow Townson/Getty Images) /

Boston Red Sox rumored free agent target No. 3: Collin McHugh

With the lockout over, it quickly became clear the Red Sox biggest need was bullpen help, so it was no surprise to see them linked to Collin McHugh almost immediately. McHugh is coming off one of the best seasons of his career with the Tampa Bay Rays, and with a number of relievers off the board, he’s probably one of the best bullpen guys left on the market.

McHugh was used in pretty much every way imaginable by the Rays last season. He pitched in 37 games, seven of which were starts, and 11 of which he ended up being the final pitcher used. But no matter when McHugh was called upon, he was dominant. He finished with a 1.55 ERA and 74 strikeouts, and he quickly turned himself into one of Tampa’s most reliable arms out of the bullpen.

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Now McHugh is set to cash in, and Boston is one of the teams looking to bring him onboard. McHugh was actually with the Red Sox in 2020, but he opted out due to a combination of COVID concerns and an elbow issue. Seems like he may have some unfinished business (or business that was never actually started?) in Boston.

The Sox have a clear need for McHugh, and his flexibility makes him an enticing option. He probably won’t be closing games, but there’s no reason he couldn’t be the bridge option to the guy who is closing games. He also has the arm stamina to cover multiple innings if needed, which is nice to have in the event your starter drops the ball.


McHugh dominated in every situation he found himself in last season, and he’s just the guy the Red Sox should be looking to add to their bullpen. Relievers are generally not expensive, but McHugh may end up earning $3-4 million on his upcoming deal, which is still well within Boston’s range. McHugh won’t solve the Sox bullpen woes on his own, but his addition would certainly be a good first step.