Boston Red Sox Free Agent Grades: 2 solid bullpen arms added

Oakland Athletics relief pitcher Jake Diekman (35) Mandatory Credit: Thomas Shea-USA TODAY Sports
Oakland Athletics relief pitcher Jake Diekman (35) Mandatory Credit: Thomas Shea-USA TODAY Sports /
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Boston Red Sox
Matt Strahm #55 of the San Diego Padres (Photo by Michael Ciaglo/Getty Images) /

Boston Red Sox free agent signing No. 2: Matt Strahm

San Diego Padres reliever Matt Strahm became Boston’s first post-lockout signing when he signed a one year, $3 million deal. Strahm has had a bit of interesting career, as he’s traded stints where he looks absolutely dominant with ones where he looks unplayable. The low price tag associated with his deal shows the front office is willing to take a flier on him in hopes he can find his old form.

Strahm’s best season of his career came in 2018, his first season with the Padres. Strahm posted a 2.05 ERA with 69 strikeouts over 41 appearences, and was one of the Padres most trusted lefty arms. The issue is, aside from the shortened 2020 season, Strahm has come nowhere close to hitting those heights again.

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Strahm spent pretty much the entire 2021 season on the injured list, and even when he was on the mound, he wasn’t exactly good. He posted an 8.10 ERA, which was admittedly inflated considering he pitched in just six games. Still, not exactly an encouraging sign whichever way you look at it.

Struggles aside, Strahm has some clear potential that the Sox are looking to tap into. He spent some time with the Padres as a starter too, so he could fill a long reliever/middle innings guy if he pans out. All he has to do is be better than a guy like Hernandez of Austin Davis, which shouldn’t be too hard truthfully speaking.


This isn’t a move that’s going to radically change Boston’s outlook for the 2022 season, but Strahm will fill a position of need if he can stick with the major league team. Even if he doesn’t, his deal is only worth $3 million, which isn’t the sort of financial commitment that will make the front office sweat. Strahm’s inconsistencies aren’t ideal, but he’s a low-risk/high-reward signing who could end up being a solid piece in the bullpen.