Sox avoid arb with Bradley, Bogaerts, 5 others
BOSTON -- The Red Sox avoided arbitration by reaching one-year agreements with seven players on Friday, including two All-Stars from last season -- shortstop Xander Bogaerts ($4.5 million, according to a source) and center fielder Jackie Bradley Jr. ($3.6 million).
The others who avoided arbitration with one-year deals: infielder/outfielder Brock Holt ($1.95 million), catcher Sandy Leon ($1.3 million), righty setup man Joe Kelly ($2.8 million), righty setup man Tyler Thornburg ($2.05 million) and lefty setup man Robbie Ross Jr. ($1.825 million). The club hasn't commented on the salary figures.
That leaves just two players still eligible for arbitration in lefty starter Thomas Pomeranz and lefty reliever Fernando Abad.
Recent history suggests the Red Sox will work out deals with those players by February. Boston hasn't gone to arbitration with a player since Rolando Arrojo back in 2001.
This is the first year Bogaerts and Bradley were eligible for arbitration. Bradley is a Super Two player, meaning he is eligible for arbitration for three more offseasons.
It was also the first arbitration-eligible offseason for Holt, Leon and Thornburg, who figures to be a key performer in the bullpen after being acquired from the Brewers in December.
For Kelly and Ross, this is the second straight offseason they've avoided arbitration by reaching a one-year agreement with Boston.
The 24-year-old Bogaerts was a Silver Slugger Award winner at shortstop for the second straight season and recorded career highs in games (157), runs (115), home runs (21), RBIs (89), walks (58), stolen bases (13), on-base percentage (.356) and slugging percentage (.446).
Bradley, 26, hit .267 in his first full season in the Majors, smacking 30 doubles, seven triples and 26 homers while producing an .835 OPS and finishing as a finalist for a Rawlings Gold Glove Award.
Holt has made his mark as an invaluable utility player capable of being deployed anywhere but pitcher and catcher. The Red Sox went 46-30 when he started last season.
After struggling to find consistency as a starter, Kelly flourished in his move to the bullpen, going 2-0 with a 1.02 ERA in 14 appearances.
Leon wasn't even on the 40-man roster when last season began, but he wound up emerging as the starting catcher in the second half. The switch-hitter turned into a pleasant surprise at the plate, hitting .310 with 17 doubles and seven homers in 78 games.
In Thornburg, the Red Sox feel they got one of the best setup men in the game. The 28-year-old struck out 90 over 67 innings last year, while notching a 2.15 ERA.
Ross, 27, registered a 3.25 ERA last season while holding lefties to a .188 average and striking out 9.11 batters per nine innings.