Red Sox sign lefty reliever Joely Rodríguez to 1-year deal

November 23rd, 2022

BOSTON -- The Red Sox started the quest of adding to their bullpen on Wednesday by signing lefty reliever  to a one-year contract with a club option for 2024.

The 31-year-old pitched for the Mets in 2022, reaching career highs in appearances (55) and innings (50 1/3) while notching a 4.47 ERA with 26 walks and 57 strikeouts and holding opponents to a .226 batting average.

Matt Strahm, Boston’s top lefty last season, is a free agent. , the team’s best lefty in 2021, didn’t pitch at all in ’22 due to back issues but could re-emerge next season.

In Rodríguez, the Red Sox liked some of his periphery numbers.

Backed by a strong combination of sinkers and sliders, Rodríguez held opponents to an 85.3 mph average exit velocity in 2022 while posting a 54.3 percent ground-ball rate.

Boston’s bullpen, the weak spot of the team, is a work in progress at this point.

, a key bullpen piece the past two seasons, is moving to the starting rotation.

, who became a mainstay in the bullpen last season before developing a back injury, could emerge as a key piece again in 2023, though the club has also left open the possibility of the righty moving back to the rotation.

, who had a resurgence late in the season, is under contract for another year.

, who came out of nowhere to become the team’s most dominant reliever in 2022, is also expected to play a big role.

Aside from upgrading the bullpen, chief baseball officer Chaim Bloom’s top priorities this offseason include re-signing free agent shortstop Xander Bogaerts and extending the contract of star third baseman while also improving the rotation and catching situation.