By Joel Alderman
Connecticut native and Yale graduate, Craig Breslow, is reportedly coming back to the Red Sox, almost two months after Boston had allowed him to become a free agent following disappointing 2014 seasons for him and the team.
Although there has not yet been an official announcement, two reliable sources, WEEI.com and Gordon Edes on ESPNBoston.com, are saying a one-year agreement has been reached, in which the 34-year old lefty will receive $2 million.The figure is half of the $4 million option that Boston had declined by buying him out for $100,000 early in November. http://sportzedge.com/2014/11/03/craig-breslow-of-trumbull-is-brilliant-but-unemployed-his-dad-believes-if-he-were-not-a-lefty-he-would-have-been-a-doctor/
According to his agent, Bob Baratta, the deal, as is typical in such cases, is subject to Breslow passing a physical exam.
When the Sox declined to exercise their option to resign him, Ben Cherington, Boston’s general manager, said he believed Breslow was better than his 2014 statistics and that it was possible he could be resigned. Now it is happening.
He told the Boston Herald at the time Breslow became a free agent that he “has a lot of good qualities and we have a great relationship with him, so we’ll see what happens. No matter what happens, we value the relationship and we would bet on him having a bounce back year next year. He’s certainly motivated to do that and capable of doing that.”
It sounded that there was an implication the team still had an interest in him. Judging by the latest development, that appears to have been true.
Craig was born in a New Haven hospital, which is why the city is listed by MLB as his birthplace. However, he was raised and went to school about 25 miles away in Trumbull, where he was a star in baseball and soccer for the Trumbull High School Golden Eagles. He was the winning pitcher when they won the Connecticut Interscholastic Athletic Conference (CIAC) Class LL state championship in 1998.
Of the free agent left-handed relievers still available on the free agent market, Breslow had the lowest career ERA (3.20), the fewest hits allowed per nine innings (7.99), the lowest batting average by opposing batters (.234), and was tied with Joe Thatcher for the lowest WHIP. He also was second in left-on-base percentage (75.9).
From 2013 to 2014 the Red Sox fell from first to worst. Meanwhile, Breslow went the same route. He had his best season in 2013 and his poorest last year, when his ERA was 5.96 in 60 appearances.
But since IQs hardly change, he will be back on the mound in 2015 for the Boston Red Sox, while continuing his reputation as “the smartest man in baseball.”