BOSTON – (Staff Report from Official News Release) – The Boston Red Sox today agreed to terms with 10 players on one-year contracts for the 2019 season, thus avoiding salary arbitration. The players signed to one-year deals include: Matt Barnes, Mookie Betts, Xander Bogaerts, Jackie Bradley Jr., Brock Holt, Sandy Leon, Eduardo Rodriguez, Blake Swihart, Brandon Workman, and Steven Wright.
President of Baseball Operations Dave Dombrowski made the announcement and with the announcement, the Red Sox noted the club has no other players eligible for salary arbitration.
Barnes, 28, averaged a career-high 14.01 strikeouts per 9.0 innings in 2018, striking out 96 batters in 61.2 innings spanning 62 appearances for the Red Sox. He also posted career bests in ERA (3.65), opponent batting average (.204), and opponent OPS (.624), as he surrendered zero home runs to left-handed batters while holding right-handers to a .191 batting average. Following the regular season, Barnes made a team-high 10 Postseason appearances—nine of which were scoreless—and went 2-0 with a 1.04 ERA (1 ER/8.2 IP). Selected by Boston in the first round of the 2011 June Draft, Barnes is one of only four American League pitchers to make at least 60 appearances and throw 60.0 or more innings in each of the last three seasons (2016-18).
Betts, 26, earned the BBWAA’s 2018 American League Most Valuable Player Award after leading the majors in batting average (.346) and slugging percentage (.640) with 42 doubles, five triples, 32 home runs, 80 RBI, 129 runs scored, and 30 stolen bases. He also earned Rawlings Gold Glove and Louisville Slugger Silver Slugger Awards, becoming the first AL player ever to earn both of those honors and an MVP award in the same season. Selected by Boston in the fifth round of the 2011 June Draft, Betts has been elected an All-Star Game starter and earned a Gold Glove Award in each of the last three seasons. In 644 major league games from 2014-18, he has hit .303 (789-for-2,606) with 110 home runs, 110 stolen bases, and an .888 OPS.
Bogaerts, 26, finished 13th in the BBWAA’s 2018 American League MVP voting after batting .288 (148-for-513) with career bests in home runs (23), RBI (103), doubles (45), extra-base hits (71), on-base percentage (.360), slugging percentage (.522), and OPS (.883). He led the majors with three grand slams and owned the fifth-highest OPS with runners in scoring position (1.130), batting .342 (51-for-149) in that scenario. Signed by Boston as an international free agent in 2009, the Aruba native has been the Red Sox’ Opening Day starting shortstop in each of the past five seasons (2014-18). A two-time World Series champion (2013, ’18), Bogaerts has hit .284 (832-for-2,931) with 74 home runs and 386 RBI in 759 career major league games, all with Boston.
Bradley, 28, earned his first career Rawlings Gold Glove Award in 2018, after being named a finalist for the award in 2014 and 2016. He stole a career-high 17 bases in 2018 and was caught only once, while the Red Sox went 12-0 in games in which he homered. In his final 76 games (beginning June 24), Bradley hit .282 (72-for-255) with an .851 OPS. Following the regular season, he posted a .360 on-base percentage with three home runs and 10 RBI in 14 Postseason games, earning MVP honors in the ALCS against the Houston Astros. Selected by Boston in the 2011 June Draft, Bradley leads all major league outfielders with 17 double plays since the start of 2014, having also recorded 45 assists in that time.
Holt, 30, batted .277 (89-for-321) with a career-best .362 on-base percentage in 109 games for the Red Sox in 2018, adding career highs in home runs (7) and RBI (46). He started 49 games at second base, 19 at shortstop, four at third base, four in right field, three in left field, and three at first base, committing only one error on the season. Holt accounted for both of Boston’s pinch-hit home runs in 2018, becoming the first player in franchise history to record multiple go-ahead, pinch-hit homers in a single season. In Game 3 of the ALDS at Yankee Stadium, he became the first player in major league history to hit for the cycle in a Postseason game, securing the feat with a ninth-inning home run during a 16-1 win over New York. Acquired from the Pittsburgh Pirates in December 2012, Holt has hit .266 (456-for-1,713) in 528 games for the Red Sox.
Leon, 29, appeared in a career-high 89 games for Boston in 2018, leading the majors with a 3.28 catcher’s ERA (250 ER/685.2 IP) while catching nine team shutouts. The Red Sox went 55-23 (.705) in his starts, including 25-1 from June 21-August 8, and 14-0 from July 14-August 8. He appeared in 10 Postseason games and started four of them, going 3-for-6 in the World Series. Acquired from the Washington Nationals on March 30, 2015, Leon has played in 293 games for Boston. Among active players who have caught at least 100 games, he owns the fourth-highest caught stealing percentage (35.1), having thrown out 52 of 148 attempted base stealers at the major league level.
Rodriguez, 25, posted career bests in wins (13) and ERA (3.82) in 2018, starting 23 games and appearing in relief in four others. The left-hander was 10-5 with a 3.33 ERA (36 ER/97.1 IP) from May 10 through the end of the regular season, recording a 24.0-inning scoreless streak from June 29-September 1. He appeared in seven Postseason games and made his lone start in Game 4 of the World Series at Dodger Stadium, throwing 5.0 scoreless frames before surrendering four runs in the sixth inning. Rodriguez has made at least 20 starts in each of his first four major league seasons, all with Boston. In 93 major league games (88 starts) since being acquired by the Red Sox on July 31, 2014, he has gone 32-25 with a 4.12 ERA (227 ER/495.2 IP).
Swihart, 26, played in 82 games for the Red Sox in 2018. He made 16 starts at catcher, 10 in right field, five at first base, one at third base, and one in left field, also appearing in one game at second base. He batted .280 (33-for-118) with three home runs in 48 games from June 26 through the end of the regular season, compiling an 11-game hitting streak from July 6-31. Swihart tied for the team lead with five pinch hits, and in 41 games in which he came off the bench he batted .348 (16-for-46) with an .832 OPS. Selected by Boston in the first round of the 2011 June Draft, Swihart has appeared in 191 major league games and hit .256 (140-for-547), making 100 starts at catcher.
Workman, 30, appeared in a career-high 43 games for Boston over three major league stints in 2018. The right-hander went 6-1 with a 3.27 ERA (15 ER/41.1 IP) and 37 strikeouts while holding opponents to a career-best .230 batting average. In 22 games at Fenway Park, he was 3-0 with a 1.96 ERA (5 ER/23.0 IP) and a .533 opponent OPS. Workman was on Boston’s ALDS and ALCS rosters, appearing in three Postseason games for the club. Selected by the Red Sox in the second round of the 2010 June Draft, he has pitched in 115 major league games (18 starts). In 76 outings from 2017-18, all in relief, Workman posted a 3.22 ERA (29 ER/81.0 IP) with 74 strikeouts.
Wright, 34, missed more than three months of the 2018 season on the disabled list, posting a 2.68 ERA (16 ER/53.2 IP) with a .210 opponent batting average in 20 appearances (four starts). He allowed 10 earned runs on June 22 against Seattle, but in his other 19 outings he recorded a 1.07 ERA (6 ER/50.1 IP) while holding opponents to a .177 batting average. Wright recorded a 24.2-inning scoreless streak from May 24-June 16, the majors’ fourth-longest streak of 2018. In his final 13 relief outings of the season, he allowed only one earned run in 22.2 innings (0.40 ERA). Acquired from Cleveland on July 31, 2012, the 2016 All-Star has appeared in 75 major league games (44 starts)—all with Boston—and gone 24-15 with a 3.77 ERA (143 ER/341.1 IP).