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Red Sox sign Edward Mujica

Dec 5, 2013, 11:55 AM EST

St Louis Cardinals v Pittsburgh Pirates Getty Images

Edward Mujica‘s late-season struggles (and arm/back problems) caused him to go from the Cardinals’ closer to out of their playoff plans, but it hasn’t stopped him from getting a nice payday. Jeff Passan of Yahoo! Sports reports that the right-hander has agreed to a two-year, $9.5 million deal with the Red Sox.

St. Louis acquired Mujica from Miami in mid-2012 and he went on to throw 91 innings with a 2.27 ERA and 68/7 K/BB ratio in the next one-and-a-half seasons, including saving 37 games this year after totaling four career saves previously.

He’ll slide into a setup role in front of closer Koji Uehara in Boston and it’s tough to imagine any bullpen duo in baseball posting a better K/BB ratio in 2014.

  1. stevedubs11 - Dec 5, 2013 at 12:05 PM

    wasn’t he complaining that his elbow was giving him some discomfort last season? I’m pretty sure that’s why the Cardinals benched him.

    • fearlessleader - Dec 5, 2013 at 12:39 PM

      It was his back that was giving him problems, actually.

      I wish only the best for the Chief—heaven knows he was money for the Cards this season when they needed him most—but this is still a gamble, given the precipitous plunge in his performance during the last two months of the year (he was entrusted with precisely 7.1 innings of work in September and October, and gave up 4 home runs in those, to go with an ERA roughly quadruple the one he’d amassed during the rest of the year).

    • baseballisboring - Dec 5, 2013 at 9:48 PM

      I mean, I’m sure the Sox checked his medicals. By the way…look at this 2014 Red Sox bullpen…(with last year’s stats)

      Koji Uehara: 1.09 ERA, 101/9 K/BB ratio in 74.1 innings
      Junichi Tazawa: 3.16 ERA, 72/12 K/BB ratio in 68.1 innings
      Edward Mujica: 2.78 ERA, 46/5 K/BB ratio in 64.2 innings
      Burke Badenhop: 3.47 ERA, 42/12 K/BB ratio in 62.1 innings.
      Andrew Miller: 2.64 ERA, 48/17 K/BB ratio in 30.2 innings
      Craig Breslow: 1.81 ERA, 33/18 K/BB ratio in 59.2 innings
      Drake Britton: 3.86 ERA, 17/7 K/BB ratio in 21 innings

      That’s 7 viable relievers before you even talk about Andrew Bailey, who’s fragile, and allowed a bunch of home runs last year…but still has a career 2.64 ERA, 9.37 K/9 and 2.85 BB/9.

      Oh, and Hanrahan…hurt all last year, walks too many guys, but had a 2.72 ERA in 2012, 1.83 in 2011 and a 9.81 K/9 for his career.

      Then there’s Brandon Workman, Franklin Morales and Rubby de la Rosa. I would venture to say the Red Sox will be pretty well set in the bullpen this year.

  2. uyf1950 - Dec 5, 2013 at 12:07 PM

    Just my opinion but I think that’s a good signing for the Red Sox especially with Hanrahan and Bailey out of the picture for the Red Sox.

    My only hesitation is I think he may be in for a bit of a surprise coming in in relief in a lot of AL East games without a DH and with the smaller parks. But it’s still a good signing.

    • spudchukar - Dec 5, 2013 at 12:29 PM

      Still hanging on to the ol’ American League, and AL East superiority I see.

      • uyf1950 - Dec 5, 2013 at 1:01 PM

        My friend, now should know better then that from reading my comments over the past 2 plus years. I was merely pointing out the parks are smaller and the DH tend to play a part in a pitchers performance especially one that isn’t familiar with them. And while it’s true he started his career in Cleveland and even at that he only pitched 70 innings combined over 3 years with Cleveland.

        BTW there were 19 players in the AL with 25 or more HR’s and just 9 in the NL. Just a guess on my part but I think the parks and line ups had something to do with that.

      • 18thstreet - Dec 5, 2013 at 1:02 PM

        Based on the fact that the American League is superior, he’s hanging onto that sense of superiority.

        Is this really up for debate?

      • churchoftheperpetuallyoutraged - Dec 5, 2013 at 1:29 PM

        Based on the fact that the American League is superior, he’s hanging onto that sense of superiority.

        Is this really up for debate?

        From the people who look at the hundreds of interleague games, nope. For the people basing decisions off the seven game WS sample, yuuup.

      • spudchukar - Dec 5, 2013 at 1:34 PM

        No doubt, a league which employs the DH for the titillationally-starved, will produce more runs. But exactly how does it translate, that a pitcher from the NL, would have a proportionally more difficult time in the AL? Can’t handle the added stress? Don’t have the character make-up? Fold under the added media attention? Really?

        Or maybe the AL East is a better division in 2013 than the division that Mujica pitched in in the NL Central. Run differential in the Al East +222. NL Central +219. Nope can’t be that.

        Or maybe the ballparks in the AL East are smaller. Yankee stadium bandbox/GAB bandbox of equal proportions. Camden Yards, another band box/but Miller Park very hitter friendly. Fenway, good for hitters, but better than Wrigley? Rogers over PNC, yeah by a little. Tampa Bay vs St. Louis, nah a wash.

        Number of teams each league sent to the play-offs, AL East 2, NL Central 3. Ooops.

        Do I connote a trend?

      • paperlions - Dec 5, 2013 at 1:42 PM

        In inter-league play last year, the AL was 154-146.

        Yes, the contention that the AL, as a league, remains superior is very much in question.

      • uyf1950 - Dec 5, 2013 at 1:45 PM

        @ Church…, I’m not sure what those people are looking at but based on the last 10 years here are the win/loss records by league:
        Year AL NL
        2003 115 137
        2004 126 125
        2005 136 116
        2006 154 98
        2007 137 115
        2008 149 103
        2009 137 114
        2010 134 118
        2011 131 121
        2012 142 110
        2013 154 146

        As you can see most of the years there is a substantial difference in wins by AL teams in interleague play. Only in 2003 did NL teams win more games.

      • uyf1950 - Dec 5, 2013 at 1:52 PM

        @spudchukar, my friend of the top 10 teams in 2013 in RBI and Runs Scored only 2 of those teams came from the National League the Cardinals and Rockies. Oops do I detect a trend?

        My friend apparently apparently I’m not going to convince you and you definitely won’t change my mind. So why don’t we agree to disagree, even if you are wrong. I couldn’t help add that last part.

      • spudchukar - Dec 5, 2013 at 2:01 PM

        I thought my first sentence agreed with the notion that a league that chooses to employ DH, for the strategically brain dead, would indeed score more runs.

        And my first thought if one league had 8 teams in the top 10 in runs scored, perhaps the reason for that is the league with only 2 teams there, might just have better pitching.

      • uyf1950 - Dec 5, 2013 at 2:25 PM

        @ spudchukar, my friend. Your comment “And my first thought if one league had 8 teams in the top 10 in runs scored, perhaps the reason for that is the league with only 2 teams there, might just have better pitching.” that could be a possibility although I think the likelihood of that being the reason is almost as likely as the Cubs winning the World Series in 2014.

        Which is to say you are grasping at straws my friend. I’m done on this topic, have a good day.

    • drewzducks - Dec 5, 2013 at 12:30 PM

      Hate to agree with you…seriously, I’ve never been a fan of how NL relievers translate to the AL. I like the term and dollars for a set up/fill in closer type but in the NL Often they only have to face 7 and 8 hitters or bench players who have entered the game via pinch hitting and double switches in the later innings of games. Recent Sox examples of Melancon and Gagne don’t have me overly optimistic but I hope to be proven wrong.

  3. proudlycanadian - Dec 5, 2013 at 12:09 PM

    Bard redux?

    • bobwsc - Dec 5, 2013 at 3:53 PM

      how is that? Bard had a meltdown at starter (and as a pitcher in general) after an unsuccessful transition from set up man to starter. injury wasn’t party of it, so how is this signing “Bard redux?”

      you never said how the Jays parade was for winning last off-season. how was it – cool?

      • proudlycanadian - Dec 5, 2013 at 4:10 PM

        As I have pointed out many times, Bard’s performance stunk in the September prior to the decision to try him as a starter. The decision to try him as a starter had nothing to do with his decline. Mujica is similar to Bard in that he also stunk late last season..

      • baseballisboring - Dec 5, 2013 at 9:16 PM

        People have bad Septembers sometimes. I don’t think it means anything more than having a bad July…

  4. jcmeyer10 - Dec 5, 2013 at 12:13 PM

    Why not. If the Red Sox learned any lessons from last year is that you can’t have enough relief pitching.

    • pastabelly - Dec 5, 2013 at 1:08 PM

      Much better than paying Baily $4.5M for 1/2 season on the tender.

      • 18thstreet - Dec 5, 2013 at 3:04 PM

        To my brother, George Bailey. The richest man in town!

    • Jack Marshall - Dec 5, 2013 at 6:23 PM

      Exactly.

      (And comparing ANYone to Bard’s weird case is ridiculous.)

  5. themagicfanguy - Dec 5, 2013 at 12:30 PM

    Good signing. The bullpen was the reason we won last season so as far as I’m concerned there’s no such thing as too many arms in the bullpen.

  6. ienjoysensi - Dec 5, 2013 at 12:35 PM

    Mujica September ERA : 11.05 era in 7.1 innings.
    Mujica prior to September ERA : 1.73 era in 57.1 innings.
    No doubt the injury plagued him during September. Bullpens win championships. You can have 3 aces ( Detroit ) but if teams get to the pen in the playoffs it’s over. Good signing.

  7. stex52 - Dec 5, 2013 at 12:36 PM

    I’m guessing the elbow is why the Cards let him go. I’m a bit surprised.

    • cohnjusack - Dec 5, 2013 at 1:17 PM

      I think $$ is why the Cardinals let him go. The Cardinals have an massive amount of young, cheap, good pitching. The economics didn’t really make sense for them.

    • spudchukar - Dec 5, 2013 at 2:33 PM

      It was neither the elbow, nor the dollars that made Mujica expendable. It was the abundance of better talent.

      • churchoftheperpetuallyoutraged - Dec 5, 2013 at 3:05 PM

        Seriously do you guys have a factory where you mass produce pitchers with 95+ mph fastballs? Because if so, umm can Cashman borrow the keys for a few days?

      • spudchukar - Dec 5, 2013 at 3:15 PM

        Yeah, I mentioned this before. Monsanto is based in St. Louis. We perfected cloning some time ago. The progressive management style, player development, and enhanced scouting techniques is merely a cover.

        As for lending Cashman the keys. I would prefer loaning a Delorian to Bob Ford. The Yankee GM would undoubtedly trade it in for an Edzel, with 3 good tires, and refinance it with payments expiring in 2020.

  8. dominwindhamnh - Dec 5, 2013 at 12:42 PM

    Good deal.

  9. drewsylvania - Dec 5, 2013 at 12:59 PM

    You can’t have enough pitching. But the Red Sox keep spending lots of money/talent on oft-injured pitching.

    • thepoolshark - Dec 5, 2013 at 1:29 PM

      Pitchers as a whole are oft-injured. The nature of supply/demand mandates you have to gamble on the upside that you can keep them injury free. There are not enough good pitchers available, ever, so these are chances taken by every team with money to spend and a hole in the pitching staff. Teams whose parks are hitter friendly, like Colorado, Texas, and many others, have a hard time convincing pitchers in FA to pitch there, so many times these gambles on injured pitchers are the only choice.

      • drewsylvania - Dec 5, 2013 at 2:02 PM

        Of course they are. That’s why you can never have enough. But first the Sox traded for Bailey, who is oft-injured even by pitcher standards. Now Mujica, who has back/elbow problems, yet got a good deal (for a reliever) nonetheless.

    • pastabelly - Dec 5, 2013 at 2:29 PM

      “keep spending on oft-injured pitching”? Bailey is one pitcher. Hanrahan had no injury history. Are you referring to Koji as another? The bigger problem with just about every reliever is consistency, not injury history.

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