Thursday: Rustin Dodd of The Athletic tweets that Boxberger has passed his physical and officially signed with the Royals.
Wednesday: The Royals are “closing in” on a one-year contract with free-agent righty Brad Boxberger, according to MLB.com’s Jeffrey Flanagan (via Twitter). A client of the Boras Corporation, he’ll receive a $2.2MM guarantee along with $1MM in potential incentives, per Jon Heyman of MLB Network (Twitter links).
The 30-year-old Boxberger was non-tendered by the Diamondbacks in advance of his final season of arbitration eligibility. He was projected to earn at a $4.9MM rate, owing in no small part to the fact that he racked up 32 saves last year.
At times, Boxberger has been quite an effective late-inning reliever. In his 284 1/3 total MLB innings, he carries a 3.42 ERA with 11.6 K/9 and 4.6 BB/9.
As those numbers hint, opposing hitters have generally had a tough time making contact with Boxberger’s four-seam/change combo. On occasion, though, he has trouble inducing them to chase out of the zone and ends up doling out too many free passes. That’s what occurred in 2018, when he walked 32 in 53 1/3 innings and ended up with a 4.39 ERA on the year.
To be fair, Boxberger also racked up 12.0 K/9 in 2018, so he’s still capable of rather elite strikeout numbers. But his fastball velocity dropped below 92 mph for the first time in his career. With more time to react, opposing hitters only offered at 27.6% of the pitches that Boxberger left outside of the zone.
It’s not hard to imagine Boxberger competing for the closer’s job in Kansas City this spring. Wily Peralta took over that role last year, locking up saves in all of his 14 chances, but he doesn’t exactly have a longstanding history of success as a reliever and handed out 23 walks in his 34 1/3 innings on the season.
Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.
I would not underestimate the Royals, especially in THAT division
Chicks Dig the Longball
It’s hard to underestimate that roster. I don’t think my estimation can go much lower.
Maybe they could have signed Bruce Boxleitner instead of Brad Boxberger?
Captain Sheridan does have a nasty swing…
How about Boxcar Willie?
2018 Royals logged the 9th highest in season improvement (1st half v 2nd) since 1995. While they won’t be competing, the younsters are expected to continue to improve
What youngsters? The team is mostly guys who have been around a while; Mondesi is young but that K/BB rate is quite atrocious. Nobody on the team gets on base. It might be a very ugly year for the Royals.
Starting staff likely will be the one of the oungest in the game (even with kennedy).
Guys that have been around are Gordon and Salvy. (Whit is older but young in MLB time)
Whit Merrifield is a youngster? He’s the teams best player but he’s also already 30. Gordon is a really terrible hitter now and while Perez is the best defensive catcher in baseball the bat is just heading in the wrong direction. Dozier is 27 and was brutal last season; he’s not even playable at this point.
It’s not a pre requisite to walk to be a successful major leaguer. His K rate was significantly better last year and if you’re going to mash 25 hrs and steal 45+ bases you don’t exactly have to be Mr. Walk Machine to be successful. Young players typically don’t come up with a world class eye. There’s plenty of time to improve that even if he never becomes a plus in that area.
Not making outs is important; batting averages fluctuate, often wildly, while walk rates generally don’t. A bad approach at the plate is generally reflected in a terrible K/BB ratio; I’d be hard-pressed to name a great player who had a sustained career with a 7/1 K/BB ratio. I like the speed, but the power seems completely out of nowhere; Mondesi never hit like that in the minors.
Mondesi’s AAA iso the last two seasons was greater than his ML ISO number. He’s also just 23 and was physically developing in years prior so I don’t have a problem thinking there’s power there. I don’t need great I just need productive. All he needs to do is whittle his K rate down a bit and he’ll be just fine. Adam Jones was a highly productive and consistent player for plenty of years and he never drew a walk. We can just stick to ex orioles alone Manny Machado did not come up taking walks and still pretty much does not. He gets that K rate to ~20% instead of 26 and you’re looking at a very good player.
Keep in mind they clearly use a different ball in the majors than they do in the minors. The ESPN fantasy guys mention this all the time. They run numbers on guys and routinely guys who never hit for power in the minors all of a sudden hit for more power in the majors.
Manny Machado drew 70 walks in 2018.
He jacked it up last year. He started at mondesi’s level.
Yes, but Machado came up when he was 19. By the time he hit the age of 22 – the same age Mondesi was in 2018 – Machado was already walking 70 times a season., while striking out way less than Mondesi was in his age-22 season.
They clearly have the worst team in that division. They might be able to beat out the Tigers for fourth place.
Funny. Those paying attention to that division would know many considered them the 2nd best team at the end of last season. No guarantees of course but considering the youth in the rotation and in many positions, they likely will be anything but ‘clearly worst team in the division’
Don’t get yourself caught up on some kind of hype train. You have no bullpen and all your young starters project as Mid- Back end types at their ceilings. You’ve only added BoxBerger to what is likely the majors worst pen. The chisox on the other hand will add Eloy Jimenez, Alonso, Herrera, Nova, and Colome. With the potential rotation additions of Cease, Dunning etc. at some point. This team was already better last year and they could potentially add Machado to that group. So that leaves the tigers. Could you be better than he tigers? Yeah, that I could possibly see if things go well but honestly as a royals fan you shouldn’t want that.’id prefer to be the worst and get that #1 pick so I can get more legitimate prospects into my pretty empty system.
Sox will be one of the worst teams in MLB. They will have a 80% empty stadium unless they are playing the Cub or it’s opening day. And quite a few of their ‘prospects’ have bombed out. You see the Bull right? More of the same for the Sox- just give Reinsdork your money and buy what he sells..
Wasn’t arguing for them being good. Just better than the royals. Which is not a very high bar. That was 58 games last season and don’t have any reason to believe it’ll take more than 65 to do that again.
I like this move a lot for them. I was suggesting that on another post. Not a lot of ML caliber relievers in that bullpen. BoxBerger is a good flip candidate. However, the Indians are miles better. This was a 55 win team. No thing to underestimate. they could possibly finish ahead of the tigers but that’s ahout all I could see.
Haha. They’re a 90+ loss team easily
Royals were always in the AL West race during the late 70’s with a basically .500 team fairly often. i remember sometimes it was written in the press that they could have a losing record and win the division back then that division was so pathetic.
I assume you made a typo… or four, johnsilver. The late ‘70s Royals were shy a closer from winning 1-3 World Series from 1976-1980, and they went 102-60 in 1977. Not sure to what you refer.
As big of a forever optimist as I am, there’s too many moving pieces on the roster right no. I don’t think it’s impossible that we are in the hunt until august or september, but I think that’s the ceiling for this team. Also possible to lose another 100 games. Depends on how our young guys progress, and you have to assume that some will regress. And our bullpen is still absolutely terrible.
Royals are built to steal bases. You can’t still first base though unless you can bunt.
you’re a joke
They have no bullpen, half their starters are trash and they have nobody that can hit for power outside of Salvy and Soler.
If they win 70 games this year I’ll be surprised.
Don’t sleep on O’Hearn and Mondesi’s power potential. Both could hit 25 homers this year. In Kauffman that’s nothing to scoff at.
Young players so who knows, but they’ve got the tools to go even beyond that.
Ohearn strikes me as a flash in the pan. Nothing to really support his breakout in his profile. The kid has some pop but I don’t think he’s some kind of stud in the making. Mondesi is the guy I look at with a real chance to be an impactful Major leaguer. If he puts it all together he’s a top flight talent. It’s clearly not going to be a good year this year because the bullpen is horrible and they’re scouting through their young pitchers looking to see who sticks.
O’Hearn will be interesting to watch. I had next to no expectations when he came up last year. But he is a big dude, and oddly enough reminds me a lot of Duda who he replaced.
He could either hit 30 hrs and continue his crazy slug numbers, or he could hit 207 and be getting pushed out by late season.
Floor and ceiling here are really far apart.
But you’re absolutely right, if the royals can’t figure out some pitching in the near future, they are in for a tough few years no matter what these guys do.
Mondesi’s 11/77 BB/K rate last year worries me greatly. He’s just too much like the rest of the Royals.
He’s had 20+ home runs every year since he’s been drafted, and has always shown good plate discipline. Don’t get me wrong 12 home runs in 149 ab is not a sustainable rate, but I could see him hitting close to 30 over a full season and that wouldn’t necessarily be out of the ordinary for him.
Junis,Keller, Fillmeyer are anything but ‘trash’. Add Duffy and Lopez and you may have the best youngest staff in the AL. Check back on this once the season is going
Keller had a nice season for a rule 5 pick but he was exposed to the rule 5 draft for a reason; the peripherals show a very middling pitcher; too many walks, not enough Ks. Junis looks promising, Duffy is 30 and is basically a #4 starter, Fillmyer has the same issues as Keller – the walks and Ks aren’t indicative of much upside.
One year contract? Couldn’t see that coming.
The amt of money some guys get paid to not be good
2 mil for a guy with closing experience coming off a down year? Seems affordable.
Hey, if you don’t like it become one of the 850 best baseball players in the world and steal that below MLB average salary from him.
Lets Go DBacks
He blew himself up last year, just like most relievers of our bullpen. Did not really dislike him that much but was definitely not worth a spot anymore on our roster and even less for the projected 4.9M. This contract sounds more reasonable and could be a nice addition for the Royals. Box em up in KC, I’d say.
I’m just glad I won’t have to hear the D’Backs horrible announcer say, “box’em up!” any more
Boxberger – n: shorthand for ‘Big Mac’
Dbacks overused him. Arm fell off in the second half.
I move that from now until the end of time, Boxberger should be required to use the jerseys that have emojis of a box and a burger instead of the ones with his actual name.
Definitely one of last seasons highlights for me.
Gotta love what the Royals are doing this winter, with lower revenues available. They’ll probably win 15 games more than they should this year because they’re going to run the opposition out of the park. Combing their speed with the fact that (a) no catchers can throw anymore and (b) because of shifting, middle IFs are confused about who covers in steal attempts, is going to prove very productive.
Box? Why not? Could be useful, could be “flipable”. Good low cost move.
How come that strategy resulted in less than 60 wins last year? Were they really a 45 win team?
Over/under 1.5 opps for Boxberger, or any Royal closer for that matter
So with a Richard Lovelady and Brad Boxberger back end of the bullpen…can we expect a Dick ‘n the Box moniker?
You know, this may look bad if written on paper wrong. Boxberger, Love Lady, Dick
Why did you put “closing in”, in quotes?
Because that was what the referenced tweet said. Did you not pay attention to writing citations in school?
I write and grade both MLA and AMA style papers on a regular basis, so yes I understand citations. He overuses his quotations, with most having no reference to go along with them. Also, every other article’s headline contains unnecessary quotes. “Closing in,” “nearing a deal,” “gaining momentum” don’t need to be quoted if they are actual facts. By the way, you should never begin a sentence with “because.”
I use quotes to make clear it is the specific wording from a reporter, not my characterization. I disagree with your premise. Key phrase: ” … if they are actual facts.” Even beyond the room for interpretation inherent in such phrases, they are not actual facts known to me. I am citing the reporting, not personally vouching for the validity of what it asserts.
What do you mean by “most having no reference to go along with them”? You’re suggesting I just randomly throw quotes in without making clear where they came from? I would love to see an example of this. We don’t add repetitive citations in the way one would in academic writing, but I always make sure that it’s obvious where any quoted language comes from.
Sound like the Royals will be dishing out lots of walks late in games.
They will trade Whitfield during the season and should act accordingly by signing a couple fa minor league infielders. They could also trade Mondesi to the Ray’s for a couple infielders. Duffy plus a little to round out the trade. Ray’s could use him in the outfield and infield. Pinch runner
Yeah makes tons of sense to trade a younger player with a high ceiling for a package starting around an older less talented player w less control. Yep, makes sense
They just extended him…..
Why trade Whit when he just signed that team friendly extension? He’s about the only thing the Royals have got going for them. IMO they should have traded Duffy last year when his market was high. I don’t see the Royals getting much of a return for him now
Because he’s 30 and this team will suck until he’s at minimum 33. The assets you could get for him now would be more useful when the team is actually competitive again.
Thinking inside the box on this potential signing.
you never know Gordon is on a contract year…so it be a career year for Gordo
I really wanted Toronto to land this guy but it must be a tough sell on the team’s part to sell a year of resurgence and ultimate trade to a contender within this 1 year deal in a hitter’s park on a projected bad team.
Era over 4, a negative war, whip a lot higher than his career number. No wonder Arizona collapsed down the stretch, if he was their closer!
I don’t know what happened last year but dudes been pretty good over his career. Being on the Royals now there is no pressure he should be able to find his form again. Plus I don’t find the Royals finding themselves in to many high leverage situations in the first place with that roster!
Hmmm, Boxberger on the Royals?
Sounds like Burger King’s big chance to promote the Whopper in the States as it’s referred to across the pond, as … the Royal.
The Royals are certainly interesting. They are going to run and run but not get on base. No power. Good defense. No pitching. I understand they are managed by a man allergic to walks, and they need to probably try some unorthodox roster construction, but when you have seven starters with sub-.300 OBPs it doesn’t matter how much you run; the marginal value of a stolen base is tiny compared to the marginal value of a walk or a homer.
So it’s the managers fault the team doesn’t walk? Interesting, here I thought players were supposed to develop their offensive game in the minors and learn the strike zone before arriving to the major leagues. I guess skipper hands out hefty fines for walks in Kangaroo Kourt based on your logic.
No it’s not entirely the managers fault but he has some blame along with the coaching staff. If they like the batters to be aggressive and not wait on those borderline pitches then yes you are going to have less walks.
Um….yeah, I don’t buy into any thought that a manager tells a player to be aggressive on borderline pitches. This scenario is more likely:
– If the pitch is in you wheelhouse with no strikes, be aggressive unless we give a take on 3-0.
– (PITCHER) likes to get ahead with the 0-0 fastball. If you like it, jump on it.
– No strikes and the pitch is there, jump on it. If there’s 1 strike look for strikes to hit. Two strikes you better swing at balls over the plate and a couple inches off both sides. (Ump) really likes to stretch the plate East-West.
I did have a front row seat to KC being somewhat aggressive against the Blue Jays in 2015. It worked for them. They do not have the talent or personnel to do that now. That said, if you’d like to place blame on the manager then you should give the manager all the credit for the homers players hit. The logic was and still is flawed regardless of how you slice it.
The manager decides the starting lineup and Yost, who has taken the Royals to two World Series with KC, winning one, certainly has the ear of the team’s execs when deciding on what players to bring to the majors, what players to value and which players to play. But of course, he has some responsibility in developing players’ abilities, him and his coaching staff, which he presumably had some role in hiring.
And it’s a two-way street; people get upset by the top-down approach of the Rays and the A’s and such, in which the front office is really integrated with the on-field management, but those approaches do work. The Royals seem to have a team philosophy that eschews getting on base. Perhaps they think that they are trying to zig when everyone else is zagging and it will work. (The WS teams were not built like this, btw). Yost may be on board because he, as a player, had zero interest in – or ability to – get on base, and so perhaps he’s just not concerned with that. His team, of course, lost 108 games last season trying things this way, so it may be time for him to re-think his priorities.
When you decide to grow up, you’ll learn something called accountability. You are allergic to it. See, this comment was pretty good. I can get behind it and agree with it. However, you know what you said and you put Yost at the centre of 40-50 at bats per game for 162 games. I forgive you.
Would have liked to see the Cub take a chance on him.
He will lead AL in saves up to the ASG, and be their only AS rep this year. .
Royals could be a WC contender if the owner wasn’t so cheap. All they have to do is sign Harper and Machado and Marwin Gonzalez and Kimbrel and Keuchel. Also trade for Zack Greinke. They would have a chance to win the division even.
Alright I’m done. I just wanted to see how it felt to call a owner cheap and make unrealistic signings and or trades.