Boxberger was one of the Royals’ most notable pickups during a modest offseason for the rebuilding club. The Royals gave the former Padre, Ray and Diamondback $2.2MM with the hope he’d revive his career. Instead, Boxberger stumbled to a 5.40 ERA/4.65 FIP with 9.11 K/9 and 5.74 BB/9 in 26 2/3 innings. In the process, the 31-year-old’s average fastball velocity fell to 90.2 mph, down from the 92-93 range in his younger days.
At his best, Boxberger recorded a 2.37 ERA/2.84 FIP with 14.47 K/9 and 2.78 BB/9 in 64 2/3 innings with the Rays in 2014. Boxberger came back the next season to log worse numbers, yet the right-hander still made the AL All-Star team and led the league in saves (41). But injuries helped limit Boxberger’s effectiveness over the next couple seasons, which led Tampa Bay to trade him to Arizona prior to the 2018 campaign.
The Boxberger acquisition didn’t work out for the Diamondbacks, however. Boxberger registered a 4.39 ERA/4.55 FIP and 5.4 BB/9 in 53 1/3 innings last year, thus offsetting an 11.98 K/9 and a 46.1 percent groundball rate. The D-backs non-tendered Boxberger over the winter, and now he may return to free agency just a few months after catching on with the Royals. They still owe him approximately $1.14MM.
Skoglund, 26, is back after serving an 80-game suspension for performance-enhancing drugs, though he’ll report to Triple-A Omaha for now. The 6-foot-7 Skoglund got his first significant look as a major leaguer in 2018. He put up a 5.14 ERA/5.06 FIP with 6.3 K/9 against 2.44 BB/9 across 70 innings (14 appearances, 13 starts).