The Reds have agreed to a minor league contract with veteran righty Brad Boxberger, tweets C. Trent Rosecrans of The Athletic. It’s a full-circle moment for Boxberger, who was drafted by Cincinnati with the No. 43 overall pick of the 2009 draft.
Boxberger, now 31, never pitched for the Reds in the Majors before being included alongside Yasmani Grandal, Yonder Alonso and Edinson Volquez in the blockbuster deal that sent Mat Latos to Cincinnati. There’s no guarantee that Boxberger will get the opportunity to do so now, although one can easily envision him being added to the big league roster as a September call-up — if not at some point this month.
Boxberger began the season with the Royals and got out to a rocky start. The former AL saves leader — 41 with the 2015 Rays — was clobbered for a 7.30 ERA in 12 1/3 March/April innings, although he rebounded with just three runs allowed in 9 1/3 frames the following month. Even as Boxberger’s ERA dropped, however, he posted questionable K/BB numbers out of the Kansas City bullpen. He was ultimately designated for assignment on June 26 and released on July 1.
From there, Boxberger went on to sign a minor league deal with the Nats and toss 8 2/3 innings with just one run allowed for their Double-A club. However, Washington cut Boxberger loose over the weekend rather than giving him a look in the big leagues — the Nationals acquired three relievers at the trade deadline — leaving Boxberger to search for a new opportunity.
Boxberger will bring a career 3.59 ERA, 11.4 K/9, 4.7 BB/9, 1.24 HR/9 and 77 saves with him back to the Reds organization, although most of his success came with the Padres and Rays from 2012-15. Over his past 133 2/3 innings, Boxberger has a 4.44 ERA with a 160-to-79 K/BB ratio.