The Red Sox have released knuckleballing right-hander Steven Wright, per a club announcement (h/t Jason Mastrodonato of the Boston Herald, via Twitter). Wright had been projected by MLBTR to earn $1.5MM in arbitration, had he been tendered a contract.
This move doesn’t come as a surprise for a 35-year-old hurler who wasn’t a significant contributor in 2019. The Boston organization is known to be looking for ways to trim payroll and obviously didn’t envision Wright as a part of the staff.
Wright had a strong showing in 2016, pitching to a 3.33 ERA in 156 2/3 innings. But he was alternatively hurt and/or suspended for most of the next three campaigns.
When he was available, Wright wasn’t always very effective. Though he did end with a 2.68 ERA in 53 2/3 frames in 2018, that came with a less-than-inspiring combination of 42 strikeouts and 26 walks. He allowed nearly a run per inning in short stints in the 2017 and 2019 seasons.
There may yet be hope of a rebound, particularly for a pitcher that relies upon guile rather than power. But Mastrodonato tweets that there’s some additional health uncertainty at play here, perhaps involving Wright’s elbow.