The Red Sox have signed right-handed pitcher Trevor Hildenberger to a minor league deal that includes an invitation to Major League camp, according to Darren Wolfson of SKOR North. Chris Cotillo of MassLive adds that Hildenberger will earn $700k if he cracks the big league roster. Hildenberger is a client of the Ballengee Group.
Hildenberger, 29, has spent his entire professional career with the Twins after they selected him in the 2014 draft. After establishing himself as a busy piece of the Minnesota bullpen in 2017 and 2018, he fell off dramatically last year, seeing his ERA balloon to an unsightly 10.47 (albeit in just 16 1/3 innings of work). Hildenberger comes at batters from an unorthodox arm slot, which in part allows him to overcome unspectacular velocity. He works primarily with a changeup/sinker combination that frequently induced ground balls until 2019, when his GB% plummeted to 38.1%. The changeup is certainly his most lethal offering, drawing a 38.2 whiff% that surely piqued Boston’s interest.
Of course, the bullpen-needy Red Sox would be remiss if they didn’t take flyers on players of Hildenberger’s ilk. He’s by no means a lock to crack the Opening Day roster, but he’s a nice depth option who can compete for innings if he impresses in Spring Training or if injuries strike the Boston bullpen.