Aug. 19: The Red Sox have released Andriese. He’s now free to sign with any club for the prorated league minimum over the remainder of the season.
Aug. 17: The Red Sox have designated reliever Matt Andriese for assignment, per a club announcement. The move clears space on the 40-man roster for fellow bullpen arm Josh Taylor, who has been reinstated from the COVID-19 injured list.
Boston brought Andriese aboard on a free agent deal over the winter. He’d hoped to compete for a spot in the starting rotation during Spring Training but ultimately found himself working exclusively as a multi-inning option out of the bullpen. The 31-year-old didn’t find a lot of success in that role, posting a 6.03 ERA over 37 1/3 frames.
Andriese has always been a solid strike-thrower and that’s again been the case in 2021. He’s only walked 6.2% of opponents this year, but Andriese has struggled to miss bats. His 21.5% strikeout rate and 8.8% swinging strike rate are each well below-average for a reliever and he’s given up plenty of loud contact. Certainly, Andriese has been a bit unlucky to allow opponents to hit .407 on balls in play against him, but he’s had a hard time avoiding barrels over the course of the campaign.
That production all came in the season’s first half, as Andriese hasn’t pitched since landing on the injured list with hamstring tendinitis on July 10. He’s nearing a return to health, having spent the past few weeks on a minor league rehab assignment with Triple-A Worcester.
Injured players can’t be placed on outright waivers, so Andriese figures to be released. That’s little more than a formality, as he had enough big league service time to refuse an outright assignment and hit free agency anyways. Assuming he passes through waivers unclaimed — which would appear likely — the Red Sox will remain on the hook for what remains of his $2.1MM guarantee. Any team that then signs Andriese as a free agent would only owe him the prorated portion of the league minimum salary for any time he spends on the big league roster.