The Red Sox have signed left-hander Alex Claudio to a minor league deal and assigned him to Triple-A Worcester, relays Bill Koch of the Providence Journal (Twitter link). The veteran southpaw was released by the Angels last month.
Claudio signed with Los Angeles on a one-year contract over the offseason on the heels of a pair of decent but unspectacular years with the Brewers. The 29-year-old was a frequently-utilized option for Angels manager Joe Maddon, who turned to him 41 times over the club’s first 98 games. Claudio pitched to a career-worst 5.51 ERA over 32 2/3 frames, partially due to the highest walk rate (10.1%) of his career.
That said, Claudio did strike out batters at a 20.3% clip, the highest rate of his career (excluding his 12 1/3 inning debut season in 2014). That’s well below league average for a reliever, but the soft-tossing Claudio has long been known as a groundball specialist. He’s no longer inducing grounders on over 60% of balls in play — as he did at his 2016-18 peak with the Rangers — but the southpaw’s 52% grounder rate this season remains above-average.
In other Red Sox news, Koch notes that Worcester released reliever Marcus Walden over the weekend. The 32-year-old pitched 106 innings of 4.50 ERA ball for the Red Sox between 2018-20 but was outrighted off the 40-man roster in Spring Training. Walden worked 42 2/3 innings with Worcester this year, posting a 4.01 ERA with a 20.8% strikeout rate.