The Boston Red Sox, who are currently tied with the New York Yankees atop the AL East standings, have done what you do when your fantasy baseball team needs some help: They hit the waiver wire.
Red Sox president Dave Dombrowski dug into his past a little bit and found two players who served him well when he was with the Detroit Tigers. Now he’s hopeful they can make some meaningful contributions to a Red Sox team that has underachieved this season considering its World Series pedigree.
The Sox added starting pitcher Doug Fister in a waiver-wire acquisition from the Los Angeles Angels and infielder Jhonny Peralta, who was a free agent after clearing waivers from the St. Louis Cardinals. Neither had been too helpful to their previous teams this season, but the Red Sox may have important jobs for both of them.
Fister, 33, was added to the big-league roster and will start Sunday for the Red Sox. Coincidentally, he’ll face the Angels, who signed him to a minor-league deal but never called him up. In the minors, Fister had a 4.02 ERA in three starts for the Angels’ Triple-A team. The Red Sox mostly need Fister as a back-of-the-rotation arm, as they’ve gone through a number of fifth starters already this season. Currently both Steven Wright and Eduardo Rodriguez are on the disabled list.
Peralta, meanwhile, could be the remedy to the Red Sox’s problems at third base. Pablo Sandoval is on the DL, but hasn’t been too effective when healthy. Deven Marrero and Josh Rutledge have also seen time there, but haven’t forced their way into the conversation. Red Sox fans, with their World Series aspirations, have been hoping for a big move to stabilize the position.
This isn’t that. This isn’t trading for Mike Moustakas. But Peralta, 35, is an MLB veteran who has been an All-Star. Just not lately. He hit .204 this season in St. Louis and was sidelined by injuries before the Cardinals cut him loose.
But hey, we’ve seen these types of moves pay off in the past for contending teams. Sometimes a change of scenery or a pressing situation is what a veteran player needs to get going.
The Red Sox (40-32) need to get going too. They’re the most talented team in the AL East but haven’t played like it so far. They’re every bit in the playoff hunt, which is why Boston isn’t moaning and groaning as much as it could be about being tied with the rebuilding Yankees.
With July on the horizon, the bigger question is whether this will be the totality of Dombrowski’s dealing or if he’s just getting started.
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