Collin McHugh joins pitching-needy Boston Red Sox
FORT MYERS, Fla. (AP) — Right-hander Collin McHugh agreed Thursday to a $600,000, one-year contract with the pitching-needy Boston Red Sox, a deal that allows him earn up to $4.25 million.
However, he is recovering from a flexor injury in his pitching am and is not expected to be ready for opening day. He has not yet started a throwing program.
“They’re evaluating him still now,” manager Ron Roenicke said. “So, we don’t know when that period will be when he starts up.”
Boston ace Chris Sale will start the season on the injured list. He was slowed by pneumonia, then felt elbow pain Sunday after he threw batting practice for the first time at spring training. The Red Sox traded David Price to the Los Angeles Dodgers last month along with outfielder Mookie Betts in exchange for prospects.
Eduardo Rodríguez, Nathan Eovaldi and Martín Pérez head Boston’s rotation. McHugh also could pitch in relief.
“He’s willing to do both,” Roenicke said. “So, we’ll get him ramped up, extend him out and then see where he fits in our staff.”
The 32-year-old McHugh can earn $3 million in performance bonuses and $650,000 in roster bonuses. His base salary is guaranteed.
He started 3-4 with a 6.37 ERA in eight starts last year with Houston and was sent to the bullpen after a 12-2 loss to Kansas City on May 7, when he allowed eight runs in three-plus innings. He went 1-1 with a 2.67 ERA in 27 relief appearances with 40 strikeouts and 16 walks in 33 2/3 innings. That left him 4-5 with a 4.70 ERA for his season, which ended when he was placed on the injured list Aug. 31 due to right elbow soreness.
McHugh is 58-43 with a 3.95 ERA in 119 starts and 91 relief appearances for the New York Mets (2012-13), Colorado (2013) and Houston (2014-19). After starting 0-8 with the Mets and Rockies, he was 58-35 with the Astros.
“He gave us everything he had for a number of years,” Astros pitching coach Brent Strom said. “Very intelligent young man who can really spin the ball very well — extremely great spin rate, good control of his breaking stuff. So, I think he’s going to be a big addition, however the Red Sox want to use him.”
McHugh would get $100,000 each for 15, 30, 45 and 60 days on active major league roster and $250,000 for 90 days. He would earn $250,000 apiece for 30, 35, 40, 45, 50, 55, 70, 80, 90, 100, 110 and 115 Innings
Boston designated right-hander Hector Velázquez for assignment to open a roster spot.