Most were wondering if the Red Sox were going to dive into the free-agent pitching market considering the state of their starting rotation. Thursday they finally jumped.
The team announced it has signed former Astros pitcher Collin McHugh to a one-year contract. Hector Velazquez has been designated for assignment to make room on the 40-man roster for McHugh.
The 32-year-old has as much upside as any pitcher available on the open market but does carry concerns. McHugh recently underwent a procedure to help alleviate elbow concerns after the righty missed the final month of the 2019 season. He hasn't started a throwing program so his availability will still be a ways away.
It would appear as though McHugh's best role is a reliever considering his success out of the bullpen last season After starting the season in Houston's rotation he thrived in a relief role, limiting hitters to a .208 batting average while compiling a 2.67 ERA in 27 games.
Conversely, his eight starts to begin 2019 did not go well, as was evident by the 6.37 ERA that went with his 41 innings in the role. McHugh has, however, had some previous success as a starter, managing a 3.55 ERA in 12 starts in 2017.