Matt Andriese signs with NPB’s Yomiuri Giants


Dec 18: Andriese’s deal with the Yomiuri Giants is worth $ 2.1 million plus incentives, reports Jon Heyman of MLB Network (via Twitter). That’s the exact amount Andriese earned with the Red Sox last season.

December 16: Right-handed jug Matt Andriese has reportedly agreed to a deal with Nippon Professional Baseball’s Yomiuri Giants Yahoo Japan. The 32-year-old was elected to a vacant position at the end of September after he had been assigned to work by the Mariners.

Andriese cracked the big leagues with the Rays first and spent parts of four seasons there, from 2015 to 2018. His most extensive MLB action was in 2016, where he appeared in 29 games, 19 of which started and 127 2/3 innings with an ERA recorded from 4.37. He has since seen more and more time outside of the bullpen, having made just one start in the past three seasons when he joined the Diamondbacks, Angels, Red Sox and Mariners.

Switching to the bullpen has resulted in more strikeouts but no improvement in actual results. After a strikeout rate of 19.8% from 2015 to 2017, it was 24% in the following four campaigns. Even so, his ERA has increased to 4.98 from 4.35 in those first three seasons, although some advanced metrics are a bit more optimistic. (3.70 SIERA and 3.87 xFIP, for example.)

For 2021, Andriese signed a one-year contract with the Red Sox with a $ 2.1 million guarantee and was given the chance to earn a role in the launch rotation. He eventually made 26 appearances out of Boston’s bullpen, logged 37 1/3 innings, and set an ERA of 6.03, despite his decent strikeout and walk rates. He came to the IL on July 10th with tendinitis and was finally discharged in August. A few weeks later, he joined the Mariners and appeared in eight games for them, throwing 11 innings with an ERA of 2.45. Despite this good stretch, he lost his squad place in the waning days of the season and eventually chose the free agency. He ended the year with a solid closing line of 48 1/3 innings, a strikeout rate of 22.5% and a walk rate of 5.9%. Despite the 5.21 ERA, he was treated much nicer by the advanced metrics, as evidenced by his 3.66 SIERA and 4.02 xFIP.

Since he had ended the season without a 40-man position in the squad, he would have been entitled to sign a minor league contract with an MLB club even during the ongoing suspension. However, he will instead opt for the greater security of a secured squad spot in Japan. If he can be more fortunate in translating these underlying metrics into real results, he could be an interesting candidate to return to North America in a year.

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