Just two days after agreeing to a two-year deal with Bobby Jenks, the Red Sox solidified their bullpen even further, signing right-handed Dan Wheeler to a one-year contract worth $3 million. It includes a team option for 2012.
Wheeler, who's spent the past four seasons with the Tampa Bay Rays, is a native of Rhode Island, and excited to be coming home for the first time in his 11-year pro career.
"I'm very excited," Wheeler said by phone early Saturday afternoon. "I guess there's always been a little part of me that's always wanted to wear the Red Sox uniform, there's no question about that. The first goal was to make it [to the Majors], now that I'm going to have a chance to put that actual uniform on, I'm real excited about it."
Wheeler served as the Rays' set-up man the past three seasons and posted a 118 ERA+ with a 1.076 WHIP in 2010, and though some of his numbers are somewhat inflated because of low BABIP, Over The Monster says the addition is a good one for Boston.
Still, Wheeler is a solid fourth option out of the pen, given he should only really be pitching in sixth and occasionally the seventh inning, and hopefully against righties, against who he's consistently recorded low xFIPs. Wheeler is prone to the home run when facing lefties, however, which is pretty much the last thing you want out of a reliever.
In 37 appearances against the Red Sox in his career, Wheeler has held the Boston hitters to a .168 average and a .237 on-base percentage. If ya can't beat 'em, sign 'em.