Mark Melancon, Red Sox reliever
The former Astros closer came to Boston via the trade route last offseason when the Red Sox shipped Jed Lowrie and Kyle Weiland to Houston in exchange for the 27-year-old Melancon.
Melancon, who saved 20 games for the Astros in 2011, was supposed to be part of the mix to help close out games in Andrew Bailey’s absence. But the former Yankee product struggled early and was shipped to the Triple A PawSox in April after one of the worst outings in major league history when he faced six batters, did not retire any, and gave up three home runs and walked two in an 18-3 loss to the Rangers. To that point, Melancon had surrendered homers to five of the 18 batters he had faced.
After an extended trip to Pawtucket, Melancon found his way back to Boston and went on to pitch in 41 games for the Red Sox, going 0-2 with a 6.20 ERA, striking out 41 and walking 12 in 45 innings of work.
Melancon earned $521,000 last season and is eligible for salary arbitration in 2014.