Timlin’s back

It’s official. Mike Timlin will be back for another year as the Red Sox agreed to a 2006 contract with the righthander today. Terms of the deal were not disclosed.

In his third season with the Red Sox, Timlin went 7-3 with 13 saves, 24 holds and a 2.24 ERA in an American League-high and club-record 81 relief appearances.

The 39-year-old ranked fifth among A.L. relievers with 80.1 innings pitched, opening the year as Boston’s primary right-handed set-up man and finishing the year as the Red Sox’ closer.

A veteran of 15 major league seasons with the Blue Jays (1991-97), Mariners (1997-98), Orioles (1999-2000), Cardinals (2000-2002), Phillies (2002) and Red Sox (2003- ), Timlin is 63-62 with 130 saves and a 3.50 ERA in 893 career appearances, all but four out of the bullpen.


Among pitchers active at the end of the 2005 season, only Mike Stanton (1,027) has more career appearances.

Timlin has made atleast 72 appearances in each of his Boston campaigns, and his 229 outings over the last three years are most by any big league righthander in that span. Among all major league pitchers, he trails only Ray King (243) and Scott Eyre (243) in appearances since the start of 2003.

In three seasons with the Red Sox since signing a free agent deal after the 2002 season, Timlin is 18-11 with 16 saves and a 3.30 ERA in 229 games.

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