The Red Sox added another arm to the bullpen today as they agreed to terms with free-agent righthander Rudy Seanez on a one-year deal with a club option for 2007.
According to The Associated Press, Seanez’s contract guarantees him $2.1 million and could be worth up to $5.3 million over two years if he pitches regularly as a setup man.
“He’s been outstanding the last two years,” Red Sox co-GM Jed Hoyer said. “He has really improved his command. His strikeout numbers have been outstanding.”
Seanez, who made nine relief appearances for the Red Sox in 2003, made 57 relief appearances for the Padres last season going 7-1 with a 2.69 ERA (18 ER/60.1 IP). The 5-foot-11, 200-pounder was sidelined for 28 games in July and August with a strained right shoulder, then went 3-0 with a 2.14 ERA in his remaining 19 appearances.
The 37-year-old, who passed a physical Tuesday, set career highs in wins, appearances, innings pitched (60.1) and strikeouts (84), while his 2.69 ERA was his lowest since posting a 2.66 mark with the Dodgers in 1994.
With only 22 walks issued, Seanez averaged nearly four strikeouts per walk. He limited opponents to a .222 batting average, including a .212 mark by righties and a .231 mark by lefties.
Seanez ranked second among National League relievers with 12.5 strikeouts per nine innings and tied for second in the league with seven relief wins. He posted a 2.19 ERA in 10 appearances in April, fanning 15 and walking only one. In a 24-game stretch from April 21-June 19, Seanez went 2-0 with a 1.80 ERA, including 13.2 scoreless innings covering 12 outings from April 21-May 24.
Seanez has pitched for eight major league clubs in all or part of 15 seasons with Cleveland (1989-91), Los Angeles (1992, 1994-95), San Diego (1993, 2001, 2005), Atlanta (1998-2001), Texas (2002), Boston (2003), Kansas City (2004) and Florida (2004). Since going 0-1 with a 6.23 ERA in nine appearances for the Red Sox in 2003, Seanez has combined to post a 10-2 record with a 2.96 ERA (35 ER/106.1 IP) in 96 relief appearances since the start of the 2004 campaign.
The righthander is 27-20 with 11 saves and a 4.12 ERA (180 ER/393.2 IP) in 380 career major league appearances, all in relief. He has 417 strikeouts in 393.2 innings, an average of 9.5 strikeouts per nine innings and has held opponents to a .232 batting average, including a .220 mark by righthanders. The native of Brawley, Calif., originally was selected by Cleveland in the fourth round of the 1986 Draft.
Seanez has a $1.9 million base salary next year, and the Red Sox have a 2007 option at $2.1 million plus whatever performance bonuses he earns in 2006. If the option is declined, Seanez would get a $200,000 buyout.
In 2006 only, Seanez would get $25,000 each for 10 and 15 games, $50,000 each for 25, 30 and 35 games and $100,000 for 40 games and each additional five games through 60.
If he becomes Boston’s closer and has 30 games finished next year, the option becomes a player option. He also can earn $500,000 annually based on games finished.
(Material from The Associated Press was used in this report)