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Red Sox To Sign Bobby Jenks

Bobby Jenks (Image from MLB.com)

Former White Sox closer Bobby Jenks has reportedly agreed to a two-year contract with the Red Sox for $12 million, according to ESPN.com’s Buster Olney. Jenks, who will be 31 before the season starts, posted a career-worst 4.44 ERA last season with Chicago, where he spent his entire major league career.

The White Sox non-tendered Jenks, making him a free agent, after they saw his ERA, WHIP, and opponent’s batting average rise and save totals drop the last three years:

Year IP SV SO ERA WHIP OPPBA
2008 61.2 30 38 2.63 1.10 .230
2009 53.1 29 49 3.71 1.28 .250
2010 52.2 27 61 4.44 1.37 .260

Despite the high ERA, Jenks did see his strikeout/9 total soar above 10 last year, so it appears there is still a lot of zip in his arm. Unless the Red Sox trade Jonathan Papelbon, which they are apparently openly considering, Jenks will slot in as a solid righthanded option out of the bullpen for Terry Francona.

Jenks posted a career-best 0.89 WHIP in 2007, but it appears those days are behind him. If the Red Sox can get someone who strikes out at least one batter per inning pitching in the seventh inning or later consistently throughout the season, then they will see proper return on their investment. If Jenks, however, reverts to the 4.40 ERA version of himself, then Francona will have another frustrating case of a talented pitcher not living up to his potential on his hands.

Don’t expect the Red Sox to be done. Expect them to target a lefthanded reliever (perhaps Brian Fuentes) to help round out a bullpen that ranked among one the league’s worst last season.

About KC Downey - @kc_downey

KC is the "head coach" of the Sports of Boston, LLC blog network. Follow him on Twitter: @kc_downey

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Discussion

4 comments for “Red Sox To Sign Bobby Jenks”

  1. Bring back Julian “Freddy Krueger” Tavarez!

    Posted by Wayne | December 16, 2010, 4:15 pm
  2. ERA is very deceiving. Jenks performed a lot better then his 4.44 number suggests. When you only pitch 52.2 innings in a year that tends to happen.

    Posted by JosBDeAwesome | December 17, 2010, 4:08 pm
  3. that’s true. I consider WHIP to be a better indicator for closers. If they can limit baserunners, that’s the key.

    Posted by KC Downey | December 18, 2010, 10:57 am
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