Boston Adds Much Needed Bullpen Depth

The Red Sox landed some major bullpen help on Wednesday, acquiring Mark Melancon, a former Yankee farmhand, from the Houston Astros in exchange for Jed Lowrie and Kyle Weiland. It's a significant price to pay, but this was a move that Boston needed to make and Melancon is an arm that could be a huge lift for them at the end of the game.

It's not clear at this moment exactly how the Red Sox plan to utilize Mark Melancon. Clearly he has the ability to be a closer, at least in the National League, but all indications in the industry point to Boston still pursuing another closer like Andrew Bailey or Ryan Madson. Regardless, with Daniel Bard sliding into the rotation, at the very least the Red Sox now have an outstanding setup man in Melancon.

Flying under the radar somewhat, Melancon had a strong 2011 season with Houston. He has the stuff to miss American League bats and keeps the ball on the ground effectively, something that will obviously serve him well in Fenway Park. The right-hander sits around 92-94 mph with his fastball, and can drop a plus downer curveball at just about any time. In other words, he does have closer stuff, and it's just a matter of Boston chooses to utilize him.

The Melancon acquisition is an outstanding one, but Boston did have to part with two players they are fond of. Kyle Weiland didn't perform well in the big leagues in 2011, but the right-hander does have a future in the back end of a big league rotation. As for Jed Lowrie, he's never quite given Boston what they expected, but a change in scenery and a shot at more playing time could be just what the doctor ordered.

Scouting Baseball Top Stories