The Kansas City Royals and Brad Boxberger have agreed on a one-year contract that will promise the reliever a $2.2MM salary for 2019. As well as the guarantee, the deal also includes an additional $1MM in incentives that Boxberger can earn.
Boxberger, 30, has appeared in parts of seven seasons between the Padres, Rays, and Diamondbacks, all in a relief role while also racking up a total of 76 saves. His best year was easily his 2015 season in Tampa Bay which saw him lead the AL in saves with 41 and earn his first and only All-Star selection. After a couple of down seasons in 2016 and 2017, which Boxberger only appeared in a combined 59 games, he bounced back last year after a trade to Arizona. Last season with the Dbacks, Boxberger grabbed the closer role and secured 32 saves over a total of 60 appearances that spanned 53.1 innings. His ERA was not great as he posted a 4.39 mark, but he did strikeout hitters at a 12 K/9 pace. Boxbergers career numbers are pretty solid as he owns a lifetime 3.42 ERA over 284.1 innings with a 2.54 SO/W rate.
It would seem that Boxberger would immediately step in as the Royals new closer as the team does not currently have a go to guy in that role. Last season the Royals had six different pitchers record a save for them with the leaders being Kelvin Herrera and Wily Peralta as they both had 14 saves a piece. Herrera was traded mid season and Peralta did pitch well in the role but has been a starter most of his career. With Boxberger now in the fold and with the most experience, it is pretty easy to think he will receive the bulk of the opportunities. Just how many games will require a save will be the bigger question as the Royals are in a rebuilding stage at the moment.