The Red Sox are taking a step toward filling out their 2022 pitching staff.
According to multiple reports, the Sox are finalizing a one-year deal with pitcher Michael Wacha. It is pending a physical.
The 30-year-old Wacha made 23 starts for the Rays in 2021 (totaling 29 appearances). He finished with a 5.05 ERA, although that dipped to 4.53 as a starter. He also pitched more than five innings just four times.
There is a strong likelihood Wacha fills a similar role as Matt Andiese and/or Martin Perez did throughout portions of 2021.
The righty was actually better against left-handed hitters (.243 batting average against) compared to lefties (.287). While Wacha's chase rate (92nd percentile) and control (walking 38 of the 527 batters he faced) were well above-average, he did allow a ton of hard contact, allowing one of the majors' worst hard-hit percentages.
The home run ball has been a problem for Wacha, who allowed 23 in 124 1/3 innings last season after surrendering 26 in relatively the same amount of frames two years earlier.
Wacha was the 19th overall pick in the 2012 Major League Baseball Draft, reaching the majors with the Cardinals the following season. In that rookie season, he twice against the Red Sox in the World Series.
Wacha's last outing with the Rays came during Game 2 of the American League Division Series vs. the Red Sox last season. In that game he surrendered six runs in just 2 2/3 innings.