The Royals are closing in on a one-year deal with reliever Brad Boxberger, according to MLB.com reporter Jeffrey Flanagan. Reporter Jon Heyman reports it is a done deal, with Boxberger getting $2.2 million with incentives.
Boxberger goes to royals. 2.2M plus incentives— Jon Heyman (@JonHeyman) February 6, 2019
Boxberger Royals deal which includes 1M incentives is pending physical @FlannyMLB 1st said deal was close— Jon Heyman (@JonHeyman) February 6, 2019
Boxberger began last year as the closer for the Arizona Diamondbacks, but struggled with a 4.39 ERA and a high walk-rate of 5.4 per-nine innings leading to him being non-tendered in the fall.
The 30-year old right-hander was originally drafted by the Royals in 2006, but did not sign. He instead went to USC and became a first-round pick by the Reds in 2009. In seven Major League seasons with the Padres, Rays, and Diamondbacks, Boxberger has a 3.42 ERA in 284 1⁄3 innings with 11.6 strikeouts-per-nine innings. He led the American League in saves in 2015 with 41 and was named an All-Star that season.
Boxberger can still miss bats with his low-90s fastball that has been one of the more effective fastballs among relievers. The big challenge with him seems to be command. Boxberger would likely be a candidate to close games next year, along with incumbent closer Wily Peralta, who also shares control issues.