BOSTON -- After landing Japanese ace Daisuke Matsuzaka, the
Red Sox started working on finding some guys to relieve him.
Boston acquired former All-Star reliever Brendan Donnelly from
the Los Angeles Angels on Friday and agreed to a contract with
left-hander J.C. Romero. The team also finalized a deal to bring
back Doug Mirabelli, who was the personal catcher for knuckleballer
"Both go a long way toward building lot of quality depth in the
bullpen," Red Sox general manager Theo Epstein said of the
relievers. "Right now we don't have a closer. But we will, and
behind that guy ... we have some quality numbers, guys we feel are
on the verge."
Boston sent rookie left-hander Phil Seibel to the Angels for the
35-year-old Donnelly, who became expendable when the Angels signed
right-hander Justin Speier and lefty Darren Oliver. Donnelly made
$950,000 last season and is eligible for arbitration. He came
become a free agent after the 2008 season.
"We've got a pretty solid bullpen right now. It looked like the
opportunities for a guy like Brendan might not be as great this
year as they were last year," Angels general manager Bill Stoneman
said on a conference call. "We had discussed moving Brendan to the
Red Sox for a while."
Donnelly was 6-0 with a 3.94 ERA in 62 games last season, going
5-0 with a 3.52 ERA in 29 games after the All-Star break and
holding opponents scoreless in 19 of his last 21 appearances. He
was 23-8 with a 2.87 ERA and four saves in 276 appearances with the
His best year was 2003, when he allowed only two earned runs in
his first 50 innings and was the winning pitcher in the AL's 7-6
victory over the NL in the All-Star Game. He finished the season
with a 1.58 ERA and a career-high three saves.
Donnelly has a 3.18 career ERA against the Yankees, allowing six
earned runs in 17 innings with 16 strikeouts -- but four of those
earned runs were given up Aug. 14, when Romero relieved Donnelly
with the bases loaded and allowed all three runners to score.
Romero will get $1.6 million plus performance bonuses. He was
1-2 with a 6.70 ERA for the Angels, holding left-handed batters to
a .211 average. He has a 26-22 record and 4.35 ERA in seven
seasons, the first six with the Twins.
Mirabelli will earn $750,000 with the potential for that much
again in performance bonuses. He was traded to the San Diego Padres
last winter but brought back after Josh Bard struggled to handle
When Mirabelli returned, he received a police escort from the
airport, changing in the back of the cruiser, in order to make that
night's game against the New York Yankees.
"The one guy that we know can catch Tim Wakefield is Doug Mirabelli," Epstein said.
But Mirabelli batted .191 with six home runs and 25 RBI in 73
games with San Diego and Boston. In 2004, he hit .281 with nine
homers in 59 games to help the Red Sox win their first World Series
"Doug has done a lot for this club over the years," Epstein
said. "Last year was a disappointing year for him. He would say
that, and we would say that. He has a lot to prove. He wants to
demonstrate that he's an integral part of this club."
The 27-year-old Seibel spent the last three seasons in the
Boston organization after being claimed on waivers from the New
York Mets in November 2003. He pitched 3 2/3 scoreless innings in
two games with the Red Sox in 2004.
Seibel went 6-3 with a 1.24 ERA for three Boston farm clubs last
season. He didn't pitch in 2005 after undergoing reconstructive
surgery on his pitching elbow following the 2004 season.
"Our scouts like Seibel," Stoneman said. "He's got four
pitches, he throws them for strikes, and we like his stuff. Our
scout made particular mention of his curveball, which he thought
was pretty good. There is still an option remaining. But he's going
to take a run at making our staff as a left-hander out of the
bullpen in spring training.
"When he went to Triple-A, he was used in relief. It looked
like he pitched really, really well, and the scouts liked him. This
is a guy we liked, a guy that we asked them for when we talked
Before turning professional, Seibel pitched three seasons for
the University of Texas.