The Boston Red Sox signed right-handed reliever Taylor Cole to a minor-league deal Wednesday, as he’ll join four others as a non-roster invite to spring training — which could be in jeopardy at the current state of the lockout.
Cole, 32, last pitched in the majors as a 29-year-old with the Angels in 2019, where the righty pitched a 5.92 ERA but did post a 3.29 FIP across 38 relief outings with Los Angeles.
His year with the Halos came after two major-league seasons with Toronto, pitching one inning in 2017 getting lit up for six hits and four runs, but following that up with 20 outings (18 relief outings) in 2018 where he posted a 2.75 ERA and a 2.78 FIP.
Since then he hasn’t pitched much since shoulder surgery in 2020, other than 8.2 innings of Dominican winter league action in 2021 where he slated a 2.08 ERA.
Cole entered pro ball as a lowly 29th round pick in 2011 by Toronto and has made quite a career out of his low draft status, and could find a spot in Boston’s 2022 rotation. Cole ground out six years in the minors before getting his opportunity in the majors. However, it’s likely that the righty spends some time in Triple-A Worcester before getting an opportunity with Boston.
Here’s to a reminder as well that teams can still make minor-league deals and moves during a lockout — only major-league moves are prohibited.