As time ticks toward the Red Sox having to make a decision on Craig Breslow’s contract, the reliever remains realistic.
The Red Sox have until five days after the completion of the World Series to decide whether or not to exercise Breslow’s $4 million option for 2015. The 34-year-old lefty is coming off a disappointing season in which he totaled a 5.96 ERA in 54 1/3 innings over 60 appearances.
“If you were to strictly look at 2014 with blinders without what had happened previously and what you might expect to happen going forward, $4 million is probably a hefty price tag,” Breslow said by ph0ne Thursday afternoon. “But I think if he look at the body of work from 2008-13, you can better appreciation for the pitcher that I’ve been and the pitcher that I will.”
He added, “If they were to decline it I would be a bargain for somebody and I’ll pitch to the value of the contract.”
Breslow noted his representatives had been in preliminary contract discussions with the Red Sox toward the end of the ’14 season.
The reliever seemingly never recovered from the workload of pitching through the Red Sox’ ’13 World Series run. Not only did he delay his throwing program due to the 993 pitches thrown during the championship season, but upon arriving in spring training it was determined his shoulder strength was still lacking.
Breslow wouldn’t pitch at throughout the club’s stay in Fort Myers, not making his ’14 big league debut until the 10th game of the season.
“Only having December and January to get ready becomes problematic,” he said.
From ’08-13, Breslow pitched in more games (392) than any lefty reliever, except Matt Thornton, totaling a 2.82 ERA, while limiting hitters to a .224 batting average.
The Connecticut native plans on spending the majority of his offseason working out at Mike Boyle’s training facility in Woburn.