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Should Drake Britton get a bullpen spot in 2015?

Drake Britton may find himself in the mix for a bullpen spot next season. Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports
Drake Britton may find himself in the mix for a bullpen spot next season.
Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports

After a moderately successful tenure for the Boston Red Sox in 2013, expectations were high for Drake Britton in 2014 who was slated to the season in AAA Pawtucket.

Despite posting less than impressive results in AAA Pawtucket, lefty Drake Britton showed more promise in big league competition. Posting a 5.86 ERA in 45 outings for the Paw Sox, Drake Britton had a rough season of Minor League Baseball. He walked more guys (38) than he struck out (37) while hitters hit .326 off the southpaw who posted a WHIP of nearly 2.00 (1.97).
 
His Major League tenure, although not as long, was much more successful. Tossing seven scoreless outings totaling 6.2 frames, Britton allowed just five hits while walking a pair and striking out four. As the Boston Red Sox have limited options as far as left-handed relievers, Britton may be able to crack the big league roster on Opening Day in 2015.
 
Tommy Layne is the only legitimate left-handed option for the bullpen so the Red Sox might look internally for a second southpaw. The team is unlikely to re-sign Craig Breslow after declining his option and other teams may be willing to pay Andrew Miller more in free agency, so they may go for a cheap option. Established lefty relievers can bring in $5 million a year (or in Miller's case $8 million) which is what makes Britton so appealing. Set to earn the league minimum, he could potentially contribute for one-tenth of the cost of an established guy.
 
Luckily for Britton, he boasts a fastball with above-average velocity. While most lefties struggle to hit 90mph, Britton sits comfortable at 92-93mph while touching 95 is not a problem for him.
 
Options are not on Britton's side anymore, unfortunately. He used his third and final option year in 2014 and must clear waivers for Minor League assignment in 2015. In other words, he is a potential DFA candidate if he is unable to contribute at the big league level.
 
If Drake Britton gets a spot in the Red Sox bullpen in 2015, he would not serve a huge role. He would likely be another lefty specialist or just pitch in lopsided outings. He is a cheap option, but he is not as established of a guy which brings Boston to a dilemma which they will find themselves solving in the next four months.

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