Kelley L Cox-USA TODAY Sports

The Red Sox made a minor deal before the deadline, but maybe it’s one that can help them in the future.
The Red Sox bullpen is a mess, and the Red Sox are out of contention in 2015. While that’s a downer for a whole lot of reasons, they’ve made bullpen projects part of their focus for the last two months of the season. Earlier this week, they claimed Jean Machi off waivers from the Giants, and now they’ve snagged a formerly good reliever from the other Bay Area team, sending cash to the A’s in exchange for Ryan Cook.
Cook was an All-Star in 2012, and had a three-year run with the A’s in which he produced a 2.60 ERA while striking out over a batter per inning and 2.7 times as many hitters as he walked. His numbers seemed legit enough, too, with a 2.96 FIP and a 149 ERA+ that adjusts for pitcher-friendly O.co Coliseum. In 2015, though, he’s been a mess, pitching just 4-1/3 innings in the majors, and 33 uninspiring ones in the minors.

The strikeouts seem to be gone, with just seven per nine against Triple-A competition — not what you expect from a formerly capable big-league reliever who is all of 28 years old. It could be a command issue finally catching up to him, or maybe velocity — though we don’t have much to go on in that regard given he’s thrown fewer than five frames in the bigs this season. What we do know, though, is that all he cost is cash, and the Red Sox have a place for him in their bullpen.

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