Saturday, July 9, 2016

One-Year Wonder Pt. 28: Jamie Moyer

Every once in awhile, the Red Sox pick up a veteran player for a year, or just the stretch run that was a star at one point that I become fascinated with. It's a player that is basically only a role player at that point in their career, but may show flashes of their old brilliance. It's so unusual to see them as a member of the Red Sox, that I try to find as many of their cards as possible. This series will be about some of those players.
Jamie Moyer had a career that spanned 25 seasons, an incredibly long time.  He made his Major League debut in 1986 at the age of 23 with the Chicago Cubs.  He appeared for the final time in 2012 with the Rockies at the age of 49.  Very few pitchers were ever able to pitch to that age.  In between, he spent time with the Rangers, Cardinals, Orioles, Red Sox, Mariners, and Phillies.  He enjoyed his most success with the Mariners.  It is often forgotten that he had spent some time with the Red Sox, mostly because it was so brief.

Moyer was signed as a free agent by the Red Sox from the Orioles prior to the 1996 season in order to help stabilize the rotation.  Moyer was a crafty left-hander and was capable of starting and pitching out of the bullpen, and he did perform both roles well with Boston in his short time.  He pitched in 23 games for the Red Sox, starting ten and relieving 13.  He had a terrific record of 7-1 with a 4.50 ERA in 90 innings en route to leading the league in winning percentage that season.  Unfortunately the Red Sox were not doing much by the time the trading deadline came around that season and Moyer was in high demand.  Boston ended up shipping him to Seattle in exchange for young outfielder Darren Bragg.  That ended up being a regrettable trade as Moyer was a very good pitcher for several years for the Mariners, while Bragg was merely a serviceable outfielder.  Meanwhile Boston continued to have a dearth of pitching for several seasons.

Jamie Moyer was a memorable player due to the extreme length of his career.  He had a very brief tenure with the Red Sox, but it was a successful one.

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