BOSTON — After spending the first decade of his career on the West Coast, Garrett Richards was eager to give Boston a try.
“Being in this division, you have to make sure your game is at a high level,” he told said Wednesday after finalizing a one-year deal that guarantees $10 million. “Plus, I thought it would be a good chance to see the other side of the country.”
Richards went 47-41 with a 3.62 ERA in 10 seasons with the Los Angeles Angels and San Diego Padres. The right-hander had Tommy John surgery in the middle of 2018 and came back for just three games at the end of the ’19 season, then went 2-2 with a 4.03 ERA during the pandemic-shortened 2020 season.
The one thing he would do differently, he said, would be to have the elbow surgery in 2016 “and be done with it.”
“I’ve had a few rough years, some unfortunate injuries here and there,” he said. “Over the years I’ve been banged up a little bit. But every time you get banged up. I think you learn something about yourself.”
Richards, 32, agreed to terms on Jan. 23, pending a physical. He gets an $8.5 million salary this year, and the deal includes a $10 million option for 2022 with a $1.5 million buyout. The 2022 price could escalate depending on 2021 performance.
Boston opened a spot from him on the 40-man roster by designating right-hander Joel Payamps for assignment.
Richards said when considering offers he was intrigued not just by playing in the AL East and on the East Coast but also by the Red Sox organization. First baseman Mitch Moreland, a teammate from the Padres at the end of last season, “had nothing but great things to say about the Red Sox.”
“They’ve won championships, and they’ve won a lot over the last 10 years or so,” Richards said. “These guys always look like they’re having a blast. Those are the kind of teams that I want to be a part of.”
Payamps, 26, had a 3.86 ERA while making four appearances for the Diamondbacks over the past two seasons. He had been claimed on waivers this offseason.
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