Red Sox seeking relief – Metro US

Red Sox seeking relief

As offseasons go, it really couldn’t get much better for the Red Sox.

Already basking in the glow of last week’s mega-moves for Adrian Gonzalez and Carl Crawford, the Sox got to watch with glee from the sidelines as Cliff Lee spurned the Yankees and left the American League altogether.

One less left-handed pitcher to worry about.

So many big chips falling Yawkey’s way, yet it’s those pesky, lesser moves that can ruin the whole party.

Gonzalez and Crawford can do a lot of things, but neither of them can pitch out of the bullpen. And all the slugging and speed in the world isn’t going to get the Red Sox back into the postseason unless they find the right (and left) relievers who can.

That task got a little tougher yesterday with the news that the Dodgers had agreed on a three-year deal with right-hander Matt Guerrier. The Red Sox had shown interest in the 32-year-old Twin as the bridge to Daniel Bard and Jonathan Papelbon at the back end.

Now, with Guerrier and lefty Scott Downs (Angels) off the board, general manager Theo Epstein is left to kick the tires of guys like Brian Fuentes, who had some memorable meltdowns at Fenway for the Angels in 2009, and Guerrier’s Twin-mate Jesse Crain.

But Fuentes, a left-hander, dominated lefty hitting last season, holding them to a .128 average. And Crain, once a solid bullpen arm before a shoulder injury derailed his career in 2007, posted 21 holds in 2010.