With Junichi Tazawa being used at an alarming rate and manager John Farrell being hesitant to use 41-year-old setup man Koji Uehara on back-to-back days, the Boston Red Sox have signed right-hander Casey Janssen to a minor-league deal.

Janssen, 34 will first report to Single-A Lowell and will make an undisclosed number of appearances before joining Triple-A Pawtucket.

Over nine seasons in the big leagues, eight in Toronto and one with Washington, Janssen has compiled a 118 ERA+. Although his best season game in 2011 with the Blue Jays, one in which he posted a 2.26 ERA, Janssen as recently as 2013 owned a 2.74 FIP.

It’s not to say Janssen is the savior Boston has been seeking to give their bullpen a rest, but he may be able to give the club some quality innings out of the ‘pen while helping them save their higher profile arms for later in the season. Although the reliever has run into a a few shoulder problems over his career, he could be a viable asset to the Red Sox this season.

It is tough to find quality relief pitching in today’s game, especially one who has had success in the hitter-friendly AL East. Janssen represents a low-risk, high-reward scenario for the Red Sox.

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Liam Skiffington

My name is Liam Skiffington. I write about baseball for the Baseball Essential Network. Follow me on Twitter @liamskiffington Email me liamskiffington@gmail.com.

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