February 8, 2014

Boggs has deal with White Sox

Devin Golden

— Dalton’s Mitchell Boggs has a new deal that will take his professional baseball career to a different team and a different league.

Boggs, a veteran Major League Baseball pitcher, has signed a one-year, $1.1 million deal with the American League’s Chicago White Sox, according to an MLB.com report. The 2002 Dalton High School graduate spent the majority of his six-year career in the majors with the National League’s St. Louis Cardinals before being traded last July to the Colorado Rockies.

Boggs turns 30 a week from today — the same day White Sox pitchers and catchers are expected to report to spring training. This was the first free agent experience for the University of Georgia graduate, who was part of the Cardinals’ run to a World Series title in 2011 and became a top MLB reliever in 2012.

Attempts to contact Boggs on Friday were unsuccessful, but he addressed his future during an interview with The Daily Citizen last December after Colorado did not offer him a contract.

“It’s been a different offseason, but in this business that happens,” Boggs said at the time. “I’m doing everything I can right now to prepare myself this spring, no matter who the team or organization is.”

MLB.com reported that Boggs will enter spring training part of the White Sox’s 40-man major league roster. The team finished last season 63-99, the worst record in the AL Central division and the second-worst AL mark, ahead of Houston’s 51-111 finish.

Boggs spent the 2012 season as the Cardinals’ setup reliever. He led the National League in holds with 34 and also had a 4-1 record and 2.21 ERA. His 2013 campaign included an 0-3 record and 11.05 ERA in 18 appearances.

He started the year as the team’s closer when No. 1 stopper Jason Motte suffered a season-ending injury, but Boggs failed in three of his five save opportunities. He made two stints with the Cardinals’ Triple-A Memphis affiliate before the trade to the Rockies.

In Colorado, Boggs made two promising appearances to bring his ERA to 8.10, but he again was sent to the minors. He made another trip to the majors and finished the season with a 3.12 ERA in nine appearances with the Rockies.

“This year is not something I want to go through ever again,” Boggs said in the December interview, “but I’m proud of the way I handled it and it will benefit me down the road for sure.”

He was eligible for arbitration for the first time after the 2012 season, but it was avoided when he signed a one-year deal with the Cardinals. The contract was for $1.475 million, according to a report on the St. Louis Post-Dispatch’s website (stltoday.com).