Owens, 25, didn’t pitch in the majors at all in 2017.
A former first-round pick by the Red Sox in 2011, Owens entered the 2015 season as the organization’s top prospect. He made his Major League debut on August 4 of that year, going 4-4 in 11 starts for Boston with a 4.57 ERA in 63 innings; but in 2016, was 0-2 in five starts with a 6.95 ERA, including 20 walks in 22 innings.
In 26 Minor League starts in 2017 (14 in triple-A Pawtucket, 12 in double-A Portland), Owens was 7-11 with a 4.26 ERA and 1.68 WHIP in 126 innings pitched. His walks-per-nine rate was 8.21, nearly three free passes higher than his 2016 mark of 5.3 across 137 2/3 innings coming entirely for the triple-A Paw Sox (10-7, 3.53 ERA).
Since Owens was showing no signs of improving his control, the Red Sox ultimately decided someone else would be a better fit on their 40-man roster.
A primary starting pitcher, Owens has made only one professional relief appearance, which came in 2012 for the Greenville Drive, Boston’s class-A affiliate.
Owens reunites in Arizona with general manager Mike Hazen, who held the same position for the Red Sox from September 2015 to October 2016 after being promoted from senior vice president/assistant general manager.
For Owens, this is great for him. The Red Sox weren’t giving him any more chances; but by joining Arizona, has a legitimate chance to rejuvenate his career. He just needs to improve on his control which has gotten worse every year since 2014.
A change of scenery- joining a smaller market- can help him do that. Solid pickup for the D’Backs.