Guardians agree with LHP Matthew Boyd on major league deal pending physical, AP source says

CLEVELAND (AP) — Looking to add starting pitching depth, the Cleveland Guardians have agreed to a major league contract — pending a physical — with free agent left-hander Matthew Boyd, a person familiar with the deal told The Associated Press on Thursday.

Boyd's signing is contingent on him passing the medical testing, said the person who spoke on condition of anonymity because the process could take several days to complete.

The 33-year-old Boyd had reconstructive elbow surgery last year.

MLB Network was first to report the Guardians' interest in Boyd, who is very familiar to Cleveland after spending eight seasons with AL Central rival Detroit.

The Guardians have built an eight-game lead in their division despite some question marks with their starting staff. They've gotten unexpected production from Ben Lively, who was signed in December, and some of the club's young pitchers like Tanner Bibee and Logan Allen have performed well.

Triston McKenzie and Carlos Carrasco have struggled at times, and the Guardians are still waiting for Gavin Williams to make his season debut after the hard-throwing right-hander hurt his elbow in training camp.

Boyd, if healthy, would give Cleveland first-year manager Stephen Vogt some protection.

Boyd went 5-5 with a 5.45 ERA in 15 starts last season before he was shut down to have surgery two days after his last start. He recently threw for teams in California and reports were that his fastball was lively.

He pitched a career-high 185 1/3 innings for Detroit in 2019, but Boyd has been slowed by injuries in recent years. Boyd had elbow surgery in 2021 and pitched just 13 relief innings for Seattle the following season.

Boyd is 44-67 with a 4.94 ERA in 160 starts since breaking in with Toronto in 2020.