Rosters across Major League Baseball have been frozen since late March. That freeze will end at noon eastern time on Friday.
Minor transactions have still taken place over the past few months, but beginning on Friday, clubs will have the chance to pick up where they left off earlier in the year in terms of roster construction ahead of a truncated 60-game season that begins in late July.
Prior to the roster freeze, the Red Sox were quite busy making some moves themselves with chief baseball officer Chaim Bloom at the helm.
Officially speaking, major-league transactions across baseball ceased on March 27th. Right before that, Boston made a few somewhat notable moves, such as acquiring minor-league catcher Jhonny Perada from the Cubs, signing former Cardinals utilityman Yairo Munoz to a minor-league contract, and optioning relievers Jeffrey Springs and Josh Osich to Triple-A Pawtucket, Colten Brewer to Double-A Portland, and Chris Mazza to High-A Salem.
By the last week of July, Bloom and Co. will have to narrow a pool of 60 players down to 30 ahead of a modified version of Opening Day on July 23rd or 24th, so it’s likely that plenty of roster shuffling is to come beginning on Friday afternoon.
On top of that, the Sox were involved in a handful of trade rumors prior to the roster freeze as well.
More specifically, talks between the Red Sox and Padres surrounding outfielder Wil Myers seemed to be heat up after Boston dealt Mookie Betts to the Dodgers in February.
Per The San Diego Union-Tribune’s Kevin Acee, the Sox were interested in acquiring touted prospects like Cal Quantrill or Luis Campusano from the Padres in exchange for taking on a portion of the $61 million owed to the 29-year-old Myers over the next three seasons.
According to WEEI’s Rob Bradford, though, “no trades involving the Red Sox were ‘imminent’ at the time MLB put a freeze on all transactions on March 27.”
March 27th was nearly three months ago, so it’s not out of the realm of possibilities to assume that some GMs might have some moves lined up for when the roster freeze does finally end.
That being said, when I “spoke” to Bloom via e-mail last week, he stated that during this long layoff, he has “continued to speak to counterparts and contacts throughout the game, but not to discuss trades or roster moves.”
Another aspect of the business side of the game that will return on Friday are contract extensions.
Prior to the pandemic-induced shutdown, ESPN’s Jeff Passan reported in late February that “teams across baseball are trying to lock up pre-arbitration players to multi-year contracts that buy out free agent years.”
Outside of some rumors pertaining to Rafael Devers last fall, the Red Sox really weren’t linked to any other players on the roster who could be due for an extension before the shutdown.
Andrew Benintendi agreed to a two-year contract extension in early February, but that only buys out two of the 25-year-old’s three years of arbitration eligibility.
Other than Devers, Brandon Workman, who will become a free agent after the 2020 season, and Eduardo Rodriguez, who will become a free agent after the 2021 season, are certainly prime candidates.
Long story short, just about everything I mentioned above can be summarized in this one tweet from noted exceptional Twitter follow @RedSoxStats:
See you at 12 PM eastern time on Friday.