Following up on this story from earlier Monday, the Red Sox have granted left-hander Brian Johnson his unconditional release, according to MassLive.com’s Chris Cotillo and Christopher Smith.
As previously mentioned, Johnson had departed from the Red Sox’ alternate training site in Pawtucket to return to his home in Florida.
Although it appeared as though he could have been opting out of the 2020 season at the time that news was originally reported, it now looks like Johnson is unhappy with his role within the Red Sox organization more than anything.
That being the case because, despite having one of the more unstable starting rotations in the American League, the Sox have yet to give Johnson another shot at the major-league level this season.
The 29-year-old southpaw was outrighted off the 40-man roster and demoted to Triple-A Pawtucket last November following a shaky 2019 campaign, but after putting together a decent spring training and Summer Camp as a non-roster invitee, it seemed like Johnson had a legitimate shot to make Boston’s Opening Day roster last month.
Instead, the Florida native was assigned to the alternate training site at McCoy Stadium, was limited to simulated games and live BPs, and must have had enough of that once he realized he was listed relatively low on the Sox’ internal starting pitching depth chart.
Now, with his release being made official, Johnson will be free to pursue a new opportunity with another club if he so chooses.
Originally drafted by Boston in the first round of the 2012 amateur draft out of the University of Florida, Johnson had spent the previous eight-plus years in the Red Sox organization. He will be missed.