After the Red Sox made their acquisition of right-handed reliever Adam Ottavino from the Yankees official on Monday, the club’s Opening Day roster took another step towards its completion.
That said, the reason the Sox were able to announce the addition of Ottavino so quickly is because they had an open 40-man roster spot for him following the trade that sent infielder C.J. Chatham to the Phillies last week.
Now that the 35-year-old hurler is officially a Red Sox, though, more questions arise pertaining to other players Boston has reportedly signed to major-league contracts recently. Those players would be none other than left-hander Martin Perez, utilityman Enrique Hernandez, and right-hander Garrett Richards, of course.
Perez agreed to a one-year deal with the Sox that includes a club option for 2022 on January 16, Hernandez agreed to a two-year deal on January 22, and Richards agreed to deal with a similar structure to Perez’s on Saturday.
According to MassLive.com’s Chris Cotillo, all three of these deals are still pending physicals and likely won’t be made official until later this week.
Between now and the time said deals are made official, Red Sox chief baseball officer Chaim Bloom and Co. will have some tough decisions to make when it comes to trimming down the club’s 40-man roster in order to accommodate Perez, Hernandez, and Richards.
One way to make room for this trio would be designate three players currently on the 40-man for assignment. Right-handers Joel Payamps, Chris Mazza, and Marcus Walden, left-hander Jeffrey Springs, and outfield prospect Marcus Wilson were among the candidates Cotillo suggested could be DFA’d.
Another way to make room, or at least make room for one player, would be for the Red Sox to trade a DFA candidate to another club in exchange for a player to be named later or cash considerations, as they did with Chatham. That way, a 40-man roster spot could be cleared to go along with some compensation in return.
Finally, there is the Dustin Pedroia conundrum that needs to be addressed. Again, this only creates a resolution for one spot but it seems pretty apparent that Pedroia, who has played in just nine total games the last three seasons, will not play out the final year of his contract.
The Boston Globe’s Pete Abraham reported last week that the 37-year-old second baseman “is not planning a comeback and a resolution could come this month.”
Given the fact that Pedroia is somewhat of a franchise legend, Abraham noted that while the Sox “will want to do this correctly,” they are also running low on non-impact players on their 40-man roster.
Put another way, cutting Pedroia now as opposed to giving him a ceremonial sendoff in-season would not do the former American League MVP’s legacy justice.
So, the Red Sox have some roster-related decisions to make and they do not have much time to make them. What sort of moves will Bloom have in store? We will have to wait and see.
(Picture of Adam Ottavino: Jim McIsaac/Getty Images)