The Red Sox have selected the contract of Brandon Workman from Triple-A Worcester, the team announced prior to Thursday’s series finale against the Astros.
In order to make room for Workman on both the 26-man and 40-man roster, fellow reliever Colten Brewer was optioned to Worcester following Wednesday’s game before being designated for assignment on Thursday.
Workman, 32, triggered the June 1 opt-out clause in his minor-league contract with the Red Sox on Tuesday, which in turn gave the club 48 hours to either promote or release him to pursue other opportunities.
The right-hander initially inked a minor-league pact with Boston last month shortly after getting released by the Cubs in late April. He posted a 1.29 ERA and a 2.75 xFIP to go along with four walks and 10 strikeouts over seven relief appearances spanning 7 2/3 innings pitched with the WooSox.
After mulling over their options these past two days, the Sox ultimately decided to bring back a familiar face in Workman, who spent the first six years of his major-league career and first 11 years of his professional career with Boston.
2019 was undoubtedly Workman’s best year in a Red Sox uniform, as he put up a miniscule 1.88 ERA over 73 outings in the process of emerging as Boston’s closer.
The 2020 campaign, however, was a different story. The former second-round pick out of the University of Texas was dealt from the Sox to the Phillies in late August as part of a four-player trade and never really got things going in Philadelphia (6.92 ERA in 13 innings).
It took until February for Workman to land a one-year deal with the Cubs. But, as previously mentioned, he was designated for assignment and eventually released by Chicago after just 10 April appearances.
Workman’s second go-around in free agency did not last nearly as long as the first with the Sox signing the veteran hurler to a minor-league deal on May 6.
With his promotion to the big-leagues, Workman now joins a Red Sox bullpen mix that includes the likes of Matt Barnes, Adam Ottavino, Josh Taylor, Darwinzon Hernandez, Phillips Valdez, Hirokazu Sawamura, Matt Andriese, and Garrett Whitlock. He will retain his No. 44.
Brewer, meanwhile, was designated for assignment in order to make room for Workman on Boston’s 40-man roster.
The 28-year-old was originally acquired by the Red Sox in a November 2018 trade with the Padres and has produced a 4.98 ERA and 5.20 FIP in 70 appearances (four starts) over the last three seasons.
After the right-hander was shelled for four runs in his 2021 debut at Minute Maid Park on Monday, the Sox must have felt like Workman was an upgrade over Brewer — at least for the time being.
Boston will now have seven days to either trade, release, or waive Brewer. He could be outrighted to the WooSox if he winds up clearing waivers.
(Picture of Brandon Workman: Billie Weiss/Boston Red Sox/Getty Images)