Red Sox designate Kevin Plawecki for assignment, call up Franklin German from Triple-A Worcester

The Red Sox designated catcher Kevin Plawecki for assignment prior to Saturday’s 9-0 loss to the Royals. In a corresponding move, reliever Franklin German had his contract selected from Triple-A Worcester.

Plawecki, 31, spent the last three seasons in Boston after first signing with the Red Sox in January 2020. While primarily serving as a backup to Christian Vazquez, the right-handed hitter slashed .305/.364/.414 with four home runs and 32 RBIs over 89 games in his first two seasons with the club.

While that sort of production earned Plawecki additional playing time during the Sox’ postseason run last October, his numbers have taken a hit this year. Coming into play on Saturday, Plawecki was batting just .217/.287/.287 to go along with eight doubles, one home run, 12 RBIs, 15 runs scored, 14 walks, and 28 strikeouts across 60 games spanning 175 trips to the plate.

On the other side of things, Plawecki had established himself as a quality game-caller who was well-liked among the Red Sox pitching staff. That being said, he only managed to throw out four of 44 base stealers this season.

Taking those factors, as well as the fact that he is slated to become a free-agent this off-season, into consideration, the Red Sox elected to move on from Plawecki now since he is not in their future plans.

With only 17 games remaining on the schedule, the Sox want to give younger backstops such as Connor Wong and Reese McGuire as many opportunities to catch as possible. Wong, 26, is under club control through 2027 while McGuire, 27, is under club control through 2025.

“We’ve got to be thinking about the future,” manager Alex Cora said Saturday. “Reese and Connor, they’re going to be catching a lot the rest of the season.”

German can now also be considered part of Boston’s future plans after making his big-league debut and being added to the Sox’ 40-man roster on Sunday. The right-hander allowed four runs on two hits and two walks without recording an out in the sixth inning, but he is still viewed as one of the more intriguing relief prospects in the organization.

The Red Sox acquired German and Adam Ottavino from the Yankees last January. The former fourth-round draft selection began the 2021 campaign in Double-A Portland’s starting rotation but has not looked back since becoming a full-time reliever.

Upon making the jump from Portland to Worcester in late May, German posted a 2.58 ERA and 3.36 FIP with 46 strikeouts to 16 walks over 32 relief appearances (38 1/3 innings) for the WooSox. He held opposing hitters to a .153 batting average against.

German, who turns 25 later this month, becomes the sixth different Red Sox player to make their major-league debut this season, joining the likes of Brayan Bello, Triston Casas, Jeter Downs, Zack Kelly, and Josh Winckowski. He will wear the No. 71.

(Picture of Kevin Plawecki: Brian Fluharty/Getty Images)

Jeurys Familia elects free agency after being outrighted by Red Sox

Two days after designating him for assignment, the Red Sox outrighted veteran reliever Jeurys Familia off their major-league roster on Friday. Rather than accept an assignment to Triple-A Worcester, Familia elected to become a free-agent, the club announced.

Familia, who turns 33 next month, originally signed a one-year, $6 million deal with the Phillies in March after spending the bulk of his big-league career with the Mets.

The right-hander struggled to a 6.09 ERA and 4.88 FIP in 38 relief appearances (34 innings) with Philadelphia before being released in early August. Shortly thereafter, the Red Sox inked Familia to a minor-league contract and assigned him to Worcester. He made just one appearance for the WooSox before having his contract selected on Aug. 13.

Four days later, Familia made his Boston debut against the Pirates in Pittsburgh. He gave up one run on three hits in the ninth inning of an 8-3 win, signaling that the difficulties he endured with the Phillies may have carried over to the Red Sox.

Including that performance, Familia posted a 6.10 ERA and 5.14 FIP to go along with eight strikeouts to seven walks over 10 relief outings (10 1/3 innings) with Boston. His Red Sox tenure ended on a sour note, as he issued three walks (one intentional) and surrendered a game-winning three-run double to Gleyber Torres in the 10th inning of Tuesday’s 7-6 loss to the Yankees at Fenway Park.

When taking questions from the media in front of his locker afterwards, Familia revealed that he had been designated for assignment. The Red Sox made that move official on Wednesday while also adding recently-claimed infielder Yu Chang to the active roster.

Though he could have elected to try and sign with another team before season’s end, Familia told reporters (including MassLive.com’s Chris Cotillo) that he was instead going to return home to the Dominican Republic to prepare for 2023.

“I’m going to have to take some time off and rest a little bit and then get back to work so I can be ready for next year,” Familia said through interpreter Carlos Villora Benítez.

In his time with the Phillies and Red Sox this season, Familia walked nearly 11 percent of the batters he faced. That ranks in the 15th percentile among qualified major-league pitchers, per Baseball Savant.

“I’ve fallen behind the hitters too much,” said Familia. “When you fall behind the hitters, [there’s a] 90 percent chance the hitter gets on base. I haven’t been able to command my pitches.”

Familia, who broke in with the Mets in 2012 and emerged as an All-Star closer during his time in New York, took note of how difficult it can be for a reliever to go through a rough stretch when they are only being used sparingly. Prior to Tuesday’s outing, for instance, Familia last pitched on September 5.

“Even though they’re struggles I’ve been having the whole season, it’s even more difficult when you pitch and then you have six or seven days off and have to go there and battle,” Familia said. “It’s harder when you’re not pitching day in and day out. It’s not an excuse at all or anything like that. It’s just how it works.”

While Familia’s 2022 season was nothing short of ugly, the 32-year-old c0uld very well bounce back with another team in 2023. That said, he will likely have to entertain minor-league offers this winter in order to make that happen.

(Picture of Jeurys Familia: Maddie Malhotra/Boston Red Sox/Getty Images)

Red Sox roster moves: Yu Chang activated, Jeurys Familia designated for assignment, Jaylin Davis outrighted

The Red Sox made a series of roster moves before wrapping up a quick two-game series against the Yankees at Fenway Park on Wednesday night.

Infielder Yu Chang, who was claimed off waivers from the Rays on Monday, was added to the active roster. To make room on the 28-man roster for Chang, veteran reliever Jeurys Familia was officially designated for assignment.

Additionally, outfielder Jaylin Davis, who was designated for assignment on Monday, cleared waivers and has been outrighted to Triple-A Worcester, the club announced.

Chang, 27, will be playing for his fourth team this season. The Taiwan native began the year with the Guardians before being traded to the Pirates for cash considerations in late May. He was then designated for assignment by Pittsburgh and claimed by Tampa Bay in early July.

Between the three clubs, Chang has batted .236/.278/.349 with four doubles, four home runs, 14 RBIs, 16 runs scored, 11 walks, and 52 strikeouts over 58 games (164 plate appearances). The right-handed hitter slashed a more respectable .260/.305/.385 with three homers and 12 RBIs in 36 games (105 plate appearances with the Rays.

Chang originally signed with the Guardians for $500,000 as an international free agent coming out of Taitung in June 2013. The 6-foot-1, 180-pounder was once regarded as one of the top prospects in Cleveland’s farm system but he has not been able to find his footing at the big-league level.

That being said, the Red Sox still took a chance on Chang and his versatility likely played a role in that since he has experience at all four infield positions. Since he is out of minor-league options, though, Boston will need to keep Chang on its active roster if it does not intend on exposing him to waivers.

Chang, who will wear the No. 12 with the Sox, is not in Wednesday’s starting lineup, but he should be available off the bench if needed.

Familia, on the other hand, saw his Red Sox tenure come to an end on Tuesday night after a disastrous 10th inning against the Yankees. The right-hander loaded the bases with two outs before giving up a game-winning three-run double to Gleyber Torres that lifted New York to a 7-6 victory.

After signing a one-year, $6 million deal with the Phillies in March, Familia struggled to a 6.09 ERA in 38 appearances before being cut loose by Philadelphia in early August. The former All-Star closer then inked a minors pact with the Red Sox before having his contract selected on Aug. 9.

Since joining Boston’s bullpen, Familia has posted a 6.10 ERA and 5.15 FIP to go along with eight strikeouts to seven walks over 10 relief outings spanning 10 1/3 innings of work. Tuesday’s performance was the last straw for the 32-year-old hurler, who made the announcement himself that he had been designated for assignment.

Given that he will likely clear waivers in the coming days, Familia said Tuesday night that he plans on returning home to the Dominican Republic to rest up and then prepare for whatever opportunities may present themselves next year.

UPDATE: Familia cleared waivers on Friday and rejected an outright assignment in favor of free agency, the Red Sox announced.

By removing Familia and adding Chang, the Red Sox will carry 15 position players and 13 pitchers on their active roster for the time being. They also have a vacancy on their 40-man roster.

Davis, meanwhile, was designated for assignment so that the Red Sox could add Chang to their 40-man roster on Monday. The 28-year-old was initially claimed off waivers from the Giants in late April but has since been removed from Boston’s 40-man roster on two separate occasions.

Each time, Davis cleared waivers and was subsequently outrighted to Worcester, where he is batting .198/.315/.318 with five home runs and 17 RBIs in 76 games with the WooSox. In two stints with Boston, the right-handed hitter has gone 8-for-24 (.333) with one double, two RBIs, three runs scored, three walks, and 11 strikeouts over 12 games. 

(Picture of Yu Chang: Julio Aguilar/Getty Images)

Red Sox designate Jeurys Familia for assignment

The Red Sox have designated Jeurys Familia for assignment, the veteran reliever told reporters (including MassLive.com’s Chris Cotillo) following Tuesday’s 7-6 loss to the Yankees at Fenway Park.

Familia, 32, signed a minor-league deal with the Red Sox after being released by the Phillies in early August. The right-hander had his contract selected from Triple-A Worcester on Aug. 13 and made his Boston debut four days later.

Since then, Familia has posted a dismal 6.10 ERA and 1.65 WHIP to go along with eight strikeouts to seven walks over 10 relief appearances (10 1/3 innings) for the Sox. The Dominican-born hurler was tagged for three runs (two earned) on one hit and three walks in the 10th inning of Tuesday’s loss.

Given his struggles with the Red Sox and Phillies this season, Familia will likely clear waivers in the coming days. He relayed to NESN’s Jahmai Webster that he planned on returning home to continue working so he will be ready for whatever opportunities are ahead in 2023.

By designating Familia for assignment, the Red Sox have created an opening on both their 28- and 40-man roster. Infielder Yu Chang, who was claimed off waivers from the Rays on Monday, will take Familia’s spot on the active roster, according to Cotillo.

This means that the Red Sox will carry 15 position players and 13 pitchers on their big-league roster for the time being. It also means that they will carry 39 players on their 40-man roster.

(Picture of Jeurys Familia: Maddie Meyer/Getty Images)

Red Sox claim Yu Chang off waivers from Rays, designate Jaylin Davis for assignment

The Red Sox have claimed infielder Yu Chang off waivers from the Rays. In a corresponding move, outfielder Jaylin Davis was designated for assignment, the club announced earlier Monday afternoon.

Chang, 27, was designated for assignment by the Rays on Friday and has also played for the Guardians and Pirates this season. Across 58 games between the three clubs, the right-handed hitter has batted .216/.280/.324 with four doubles, four home runs, 14 RBIs, 16 runs scored, 11 walks, and 52 strikeouts over 164 total plate appearances. That includes a .260/.305/.385 slash line in which he hit three home runs in 36 games (105 plate appearances) with Tampa Bay.

Listed at 6-foot-1 and 180 pounds, Chang originally signed with Cleveland for $500,000 as a highly-touted international free-agent coming out of Taiwan in June 2013. He was once regarded by Baseball America as one of the top prospects in the Guardians farm system, but has come up short in displaying his tools on a consistent basis at the big-league level.

Defensively, Chang comes with experience at all four infield positions, so he should provide Boston with depth across the diamond. With the Rays, Chang saw the majority of his playing time (26 of 36 appearances) come at second base. That could be noteworthy when considering Trevor Story left Sunday’s 1-0 win over the Orioles in the seventh inning due to left heel pain.

Chang, who does not turn 28 until next August, is out of minor-league options, so he will have to stick with the Red Sox or will otherwise need to be exposed to waivers again if the club intends to remove him from the major-league roster. On that note, the Taitung native is technically under team control through the end of the 2025 campaign.

As for Davis, the Red Sox initially claimed the 28-year-old waivers from the Giants in late April but has since been designated for assignment on two separate occasions.

In two stints with Boston this season, Davis has gone 8-for-24 (.333) with one double, two RBIs, three runs scored, three walks, and 11 strikeouts over 12 games. With Triple-A Worcester, the right-handed hitter has slashed .198/.315/.318 with five home runs and 17 RBIs in 76 games.

The Red Sox will have the next seven days to place Davis on outright waivers or release waivers. Since he has previously been outrighted this season, Davis would have the ability to reject an outright assignment in favor of free agency in the event he clears waivers once again.

(Picture of Yu Chang: Douglas P. DeFelice/Getty Images)

Red Sox promote Zack Kelly, Kaleb Ort from Triple-A Worcester; Austin Davis, Hirokazu Sawamura designated for assignment

UPDATE: This is now official. The Red Sox have called up Kelly and Ort from Triple-A Worcester and have designated Davis and Sawamura for assignment, the club announced before Monday’s series opener against the Twins.

Kelly will wear the No. 76, becoming just the fourth player in franchise history to do so and the first since Hector Velazquez donned the number from 2017-2019.

After designating Austin Davis and Hirokazu Sawamura for assignment on Sunday, the Red Sox are expected to call up right-handers Zack Kelly and Kaleb Ort from Triple-A Worcester, according to multiple reports.

Kelly and Ort will join the Red Sox and their new-look bullpen in Minnesota ahead of Monday’s series opener against the Twins at Target Field. The former will need to be added to Boston’s 40-man roster while the latter is already on it.

When Kelly gets into a game, it will mark his major-league debut. The 27-year-old has spent the last two seasons in the Red Sox organization after originally signing a minor-league deal with the club last January. Prior to that, Kelly had gone undrafted out of Division II Newberry College (Newberry, S.C.) and signed with the Athletics for just $500 in January 2017.

After splitting time between the Athletics and Angels organizations, Kelly suffered an elbow injury in the spring of 2020 that would ultimately require surgery. He was released by Los Angeles that May in the midst of the COVID-19 shutdown.

Since then, however, Kelly has only seen his stock rise. The native Virginian posted a 2.18 ERA over 36 appearances (45 1/3 innings) between Double-A Portland and Triple-A Worcester last year and leveraged that performance into his first-ever invite to big-league spring training after re-signing with the Red Sox in November.

With the WooSox this season, Kelly has pitched to a stellar 2.72 ERA and 2.81 FIP to go along with 72 strikeouts to 25 walks over 44 relief appearances spanning 49 2/3 innings of work. The 6-foot-3, 205-pound hurler operates with a three-pitch mix that consists of a high-90s fastball, a low-80s changeup, and a high-80s cutter.

Ort, who debuted for Boston last September, has produced a 9.00 ERA and 4.06 FIP with 13 strikeouts and seven walks across 12 outings (15 innings) at the major-league level this season. The Red Sox originally acquired the 30-year-old from the Yankees in the minor-league phase of the 2020 Rule 5 Draft.

Frequently pitching behind Kelly in Worcester, Ort owns a 2.88 ERA (2.68 FIP) in 39 appearances for the WooSox this year. He has put up those numbers while converting 16 of a possible 18 save opportunities.

When Davis and Sawamura are officially designated for assignment and Kelly and Ort are officially called up, the Red Sox will have 26 players on their 26-man roster and 39 players on their 40-man roster. At this point in time, it is not yet known how they will use that open spot.

(Picture of Zack Kelly: Brace Hemmelgarn/Getty Images)

Red Sox to designate Austin Davis for assignment, per report

The Red Sox are going to designate left-hander Austin Davis for assignment before Monday’s game against the Twins in Minnesota, according to The Athletic’s Chad Jennings.

Davis, 29, has posted a 5.47 ERA and 3.95 FIP to go along with 61 strikeouts to 29 walks over 50 appearances (three starts) spanning 54 1/3 innings of work for the Red Sox this season.

Boston originally acquired Davis from the Pirates in the trade that sent Michael Chavis to Pittsburgh last July. Red Sox manager Alex Cora frequently turned to the lefty reliever during the latter half of the 2021 season and that remained to be the case this year.

To begin his first full season in Boston, Davis produced a solid 2.16 ERA and 3.46 FIP with 36 strikeouts to 16 walks across his first 31 outings (two starts) and 33 1/3 innings pitched through July 7. He was putting up those numbers while holding opposing hitters to a .202/.309/.294 slash line against.

Since July 8, however, Davis has struggled to the tune of a 10.71 ERA with 25 strikeouts to 13 walks in his last 19 appearances (one start) and 11 innings. He allowed four runs (two earned) on three hits, one walk, and one punchout over two innings of relief in Sunday’s 12-4 loss to the Rays at Fenway Park.

Davis, who turns 30 in February, is out of minor-league options. The Red Sox will have the next seven days to either outright or release the Arizona native. If he clears waivers, however, Davis could reject an outright assignment to the minor-leagues in favor of free agency since he has already accrued more than three years of big-league service time.

By designating Davis for assignment, the Red Sox have created an opening on both their 26- and 40-man rosters. It remains to be seen how they will fill those spots, though they are required to carry 13 pitchers until rosters expand on Thursday.

If the Sox elect to fill Davis’ vacancy with a reliever who is already on the 40-man roster, Darwinzon Hernandez and Kaleb Ort are potential options who are currently with Triple-A Worcester. Tyler Danish was just optioned to Worcester on Sunday so he can not be called back up for the next 15 days unless he is replacing an injured player.

If Chaim Bloom and Co. look beyond the 40-man roster for Davis’ replacement, The Boston Globe’s Alex Speier reports that there is ‘a good chance’ right-hander Zack Kelly gets called up to replace Davis in the bullpen.

Kelly, 27, has spent the last two years in the Red Sox organization after signing a minor-league deal with the club last January. In 44 appearances for the WooSox this season, the 6-foot-3, 205-pound hurler has pitched to a 2.72 ERA (2.81 FIP) with 72 strikeouts to 25 walks across 49 2/3 innings of work.

(Picture of Austin Davis: Maddie Meyer/Getty Images)

Red Sox option Jaylin Davis to Triple-A Worcester

The Red Sox optioned outfielder Jaylin Davis to Triple-A Worcester following Sunday night’s 3-0 win over the Yankees, the club announced earlier Monday afternoon.

Davis, 28, has batted .333/.407/.375 with one double, two RBIs, four runs scored, three walks, and 11 strikeouts over 12 games (27 plate appearances) this season while seeing playing time at all three outfield positions.

Boston originally claimed Davis off waivers from the San Francisco Giants in late April. It designated him for assignment on May 14, but the Appalachian State product cleared waivers and was subsequently outrighted to Worcester. He had his contract selected on July 23 and has been on the the club’s 40-man roster since then.

With the WooSox this year, the right-handed hitting Davis has slashed .236/.335/.462 to go along with nine doubles, two triples, five homers, 15 runs driven in, 28 runs scored, one stolen base, 26 walks, and 68 strikeouts across 56 games spanning 221 trips to the plate.

By optioning Davis, the Red Sox have created an opening on their 26-man roster. That vacancy will likely be filled by fellow outfielder Rob Refsnyder, who is expected to be activated from the 10-day injured list in Pittsburgh on Tuesday after missing the last two-plus weeks with a right knee sprain.

The same can be said for Enrique Hernandez, who has been sidelined with a right hip flexor strain since early June. The only difference between Refsnyder and Hernandez is that the latter was transferred to the 60-day injured list in late July, meaning he does not currently occupy a spot on Boston’s 40-man roster.

So the Red Sox will need to clear a spot on both their 26- and 40-man roster for Hernandez before opening a three-game series against the Pirates at PNC Park on Tuesday. They could accomplish this by designating someone like Yolmer Sanchez for assignment, though that remains to be seen.

(Picture of Jaylin Davis: Winslow Townson/Getty Images)

Red Sox option Darwinzon Hernandez to Triple-A Worcester ahead of Josh Winckowski’s return from COVID-19 related injured list

Following Monday night’s 3-1 win over the Guardians at Fenway Park, the Red Sox optioned left-hander Darwinzon Hernandez to Triple-A Worcester, according to MassLive.com’s Chris Cotillo.

With Josh Winckowski slated to be activated from the COVID-19 related injured list and start against Cleveland on Tuesday, the Sox needed to clear a spot on their 26-man roster for the rookie right-hander.

They have accomplished this by optioning Hernandez, but will still need to create a 40-man roster spot for Winckowski since players on the COVID IL do not count against it and Boston’s 40-man roster is currently at full capacity.

Taking that into consideration, it’s certainly possible that someone like Phillips Valdez — who was optioned to Worcester on July 15 — could be designated for assignment at some point on Tuesday to create that 40-man opening for Winckowski.

Hernandez began the 2022 season at Worcester and made seven starts before suffering a torn right meniscus that ultimately required surgery in late May. The 25-year-old southpaw returned to action for the WooSox earlier this month and did not allow a run across four relief appearances before getting called up to Boston when Winckowski was placed on the COVID IL on July 14.

In his return to the Red Sox bullpen, Hernandez had posted a 3.86 ERA in his first three outings of the year before getting shelled for five runs (four earned) on six hits, one walk, and two strikeouts over 1 1/3 innings in Friday’s 28-5 loss to the Blue Jays.

Winckowski, meanwhile, made his major-league debut on May 28 and has since produced a 4.38 ERA (4.26 FIP) to go along with 26 strikeouts to 14 walks over seven starts spanning 37 innings of work for the Red Sox. The 24-year-old pitched well in his last time out against the Rays at Tropicana Field on July 13, yielding three runs on four hits, two walks, and five strikeouts across six solid frames.

That same night, Winckowski — who is vaccinated — reported COVID-like symptoms to the team and later tested positive for the virus. He was placed on the COVID-related injured list the following day and remained in Florida while in isolation.

Now fully recovered, Winckowski will make his eighth start of the season on Tuesday night. Back on June 25, the Ohio-born righty allowed two runs and struck out four in 5 1/3 innings against the Guardians at Progressive Field in Cleveland.

The Guardians, on the other hand, have not yet named a starter for Tuesday’s contest. That being said, first pitch from Fenway Park is still scheduled for 7:10 p.m. eastern time on NESN.

(Picture of Darwinzon Hernandez: Elsa/Getty Images)

Should the Red Sox consider trading Austin Davis?

Seven games into the 2022 season, the two Red Sox relievers who are tied for the team lead in appearances with four apiece are Ryan Brasier and Austin Davis.

Both Brasier and Davis were used by manager Alex Cora out of the bullpen in Friday’s 8-4 loss to the Twins at Fenway Park. The former struck out the side in a scoreless seventh inning. The latter allowed two runners to reach base but also fanned three in a scoreless eighth inning.

In Davis’ case, the left-hander has now yielded three earned runs on five hits and two walks to go along with five strikeouts over his first three innings pitched this year.

Put another way, Davis has posted a 9.00 ERA, a 2.33 WHIP, an OPS against of .945, a strikeout rate of 29.4%, and a walk rate of 11.7% so far this season. Two of his four outings have been scoreless, though Friday’s performance was undoubtedly his best work to this point.

Of the 21 pitches Davis threw in Friday’s loss to Minnesota, 13 went for strikes. The 29-year-old southpaw induced a total of seven swings-and-misses; three on his slider and changeup and one on his four-seam fastball.

In regards to his four-seamer, Davis averaged 93.6 mph with the pitch across 26 1/3 innings between the Pirates and Red Sox in 2021. On Friday, he averaged 95.6 mph with his heater and topped out at 97 mph with it, per Baseball Savant. For his big-league career, which dates back to June 2018, Davis had only thrown a pitch 97 mph or faster on two separate occasions prior to Friday’s outing.

Since the Red Sox acquired Davis from the Pirates for infielder Michael Chavis last July, the lefty has been one of Cora’s more frequently-used relievers. From the time he debuted for Boston on July 31 of last season, Davis has now made 24 relief appearances for the Sox. The only other hurlers who have seen more action over that stretch are Adam Ottavino (24 appearances), who is no longer with the team, and Hansel Robles (30 appearances).

Despite a career ERA of 5.49 in a Red Sox uniform, it would appear as though the club likes what they have in Davis. With that being said, though, it is worth wondering if Davis’ spot in Boston’s bullpen could be on the line sometime in the near future.

As a result of a shortened spring training, major-league teams were permitted to carry 28 players on their active roster. This, for instance, allowed the Red Sox to carry 10 relievers on their Opening Day squad.

On May 2, however, teams will be required to trim their rosters back down to the traditional size of 26 active players. When that time comes, the Sox will have no other choice but to carry no more than 13 pitchers on their active roster.

The way things stand now, Davis is one of three lefties in Boston’s bullpen alongside the likes of Jake Diekman and Matt Strahm. Josh Taylor, who began the season on the injured list due to a low back strain, could be nearing a minor-league rehab assignment.

With Diekman and Strahm being new free-agent additions and Taylor already earning the trust of Cora last season, would the Red Sox still entertain the idea of carrying four left-handed relievers on their 26-man roster beginning next month?

If Davis is deemed the odd man out once rosters shrink and Taylor returns from the injured list, the Red Sox could not simply option him to Triple-A Worcester, for the Arizona native is out of minor-league options. Because of this, Boston would need to expose Davis to waivers if they wanted to retain his services as a non-40-man roster player in the minors.

Taking that into account and assuming that Taylor will be back before long, what would be stopping the Red Sox from trading Davis away for a prospect who is not on a 40-man roster at some point between now and May 2? Why risk losing Davis for nothing when you could get something back in return?

Under chief baseball officer Chaim Bloom, the Red Sox have made similar moves in the past, with the Yoan Aybar-for-Christian Koss swap probably sticking out the most. Davis, of course, is far more established than Aybar and could fetch an intriguing return since he is still under club control for three more seasons after 2022.

At the end of the day, do the Red Sox need to trade Davis? No. Even with Taylor on his way back, perhaps the club still believes Davis can play an important role out of the bullpen this season. If not, though, then perhaps it would be in Boston’s best interest to explore their options now before running into a roster crunch in a few weeks.

(Picture of Austin Davis: Billie Weiss/Boston Red Sox/Getty Images)