The Philadelphia Phillies claimed right-handed reliever Trevor Kelley off waivers from the Red Sox on Monday. Both clubs made the transaction official.
Kelley, 26, made his big league debut for Boston this past season on July 2nd, and went on to post a 8.64 ERA and 6.69 FIP over 10 appearances out of the bullpen spanning 8 1/3 innings of work.
A former 36th-round pick out of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill in 2015, the Rhode Island native owns a lifetime 2.37 ERA in the minors over 171 relief outings and 247 innings pitched.
Since Kelley was on Boston’s 40-man roster, the Red Sox’ 40-man roster now stands at 36 players with the non-tender deadline just a few hours away as this is being written.
The Red Sox WILL tender a contract to outfielder Jackie Bradley Jr., according to The Boston Globe’s Alex Speier.
Bradley Jr., who turns 30 in April, is projected to earn $11 million in his final year of salary arbitration in 2020 before becoming a free agent for the first time next winter.
As Speier indicates in the tweet above, there had been a fair amount of speculation surrounding just what the Red Sox would do with Bradley Jr. as they look to cut down on their payroll.
In 147 games this past season, the University of South Carolina product slashed .225/.317/.421 with 21 home runs and 62 RBI while also providing solid defense in center field.
Is that production worth $11 million next season? Well, it’s hard to say. But for now, it appears that Boston will hold on to Bradley Jr. in the hopes that chief baseball officer Chaim Bloom and co. can potentially work out a trade and continue to slash payroll.
The non-tender deadline is at 8 PM ET Monday.
The Red Sox have made their first of what will most likely be many trades under chief baseball officer Chaim Bloom, as the club announced on Monday that catcher Sandy Leon had been dealt to the Cleveland Indians in exchange for minor-league right-hander Adenys Bautista.
Leon, who turns 31 in March, was projected to earn $2.8 million in his final season of arbitration in 2020, hence the move to trade him away on Monday, hours ahead of the deadline to tender arbitration-eligible players for the coming year.
After being outrighted off the Sox’ 40-man roster in March and brought back in April, Leon slashed .192/.251/.297 to go along with five homers and 19 RBI over 65 games for Boston in 2019.
Originally acquired from the Washington Nationals in exchange for cash considerations in March 2015, the Venezuela native’s best year in the majors came in 2016, when upon being called up on June 5th, Leon went on to post an .845 OPS over 78 games that year.
On the other side of this move, the Red Sox acquired 21-year-old right-handed pitching prospect Adenys Bautista, who signed with Cleveland out of the Dominican Republic in June 2018 and posted an ERA of 7.79 over 14 relief appearances and 17 1/3 innings of work between the Dominican Summer League and Arizona League this past season.
By trading Leon, the Sox have created an additional spot on their 40-man roster, which now stands at 37 players.
The Red Sox have reportedly outrighted left-hander Brian Johnson, according to The Athletic’s Ken Rosenthal.
Johnson, who turns 29 in December, can now be claimed by any other club, meaning the Sox now have 38 players on their 40-man roster.
As noted in the above tweet from Rosenthal, teams have until next Monday, December 2nd, to tender contracts to arbitration-eligible players who would free agents otherwise.
Johnson still has one year of team control remaining before becoming eligible for salary arbitration, but these kinds of decisions are going to be made all across baseball in the next week.
Appearing in 21 games (seven starts) for Boston in an injury-riddled 2019, the University of Florida product posted an ERA of 6.02 and FIP of 5.32 over 40 1/3 innings of work. This coming the year after Johnson proved to be a valuable member of the Sox’ pitching staff as both a starter and reliever in 2018.
With new chief baseball officer Chaim Bloom at the helm, the Red Sox are clearly in need of some help at the back end of the starting rotation, and maybe even more so depending on the statuses of Nathan Eovaldi, David Price, and Chris Sale, headed into next spring.
That said, the first move to address this potential issue came last week, when 27-year-old left-hander Kyle Hart was added to Boston’s 40-man roster ahead of the Rule 5 deadline this past Wednesday.
Johnson being outrighted does not necessarily mean his Red Sox career is over, but his time on the club’s major-league roster is, or at least for the time being.