Red Sox designate Matt Dermody for assignment

The Red Sox have designated left-hander Matt Dermody for assignment, manager Alex Cora told reporters (including’s Christopher Smith) following Thursday night’s 10-3 loss to the Guardians at Progressive Field.

The move to designate Dermody for assignment presumably clears a spot on both the 26- and 40-man roster for outfielder Adam Duvall, who is expected to be activated from the 60-day injured list on Friday after missing the last two months with a fractured left wrist.

Dermody had his contract selected from Triple-A Worcester and made the first start of his major-league career on Thursday. The 32-year-old southpaw became the ninth different pitcher to start a game for Boston this season and allowed three earned runs on four hits (two Jose Ramirez home runs), one walk, and one hit batsman to go along with one strikeout over four innings of work. He finished with 76 pitches (45 strikes) and was charged with the losing decision.

A veteran of four big-league seasons with the Blue Jays (2016-2017) and Cubs (2020, 2022), Dermody originally signed a minors pact with Boston back in January. The Iowa product posted a 4.50 ERA (4.05 FIP) with 47 strikeouts to nine walks across nine appearances (8 starts) and 44 innings for the WooSox to begin the 2023 campaign.

With Chris Sale sidelined by left shoulder inflammation, the Red Sox found themselves short a starter heading into this week’s series in Cleveland. They elected to go with Dermody, who had not pitched for Worcester since May 28, in Thursday’s finale, but that decision was met with plenty of criticism.

Well before joining the Red Sox organization, Dermody posted — and later deleted — a homophobic tweet in June 2021 that read: “PrideMonth. Homosexuals will not inherit the kingdom of God. They will go to hell. This is not my opinion, but the #Truth. Read 1 Corinthians 6:9. May we all examine our hearts, ask Jesus to forgive us and repent of all our sins. I love you all in Christ Jesus!”

According to’s Sean McAdam, the Red Sox confronted Dermody about the tweet after they learned of its existence during spring training. Chief baseball officer Chaim Bloom told McAdam that the club gave some thought to releasing Dermody at that time, but chose not to do so after discussing the matter with the lefty.

Now, the Red Sox will have the next seven days to either trade, release, or waive Dermody, who has the ability to reject an outright assignment to the minor-leagues in favor of free agency since he has previously been outrighted in his career.

(Picture of Matt Dermody: Ron Schwane/Getty Images)


Red Sox release prospect acquired in Andrew Benintendi trade

The Red Sox have released minor-league outfielder-turned-pitcher Freddy Valdez, per the club’s transactions log.

Valdez, 21, was one of five players Boston acquired as part of the three-team trade with the Royals and Mets that sent outfielder Andrew Benintendi to Kansas City in February 2021. The Red Sox initially obtained outfielder Franchy Cordero and right-hander Josh Winckowski and then received three more prospects (Valdez, and righties Grant Gambrell and Luis De La Rosa) as players to be named later that June.

At the time of the trade, Valdez was regarded by MLB Pipeline as the No. 14 prospect in the Mets’ farm system after originally signing with the club for $1.450 million as an international free agent coming out of the Dominican Republic in July 2018.

As a then-19-year-old outfielder, Valdez had impressed scouts by flashing intriguing power potential and athleticism. Red Sox chief baseball officer Chaim Bloom had high praise for the right-handed hitter after acquiring him from New York.

“Corner outfielder, power-profile,” Bloom said of Valdez when speaking with reporters (including’s Christopher Smith) back in June 2021. “ery young. For a guy who is as power-oriented as he was as an amateur — and who has a lot of the strengths and weaknesses that come with that profile — to get into pro ball and perform the way he did initially was really impressive. Got him on our radar. And we got to see him a little bit in extended (spring training).”

Despite the high praise from Bloom, Valdez struggled at the plate in each of the last two seasons and never graduated past rookie ball. He batted just .229/.356/.33 with no home runs and 16 RBIs over 31 Florida Complex League games in 2021 and then slashed .192/.286/.289 with one homer and nine RBIs across 22 games while repeating the same level last year.

On the heels of back-to-back disappointing campaigns, Valdez was converted into a pitcher earlier this season. But the 6-foot-3, 212-pounder never made it out of extended spring training before being cut loose by the Red Sox on Thursday.

Valdez joins Cordero, who was non-tendered over the winter after spending two seasons in Boston, as two pieces from the Benintendi trade who are no longer with the organization. The three players who remain are all pitchers. Winckowski, 24, has posted a 2.15 ERA in 17 appearances (29 1/3 innings) out of the Red Sox bullpen so far this year. Gambrell, 25, was recently promoted from High-A Greenville to Double-A Portland and has put up a 1.69 ERA in his first two starts (10 2/3 innings) with the Sea Dogs. De La Rosa, 20, owns a 2.88 ERA in 25 innings of work for Low-A Salem.

As noted by’s Chris Cotillo, though, neither Gambrell or De La Rosa are ranked among the top 60 prospects in the Red Sox’ farm system by

(Picture of Freddy Valdez: Bryan Green/Flickr)

First MLB Pipeline mock draft of 2023 has Red Sox taking Florida righty Hurston Waldrep

The Red Sox have not used a first-round draft pick on a college pitcher since 2017. Could that change this summer?

In his first mock draft of the year for, Jim Callis of MLB Pipeline has the Red Sox taking Florida right-hander Hurston Waldrep with the 14th overall pick in the 2023 amateur draft.

Waldrep, 21, is currently regarded by MLB Pipeline as the No. 11 draft-eligible prospect, which ranks fourth among pitchers in this year’s class. The junior righty owns a 5.07 ERA and 1.45 WHIP with 102 strikeouts to 40 walks in 12 starts (65 2/3 innings) for the Gators so far this season. Opponents are batting .227 against him.

A native of Georgia, Waldrep began his college career at Southern Mississippi after going undrafted out of Thomasville High School in 2020. He compiled a 3.22 ERA in two seasons with the Golden Eagles before transferring to Florida last July.

Standing at 6-foot-2 and 210 pounds, Waldrep operates with “a legitimate three-pitch power mix, with all three offerings having the potential to be at least above-average,” per his MLB Pipeline scouting report. He sits between 95-99 mph with his four-seam fastball, which is complemented by a whiff-inducing split-changeup and an upper-80s slider.

Mechanically, there are some concerns when it comes to Waldrep’s delivery. MLB Pipeline notes that “while Waldrep is generally around the strike zone, there is a little effort in his up-tempo delivery, causing some inconsistencies with his command and control, which led to an uptick in his walk rate this spring.”

To that end, Waldrep had an uneven start for the Gators on Saturday. Going up against Texas A&M on the road, he allowed four earned runs on two hits and five walks to go along with a season-high six walks over three innings of work in a 15-2 loss to the Aggies.

Because of those aforementioned command issues, Waldrep could project as a reliever as opposed to a starter in the long-run. Even so, Waldrep will almost certainly come off the board early on account of his potential and arsenal. Whichever team drafts him will probably do so with the idea that they can help him throw strikes more consistently.

The last time the Red Sox took a college pitcher in the first round of a draft was 2017, when righty Tanner Houck was selected out of Missouri at No. 24 overall. Since Chaim Bloom took over as Boston’s chief baseball officer in late 2019, the club has exclusively drafted high school infielders (Nick Yorke, Marcelo Mayer, and Mikey Romero) with their top pick.

The Red Sox landed the 14th overall pick in this year’s draft in the first-ever MLB Draft Lottery back in December. It did not come as much of a surprise since Boston finished with the 14th-worst record in baseball last season.

The 14th overall pick in the 2023 draft, which takes place from July 9-11, comes with a slot value of $4,663,100 (up from $4,243,800 last year). The Red Sox as a team have a bonus pool of $10,295,100.

(Picture of Hurston Waldrep: James Gilbert/Getty Images)

Red Sox reliever Joely Rodríguez likely to start season on injured list

Red Sox reliever Joely Rodriguez will likely start the season on the injured list, manager Alex Cora said Sunday.

Rodriguez suffered a right side injury in the eighth inning of Saturday’s 9-6 win over the Orioles at JetBlue Park. After throwing his 13th pitch, the left-hander grabbed at his side and left the game with a trainer. He was “groaning in pain as he went to the clubhouse,” according to Pete Abraham of The Boston Globe.

When speaking with reporters (including’s Ian Browne) ahead of Sunday’s Grapefruit League contest against the Phillies in Clearwater, Red Sox manager Alex Cora indicated that Rodriguez was dealing with some sort of oblique injury after initially being diagnosed with right torso pain.

“Sore this morning,” Cora said of Rodriguez. “We feel it’s the oblique area, but he’s going to get imaging tomorrow so we’ll know more. It looks like it’s going to be an IL kind of thing. How long? We’ll know more tomorrow.”

Rodriguez, 31, signed a one-year deal with the Red Sox in November that guarantees $2 million and comes with a $4.25 million club option for 2024. The Dominican-born southpaw was expected to be one of Boston’s top left-handed relief options alongside Richard Bleier.

Now that Rodriguez is slated to miss time, the Red Sox will have to look elsewhere if they intend on adding a second lefty to the bullpen mix. On Sunday, Cora identified 32-year-old Ryan Sherriff and 23-year-old Oddanier Mosqueda, who were both at camp as non-roster invitees, as potential internal candidates.

Sherriff, who has allowed one unearned run in 4 2/3 innings of work this spring, has made 44 career relief appearances at the big-league level between the Cardinals (2017-2018) and Rays (2020-2022). Mosqueda, who has allowed one earned run in 5 1/3 innings, has yet to make his major-league debut, though he is coming off a strong 2022 season with Double-A Portland.

“He throws strikes and has deception,” Cora said of Mosqueda. “Analytics-wise, his stuff is really good. He can go multiple innings, too.”

Additionally, Cora ruled out the possibility of using pitching prospects like Brandon Walter and Chris Murphy out of the bullpen, per The Boston Globe’s Alex Speier. The two talented lefties are instead expected to begin the year in Triple-A Worcester’s starting rotation.

If the Red Sox were to look externally for left-handed relief options, then one would have to assume that chief baseball officer Chaim Bloom and Co. are closely monitoring the trade market and waiver wire as Opening Day approaches.

As noted by Browne, though, the club will have a better idea of where things stand with Rodriguez and his injury timeline in the coming days. That, too, will be worth monitoring.

(Picture of Joely Rodriguez: Maddie Malhotra/Boston Red Sox/Getty Images)

Red Sox’ Rafael Devers will not play first base for Dominican Republic in World Baseball Classic

The Red Sox do not want third baseman Rafael Devers playing out of position at the World Baseball Classic.

As was first reported by Enrique Rojas of ESPN, the Dominican Republic recently reached out to the Red Sox about using Devers at first base in the upcoming tournament.

With Vladimir Guerrero Jr. dropping out of the WBC due to a right knee injury and Juan Soto dealing with left calf tightness, the Dominican Republic had a plan to slide Devers over to first and slot Soto in at designated hitter in an effort to keep him off his feet.

Before that plan was put into place, though, the Red Sox dumped cold water on it. According to Rojas, manager Alex Cora reached out to his Dominican counterpart, Rodney Linares, on Wednesday to explain why Boston rejected the national team’s proposal. Chief baseball officer Chaim Bloom was also involved in the conversation.

“We made a big investment with Raffy and for us in the organization, it doesn’t make sense for him to play first base,” Cora said (in Spanish). “Raffy called me to talk about it and he understands our position.”

The Red Sox, of course, signed Devers to a 10-year, $313.5 million contract extension back in January that runs through the 2033 season. In terms of number of years and total value, it is the largest contract the club has ever given out in its storied history.

Since first signing with Boston as an international free agent coming out the Dominican in August 2013, Devers has never played first base at any level professionally. The Red Sox do not want the 26-year-old learning a new position on the fly while he is away from the team.

“It’s something that doesn’t make sense to us,” Cora told reporters (including The Boston Globe’s Pete Abraham) on Thursday. “I know [some Dominican players] got hurt, but there’s a reason the people who got hurt aren’t playing, right? We have to protect our guy and they understand that.”

Because Manny Machado is penciled in as the Dominican Republic’s starting third baseman, Devers could find himself starting games on the bench if Soto is the primary designated hitter.

“When you have good players, you have to make tough decisions. Raffy’s on board,” said Cora. “He’s just happy to be part of the team and ready to contribute whenever they put his name in the lineup. But it’s not going to be at first base.”

Devers, who is playing in his first WBC, came off the bench as a defensive replacement in Thursday’s exhibition game against the Twins in Fort Myers. The left-handed hitter went 0-for-1 with a groundout in the eighth inning of a 2-1 loss.

The Dominican Republic will open pool play against Venezuela at loanDepot Park in Miami on Saturday night. They will also take on Nicaragua, Israel, and Puerto Rico and will need to finish first or second in their group in order to advance to the quarterfinal.

(Picture of Rafael Devers: Julio Aguilar/Getty Images)

Former Red Sox first baseman Mitch Moreland announces retirement, joins team as guest instructor at spring training

Former Red Sox first baseman Mitch Moreland has officially announced his retirement from baseball, he told WEEI’s Rob Bradford on Tuesday.

“I’m retired,” Moreland said. “There you go. I’m done. I’m done playing. I’ve enjoyed the family life too much in the last year and a half. Being there for my kids. It got to the point where they were away from me during the season and in school. I wanted to be there for them, and be around the family more.”

Moreland, 37, spent parts of four seasons (2017-2020) with the Red Sox after originally signing with the club as a free agent in November 2016. Coming off a Gold Glove Award-winning campaign with Texas, Moreland quickly endeared himself to fans in Boston and earned the nickname “Mitchy Two Bags” thanks to his propensity for hitting doubles.

After a solid debut season with the Red Sox, Moreland was named an All-Star for the first time in his career in 2018. He then helped Boston win the World Series that October, most notably hitting a pinch-hit, three-run home run in the seventh inning of Game 4 against the Dodgers at Dodger Stadium. The Red Sox went on win that game by a final score of 9-6 and ultimately won the series in five games.

All told, Moreland batted .251/.332/.471 with 78 doubles, 64 home runs, 226 RBIs, and 321 runs scored in 386 games (1,449 plate appearances) with the Red Sox. The left-handed hitter was dealt to the Padres at the 2020 trade deadline for prospects Hudson Potts and Jeisson Rosario. He then spent the 2021 season with the Athletics, though he was limited to just 81 games in Oakland due to three separate stints on the injured list.

Moreland did not play at all in 2022 and had yet to sign with a team for the 2023 season, which made his retirement more of a formality than anything. That being said, the Mississippi State product hangs up his cleats after 12 big-league seasons in which he slashed .251/.318/.446 with 186 homers and 618 RBIs in 1,260 career games (4,536 plate appearances) between the Rangers, Red Sox, Padres, and Athletics.

Though his playing days may now be behind him, Moreland has been at Red Sox camp in Fort Myers this week serving as a guest instructor, joining other former players like David Ortiz, Dustin Pedroia, and Mike Lowell in doing so. The opportunity was presented to him by chief baseball officer Chaim Bloom and manager Alex Cora.

“I had a couple conversations with AC, Chaim in the offseason. It’s kind of been in the works,” said Moreland. “They asked me if I would be interested in coming into camp for a few days, being around the guys, and just kind of take it in and see this side of it a little bit too. I thought it was a great opportunity. I obviously loved my time here, loved the group. It was great to see everybody. I jumped on the opportunity, and happy to be here.

“I knew I was going to like it,” he added. “I was excited about the opportunity to come down and just to be around the guys, see some of the familiar faces that I hadn’t seen in a while. Just catch up, really. So I’ve talked to a few of the guys, met some new people, and just trying to enjoy my time while I’m here.”

Moreland becomes the latest member of the 2018 Red Sox to retire, joining the likes of Pedroia, Rick Porcello, Brock Holt, Steve Pearce, Eduardo Nunez, Ian Kinsler, and David Price. Only three players from that historically dominant team (Chris Sale, Ryan Brasier, and Rafael Devers) are still with Boston. Moreland will have the chance to reconnect with each of them and make new connections while he is at camp.

“I’m here strictly to hang out with the guys, and if I can help someone along the way, and if anybody has any questions for me, I’d obviously be an open book for them,” he said. “Just catch up with old teammates and staff, and help any way I can.”

(Picture of Mitch Moreland: Billie Weiss/Boston Red Sox/Getty Images)

Matt Barnes takes apparent shot at Chaim Bloom when reflecting on time with Red Sox: ‘That organization represents so much more than who’s currently running it’

Former Red Sox reliever Matt Barnes had the opportunity to watch his old team take on his new team in Grapefruit League action on Tuesday night. The Marlins right-hander decided against it.

Barnes pitched in Miami’s 4-3 win over the Astros on Monday. As such, the righty was not required to in attendance for Tuesday’s tilt against Boston. He instead left Roger Dean Chevrolet Stadium for his apartment after lunch, well before the Red Sox defeated the Marlins, 7-2, to remain unbeaten this spring.

It has now been a little over a month since the Red Sox designated Barnes for assignment and subsequently traded him to the Marlins for left-handed reliever Richard Bleier. At that time, the 32-year-old described the decision as “a complete blindside.”

Though four-plus weeks have passed since he was moved, Barnes told Pete Abraham of The Boston Globe that while he holds no grudge against the organization he spent the first 12 years of his professional career with, he does take issue with who is running the club at present.

“I’m not mad and I don’t have any animosity toward the Red Sox organization because that organization represents so much more than who’s currently running it,” Barnes said. “The people at the top were so great to me.”

According to Abraham, Barnes “mentioned being grateful” to Red Sox ownership, general manager Brian O’Halloran, and assistant general managers Eddie Romero and Raquel Ferreira. He did not make any mention of chief baseball officer Chaim Bloom, however.

Bloom, of course, made the decision to give Barnes a two-year, $18.75 million contract extension in July 2021. At that point in time, Barnes was among the top relievers in the American League and had just been named to his first All-Star Game.

After posting a 2.61 ERA during the first half of the 2021 campaign, though, Barnes struggled to a 6.48 ERA in 22 appearances (16 2/3 innings) down the stretch. He only made Boston’s ALDS roster as an injury replacement that October and was left off the ALCS roster entirely.

Last year, Barnes got off a rough start in which he produced a 7.94 ERA in 20 games before hitting the injured list with right shoulder inflammation in early June. He returned to action two months later and ended his season on a strong note by forging a 1.59 ERA in his final 24 outings. The Red Sox, however, were convinced that those numbers did not reflect Barnes’ true performance.

“They told me I was lucky,” said Barnes. “Unfortunately, a lot of people in this game make decisions based on a spreadsheet.”

This appears to be another indirect shot at Bloom, who explained in January that while he holds Barnes in high regard, the decision to move on from him had more to do with giving other relievers in the organization — especially those who still have minor-league options — an extended look in 2023.

“This was not an easy move. But one that we felt was the right one,” Bloom told reporters (including’s Chris Cotillo) on Jan. 24. “It wasn’t anything bad about Matt, who I’m sure is going to continue to have success in his career. It was a reflection of where we thought we were and how we saw the pen coming together and what those other guys have a chance to do for us.”

Cotillo also reported on Tuesday that he was always told Bloom was one of Barnes’ “biggest fans (if not the biggest) in the organization. There was not a lot of surprise when it was Barnes who got the rare in-season extension.”

In trading Barnes to the Marlins, the Red Sox agreed to send Miami $5.5 million in cash considerations as part of the deal. Barnes, who turns 33 in June, can become a free agent for the first time next winter if his $8 million club option for 2024 is not picked up at the end of the year. He told Abraham that he is looking forward to a fresh start with a new team.

“It’s been great here so far. The guys are awesome; the staff is awesome,” Barnes said. “We have some really good talent on this team. I’ve seen that in a few weeks. As weird as it’s been, the adjustment has been pretty good. But it’s hard when you go from knowing everybody to knowing nobody.”

Following Tuesday’s exhibition contest in Jupiter, the Red Sox will not see the Marlins again until they host them in a three-game series from June 27-29. Barnes said he will save being “buddy-buddy” with his former teammates and coaches until he steps into Fenway Park as a visitor for the first time in his big-league career.

“I know I was fortunate to play as long as I did in Boston,” he added. “But I’ve got some good years left in me. We have a lot of talent in this clubhouse and we’re here to win.”

(Picture of Matt Barnes: Maddie Malhotra/Boston Red Sox/Getty Images)

Former Red Sox pitching prospect Noah Song cleared to resume career with Phillies

Former Red Sox pitching prospect Noah Song is about to make his return to professional baseball with a new organization.

Song, who was taken by the Phillies in December’s Rule 5 Draft, has been transferred from active Naval duty to selective reserves and will report to Philadelphia’s spring training camp in Clearwater, Fla. on Thursday, according to Scott Lauber of the Philadelphia Inquirer.

Song’s situation is quite complex. The 25-year-old right-hander was originally selected by Boston in the fourth round of the 2019 amateur draft out of the United States Naval Academy. He was considered to be a first-round talent after being named a Golden Spikes finalist as a senior, but his military commitment created some question marks.

Still, the Red Sox took somewhat of a chance on Song by signing him for $100,000. The California native made his pro debut with short-season Lowell and forged a miniscule 1.06 ERA in seven starts (17 innings) with the Spinners. He then made five scoreless relief appearances for Team USA in the Premier12 tournament that fall.

That was the last time Song pitched competitively. He reported to flight school in 2020 and completed his flight training last May. Song then applied to the Secretary of the Navy for a waiver that would allow him to continue his baseball career, but it was not granted by the time the Red Sox lost him to the Phillies on the final day of the Winter Meetings in mid-December.

If the Phillies intend on keeping Song, he will have to stick on their active 26-man roster (or injured list if he is hurt) for the entirety of the 2023 season. If those conditions cannot be met, Philadelphia could trade Song away, but those conditions would apply to his new team. Regardless, Song must remain in the majors for the entire season or would otherwise be offered back to the Red Sox for $50,000. At that point, Boston would not have to commit an active or 40-man roster spot to Song.

Song, who turns 26 in May, was once considered to be one of the top pitching prospects in Boston’s farm system. With that being said, it could be tough for the righty to stick on Philadelphia’s (or another club’s, if he is traded or waived) for the whole season considering that it has been nearly four years since he last pitched in a real game.

If Song is able to make an impact at the big-league level (whether it be in Philadelphia or elsewhere), then that would mean Red Sox chief baseball officer Chaim Bloom let a talented young pitcher go for a mere $100,000 (the fee a team pays to claim a Rule 5 pick). If Song is not yet ready for the majors, then the Red Sox would be able to retain his services with his military commitment already behind him.

The fact that former Red Sox president of baseball operations Dave Dombrowski, who drafted Song in 2019, was the one who plucked the hurler from the organization makes this all the more interesting. As noted by Pete Abraham of The Boston Globe, Dombrowski and Phillies general manager Sam Fuld both had smiles on their faces at the time the selection was made.

“We made sure to double-check that he was available to be drafted, which he was,” Dombrowski said of Song back in December. “I knew him at the time (of the 2019 draft). We loved him. We thought he was a No. 1 Draft choice; we thought he might be the best starting pitcher in the country. We took a gamble at that point because we thought maybe he wouldn’t have to serve, but he ended up having to do that.

“Being available like this, we really had nothing to lose,” he added. “We like his talent a lot. We get to put him on the military list right off the bat, so he’s not on our 40-man roster. We figured we’d take a chance and just see what ends up happening.”

As Dombrowski alluded to then, the Phillies immediately placed Song on the military service list so that he would not count against their 40-man roster. According to Baseball America, the Red Sox could have added Song to their 40-man roster then placed him on the military service list, which would have made him ineligible for the Rule 5 Draft. By doing that, though, they would have been required to immediately add Song to the 40-man roster once he was eligible to pitch again.

Bloom, for his part, explained why the Red Sox elected to not protect Song when speaking with reporters (including’s Chris Cotillo) at the conclusion of the Rule 5 Draft.

“Anytime you leave somebody unprotected, there’s always a chance they get picked,” Bloom said. “He’s a high-profile guy for a reason. Obviously, such a unique situation. You don’t ever want to lose anybody. Given his situation, we felt that when he returns from his commitment, being on the 40-man roster would not be an ideal situation to have. That’s a risk we were willing to take.”

(Picture of Noah Song: Gene Wang/Getty Images)

Rumored Red Sox target Roberto Pérez signs minor-league deal with Giants

Free agent catcher Roberto Perez has signed a minor-league contract with the Giants, the club announced Saturday. Perez will be at major-league spring training and will have the chance to earn $2.5 million with another $1.5 million available in incentives if he makes San Francisco’s active roster.

As was first reported by’s Chris Cotillo, the Giants agreed to a deal with Perez last Sunday. The Red Sox made an aggressive bid for Perez, per Cotillo, and were even in consideration at the end, but the veteran backstop ultimately thought San Francisco represented a better fit.

Perez, a veteran of nine major-league seasons, was limited to just 21 games with the Pirates last year due to a right hamstring injury that ultimately required season-ending surgery in May. The right-handed hitter batted  .233/.333/.367 with two home runs and eight RBIs across 69 plate appearances before his one-year contract with Pittsburgh expired in November.

While offense has never been Perez’s strong suit, he is still regarded as one of the top defensive catchers in baseball. During an eight-year (2014-2021) run in Cleveland, the native Puerto Rican was named the Wilson Overall Defensive Player of the Year in 2019 and won back-to-back Gold Glove Awards in 2019 and 2020.

To counter a lackluster career OPS of .658, Perez Perez has thrown out 97 of 248 potential base stealers in his big-league career. The 5-foot-11, 220-pounder has accrued 79 Defensive Runs Saved in 4,052 1/3 innings behind the plate. He has also been among the game’s top pitch framers since Statcast first began tracking that data in 2015.

The Giants, at present, have just one catcher on their 40-man roster in Joey Bart. They also acquired versatile catching prospect Blake Sabol from the Reds in December’s Rule 5 Draft and have Austin Wynns slated to compete for a roster spot in spring training.

The Red Sox, meanwhile, have two catchers — Reese McGuire and Connor Wong — on their 40-man roster. They also have Caleb Hamilton and Ronaldo Hernandez, who were both outrighted earlier this winter, and minor-league signee Jorge Alfaro set to join them at big-league camp in Fort Myers later this month.

In all likelihood, Perez likely viewed his chances of making San Francisco’s Opening Day roster out of spring training more favorably, which is why he elected to sign a minors pact with the Giants over the Red Sox. Chief baseball officer Chaim Bloom addressed this very topic and the potential catching competition as a whole when speaking with Cotillo on The Fenway Rundown podcast last week.

“[Perez] saw a better opportunity out there and that’s OK,” Bloom said. “We’ve been talking about this all along. The two guys that finished the season for us in the big-leagues (McGuire and Wong), we really like. At the same time, we recognize that neither of them have carried this load at the major-league level before. They both have things to prove and experience they don’t have under their belts, so it made sense to add someone who’s decisively a frontline catcher or someone who can create competition in that mix.

“Alfaro’s really intriguing,” added Bloom. “Always has been in terms of what he brings to the table. Just having some of the loudest tools and the best physical ability. Somebody we feel we can help. [Jason Varitek] got pretty excited about the possibility of working with someone who has that kind of ability and creating some competition there.

“So, we’ll see how it goes,” he said. “Again, these other two guys have had a bit of a head start in working with our pitchers, working with our staff, and really understanding what we expect on a daily basis. And that means something. But, we wouldn’t have brought Alfaro in without wanting to see what he could do and seeing where this goes.”

(Picture of Roberto Perez: Justin Berl/Getty Images)

Red Sox agree to minor-league deal with right-hander Jake Faria

The Red Sox have agreed to terms on a minor-league contract with free agent right-hander Jake Faria, according to’s Chris Cotillo. The deal comes with an invite to major-league spring training and a salary of $735,000 if Faria makes Boston’s active roster.

Faria, 29, spent part of the 2022 season in the Twins organization. The righty posted a 7.48 ERA and 6.55 FIP with 39 strikeouts to 27 walks in 12 appearances (nine starts) spanning 43 1/3 innings of work for Triple-A St. Paul before getting released by the Saints in late June.

A native of California, Faria was originally selected by the Rays in the 10th round of the 2011 amateur draft out of Richard Gahr High School. At that time, Red Sox chief baseball officer Chaim Bloom worked in Tampa Bay’s front office, so there is a connection there.

Faria was considered to be one of the top pitching prospects in the Rays’ farm system prior to making his big-league debut at the age of 23 in June 2017. He produced a 3.43 ERA in 16 outings (14 starts) as a rookie, but has not been able to replicate that same kind of success since then.

After pitching to a 6.75 ERA in 2018, Faria appeared to bounce back by putting up solid numbers (2.75 ERA) out of the Rays bullpen to begin the 2019 campaign. He was then traded to the Brewers that July in exchange for veteran slugger Jesus Aguilar.

Faria’s stint in Milwaukee proved to be a short one. He got shelled for 11 earned runs in 8 2/3 innings of relief (11.42 ERA) to close out the 2019 season and — after being outrighted off their 40-man roster — was released by the Brewers the following September.

Two months later, Faria signed a minors pact with the Angels. He started out the 2021 season with Los Angeles’ Triple-A affiliate in Salt Lake City but was cut loose by the club that June, only to be scooped up the Diamondbacks shortly thereafter.

Faria made his return to the big-league mound on June 19 and put up a 5.51 ERA (4.58 FIP) with 32 strikeouts to 13 walks in 23 appearances (three starts, 32 2/3 innings) for Arizona. He was designated for assignment exactly five months after making his Diamondbacks debut and elected to become a free agent after clearing waivers.

So, all told, Faria owns a lifetime 4.70 ERA (4.74 FIP) to go along with 185 strikeouts to 89 walks in 72 career major-league outings (29 starts, 203 innings) between the Rays, Brewers, and Diamondbacks. At the Triple-A level, he owns a career 4.49 ERA with 343 punchouts to 140 walks over 303 cumulative frames.

Listed at 6-foot-4 and 230 pounds, Faria operates with a four-pitch mix that consists of a four-seam fastball, a splitter, a curveball, and a slider, per Baseball Savant. It remains to be seen if the Red Sox envision Faria as a starter or reliever moving forward, but he will nonetheless have a chance to compete for a spot on the club’s Opening Day roster beginning later this month.

At the very least, Faria — who turns 30 in July — should provide Boston with some multi-inning, swingman-like depth at Triple-A Worcester this season. He becomes the 22nd player the Red Sox have extended a spring training invite to, joining fellow free agent additions like Matt Dermody, Norwith Gudino, and Ryan Sherriff.

(Picture of Jake Faria: Photo by Ralph Freso/Getty Images)