Chaim Bloom on possibility of Red Sox making more additions before Opening Day: ‘There’s still some players out there that are of interest’

Even after making a slew of roster moves this offseason, the Red Sox are likely still not done making additions between now and Opening Day on April 1.

Outside of the Marwin Gonzalez signing being made official sometime in the near future, nothing in regards to a roster move for Boston is imminent at this point, but that is not going to stop the club from exploring opportunities to improve for the short- and l0ng-term.

Red Sox chief baseball officer Chaim Bloom said as much on Sunday when asked if this is the roster that will kick off the 2021 season.

“Outside of what you alluded to (Gonzalez), there’s nothing else pending,” Bloom said via a Zoom call with reporters. “But, we’re always going to be on the lookout. There’s still some players out there that are of interest. We’re going to keep staying in touch with them, keep monitoring them. You guys saw the other day, we made a waiver claim.”

On Thursday, the Sox claimed right-handed reliever John Schreiber off waivers from the Tigers while placing ace left-hander Chris Sale to the 60-day injured list.

It was a transaction that, on the surface, is reminiscent of when Boston claimed right-hander Phillps Valdez off waivers from the Mariners last February and placed the now-retired Dustin Pedroia on the 60-day injured list in a corresponding move.

Valdez, 29, seemingly came out of nowhere and wound up making quite the impact in his debut season with the Red Sox, posting a 3.26 ERA and 4.28 FIP over 24 relief appearances and 30 1/3 innings pitched in 2020.

Expecting Schreiber, 27 in March, to do the same with his new team this coming season might be a bit unfair, but it’s safe to assume that Boston is making these sorts of moves with the idea that the players they bring in can contribute to the cause.

“This is a time of year when sometimes there can be that kind of roster shuffling in other organizations,” Bloom added. “It’s a bit early in spring to start having a lot of those conversations with other clubs, but we just want to make sure that we’re active. That we have our finger on the pulse and that we don’t walk past anything that has a chance to help us.”

While it still may be too early in the spring to engage with teams on players who may or may not be available via trade, one area the Red Sox can turn to is the free-agent market. And one free-agent the team is still interested in is old friend Jackie Bradley Jr.

Despite coming off a 2020 campaign in which he slashed .283/.364/.450 with seven home runs and 22 RBI over 55 games played, the 30-year-old client of Scott Boras remains unsigned with just weeks to go until the 2021 season begins. That might have something to do with his reported asking price as well as the limited number of suitors out there.

The Red Sox, even while adding the likes of Gonzalez, Franchy Cordero, Enrique Hernandez, and Hunter Renfroe to help bolster their outfield depth, have yet to rule out a reunion with Bradley Jr. — who spent the first eight seasons of his major-league career with Boston — to this point.

“We continue to stay in touch and make sure we’re in touch with Scott about his situation,” said Bloom in regards to Bradley Jr.’s free agency. “We’re going to do that until it resolves. Obviously, as the winter’s gone on, we haven’t let that prevent us from making other moves when we’ve seen opportunity to add good players that fit us and can bolster this roster. But, we love Jackie and we’ve stayed in touch with Scott on him throughout the entire winter.”

Red Sox manager Alex Cora echoed this same sort of sentiment on Saturday when talking about Bradley Jr.’s current situation.

“We talk a lot, but we don’t talk baseball,” Cora said. “We don’t talk about his situation. I talk about Emerson and the baby and how they’re doing. He asks about my family, and we keep it at that. Obviously, he’s a good player. He’s a guy that can help any team at the big-league level to win ballgames. There’s more than just the manager and the player. There’s a relationship and I keep our conversations with that.”

(Picture of Chaim Bloom: Billie Weiss/Boston Red Sox/Getty Images)

Red Sox claim right-hander John Schreiber off waivers from Tigers, place left-hander Chris Sale on 60-day injured list

The Red Sox have claimed right-handed reliever John Schreiber off waivers from the Detroit Tigers, the team announced Thursday.

In order to make room for Schreiber on their 40-man roster, Boston also placed left-hander Chris Sale on the 60-day injured list.

Schreiber, 27 in March, was designated for assignment by the Tigers last Friday so that the club could make room on its own 40-man roster for outfielder Nomar Mazara.

Originally a 15th-round selection of Detroit in the 15th round of the 2016 amateur draft out of the University of Northwestern Ohio, the Michigan native made his major-league debut in August 2019.

Since that time, Schreiber has posted a 6.28 — but a much more promising 4.05 xFIP — over 28 relief appearances and 28 2/3 innings pitched out of the Tigers bullpen the last two seasons.

Per Baseball Savant, the 6-foot-2, 210 lb. sidearmer operates with a low-velocity four-seam fastball, a curveball, a changeup, and a sinker.

When he wasn’t up with the Tigers last year, Schreiber was at the team’s alternate training site in Toledo. He also brings with him a solid minor-league track record, owning a lifetime 1.99 ERA and .191 batting average against in 147 outings (204 innings pitched) across four different levels from 2016-2019.

Seeing how he still has three minor-league options, it’s somewhat surprising to see the Tigers part ways with Schreiber at this point in time. The fact that he has those options and is under team control through 2025 must have made the righty appealing to the Red Sox, though.

As for Sale being placed on the 60-day injured list, that move was expected and is more of a formality than anything since the ace left-hander is still recovering from Tommy John surgery, which he underwent last March.

“I have not been off a mound yet,” Sale said Thursday, the first day of pitcher and catcher workouts in Fort Myers, when speaking to reporters via Zoom “That’s another one of those things, I’ll just wait until I’m told to do so. I don’t want to be vague with (the media), obviously, but you know how I operate and I said at the beginning of this process, I don’t want to get too far ahead. I’m not looking at a month from now, two months from now or even the season. I can’t. That wouldn’t be fair to myself, my teammates or anyone else in this process. The mound comes when it comes. Like I said, I take it a day at a time and I’m doing everything I can to get out there as soon as I can.”

With this transaction being made, Boston’s 40-man roster remains at full capacity, meaning another two moves will need to be made when the club officially signs veteran utilityman Marwin Gonzalez and activates catcher Kevin Plawecki from the COVID-19 related injured list. Stay tuned for that.

(Picture of John Schreiber: Duane Burleson/Getty Images)

Red Sox should consider claiming former Indians outfielder Greg Allen off waivers

So far this offseason, the Red Sox have done a fine job in bolstering their outfield depth.

Slugging outfielder Hunter Renfroe signed a one-year deal with the club last month, while the likes of Cesar Puello and Michael Gettys have been signed to minor-league contracts for 2021.

That being said, you can never have enough depth at any position, and it just so happens an intriguing outfielder technically became available earlier this week. That outfielder’s name? Greg Allen.

The 27-year-old was designated for assignment by the Padres on Thursday in order for the club to make room on its 40-man roster for South Korean infielder Ha-Seong Kim.

With San Diego this past season, Allen appeared in just one game after being part of the trade that sent Mike Clevinger from the Indians to the Friars in late August.

Prior to that blockbuster trade, Allen spent parts of four major-league seasons with the Tribe starting in 2017, accruing a .239/.295/.344 slash line to go along with eight home runs, 57 RBI, and 31 stolen bases over 220 total games played.

Seven of those 220 games have come at Fenway Park, where Allen owns a career-best 1.249 OPS over 27 plate appearances.

In addition to providing speed on the base paths, the California native has proven to be a capable major-league defender who can play all three outfield positions adequately.

Looking back at the 2019 campaign, Allen posted a positive-six defensive runs saved and ultimate zone rating of 5.0 while logging 570 1/3 innings — 360 2/3 in left, 132 2/3 in center, 77 in right — in the Indians outfield.

He also ranked sixth among major-league left fielders in sprint speed (29 feet per second) and 44th among major-league outfielders in outs above average (3) in 2019, per Statcast.

Having presented all this information, the Red Sox could very well look into adding Allen to their outfield mix despite the former top prospect’s light-hitting ways.

It’s a scenario that is reminiscent of Christian Arroyo’s over the summer.

Boston claimed the infielder off waivers from the Indians on August 13, promptly designated him for assignment a week later, and then outrighted him on August 23 before purchasing his contract on September 8.

It’s a unique — and somewhat risky — way to go about adding depth, but the Sox managed to do it with Arroyo, who is out of minor-league options, as is the case with Allen.

On top of that, trying to stash Allen away would address an offseason need by bolstering Boston’s outfield defense. Chief baseball officer Chaim Bloom conveyed this school of thought last month in the wake of the Renfroe signing.

“I always talk about depth and it’s so important, but I do think we still have room to add without straining our roster,” Bloom said when speaking with reporters via Zoom. “The good thing here is we have a number of outfielders who are all good enough athletes to play center field. But we still also have room to augment that with a center fielder or a corner outfielder. So we now have options and different paths we can take. But it would be nice to increase our depth as we go forward.”

Bringing on Allen seems like a potentially sound way for Bloom and Co. to increase the Red Sox’ depth going forward. But, another roster move would be required in order for that to happen.

This is the case because the club’s 40-man roster is currently at full capacity.

To make it clear, this is just a suggestion. Allen won’t clear waivers until late next week, and I’m assuming he doesn’t have enough service time to refuse an outright assignment to the minors given the fact he isn’t supposed to reach free agency until the conclusion of the 2024 season.

Red Sox Right-Hander Domingo Tapia Claimed off Waivers by Mariners

The Red Sox have lost Domingo Tapia to waivers, as the flame-throwing right-hander was claimed by the Mariners on Friday, per Major League Baseball’s transaction wire.

Tapia, 29, had spent the previous two seasons with the Sox after inking a minor-league deal with the club in November 2018.

After spending the 2019 campaign with Triple-A Pawtucket, Tapia made his major-league debut with Boston this past September and went on to allow just one earned run on four hits, two walks, and four strikeouts over five appearances and 4 1/3 innings of work.

Per Statcast, the Dominican Republic native relied on his four-seam fastball more than 41% of the time he was on the mound in 2020 and averaged a velocity of 99.2 mph with the pitch while topping out at 101 mph with it.

Now that Tapia has been taken off the Sox’ 40-man roster, Boston has 45 players on said roster with the 2020 Rule 5 Draft just weeks away.

In order to protect eligible prospects like Jay Groome, Bryan Mata, Hudson Potts, Jeisson Rosario, Connor Seabold, and Connor Wong from this year’s Rule 5 Draft, the Red Sox will need to add these players to their 40-man roster.

That, of course, means more names will have to be removed from Boston’s 40-man, and as MassLive.com’s Chris Cotillo notes, “a series of roster moves” will need to be made between now and November 20.