Red Sox agree to one-year, $7 million deal with outfielder Adam Duvall

The Red Sox and free agent outfielder Adam Duvall have agreed to terms on a one-year contract for the 2023 season, as was first reported by Craig Mish of the Miami Herald.

According to Mish, Duvall will receive a base salary of $7 million in 2023 and will have the chance to earn an additional $3 million in performance bonuses. Those bonuses are based on number of plate appearances and could take the total value of the deal up to $10 million, per MassLive.com’s Chris Cotillo.

Duvall, 34, batted .213/.276/.401 with 16 doubles, one triple, 12 home runs, 36 RBIs, 39 runs scored, 21 walks, and 101 strikeouts in 86 games (315 plate appearances) with the Braves last year. The right-handed hitter was shut down in July due to a torn tendon sheath in his left wrist that ultimately required season-ending surgery.

A native of Kentucky, Duvall was originally selected by the Giants in the 11th round of the 2010 amateur draft out of the University of Louisville. He broke in with San Francisco in 2014 and was then traded to the Reds in a package for veteran starter Mike Leake the following July.

With Cincinnati, Duvall was able to establish himself as a power threat from the right side of the plate. He hit 33 home runs and collected 103 RBIs in the process of being named to his first All-Star team in 2016 and then followed that up by putting together a 31-homer, 99-RBI campaign in 2017.

After a tough start to the 2018 season, the Reds traded Duvall to the Braves that July. He spent the next 2 1/2 years with Atlanta before becoming a free agent for the first time and signing a one-year deal with the Marlins in February 2021. Duvall bounced back in Miami and was then dealt back to Atlanta ahead of the trade deadline that year.

In 146 combined games between the Marlins and Braves in 2021, Duvall slashed .228/.281/.491 with 17 doubles, two triples, a career-high 38 home runs, a National League-best 113 RBIs, 67 runs scored, five stolen bases, 35 walks, and 174 strikeouts across 555 total trips to the plate. He also helped Atlanta win a World Series title that fall and took home his first Gold Glove Award for his defensive work in right field.

All told, Duvall is a lifetime .230/.289/.465 hitter with 163 career homers under his belt in 830 games with the Giants, Reds, Braves, and Marlins. In postseason play, Duvall owns a career line of .200/.247/.400 with five homers and 18 runs driven in across 27 total games. He has the kind of swing that could play well at Fenway Park, where he has gone 6-for-18 (.333) in his career with four home runs in four games. Three of those long balls came in the same contest during the COVID-shortened 2020 season.

With Xander Bogaerts opting to sign with the Padres in free agency and Trevor Story slated to miss the start of the 2022 season after undergoing right elbow surgery earlier this month, the Red Sox needed to inject some power back into a lineup that hit the seventh-fewest home runs (155) in the American League last year.

While the absences of both Bogaerts and Story made it seem as though the Red Sox would pursue middle infield help before the start of spring training, chief baseball officer Chaim Bloom and Co. have instead elected to solidify their outfield mix. With Duvall expected to regularly man center field alongside fellow free agent signee Masataka Yoshida in left and Alex Verdugo in right, Enrique Hernandez seems primed to move back to the infield after serving as Boston’s everyday center fielder for the better part of the last two seasons.

For his part, Duvall has prior experience at all three outfield positions. Last year, the 6-foot-1, 215-pounder logged 237 1/3 innings in left, 382 innings in center, and 90 innings in right. As far as the metrics are concerned, Duvall ranked in the 88th percentile of all big-league outfielders in outs above average (+5). He also ranked in the 79th percentile in arm strength (averaged 89.1 mph on his throws), the 74th percentile in outfield jump, and the 67th percentile in sprint speed, per Baseball Savant.

The Red Sox, per Cotillo, are fully confident in Duvall’s ability to play center field. Depending on what Boston does between now and Opening Day, Hernandez and Verdugo represent possible fallback options down the line. The same can be said for Jarren Duran and Rob Refsnyder as well.

Duvall, who turns 35 in September, becomes the seventh major-league free agent addition the Red Sox have made this winter, joining the likes of starter Corey Kluber, relievers Kenley Jansen, Chris Martin, and Joely Rodriguez, infielder/designated hitter Justin Turner, and Yoshida. Of these seven, only Yoshida received more than two guaranteed years on his deal.

As currently constructed, the Red Sox’ 40-man roster is at full capacity. So they will have to clear a spot for Duvall once he passes his physical and his signing can be made official.

(Picture of Adam Duvall: Todd Kirkland/Getty Images)

Red Sox make Rafael Devers’ contract extension official; here are the details

The Red Sox have officially signed third baseman Rafael Devers to a 10-year contract extension that goes into effect in 2024 and runs through the 2033 season, the club announced earlier Wednesday morning.

Devers agreed to a 10-year, $313.5 million extension (not an 11-year $331 million extension), with the Red Sox last week after already agreeing to terms on a $17.5 million salary for 2023 in order to avoid arbitration. The 26-year-old put pen to paper and was celebrated at a press conference Fenway Park on Wednesday.

According to The Boston Globe’s Alex Speier, Devers will receive a $20 million signing bonus and will then earn $27.5 million per year from 2024-2026. He will then earn $31 million per year from 2027-20230 and $29 million from 2031-2033.

As was previously reported, the deal does not contain a no-trade clause or any opt-outs. Devers will, however, obtain full no-trade rights when he reaches 10 years of major-league service time, which should happen at some point in 2027. MassLive.com’s Chris Cotillo adds that there are no performance bonuses or incentives within the contract.

Per the Associated Press, the Red Sox will pay Devers $75 million in deferred salaries after his contract expires. More specifically, Devers will receive $7.5 million in deferred money per year over a 10-year period beginning in 20234 and ending in 2043.

For competitive balance tax purposes, the average annual value of Devers’ contract comes out to just more than $29 million per season from 2024-2033. In 2023, Devers’ CBT hit is $17.5 million, which puts the Red Sox’ projected payroll for this coming season at close to $217 million. That means that Boston still has approximately $16 million in payroll flexibility to work with before reaching the first luxury tax threshold of $233 million and incurring penalties as a result.

Devers’ $313.5 million deal represents the largest and longest contract the Red Sox have given out in their history, surpassing the seven-year, $217 million pact David Price signed in December 2015 and the eight-year, $200 million pact Manny Ramirez inked in Dec. 2000. All told, Boston will be committing $331 million to Devers over the next 11 years, which will keep the two-time All-Star under club control through 2033, or in other words, through the end of his age-36 campaign.

“Nothing changes,” Devers said through interpreter Daveson Perez. “I just want to be the same guy that I’ve always been: Someone who has fun, someone who enjoys the game, who’s approachable. A lot of times my teammates ask me questions and I’m happy to answer, but I never want to feel like I’m above the team or something that’s larger than what I see that I am.”

(Picture of Rafael Devers: Billie Weiss/Boston Red Sox/Getty Images)

Red Sox make Justin Turner signing official, designate Darwinzon Hernandez for assignment

The Red Sox have officially signed infielder Justin Turner to a one-year contract for the 2023 season that includes a player option for 2024, the club announced on Friday. In order to make room for Turner on the 40-man roster, reliever Darwinzon Hernandez was designated for assignment.

Turner agreed to a one-year deal with Boston last month after spending the previous nine seasons with the Dodgers. According to MassLive.com’s Chris Cotillo, the 38-year-old will receive a base salary of $8.3 million in 2023 and will have the chance to earn an additional $1 million in performance bonuses. If Turner exercises his player option, he will lock himself into a $13.4 million salary for 2024. If he declines it, he would receive $6.7 million in the form of a buyout and become a free agent again next winter.

All told, Turner is guaranteed to make at least $15 million in 2023. If he returns via the player option in 2024, the deal would be worth $21.7 million over the next two seasons and would max out at $22.7 million if he hits on his incentive bonuses. For luxury tax purposes, the average annual value of Turner’s contract comes out to $10.85 million, per The Boston Globe’s Alex Speier.

Turner became a free agent in November after the Dodgers declined his $16 million club option for 2023. In 128 games for Los Angeles last year, the right-handed hitter batted .278/.350/.438 with 36 doubles, 13 home runs, 81 RBIs, 61 runs scored, three stolen bases, 50 walks, and 89 strikeouts over 532 plate appearance. From May 10 through the end of the season, he slashed .306/.388/.488 with 12 homers and 68 runs driven in across 102 games.

In signing with the Red Sox, Turner is expected to take over as the club’s primary designated hitter after J.D. Martinez left for the Dodgers in free agency. The 5-foot-11, 202-pounder could also serve as a right-handed hitting complement to Rafael Devers and Triston Casas — who both hit from the left side of the plate — at third base (his natural position) and first base, respectively.

Turner, who does not turn 39 until November, was originally selected by Cincinnati in the seventh round of the 2006 amateur draft out of Cal State Fullerton. After bouncing around between the Reds, Orioles, and Mets organizations, the Long Beach native found a home with the Dodgers in 2014. During his decorated tenure in Los Angeles, Turner was selected to two All-Star teams (2017 and 2021) and won his first World Series title in 2020. He was also the recipient of the 2022 Roberto Clemente Award.

Hernandez, on the other hand, lost his spot on Boston’s 40-man roster in order to accommodate the addition of Turner. The 26-year-old left-hander was once considered to be one of the top pitching prospects in the Red Sox farm system but has struggled to find his footing on a consistent basis since debuting in 2019.

This past season, Hernandez allowed 16 earned runs over seven appearances (6 2/3 innings) at the major-league level. With Triple-A Worcester, the Venezuelan-born southpaw posted a 5.73 ERA with 51 strikeouts to 27 walks over 23 outings (one start) spanning 33 innings of work. For his big-league career, he owns a lifetime 5.06 ERA in 85 1/3 innings.

Hernandez does not turn 27 until December and still has one minor-league option remaining, so he could be of interest to other teams in need of relief help. With that being said, the Red Sox will have the next seven days to either trade, release, or waive Hernandez and keep him in the organization as a non-40-man roster player.

(Picture of Justin Turner: Katharine Lotze/Getty Images)

Red Sox, Rafael Devers agree to 11-year, $331 million contract extension

The Red Sox and third baseman Rafael Devers have agreed to terms on an 11-year, $331 million contract extension, as was first reported by former major-leaguer Carlos Baerga on Instagram earlier Wednesday afternoon.

The deal, which is still pending a physical and has not yet been finalized, runs from 2023 to 2033, according to ESPN’s Jeff Passan. Alex Speier of The Boston Globe relays that the contract does not include any opt-outs while Jon Heyman of the New York Post adds that it does not contain a no-trade clause.

Devers, 26, will receive $20 million upfront in the form of a signing bonus, per The Athletic’s Ken Rosenthal. He will then earn $17.5 million in 2023 after agreeing to a one-year deal of that amount on Tuesday in order to avoid salary arbitration. All told, Devers’ contract represents the largest and longest in Red Sox history, blowing well past the seven-year, $217 million pact David Price signed in December 2015 and the eight-year, $160 million deal Manny Ramirez inked in Dec. 2000.

In terms of total value, the $331 million commitment is the sixth-largest in league history, as it surpasses Bryce Harper’s $330 million deal with the Phillies and slots in behind Mike Trout’s $426.5 million deal with the Angels, Mookie Betts’ $365 million deal with the Dodgers, Aaron Judge’s $360 million deal with the Yankees, Francisco Lindor’s $341 million deal with the Mets, and Fernando Tatis Jr.’s $340 million deal with the Padres.

Prior to Wednesday’s agreement, Devers was slated to become a free agent for the first time in his big-league career next winter. After trading Betts to the Dodgers in February 2020 and losing Xander Bogaerts to the Padres in free agency last month, the Red Sox could ill-afford to watch another homegrown superstar take his talents elsewhere. While they ultimately came up short in extension talks with Betts and Bogaerts, they were able to get a deal done with Devers.

A client of REP1 Baseball, Devers originally signed with the Red Sox for $1.5 million as a highly-touted international free agent coming out of the Dominican Republic in July 2013. The Sanchez native quickly established himself as one of the top prospects in baseball and broke in with Boston at the age of 20 in July 2017.

Since debuting for the Red Sox, Devers — now a veteran of six major-league seasons — has compiled a lifetime slash line of .283/.342/.512 to go along with 187 doubles, 139 home runs, 455 RBIs, and 439 runs scored over 689 career games. He won his first World Series title in 2018, took home his first Silver Slugger Award in 2021, and is a two-time All-Star.

Devers has proven to be particularly effective in the month of October. To go along with his World Series ring from 2018, Devers owns a career .303/.382/.573 line with eight home runs, 26 RBIs, and 27 runs scored in 26 postseason contests. He clubbed five homers in 11 games during Boston’s run to the American League Championship Series in 2021.

Last year, Devers batted .295/.358/.521 with 42 doubles, one triple, 27 homers, 88 runs driven in, 84 runs scored, three stolen bases, 50 walks, and 114 strikeouts across 141 games (614 plate appearances). The left-handed hitting slugger appeared to be well on his way to an MVP-caliber campaign after receiving his second straight All-Star nod, but he was sidelined by right hamstring inflammation in late July/early August and his second-half production (.713 OPS in 55 games) took a hit as a result of him trying to play through it.

Regardless of how his 2022 season ended, though, Devers has squarely put himself in the conversation for the best offensive third basemen in the game. Since the start of the 2019 campaign, Devers leads all qualified American League hitters in total hits (591) and doubles (149). He also ranks fourth in home runs (108), second in RBIs (359), second in runs scored (346), eighth in batting average (.292), 20th in on-base percentage (.352), seventh in slugging percentage (.532), sixth in OPS (.884), 17th in isolated power (.240), and 15th in wRC+ (132), per FanGraphs.

On the other side of the ball, there are some concerns about Devers’ defensive abilities at third base. In 2022, the 6-foot, 240-pounder logged 1,186 innings at the hot corner and graded poorly in several categories, including Defensive Runs Saved (-6), Outs Above Average (-2), and Ultimate Zone Rating (-2.3). With that being said, the Red Sox can surely live with Devers’ occasional struggles on the field so long as he continues to produce at the plate at a high level.

Devers, who turns 27 in October, is now slated to remain in Boston through the end of his age-36 season in 2033. His $331 million contract is by far the largest handed out by chief baseball officer Chaim Bloom since he took over in Oct. 2019. Bloom had recently expressed a desire to keep Devers in a Red Sox uniform beyond 2023.

“He has been somebody that we love and want right at the center of everything we hope to accomplish, obviously in 2023 but more importantly, in the years beyond,” Bloom told MassLive.com’s Chris Cotillo last month. “Because those are the years he’s not under our control. We’re hoping to change that.”

Getting an extension done with Devers represents another milestone in what has already been an eventful offseason for Bloom and Co. While the likes of Bogaerts, J.D. Martinez, and Nathan Eovaldi have signed elsewhere as free agents, the Red Sox have added a number of veterans — such as Corey Kluber, Justin Turner, Kenley Jansen, and Chris Martin on short-term deals. They also dipped into the international market by signing Japanese outfielder Masataka Yoshida to a five-year, $90 million contract at the Winter Meetings.

With Devers locked in for the next decade-plus, the Red Sox now have a franchise cornerstone they can build around as they look to put a disappointing and forgetful 2022 behind them.

(Picture of Rafael Devers: Adam Glanzman/Getty Images)

Red Sox could risk losing Nathan Eovaldi to Yankees in free agency if New York is unable to land Carlos Rodón, per report

The Yankees may turn their attention to Red Sox free agent Nathan Eovaldi if they are unable to sign left-hander Carlos Rodon, according to The New York Post’s Jon Heyman.

As the top remaining free agent starter on the market, Rodon is reportedly seeking a deal of seven-plus years for at least $30 million per year. The Yankees have already made Rodon an initial offer, but there is apparently a sizable gap between what the 30-year-old southpaw wants and what New York is willing to give him.

“Rodon remains the Yankees’ top priority despite the gap, and the sides are expected to work on potential compromises over the next few days,” Heyman wrote on Tuesday. “The Yankees believe Rodon wants to come to New York, but if they can’t bridge their difference, they may turn to their next choice, believed to be ex-Yankee Nate Eovaldi. Rodon brings some advantages, his left-handedness being one in Yankee Stadium.”

Eovaldi, who pitched for the Yankees from 2015-2016, should already be quite familiar with the organization. If general manager Brian Cashman and Co. are unable to reel in Rodon, the 32-year-old righty could provide a veteran presence to a starting rotation that is projected to include Gerrit Cole, Nestor Cortes, Luis Severino, Frankie Montas, and Domingo German.

As noted by MassLive.com’s Chris Cotillo, Eovaldi’s market has been a slow-moving one this winter. That likely has to do with the fact that the righty is attached to draft pick compensation since the Red Sox extended him a qualifying offer last month.

Eovaldi, who turns 33 in February, posted a 3.87 ERA and 4.30 FIP with 103 strikeouts to 20 walks over 20 starts (109 1/3 innings) for Boston in the final year of his four-year, $68 million contract this season. His workload was limited to due to bouts with low back and right shoulder inflammation. The Red Sox, per Cotillo, did not make any extension offers to Eovaldi during the regular season but have had talks with the ACES client since the World Series ended.

In addition to issuing him a $19.65 million qualifying offer, the Red Sox also gave Eovaldi a multi-year contract offer. He rejected both of those offers, meaning Boston will receive a compensatory pick between the fourth and fifth round of next year’s draft if Eovaldi signs elsewhere.

Earlier this week, WEEI’s Rob Bradford reported that other teams had shown more interest in Eovaldi than the Red Sox had since free agency began in November. The Yankees could very well be one of those teams, though the Sox would still like to add a starter two to their rotation mix for 2023, meaning Eovaldi could still be part of their plans.

“I think everybody knows the situation,” chief baseball officer Chaim Bloom said of Eovaldi during last week’s Winter Meetings in San Diego. “There has been contact and there has been mutual desire for him to come back here. But nothing to report on that front.”

While Eovaldi remains unsigned for the time being, the native Texan did commit to pitch for Team USA in the 2023 World Baseball Classic on Wednesday.

(Picture of Nathan Eovaldi: Maddie Malhotra/Boston Red Sox/Getty Images)

Xander Bogaerts leaves Red Sox, agrees to 11-year, $280 million deal with Padres

Former Red Sox shortstop has agreed to an 11-year, $280 million deal with the Padres, according to The New York Post’s Jon Heyman. The deal does not include any opt-out clauses or team options, though it does come with a full no-trade clause, per MLB.com’s Jon Morosi.

Bogaerts, 30, became a free agent last month after opting out of the final three years and $60 million of the extension he signed in April 2019. The Red Sox had extended Bogaerts a qualifying offer (which he declined), so they will receive a compensatory pick that falls between the fourth and fifth round of next year’s draft after exceeding the luxury tax threshold in 2022. The Padres, on the other hand, will forfeit their second- and fifth-highest picks since they, too, spent past the threshold. They will also have their international signing bonus pool reduced by $1 million.

By agreeing to a monstrous contract with the Padres, Bogaerts puts an end to an impressive tenure with Boston. The Red Sox originally signed Bogaerts for $410,000 as an international free agent coming out of Aruba in 2009. The Oranjestad native made his professional debut in the Dominican Summer League the following year and quickly emerged as one of the brightest prospects in the organization.

After rising through the ranks in the minor-leagues, Bogaerts was called up by the Red Sox for the first time on August 20, 2013. At just 21 years old, Bogaerts helped Boston in winning its first World Series title at Fenway Park since 1918. Bogaerts endured a sophomore slump of sorts in 2014 but bounced back in 2015 by winning his first Silver Slugger Award. He repeated as a Silver Slugger Award in 2016 while also making his first All-Star team. In 2017, Bogaerts’ production took a dip due to a right hand injury.

Bogaerts broke out in a big way in 2018, which was also Alex Cora’s first year at the helm in Boston. The right-handed hitting infielder clubbed a then-career best 23 home runs and collected 103 RBIs en route to finishing 13th in American League MVP voting and winning another World Series. The following April, he inked a six-year, $120 million contract extension to remain with the Sox. His agent, Scott Boras, subsequently negotiated an opt-out clause that would allow Bogaerts to hit free agency at the conclusion of the 2022 season.

For the next three seasons, Bogaerts continuously ascended and put himself in the conversation for the top shortstop in the game. After another stellar offensive campaign in 2021, it became apparent that Bogaerts was going to opt out as long as he remained healthy.

Knowing this, the Red Sox attempted to re-sign Bogaerts to another extension this spring. Rather than make a respectable offer, though, Boston lowballed Bogaerts with a four-year, $90 million offer that effectively tacked on an additional year and $30 million in salary to the remainder of his contract. Bogaerts expectedly rejected the offer, and the two sides did not talk at all during the regular season.

Bogaerts, for his part, batted .307/.377/.456 with 15 home runs and 73 RBIs over 150 games this season while playing some of the best defense of his career at shortstop. From the time the regular season ended in early October until free agency opened in November, the Red Sox were able to exclusively negotiate with Bogaerts, yet they could not come close to an agreement.

As a result of hitting the open market for the first time in his career, Bogaerts drew widespread interest from a number of teams this offseason. On multiple occasions, Red Sox officials described retaining Bogaerts as the club’s No. 1 priority.

When the Winter Meetings commenced in San Diego earlier this week, there seemed to be a growing sense of optimism that the Sox would be able to hammer out a deal with Bogaerts. On Wednesday morning, The Boston Globe’s Pete Abraham reported that the two sides had met and that there was momentum towards an agreement. It was only hours later that Heyman broke news of Bogaerts coming to terms with the Padres.

According to The Boston Globe’s Alex Speier, Boston’s final offer to Bogaerts was in the range of $160 million over six years. While the average annual value of that proposal ($27 million) surpassed the $25.5 million per year Bogaerts will be receiving from San Diego, the difference in the number of guaranteed seasons led to a $120 million gap between the two offers.

Some within Bogaerts’ camp believed the Sox would raise their offer. Regardless of that though, it has become apparent that Boston was not comfortable paying Bogaerts a high salary into his late thirties. The Padres, meanwhile, have committed a whopping $280 million to Bogaerts through his age-40 season.

All told, Bogaerts certainly left his mark on the Red Sox in his 14 years with the organization. He played 1,264 games for Boston, which are the 15th-most in team history. His 1,192 appearances at shortstop are also the most in team history. In total, Bogaerts slashed .292/.356/.458 with 156 home runs and 683 RBIs across 1,264 games in a Red Sox uniform. He won two World Series titles, was named to four American league All-Star teams, and won five Silver Slugger Awards in his first 10 seasons as a big-leaguer.

Bogaerts will take that impressive resume out west to San Diego. The Padres, under general manager A.J. Preller, have been aggressive in free agency this winter and finally landed the star they coveted in Bogaerts. Bogaerts will join a talented core in San Diego that includes Manny Machado, Juan Soto, and Fernando Tatis Jr. The Padres reached the National League Championship Series this fall and came up three wins short of a World Series berth.

While the Padres got their guy, chief baseball officer Chaim Bloom and the Red Sox will now have to look elsewhere when it comes to filling the void at shortstop left behind by Bogaerts. Speculation within the industry would seem to suggest that in-house options such as Trevor Story or Enrique Hernandez could overtake those responsibilities. Bloom and Co. could also look to free agency and pursue the likes of Carlos Correa or Dansby Swanson to take over for Bogaerts.

With Bogaerts gone, the Red Sox should now turn their attention to star third baseman Rafael Devers, who is under club control for one more season and will be a free agent at this time next winter.

(Picture of Xander Bogaerts: Billie Weiss/Boston Red Sox/Getty Images)

Red Sox sign lefty reliever Joely Rodriguez to one-year deal with club option for 2024

The Red Sox have signed left-handed reliever Joely Rodriguez to a one-year contract for the 2023 season, the club announced on Wednesday. The deal comes with a club option for 2024 as well.

Rodriguez, who turned 31 earlier this month, will make at least $2 million in guaranteed money with the Red Sox. His contract includes a base salary of $1.5 million in 2023 and up to $2 million in active roster bonuses, according to MassLive.com’s Chris Cotillo. The Red Sox then hold a $4.25 million option over Rodriguez for 2024. If they decline that, Rodriguez will receive $500,000 in the form of a buyout. When taking other performance bonuses into account, Rodriguez’s deal can max out at $8.25 million over the next two seasons.

After finishing with the fifth-worst bullpen ERA (4.59) this year, the Red Sox have elected to make Rodriguez their first free agent addition of the offseason. The Dominican-born southpaw spent the entirety of the 2022 campaign with the Mets and posted a 4.47 ERA and 3.23 FIP to go along with 57 strikeouts to 26 walks over 55 relief appearances spanning 50 1/3 innings of work.

Rodriguez was initially one of 12 pitchers to make the Mets’ Wild Card series roster last month, but he was removed from it following Game 1 due to an unspecified shoulder issue that ultimately required minor surgery after the season, per The Boston Globe’s Alex Speier.

Listed at 6-foot-1, and 200 pounds, Rodriguez operates with a four-pitch mix that consists of a sinker and changeup — his two most frequently-used offerings — as well as a four-seam fastball and slider. This past season, Rodriguez limited opposing hitters to an average exit velocity of 85.3 mph, a hard-hit rate of 31.8 percent, and a barrel rate of 3.8 percent, per Baseball Savant. His chase rate of 34.7 percent also ranked in the 94th percentile of the league.

The Red Sox, per Cotillo, are intrigued by Rodriguez’s pitch mix and his ability to induce ground balls, soft contact, and whiffs. They are optimistic that his performance will be more in line with his Statcast numbers as opposed to his 4.56 career ERA moving forward. They also believe in his ability to get both right-handed and left-handed hitters out, as he held righties to a .625 OPS against and lefties to a .645 OPS in 2022.

A native of Santo Domingo, Rodriguez first signed with the Pirates as an international free agent in March 2009. He was traded to the Phillies in 2014 and made his major-league debut two years later. In June 2017, Rodriguez was traded to the Rangers and became a free agent at the end of the season. He spent part of the 2018 campaign in the Orioles system before signing with the Chunichi Dragons of Nippon Professional Baseball.

After spending the remainder of 2018 and the entirety of 2019 in Japan, Rodriguez returned to the major-leagues in 2020 with the Rangers. Texas traded him and Joey Gallo to the Yankees at the 2021 trade deadline. New York then flipped him to the Mets for fellow reliever Miguel Castro back in April.

All told, Rodriguez owns a 4.56 ERA and 3.65 FIP across 157 career appearances (146 innings) in five seasons at the big-league level. The lefty will now join a Red Sox bullpen that at the moment includes the likes of Matt Barnes, John Schreiber, Tanner Houck, Ryan Brasier, Darwinzon Hernandez, Josh Taylor, and Zack Kelly, among others.

While that group could still undergo a dramatic change between now and Opening Day, Rodriguez is line to provide Boston with a left-handed relief option in 2023. With the addition of Rodriguez, the Red Sox currently have 39 platers on their 40-man roster.

(Picture of Joely Rodriguez: Mike Stobe/Getty Images)

Red Sox non-tender Yu Chang, Franchy Cordero

The Red Sox have elected not to tender 2023 contracts to infielder Yu Chang and first baseman/outfielder Franchy Cordero, the club announced on Friday night. As a result, both Chang and Cordero are now free agents.

Chang, 27, was claimed off waivers from the Rays in early September. The versatile right-handed hitter went 3-for-20 (.150) with two doubles, one RBI, three runs scored, five walks, and seven strikeouts in 11 games with the Red Sox, his fourth and final team of the 2022 season.

A former top prospect out of Taiwan who first broke in with the Guardians in 2019, Chang was projected by MLB Trade Rumors to earn $900,000 in his first year of arbitration eligibility. The Taitung native is now free to explore opportunities elsewhere, though the Red Sox may look to bring him back on a minor-league contract.

Cordero, meanwhile, was one of three players the Red Sox acquired from the Royals in the three-team trade that sent fellow outfielder Andrew Benintendi to Kansas City in February 2021. The left-handed hitter posted a dismal .497 OPS across 48 games in his first season with Boston and was designated for assignment last October.

After clearing waivers, Cordero was subsequently re-signed. The 28-year-old opened the 2022 season with Triple-A Worcester before having his contract selected in late April. He batted .282/.346/.479 in his first 25 games with the Sox this past season and most notably hit a walk off grand slam against the Mariners at Fenway Park on May 22.

But Cordero began to struggle again as the season progressed. He slumped to the tune of a .162 batting average in the month of July and was sent back down to Worcester on August 2. Eric Hosmer being placed on the injured list towards the end of the month led to Cordero being recalled. The native Dominican proceeded to belt four home runs in his first 12 games back with the club, but he saw his season prematurely come to an end on September 5 after crashing into the right field wall at Tropicana Field and suffering a right ankle sprain.

In 132 total games with the Red Sox over the last two years, Cordero slashed just .209/.279/.350 with 23 doubles, one triple, nine home runs, 38 RBIs, 48 runs scored, 36 walks, and 143 strikeouts across 411 plate appearances. He put up those numbers while grading poorly as a defender at both first base and in the outfield.

As is the case with Chang, the Red Sox could look to reunite with Cordero — who was projected to earn $1.5 million in his second year of arbitration eligibility — by way of a lesser or a minor-league deal for the 2023 campaign. According to MassLive.com’s Chris Cotillo, Boston “remains intrigued with Cordero’s tools and he is a beloved clubhouse presence.”

With two left-handed hitting first basemen in Hosmer and Triston Casas already on the big-league roster, though, it would presumably be difficult to find Cordero any meaningful playing time next year.

By non-tendering Chang and Cordero, the Red Sox have created two spots on their 40-man roster, which now sits at 38 players. Eight of those players are already under contract for 2023. The other 30 unsigned players will be tendered contracts and will negotiate their salaries for next season in the near future.

While Rafael Devers headlines that group, Ryan Brasier, Darwinzon Hernandez, and Josh Taylor are among those who were considered non-tender candidates earlier in the week. They will instead be tendered contracts alongside other arbitration-eligible players such as Nick Pivetta, Alex Verdugo, Christian Arroyo, and Reese McGuire.

(Picture of Franchy Cordero: Adam Glanzman/Getty Images)

Red Sox, Rob Refsnyder avoid arbitration by agreeing to $1.2 million deal for 2023 season

The Red Sox and outfielder Rob Refsnyder have avoided arbitration by agreeing to terms on a one-year deal for the 2023 season, reports Chad Jennings of The Athletic.

MassLive.com’s Chris Cotillo relays that Refsnyder will receive $1.2 million in 2023, which represents a 50 percent raise from the $800,000 he earned in 2022. The Boston Globe’s Alex Speier adds that the deal includes up to $100,000 in performance bonuses.

Refsnyder originally signed a minor-league pact with the Sox last December. After failing to make Boston’s Opening Day roster out of spring training, the 31-year-old accepted an assignment to Triple-A Worcester. He first made his Red Sox debut as a COVID-related substitute in late April before having his contract selected on a full-time basis in early June.

In 57 total games with the Red Sox, Refsnyder batted .307/.384/.497 with 11 doubles, six home runs, 21 RBIs, 25 runs scored, one stolen base, 15 walks, and 46 strikeouts over 177 plate appearances. The right-handed hitter proved to be particularly effective against left-handed pitching as evidenced by his .359/.411/.594 slash line off southpaws.

Defensively, Refsnyder saw playing time at all three outfield positions this season. The 6-foot, 205-pounder logged 24 2/3 innings in left, 115 innings in center, and 163 innings in right while registering one outfield assist. He also has past experience at every infield position besides shortstop.

“Great season. Great job for us,” Red Sox manager Alex Cora said last month in regards to Refsnyder’s performance. “He was really good. Offensively, the versatility, the quality of the at-bats were awesome.”

For as productive as Refsnyder was this year, he also dealt with his fair share of injuries. A right knee sprain sidelined him from July 30 until August 6. He then missed the final four games of the season after being shut down with low back spasms.

“It’s a matter of staying healthy,” said Cora. “That’s the most important thing with him. We’ll set up a good program for him in the offseason and this is a guy we really like. We really like. And he can contribute at this level.”

Refsnyder, who turns 32 in March, provides Cora and Co. with experienced outfield depth. The native South Korean is likely to serve as the club’s fourth outfielder next season, but he could also platoon with a left-handed hitter if needed.

As things stand now, the Red Sox have Refsnyder, Alex Verdugo, and Enrique Hernandez as available outfield options while Jarren Duran is also on the 40-man roster. That being said, the expectation seems to be that Boston will look to bolster its outfield via trade and/or free agency this winter.

With Refsnyder locked in for 2023, the Red Sox still have nine other arbitraiton-eligible players on their roster in Ryan Brasier, Rafael Devers, Nick Pivetta, Franchy Cordero, Alex Verdugo, Christian Arroyo, Josh Taylor, Reese McGuire, and Yu Chang. The club has until next Friday, November 18, to tender these players a contract or they will otherwise become free agents.

(Picture of Rob Refsnyder: Maddie Malhotra/Boston Red Sox/Getty Images)

James Paxton remains with Red Sox after exercising $4 million player option for 2023 season

James Paxton has exercised his $4 million player option for the 2023 season, the Red Sox announced earlier Wednesday afternoon.

This decision comes less than two days after the Red Sox declined Paxton’s two-year, $26 million club option for the 2023-2024 seasons. The veteran left-hander had until Thursday to decide whether he would exercise his player option, which he wound up doing, or decline it and become a free agent.

Paxton, who turned 34 on Sunday, originally signed a one-year, $6 million deal with Boston last December. At that time, the 6-foot-4, 227-pound southpaw was still recovering from the Tommy John surgery he underwent that April. As such, his contract included a uniquely-structured dual option.

The Red Sox were initially optimistic that Paxton would be able to return to action before this season’s All-Star break. But his rehab was slowed by posterior elbow soreness in early May. By August 18, though, Paxton began a rehab assignment in the Florida Complex League.

Just two batters into his start against the FCL Rays at JetBlue Park, Paxton was forced to exit with left lat (latissimus dorsi muscle on the back) tightness. That was later diagnosed as a Grade 2 lat tear, which ended Paxton’s season before it really even started.

When healthy, Paxton has proven to be an effective starter at the major-league level. He posted a 3.50 ERA across 131 starts (733 innings) in his first seven seasons with the Mariners and Yankees from 2013-2019. But he has been limited to just 21 2/3 innings of work over the last three seasons and has not thrown a pitch in a big-league contest since last April.

Taking those factors into consideration, it made very little sense for the Red Sox to commit $13 million to Paxton in each of the next two seasons. They instead turned down the Boras Corp. client’s two-year club option, but were hopeful he would pick up his player option.

“We have enjoyed having him here,” chief baseball officer Chaim Bloom told reporters (including MassLive.com’s Chris Cotillo) at the GM meetings in Las Vegas. “We signed him with the hope that he’d be pitching postseason baseball for us at Fenway and we’d still love to see it through and see that happen.”

Paxton will now earn a modest $4 million in 2023 as he looks to re-establish his value before hitting the open market again next winter. If healthy, the native British Columbian will join a starting rotation mix in Boston that includes Chris Sale, Nick Pivetta, Brayan Bello, Tanner Houck, and Garrett Whitlock, among others.

(Picture of James Paxton: Brace Hemmelgarn/Getty Images)