Red Sox release Carlos Martínez from minor-league deal; right-hander posted 20.77 ERA in 2 starts for Triple-A Worcester

Less than two weeks after signing him, the Red Sox released right-hander Carlos Martinez from his minor-league contract on Tuesday, per MassLive.com’s Chris Cotillo.

Martinez, 30, inked a minors pact with Boston on May 7 after opting out of his deal with the Giants and becoming a free-agent in late April.

Assigned to Triple-A Worcester out of the gate, Martinez made just two starts for the WooSox and struggled mightily, allowing 10 earned runs on nine hits, three walks, and four strikeouts over 4 1/3 innings of work. That is good for an ERA of 20.77.

This was a reunion of sorts between Martinez and the Red Sox, who originally signed the Dominican native as an international free-agent (and infielder) in 2009 before the deal was voided.

The following year, Martinez signed with the Cardinals and went on to spend the first nine seasons of his major-league career in St. Louis while being named to two National League All-Star teams. He made 16 starts for the Cards in 2021 before undergoing season-ending surgery in July to repair a torn thumb ligament in his right hand.

After St. Louis declined his $17 million club option for 2022 over the winter, Martinez became a free-agent and has already spent time with two different organizations since then.

Now back on the open market, Martinez — who turns 31 in September — will look to get back on track and revitalize his big-league career elsewhere.

(Picture of Carlos Martinez: Scott W. Grau/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)

Red Sox’ Carlos Martínez allows 5 runs on 4 hits in first start for Triple-A Worcester

Carlos Martinez made his Red Sox organizational debut for Triple-A Worcester on Sunday afternoon. It did not go well.

Getting the start against the Toledo Mud Hens at Fifth Third Field, Martinez allowed five earned runs on four hits, two walks, and no strikeouts while only recording the first two outs of the first inning.

The right-hander got those two outs rather quickly, but then gave up a two-out double to Daz Cameron, a seven-pitch walk to Josh Lester, an RBI single to Ryan Lavarnway, a six-pitch walk to Jacob Robson, an RBI single to Dustin Garneau, and a two-run double to old friend Jack Lopez.

Lopez would be the last batter Martinez faced on Sunday as he was replaced on the mound by Eduard Bazardo. He finished with a final pitch count of 33 — only 16 of which went for strikes — and was ultimately charged with the losing decision.

The Red Sox signed Martinez to a minor-league contract on Saturday. The 30-year-old hurler began the 2022 season in the Giants organization but asked for and was granted his release by San Francisco in late April, thus making him a free-agent to begin with.

Shortly after the news of his signing broke, MassLive.com’s Chris Cotillo reported that the Sox view Martinez “as a low-risk addition to their organizational pitching depth and believe they have identified some adjustments that could lead to quick improvements.”

Martinez, who turns 31 in September, originally signed with Boston as an infielder coming out of the Dominican Republic in 2009. But the Puerto Plata native’s contract was voided and he would up signing with the Cardinals the following spring.

A two-time All-Star who also pitched against the Red Sox in the 2013 World Series during his time in St. Louis, Martinez most-recently posted a 6.23 ERA and 4.76 FIP with 57 strikeouts to 36 walks over 16 starts (82 1/3 innings pitched) for the Cardinals in 2021. His season ended in July due to a torn thumb ligament that required surgery. The Cardinals subsequently declined his $17 million club option for 2022 over the winter.

After getting some work in with Aguilas Cibaenas of the Dominican Winter League during the off-season, Martinez inked a minors pact with the Giants in March but did not see any in-game action with any of San Francisco’s affiliates before getting released last month.

With that, Sunday’s start for Worcester marked Martinez’s first outing of 2022. While the results may not have been there in Toledo, it’s likely the veteran of nine major-league seasons was more concerned with shaking off any rust and getting back into the swing of things.

Before going under the knife last summer, Martinez primarily worked with a six-pitch mix that consisted of a four-seam fastball, slider, cutter, sinker, changeup, and curveball.

Given his past experience as both a starter and reliever, Martinez could prove to be a versatile option for the Red Sox should chief baseball officer Chaim Bloom and Co. elect to call him up to the big-league club at some point this season.

For the time being, one would have to think Martinez will make another start for the WooSox during their upcoming series against the Rochester Red Wings that begins Tuesday at Polar Park.

(Picture of Carlos Martinez: Dilip Vishwanat/Getty Images)

Red Sox sign former Cardinals right-hander Carlos Martínez to minor-league deal

The Red Sox have signed free-agent right-hander Carlos Martinez to a minor-league contract, according to the team’s transaction log on MLB.com. He has been assigned to Triple-A Worcester. SoxProspects.com’s Chris Hatfield was the first to bring this news to the forefront.

Martinez, 30, began the 2022 season in the Giants organization after signing a minors pact with San Francisco in late March. He did not appear in a game at any level before being released by the club on April 28.

As an article XX(B) free agent, Martinez had the ability to opt out of his deal by May 1 and informed the Giants he would be doing so beforehand, per The Athletic’s Andrew Baggarly.

A native of the Dominican Republic, Martinez originally signed with the Red Sox as a shortstop in February 2009. His contract was voided by Major League Baseball, though, and he ultimately signed with the Cardinals the following year.

After debuting with St. Louis in 2013 and pitching against Boston in the World Series that fall, Martinez spent the first nine years of his major-league career with the Cardinals and was used as both a starter and reliever.

Most recently, the two-time All-Star opened the 2021 campaign in St. Louis’ starting rotation and posted a 6.23 ERA and 4.76 FIP to go along with 57 strikeouts to 36 walks over 16 starts spanning 82 1/3 innings of work. His season ended in early July after suffering a torn ligament in his right thumb that required surgery.

Five months after going under the knife, Martinez began throwing again and started two games for Aguilas Cibaenas of the Dominican Winter League, allowing a total of four runs over three innings in those two outings.

Listed at 6-feet and 200 pounds, Martinez pre-surgery worked with a six-pitch arsenal that consisted of a four-seam fastball, slider, cutter, sinker, changeup, and curveball.

Considering that he is only 30 and does not turn 31 until September, Martinez may not be who he once was in his peak years with the Cardinals, but the righty should still provide the Red Sox with some experienced and versatile rotation/bullpen depth in Worcester.

According to MassLive.com’s Chris Cotillo, Martinez will start for the WooSox in their series finale against the Toledo Mud Hens on Sunday afternoon.

(Picture of Carlos Martinez: Dilip Vishwanat/Getty Images)

Former Red Sox left-hander Derek Holland signs minor-league deal with Blue Jays

Former Red Sox left-hander Derek Holland has signed a minor-league deal with the Blue Jays, per Holland himself on Twitter.

Holland, 35, originally signed a minors pact with the Sox back in March with the hopes of earning a spot in the bullpen out of spring training. After being informed he would not make Boston’s Opening Day roster, the southpaw elected to accept his assignment to Triple-A Worcester to begin the 2022 season.

In 10 appearances with the WooSox, Holland posted a 6.35 ERA and 4.22 FIP with 13 strikeouts to seven walks over 11 1/3 innings of work. Interestingly enough, his last two outings came against the Buffalo Bisons (the Triple-A affiliate of the Blue Jays) at Polar Park.

At present, the Red Sox already have three lefties in Austin Davis, Jake Diekman, and Matt Strahm in their major-league bullpen and have one more rehabbing from injury in Josh Taylor. With that, the club must not have felt a pressing need to call up Holland.

As an article XX(B) free agent, Holland had multiple opt-outs in his contract with the Red Sox and exercised one of them this past Sunday, thus allowing him to hit the open market once more.

A veteran of 13 big-league seasons between the Rangers (2009-2016), White Sox (2017), Giants (2018-2019), Cubs (2019), Pirates (2020), and Tigers (2021), Holland will now look to latch on with the Blue Jays in 2022. With Detroit last year,  he pitched to the tune of a 5.07 ERA and 3.96 FIP over 39 appearances (one start) spanning 49 2/3 innings.

(Picture of Derek Holland: Duane Burleson/Getty Images)

Derek Holland opts out of minor-league deal with Red Sox to become free agent

Derek Holland has opted out of his minor-league contract with the Red Sox and is now a free agent, as was first reported by MassLive.com’s Chris Cotillo earlier Sunday morning.

Holland, 35, originally signed a minor-league deal with Boston back in March with the hopes of earning a bullpen spot with the team out of spring training. When he was informed that he would not be making the Sox’ Opening Day roster, the veteran left-hander elected to remain in the organization and begin the season with Triple-A Worcester.

In 10 relief appearances for the WooSox, Holland posted a 6.35 ERA to go along with 13 strikeouts to seven walks over 11 1/3 innings of work. Given that the Red Sox already have lefties like Austin Davis, Jake Diekman, and Matt Strahm in their bullpen with another southpaw rehabbing from injury in Josh Taylor, adding Holland to the major-league mix was clearly not a priority for the club.

Instead, Holland — who had multiple opt-out clauses in his contract since he was an article XX(B) free agent — will once again hit the open market and look to latch on elsewhere.

A former 25th-round draft pick with 13 seasons of big-league experience under his belt, Holland his pitched for the Rangers (2009-2016), White Sox (2017), Giants (2018-2019), Cubs (2019), Pirates (2020), and Tigers (2021). With Detroit last year, he produced a 5.07 ERA and 3.96 FIP across 39 appearances (one start) spanning 49 2/3 innings.

(Picture of Derek Holland: Kelly O’Connor/sittingstill.smugmug.com)

Red Sox bring back Hansel Robles on minor-league deal

The Red Sox are bringing back reliever Hansel Robles on a minor-league deal for the 2022 season that includes an invite to major-league spring training, as was first reported by Univision’s Mike Rodriguez. According to The Boston Globe’s Alex Speier, Robles will earn $2.5 million if he is added to the major-league roster.

Robles, 31, was first acquired by the Sox from the Twins last July in a deal that sent pitching prospect Alex Scherff to Minnesota. The veteran right-hander made his team debut on August 1 and, after a shaky start, proved to be one of Alex Cora’s most reliable bullpen arms.

In 27 relief appearances for Boston, Robles posted a 3.60 ERA and 3.37 FIP to go along with 33 strikeouts to 13 walks over 25 innings of work. In the postseason, four of his six outings were scoreless.

A native of the Dominican Republic, Robles remains on his home island as he is currently dealing with visa issued. The Red Sox are hopeful he can join the team in Fort Myers within the next few days.

“We’ve got the agreement. He’s still in the Dominican,” Cora said Saturday. “They’re going through that whole process. Hopefully, we can speed it up and he can be here sooner rather than later.”

Update: The deal is now official, per the team’s transaction log.

Robles, who turns 32 in August becomes the latest reliever the Red Sox have added in some capacity in the past week. Boston signed left-handed relievers Jake Diekman and Matt Strahm to major-league deals last weekend and have since signed fellow southpaw Derek Holland to a minors pact.

All told, the addition of Robles means the Red Sox currently have 26 non-roster invitees on their spring training roster. It seems as though the 6-foot, 220 pounder has a good shot at making Boston’s Opening Day roster, though he will have to earn his spot on it.

(Picture of Hansel Robles: Maddie Meyer/Getty Images)

Red Sox sign left-hander Derek Holland to minor-league deal for 2022 season

The Red Sox have signed left-hander Derek Holland to a minor-league contract for the 2022 season, according to MLB Trade Rumors’ Steve Adams. It’s likely the deal includes an invite to major-league spring training.

Holland, 35, was originally selected by the Rangers in the 25th round of the 2006 amateur draft out of Wallace State Community College. The Ohio native debuted for Texas in 2009 and remained there through the end of the 2016 season.

Since then, Holland has bounced around a bit, spending the 2017 season with the White Sox, the 2018 season with the Giants, the 2019 season between the Giants and Cubs, and the 2020 season with the Pirates.

Most recently, Holland made 39 appearances (one start) for the Tigers in 2021. The veteran lefty posted a 5.07 ERA — but more respectable 3.96 FIP — to go along with 51 strikeouts to 20 walks over over 49 2/3 innings pitched with Detroit before becoming a free agent in November.

Listed at 6-foot-2 and 223 pounds, Holland operates with a four-pitch mix that consists of a sinker, curveball, four-seam fastball, and changeup. He induced a 37.2% whiff rate with his curveball last year, per Baseball Savant.

With 1,466 big-league innings under his belt, Holland becomes the latest southpaw the Red Sox have added to their bullpen mix, albeit on a minors pact. Boston made their signings of Jake Diekman and Matt Strahm official earlier this week.

(Picture of Derek Holland: Duane Burleson/Getty Images)

Red Sox bring back Travis Shaw on minor-league deal for 2022 season

The Red Sox have brought back corner infielder Travis Shaw on a minor-league deal for the 2022 season, the club announced on Friday morning. If Shaw is added to the big-league roster, he will earn $1.5 million, according to The Boston Globe’s Alex Speier.

Shaw, who turns 32 next month, spent the latter half of the 2021 season with the Red Sox after being claimed off waivers from the Brewers in August. In the process of reuniting with the team he began his big-league career with, the left-handed hitter slashed .238/.319/.524 with three doubles, three home runs, 11 RBIs, six runs scored, five walks, and 17 strikeouts over 28 games spanning 48 plate appearances. He was used strictly as a pinch-hitter in the postseason.

“Obviously, he did a good job for us,” Sox manager Alex Cora said of Shaw when speaking with reporters (including MassLive.com’s Chris Cotillo) on Friday. “You never know what can happen from here to the start of the season. It’s somebody that, the way he went about it last year with limited at-bats, the quality of the at-bats and we know he can play good defense. He looks in good shape. He made some adjustments in the off-season. We’ll give him at-bats and see where it takes us.”

A former ninth-round selection of the Red Sox out of Kent State University in 2012, Shaw debuted for Boston in 2015 and crushed 29 home runs over the next two seasons before being traded to Milwaukee for reliever Tyler Thornburg in December 2016.

While Thornburg disappointed in his time with the Sox, Shaw got off to a hot start with the Brewers. He crushed a total of 63 home runs from 2017-2018, but struggled in 2019 and was ultimately released by Milwaukee that December. The Ohio native spent the 2020 campaign with the Blue Jays and returned to the Brewers in 2021 before re-joining the Red Sox last summer.

With Shaw back in the picture, Boston has added a left-handed hitting infielder who could complement the right-handed hitting Bobby Dalbec at first base this year, though he must earn a spot on the major-league roster first.

In addition to Shaw, the Red Sox also announced on Friday that catcher Deivy Grullon has been added to the spring training roster as a non-roster invitee. Boston now has 25 non-roster invitees on their spring training roster.

(Picture of Travis Shaw: Billie Weiss/Boston Red Sox/Getty Images)

Red Sox bring back catcher Deivy Grullón on minor-league deal for 2022 season

The Red Sox have brought back catcher Deivy Grullon on a minor-league contract for the 2022 season, per the team’s transactions log. The deal includes an invite to major-league spring training, though Grullon has already been assigned to Triple-A Worcester.

A former international signee of the Phillies out of the Dominican Republic, Grullon first joined the Red Sox organization when he was claimed off waivers from Philadelphia in September 2020. He appeared in four games for Philly in 2019 and just one game for Boston (against his former team oddly enough) two years ago before being optioned back to the alternate training site.

That December, the Sox designated Grullon for assignment to clear a spot on their 40-man roster for Matt Andriese. He was quickly scooped up by the Reds and spent the 2021 season with three other organizations (Rays, Mets, White Sox) before being released by Chicago late August.

Between three different Triple-A affiliates, the right-handed hitting backstop slashed .196/.270/.441 (85 wRC+) with five doubles, 10 home runs, 25 RBIs, 21 runs scored, 14 walks, and 59 strikeouts over 43 games spanning 159 plate appearances. He also threw out 5 of a possible 36 base stealers from behind the plate.

This off-season, Grullon returned to his home island to suit up for Aguilas Cibaenas of the Dominican Winter League. The Bonao native appeared in seven games with Aguilas and posted a .535 OPS.

Listed at 5-foot-11 and 240 pounds, Grullon is still relatively young as he only just turned 26 years old in February. He should provide the Red Sox with some experienced catching depth in Worcester behind the likes of Connor Wong and Ronaldo Hernandez.

(Picture of Deivy Grullon: Abbie Parr/Getty Images)

Red Sox sign reliever Dan Altavilla to two-year minor-league deal, per report; right-hander underwent Tommy John surgery last June

The Red Sox have signed free-agent reliever Dan Altavilla to a two-year minor-league contract, according to MLB Network’s Jon Heyman. The 29-year-old right-hander underwent Tommy John surgery last June and may miss most if not all of the 2022 season.

A former fifth-round draft selection of the Mariners out of Mercyhurst University (Erie, Pa.) in 2014, Altavilla debuted for Seattle in 2016. Four years later, the Pennsylvania native was traded to the Padres as part of a larger deal that also sent pitcher Austin Adams and catcher Austin Nola to San Diego.

In nine appearances out of the Friars’ bullpen down the stretch in 2020, Altavilla posted a 3.12 ERA and 2.61 FIP with 10 strikeouts to five walks over 8 2/3 innings of work.

Last season, Altavilla was limited to just two relief outings in April before being placed on the 10-day injured list due to right elbow inflammation. The righty was then transferred to the 60-day injured list on May 28 — approximately one month before he ultimately went under the knife.

The Padres outrighted Altavilla off their 40-man roster in November, allowing him to become a free agent in the first place.

Since Altavilla is still recovering from Tommy John, it feels safe to assume that the Red Sox made this move with either the second half of the 2022 season or the beginning of the 2023 season in mind.

Listed at 5-foot-11 and 226 pounds, Altavilla is a two-pitch pitcher who works primarily with a slider and a high-octane four-seam fastball. For his big-league career, which spans six seasons between the Mariners and Padres, Altavillia owns a 4.03 ERA and 4.39 FIP in 116 innings.

(Picture of Dan Altavilla: Tom Pennington/Getty Images)