Red Sox top prospect Marcelo Mayer is ‘eager to take his game to the next level’

He may not be one of the 28 players participating in the team’s Winter Warm-Up program this week, but things are still looking up for top Red Sox prospect Marcelo Mayer heading into the 2022 season.

Last Wednesday, Mayer was recognized by Baseball America the No. 15 prospect in the game. The following day, Baseball Prospectus listed Mayer as their 17th-ranked prospect. He was already identified by MLB Pipeline as the ninth-best prospect in baseball to close out 2021.

Mayer, who turned 19 last month, is coming off his introductory course to pro ball. The Red Sox, of course, selected the Chula Vista, Calif. native with the fourth overall pick in last summer’s draft out of Eastlake High School.

Faced with the pressure of being the highest Boston draft pick in more than 50 years, Mayer very easily could have chosen to honor his commitment to the University of Southern California rather than go pro in 2021. He instead decided to sign with the Sox and received a hefty $6.664 million bonus by doing so.

That Mayer was indeed signing with the Red Sox became significant news. After being paraded around Denver for All-Star Game festivities, he flew into Boston the following week to put pen to paper.

Before taking in a game between the Red Sox and Yankees at Fenway Park on July 22, the then-18-year-old signed his first professional contract and subsequently got his first taste of the big-leagues. He met Alex Cora, took batting practice, fielded groundballs alongside fellow shortstop Xander Bogaerts, and spoke to the Boston media.

“I know it’s going to be a lot of hard work,” he said at the time in regards to the journey ahead. “I’m going to do whatever I can to put myself in the best position and work my butt off.”

After leaving Boston and making the trek down south to Fort Myers, Mayer was officially assigned to and debuted for the Red Sox’ rookie-level Florida Complex League affiliate on August 5.

In the process of notching his first professional hit, home run, and stolen base, the left-handed hitting infielder slashed a solid .275/.377/.440 (121 wRC+) to go along with four doubles, one triple, three homers, 17 RBIs, 25 runs scored, seven stolen bases, 15 walks, and 27 strikeouts over 26 FCL games and 107 plate appearances.

Defensively, Mayer logged 177 2/3 innings at shortstop. The 6-foot-3, 188 pounder committed a total of 10 errors over that stretch while also recording 18 putouts and 42 assists and turning three double plays.

Off the field, Mayer made his impact felt by being a clubhouse leader who was fluent in both English and Spanish. The son of of a Mexican-born mother and Southern Californian-born father, the bilingual Mayer became someone international and domestic prospects could lean on.

“I’m able to get along with both of them and kind of unite them in a sense because there are kids that speak zero English and kids that speak zero Spanish,” Mayer told The Athletic’s Jen McCaffrey. “Being able to help them get along and interact with each other is pretty cool.”

Mayer continued to show the kind of person he is during the Red Sox’ fall instructional league program. There, in the JetBlue Park clubhouse, he could be seen chatting with fellow prospect and Dominican-born outfielder Miguel Bleis, among others.

“There are a lot guys that are bilingual, but not everybody gravitates toward them,” minor-league hitting coordinator Lance Zawadzki said. “So I think a big thing with him is character.”

Brian Abraham, the Sox’ director of player development, echoed the same sort of sentiment in a separate conversation with McCaffrey.

“He’s a natural leader,” stated Abraham. “Guys naturally gravitate to him, some of the young Latin American players who were there during instructional league as well as some of our domestic players, which is really special.”

Since fall instructs ended late last year, Mayer has been staying plenty busy this off-season. Between frequent visits to Fort Myers and check-ins from different Red Sox instructors regarding a variety of topics (including nutrition and strength and conditioning), the 19-year-old is ready to take 2022 head on.

“With how good he’s been, it’d be a whole lot easier to say, ‘I don’t need it or we’ll see what happens,’” Zawadzki said. “But he’s really been eager to take his game to the next level.”

Mayer is projected by SoxProspects.com to start the 2022 campaign out with Low-A Salem. The Red Sox will surely exhibit patience when it comes to managing development, but one thing is for certain: Mayer is looking forward to embarking upon his first full professional season.

“I’m super excited to finally get my first full season in,” he told McCaffrey. “I’m curious how it’s going to be because I honestly have no clue. I know it’s going to be like what I experienced (in the FCL), but probably at a different facility. I know night games, so that will be cool. I’m looking forward to starting my professional career.”

(Picture of Marcelo Mayer: Bryan Green/Flickr)

Northeastern’s Sebastian Keane one of Baseball America’s top 100 draft-eligible prospects heading into 2022 season

Baseball America released the first installment of its annual top 100 prospect rankings for the upcoming 2022 MLB Draft on Monday. Of the 100 draft-eligible high school and college players that were selected, North Andover native and Northeastern University right-hander Sebastian Keane made the cut at No. 96.

As you might recall, Keane was selected by the Red Sox in the 11th round of the 2019 amateur draft out of North Andover High School. Rather than go pro and sign with Boston, though, the young righty elected to honor his commitment to Northeastern University.

Now a 21-year-old junior, Keane is coming off an eventful 2021 season in which he pitched for both the Huskies and the Chatham Anglers of the Cape Cod Baseball League.

In 12 starts for Northeastern during the spring, Keane posted a 4.09 ERA and 1.19 WHIP to go along with 73 strikeouts to 20 walks over 70 1/3 innings of work. In seven appearances — three of which were starts — for Chatham, he produced a 3.86 ERA and 1.57 WHIP with 25 strikeouts to seven walks across 21 total innings pitched.

Listed at 6-foot-3 and 187 pounds with room to grow, Keane operates with a four-pitch mix that consists of a fastball that has reached 96 mph, a low-80s slider, a mid-70s curveball, and a low-80s changeup, per his Baseball America scouting report.

“Keane has always been a lean, wiry pitcher who might struggle to add weight in the future,” Baseball America’s Carlos Collazo wrote on Monday. “He had plenty of interest out of high school and has only gotten more since, given his performance and solid package of stuff and average control.”

Considering that he is currently regarded by BA as the 96th-ranked prospect in this year’s draft class, you could make the case that Keane — who turns 22 in November — is a projected third-round pick at the moment.

Of course, plenty will change once the high school and college baseball seasons begin in the spring. Whether Keane will be able to improve his draft stock or sees it take a hit remains to be seen as he prepares for his third season with the Huskies — which begins next month and includes an exhibition against the Red Sox in Fort Myers on February 25.

In a separate piece for Baseball America, Collazo cited that major-league scouting directors feel as though college pitching is the clear wink link heading into the 2022 draft.

“There are few established pitchers with starting track records and first round stuff to match as we enter the 2022 season,” he wrote. “Teams are hoping to look up five months from now and have much different feelings about the college pitching than they do presently.”  

With that being said, Collazo adds that prospects such as Keane do have an opportunity “to come out with better stuff and impress in a starting role all season to cement themselves in the first round because of the lack of marquee names in the group.”

Over the course of last summer’s 20-round draft, the Red Sox took a total of seven college pitchers in Wyatt Olds (seventh round), Hunter Dobbins (eighth round), Matt Litwicki (10th round), Christopher Troye (12th round), Jacob Webb (14th round), Luis Guerrero (17th round), and Tyler Uberstine (19th round).

At this point, it is too early to determine what sort of strategy the Red Sox — whose amateur scouting efforts are led by Paul Toboni — will implement going into this summer’s draft.

If college pitching becomes a priority, though, then perhaps they could target someone who is local and someone they already have a history with in Keane. Only time will tell.

(Picture of Sebastian Keane: Jim Davis/The Boston Globe via Getty Images)

Red Sox infield prospect Matthew Lugo closed out his 2021 season with Low-A Salem on a high note

One of the youngest players the Red Sox selected in the 2019 amateur draft was second-round pick Matthew Lugo.

Lugo, then just 18 years old, was fresh out of the Carlos Beltran Baseball Academy in Puerto Rico and ultimately forwent his commitment to the University of Miami to sign with the Sox for an over-slot deal of $1.1 million that June.

After beginning his professional career in the rookie-level Gulf Coast League and closing out the year with the short-season Lowell Spinners, Lugo — like many minor-leaguers had his 2020 season taken away from him due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

While Lugo had the chance to participate in some organized baseball activities during the Sox’ fall instructional league in Fort Myers, the young infielder came into the 2021 campaign having not seen any real in-game action in nearly two years.

Now 20 years old, Lugo broke minor-league camp with Low-A Salem last spring and spent the entirety of the year there. In 105 games for Salem, the right-handed hitter batted .270/.338/.364 (95 wRC+) to go along with 21 doubles, three triples, four home runs, 50 RBIs, 61 runs scored, 15 stolen bases, 38 walks, and 94 strikeouts over 469 trips to the plate.

On the surface, those numbers may not look all that inspiring, but Lugo was among the youngest hitters to play in the Low-A East last year. Interestingly enough, the Manati native fared far better against right-handed pitchers (.294/.367/.402 slash line against in 387 plate appearances) than left-handers (.160/.198/.187 slash line in 82 plate appearances).

In spite of those reverse splits, Lugo saved his best for last in terms of offensive production by batting a scorching .349/.432/.587 (171 wRC+) with five doubles, two triples, two homers, 13 RBIs, 18 runs scored, one stolen base, eight walks, and 16 strikeouts over 17 games (74 plate appearances) in the month of September.

Defensively, Lugo saw time at both second base and shortstop with the Salem Sox in 2021. The 6-foot-1, 187 pounder logged 53 innings at second base and 797 1/3 innings at shortstop, committing a total of 35 errors while turning 44 double plays.

Going into the off-season, Lugo was assigned to Criollos de Caguas of the Puerto Rican Winter League back in November. He had previously played for his hometown Atenienses de Manati during the 2019-2020 off-season but has yet to appear in a game for Caguas.

Lugo, who turns 21 in May, is the nephew of former All-Star outfielder Carlos Beltran — a close friend of Red Sox manager Alex Cora. He ended the 2021 season ranked by Baseball America as the No. 18 prospect in Boston’s farm system.

Per his Baseball America scouting report, Lugo “is described as strikingly mature in his routines and work, including strength work that led one evaluator to describe him as, pound for pound, the strongest prospect in the system. While many expected him to move to second base in pro ball, he has made significant strides at shortstop and many with the Red Sox now believe he can stick at the position.”

On that note, Lugo is projected by SoxProspects.com to begin the 2022 season at High-A Greenville. He will not become eligible for the Rule 5 Draft until next year.

Picture of Matthew Lugo: Gary Streiffer/Flickr)

New Podding the Red Sox episode: Red Sox pitching prospect Christopher Troye joins the show

On the latest episode of Podding the Red Sox: A BloggingtheRedSox.com Podcast, I am joined by Red Sox pitching prospect Christopher Troye.

Troye, who turns 23 next month, was selected by Boston in the 12th round of the 2021 amateur draft out of the University of California, Santa Barbara and made two appearances in the Florida Complex League last season.

Among the topics Christopher and I discussed are how he was a catcher in high school but converted into a pitcher in college, how he spent his summers playing in the New England Collegiate Baseball League and Cape Cod Baseball League, working out with major-leaguers such as Shane Bieber and Tyler Glasnow during the COVID-19 pandemic, reflecting on his first professional season, his goals and expectations for 2022, and much more!

The episode is available to listen to on iTunes and Spotify, among other platforms.

My thanks to Christopher for taking some time out of his off-season schedule to have a conversation with yours truly. You can follow him on Twitter (@cctroye) by clicking here and on Instagram (@christophertroye) by clicking here.

Thank you for listening and we will see you next time! Please make sure to subscribe and leave a five-star review if you can!

(Picture of Christopher Troye: Bryan Green/Flickr)

Red Sox’ Nathan Hickey quickly emerging as one of top catching prospects in Boston’s farm system

The Red Sox have an extensive history when it comes to drafting amateur prospects out of the University of Florida.

Dating back to the 2012 draft, the Sox have selected 12 players from Florida. Of that group of Gators, four (Austin Maddox, Brian Johnson, Bobby Poyner, and Shaun Anderson) went on to make it to the major-leagues.

Most recently, Boston selected Florida outfielder Jud Fabian and Florida catcher Nathan Hickey with its second- and fifth-round picks in last summer’s draft, respectively.

While Fabian ultimately made the decision to return to Gainesville for his senior season, Hickey wound up signing with the Red Sox for an over-slot deal of $1 million last July.

Upon inking his first professional contract, Hickey — a native of Jacksonville — reported to Fort Myers to begin his debut season with the rookie-level Florida Complex League Red Sox.

Across eight games in the FCL, the left-handed hitting backstop slashed .250/.429/.350 (124 wRC+) to go along with two doubles, one RBI, four runs scored, six walks, and eight strikeouts over 28 plate appearances before earning a promotion to Low-A Salem on August 27.

Hickey appeared in two games on Aug. 27 and 28, but was placed on the temporary inactive list on September 5. After a near-two-week hiatus, the 22-year-old returned to the field and made his final appearance of the season for Salem on Sept. 17. All told, he went 1-for-8 at the plate in his first exposure to the Low-A level.

Shortly after the conclusion of the minor-league season, it was revealed that Hickey’s father, Mark, passed away in early October.

On the heels of what was presumably an emotional 2021, Hickey comes into 2022 regarded by MLB Pipeline as the No. 19 prospect in Boston’s farm system — which ranks tops among catchers in the organization.

Per his MLB Pipeline scouting report, Hickey’s best carrying tool is his raw power. He also utilizes “a mature approach at the plate” that could help him “develop into a solid hitter, though his swing can get long and too uphill at times.”

That being said, Hickey also comes with some questions in regards to his defensive abilities behind the plate. The 6-foot, 210 pounder’s “receiving and blocking will have to improve significantly, and his solid arm strength plays down and resulted in 39 steals in 41 attempts against him during the spring.”

On that note, Hickey does have experience at other positions besides catcher. He saw time at both corner infield positions with the Gators in the spring before catching a total of five games between the FCL and Low-A over the summer.

Whether Hickey — who does not turn 23 until November — is able to stick at catcher has yet to be determined. He does however have an appealing offensive profile, and that should only help him in the long run.

Going off of SoxProspects.com’s roster projections, Hickey is slated to begin the 2022 campaign where he left off in 2021: with Salem. He will likely have a chance to earn a midseason promotion to High-A Greenville depending on the kind of start he gets off to.

(Picture of Nathan Hickey: Bryan Green/Flickr)

 

Red Sox prospect Nick Northcut quietly put together powerful 2021 season with Low-A Salem

When thinking of the more highly-touted infield prospects in the Red Sox farm system, Nick Northcut may not be the first name you come up with since he is not ranked by any major publications.

That being said, Northcut was actually one of the better hitting minor-leaguers in the organization last year, and he may have put together a productive 2021 season while flying under the radar a bit.

Coming out of minor-league spring training, Northcut began the year with Low-A Salem and remained there throughout what was his just his second full professional season.

Across 96 games for the Salem Red Sox, the 22-year-old slashed a sturdy .261/.352/.513 to go along with 32 doubles, two triples, 17 home runs, 77 RBIs, 68 runs scored, 46 walks, and 91 strikeouts over 402 plate appearances en route to being named a Low-A East Postseason All-Star.

Among qualified hitters in the Low-A East, Northcut ranked first in doubles, third in home runs, second in RBIs, ninth in runs scored, 16th in on-base percentage, first in slugging percentage, fourth in OPS (.865), first in isolated power (.252), and sixth in wRC+ (129), per FanGraphs.

Defensively, the right-handed hitting corner infielder appeared in a total of 38 games at first base and 47 games at third base with Salem. He committed three errors in 329 innings at first base and 11 errors in 383 innings at the hot corner.

Well before the 2021 season began, the Red Sox selected Northcut in the 11th round of the 2018 amateur draft out of Mason High School. At that time, the Ohio native was a well-regarded two-way prep prospect (ranked 69th overall by Baseball America) and was committed to play college baseball at Vanderbilt University.

With the help of then-area scout John Pyle, however, Boston was able to land Northcut by signing him to an over-slot deal of $565,000 in June 2018. He made his pro debut in the Gulf Coast League (now the Florida Complex League) shortly thereafter.

After spending the entirety of the 2019 campaign in Lowell, Northcut suffered the same fate as many minor-leaguers when the 2020 season was wiped out of the COVID-19 pandemic. He did not receive an invite to the Sox’ alternate training site that summer, but seemingly took advantage of his time at fall instructs later in the year in Fort Myers.

On the heels of such an impressive year at the plate in 2021, the 6-foot-1, 206 pounder is projected by SoxProspects.com to begin the upcoming season at High-A Greenville, though he will likely face plenty of competition for playing time there.

Northcut, who turns 23 in June, can become eligible for the Rule 5 Draft for the first time in his career next winter. In other words, he could be added to Boston’s 40-man roster by November depending on the type of year he has and/or how the team feels about him.

(Picture of Nick Northcut: Gary Streiffer/Flickr)

Should Red Sox view pitching prospect Wyatt Olds as starter or reliever moving forward?

Over the summer, the Red Sox selected 20 players in the revamped version of the 2021 amateur draft.

Of the 16 draftees Boston wound up signing, eight were pitchers. This piece in particular will focus on University of Oklahoma right-hander Wyatt Olds and the year he put together.

Taken in the seventh round (and with the 196th overall pick) in the draft, Olds signed with the Sox for $239,000 in late July and was promptly sent out to the club’s spring training complex in Fort Myers.

After making just one appearance for the rookie-level Florida Complex League Red Sox, Olds was promoted to Low-A Salem on August 20. The 22-year-old closed out his first professional season by posting a 2.45 ERA and 2.52 FIP to go along with 20 strikeouts to six walks over five outings (three starts) spanning 11 innings of work.

Among the 334 pitchers who accrued at least 10 innings on the mound last season, Olds ranked 11th in strikeouts per nine innings (16.4), 23rd in strikeout rate (40%), 26th in FIP, and 43rd in xFIP (3.26), per FanGraphs.

Olds, who was signed out of college by area scout Lane Decker, was used as both a starter and reliever in his three seasons with the Sooners. Most recently, the Oklahoma native opened the 2021 campaign in the team’s starting rotation, but he was moved back to the bullpen in mid-April.

Coming into the draft, Olds was regarded by Baseball America as the 422nd-ranked draft-eligible prospect. According to his Baseball America scouting report from that time, the righty’s “lower arm slot can make it hard for hitters to pick up the ball, and he misses bats, but he also misses the strike zone. He has a long arm action that he has struggled to repeat consistently, especially in longer stints. His fastball picked up a tick after his move to the bullpen, as he went from sitting 91-94 mph to sitting 93-96 mph and touching 97 mph.

In addition to his high-octane fastball, SoxProspects.com’s director of scouting Ian Cundall writes that Olds works with an 85-88 mph slider and a changeup that still has room for improvement.

Listed at 6-foot and 183 pounds, Olds does not turn 23 until August. He “has definite major-league potential” as a reliever, per Cundall. But he needs “to improve his changeup and show he can stay healthy over a full season as a starter to be considered in that role.”

On that note, Olds is projected by SoxProspects.com to begin the 2022 minor-league season in Salem’s starting rotation. Cundall suggests that this would force the young hurler “to use all of his pitches and refine his fastball command.”

(Picture of Wyatt Olds: Edward Reali/OU Daily)

Red Sox prospect Tyler McDonough could add more versatility to his game by playing some shortstop in 2022, Brian Abraham says

Tyler McDonough may not have been the top selection the Red Sox made in this summer’s draft, but he has already emerged as one of the early standouts from the class.

Boston took McDonough — a 5-foot-10, 180 pound second baseman — in the third round of the 2021 amateur draft out of North Carolina State University, where he was well-regarded for for his offensive production and consistency at the plate.

Upon signing with the Sox for $831,100 in late July, McDonough was assigned to the club’s rookie-level Florida Complex League affiliate in Fort Myers. It did not take long for the 22-year-old to get acclimated to pro ball, as he was promptly promoted to Low-A Salem on August 3.

It took a little more than two weeks for McDonough to make his Salem Red Sox debut, but the switch-hitter wound up slashing .296/.397/.491 (141 wRC+) with four doubles, four triples, three home runs, 14 RBIs, 23 runs scored, three stolen bases, 17 walks, and 24 strikeouts over 27 games (126 plate appearances) to close out the minor-league season.

In his three seasons at North Carolina State, McDonough saw his playing time come at second base, third base, and center field. In his first exposure to the pros, he saw all his playing time come at either second base or center field.

That being said, the Red Sox do believe McDonough can add even more defensive versatility to his profile. The Cincinnati native did play shortstop while attending the prestigious Moeller High School and — as noted by The Athletic’s Chad Jennings — “regularly took pregame groundballs at shortstop” this past season.

When speaking with Jennings over the weekend, Red Sox director of player development Brian Abraham indicated that McDonough “could play some shortstop next year, perhaps not as a primary position but to explore the possibility of backing up at the position” if the occasion arises.

“If you can play shortstop and center field, that’s pretty valuable,” said Abraham. “There aren’t too many guys who can do that. What we’ve seen — the athleticism, the footwork, the arm strength — all those things give us reason to think he could play some shortstop. But I think you have to walk before you run as well. I think we’re certainly open to it, and if he shows us he has the ability to do that, we’ll certainly give him that opportunity.”

Under chief baseball officer Chaim Bloom, and perhaps even before then, Boston has clearly placed an emphasis on players who can play multiple positions, and that — from an in-house perspective — starts from the bottom of the player development ladder.

“We’ve definitely been — I don’t want to say more aggressive, but we’ve definitely been a little bit more open to allowing guys to play in multiple areas,” Abraham said. “(We are) allowing them to get (experience) at a position where, at the upper levels, they don’t get there for the first time and say, ‘Wow, I’m uncomfortable here.’ So, I think that’s definitely been strategic on our end. But again, we’ve also been very lucky to have some very good players who can play multiple positions.”

McDonough, who does not turn 23 until April, was recently identified by Baseball America as the fastest runner and best athlete in Boston’s 2021 draft class. He is projected by SoxProspects.com to begin the 2022 campaign at High-A Greenville.

(Picture of Tyler McDonough: Steven Branscombe/USA TODAY Sports)

Marcelo Mayer takes over top spot in Baseball America’s latest Red Sox prospect rankings

Baseball America unveiled its top 10 prospects within the Red Sox farm system heading into the 2022 season on Wednesday morning. Most notably, there is a new No. 1 in the ranks.

Previously occupied by Triston Casas, infielder Marcelo Mayer has taken over as the top prospect in Boston’s farm system going into 2022.

The Red Sox selected Mayer with the fourth overall pick in this year’s amateur draft out of Eastlake High School (Chula Vista, Calif.).

A University of Southern California commit, Mayer — with some help from area scout J.J. Altobelli — signed with the Sox for $6.64 million in late July and was subsequently assigned to the club’s rookie-level Florida Complex League affiliate in Fort Myers.

With the FCL Red Sox, the left-handed hitting shortstop slashed .275/.377/.440 (121 wRC+) with four doubles, one triple, three home runs, 17 RBIs, 25 runs scored, seven stolen bases, 15 walks, and 27 strikeouts over 26 games spanning 107 plate appearances.

Going into this summer’s draft, Mayer was regarded as perhaps the best prep prospect available, and the Red Sox were able to capitalize on that after finishing with the fourth-worst record in baseball (24-36) in 2020 and thus receiving the No. 4 pick in the 2021 draft.

Mayer, who turns 19 next month, joins an exceptional list of Red Sox prospects to be regarded by Baseball America as the top minor-leaguer in Boston’s farm system, such as Xander Bogaerts, Yoan Moncada, Andrew Benintendi, and Bobby Dalbec.

While Mayer is likely going to start the 2022 minor-league season at Low-A Salem, him moving up to the top spot in Baseball America’s Red Sox prospect rankings means Casas has dropped to No. 2 spot.

Here is how the rest of Baseball America’s top-10 rankings for the Red Sox shake out.

3. Nick Yorke, 2B

4. Jarren Duran, OF

5. Brayan Bello, RHP

6. Jeter Downs, IF

7. Blaze Jordan, 1B

8. Bryan Mata, RHP

9. Josh Winckowski, RHP

10. Jay Groome, LHP

It should be noted that The Boston Globe’s Alex Speier, who also serves as a contributor for Baseball America, was responsible for compiling this list. You can read more about his choices by clicking here and here.

(Picture of Marcelo Mayer: Billie Weiss/Boston Red Sox/Getty Images)

What Red Sox gain from Eduardo Rodriguez reportedly reaching agreement with Tigers

The Red Sox may have lost Eduardo Rodriguez in free agency to the Tigers on Monday, but chief baseball officer Chaim Bloom and Co. will at least be compensated for it.

Last week, the Sox extended an $18.4 million qualifying offer to Rodriguez, but the 28-year-old rejected it at some point during the GM meetings and remained a free agent by doing so.

Because they extended Rodriguez a qualifying offer, though, Boston ensured that if the left-hander were to sign elsewhere in free agency, they would receive a compensatory draft pick in return.

As it turns out, Rodriguez — a client of Mato Sports Management — has reportedly agreed to a five-year, $77 million deal with the Tigers that includes an opt out after the second year, a no-trade clause of some sort, and up to $3 million in performance incentives.

Since Detroit is in line to sign a qualified free agent in Rodriguez, they will forfeit a pick. Boston, on the other hand, picks up an additional selection in next summer’s amateur draft.

According to MLB Trade Rumors‘ Anthony Franco, the Sox will receive a pick after Competitive Balance Round B — or somewhere in the 70-75 range — since they “neither received revenue sharing nor exceeded the luxury tax threshold in 2021.”

Over the summer, the Red Sox failed to sign University of Florida outfielder Jud Fabian, who they selected with the 40th overall pick in this year’s amateur draft. As a result of failing to sign Fabian, the club will receive the No. 41 pick in the 2022 draft.

Per the Collective Bargaining Agreement, this compensatory pick is protected, which means a team that signs a qualified free agent would not be required to give it up.

As previously mentioned, the Red Sox did not receive revenue sharing money or spend past the luxury tax threshold of $210 million this past season. In addition to getting a draft pick after Competitive Balance Round B next year, this also means that Boston would have to forfeit its second-highest draft pick if they were to sign a free agent who received a qualifying offer from another club.

As noted by The Boston Globe’s Alex Speier, though, the draft pick that the Red Sox gained as a result of failing to sign Fabian is protected, so they would instead part ways with their third-highest — or another second-round pick if they were to sign a qualified free agent such as Justin Verlander or Carlos Correa.

Put another way, “the Sox will have both a first-round pick and, thanks to Fabian, an early second-round (No. 41 overall) pick in their draft” next year, per Speier.

(Picture of Eduardo Rodriguez: Duane Burleson/Getty Images)