Red Sox invite Michael Feliz, Zack Kelly, Rob Refsnyder, and Christin Stewart to spring training

The Red Sox have added four non-roster invitees to their 2022 spring training roster, the club announced earlier Tuesday afternoon. In other words, the signings of right-handers Michael Feliz and Zack Kelly and outfielders Rob Refsnyder and Christin Stewart to minor-league deals have all been made official.

Feliz originally joined the Red Sox on a minor-league pact back in August, at a time when the club was navigating its way through a COVID-19 pandemic and was in need of additional depth.

The 28-year-old had his contract selected from Triple-A Worcester on September 6 and appeared in four games for Boston, allowing a total of two runs on four hits, one walk, and five strikeouts over 5 1/3 innings of relief.

11 days after getting called up, Feliz lost his spot on the Sox’ 40-man roster when he he was designated for assignment. The Dominican-born righty was claimed by the Athletics on Sept. 20, but was designated and subsequently released by Oakland before season’s end.

Since making his major-league debut in 2015, Feliz has posted a 5.33 ERA and 4.14 FIP to go along with 324 strikeouts to 107 walks across 227 appearances (one start) spanning 246 2/3 innings of work between the Astros, Pirates, Reds, Red Sox, and Athletics. He operates with a three-pitch mix that consists of a four-seam fastball, slider, and changeup, per Baseball Savant.

Kelly, on the other hand, also spent at least part of the 2021 season with the Red Sox organization, though he did not and has yet to pitch at the major-league level.

Originally signed to a minors pact by Boston last December, Kelly impressed many this year by putting up a 2.18 ERA, 2.64 FIP, and 69:18 strikeout-to-walk ratio over 36 outings (45 1/3 innings) between Double-A Portland and Triple-A Worcester.

The 26-year-old reliever went undrafted out of Division II Newberry College in 2017 and previously spent time in the Athletics and Angels organizations. After such a successful 2021 campaign, Kelly re-signed with the Sox last month and could very well be on the cusp of making his big-league debut in 2022.

Turning to the position players now, both Refsnyder and Stewart figure to provide the Red Sox with upper-minors outfield depth.

Refsnyder, who turns 31 in March, was initially selected by the Yankees in the fifth round of the 2012 amateur draft and broke in with New York in 2015. Since then, the right-handed hitter has spent time with eight different organizations (Yankees, Blue Jays, Guardians, Rays, Diamondbacks, Reds, Rangers, Twins) while appearing in a total of 232 major-league games over that stretch.

This past season with Minnesota, Refsnyder slashed .245/.235/.338 with seven doubles, two home runs, 12 RBIs, 21 runs scored, one stolen base, 17 walks, and 40 strikeouts over 51 games (157 plate appearances) while seeing time at all three outfield positions. He also posted a 1.046 OPS in 18 games for the Twins’ Triple-A affiliate.

Stewart, who turned 28 earlier this month, was selected by the Tigers in the first round of the 2015 draft out of the University of Tennessee. He made his major-league debut for Detroit in 2018 and spent parts of three seasons (2018-2020) with the club.

Over the course of those three seasons, Stewart batted .225/.300/.376 with 29 doubles, two triples, 15 home runs, 59 RBIs, 45 runs scored, 49 walks, and 146 strikeouts over 157 games spanning 587 trips to the plate. He did so while strictly playing left field.

Right before the start of the 2021 season, the Tigers designated Stewart for assignment and later outrighted him off their 40-man roster after he cleared waivers. The left-handed hitter spent the entirety of the year with Triple-A Toledo and wound up slashing .254/.339/.538 (127 wRC+) to go along with 13 doubles, five triples, 21 homers, 58 RBIs, 51 runs scored, two stolen bases, 33 walks, and 100 strikeouts in 89 games and 343 plate appearances.

With the additions of Kelly, Feliz, Refsnyder, and Stewart, the Red Sox now have 43 players on their spring training roster. This includes the 39 players currently on Boston’s 40-man roster.

(Picture of Michael Feliz: Adam Glanzman/Getty Images)

Red Sox non-tender Tim Locastro, but ‘are already trying to re-sign’ speedy outfielder, per report

The Red Sox may have non-tendered Tim Locastro on Tuesday night, but the club may already be looking into bringing the speedy outfielder back.

According to MassLive.com’s Chris Cotillo, the Sox are indeed trying to re-sign Locastro, who was projected by MLB Trade Rumors to earn approximately $700,000 in his first year of arbitration eligibility in 2022.

Locastro, 29, was originally claimed off waivers from the Yankees on November 5 and was subsequently added to Boston’s 40-man roster. He spent the 2021 season with the Diamondbacks and Yankees, slashing .180/.263/.252 with four doubles, two home runs, seven RBIs, 15 runs scored, five stolen bases, seven walks, and 33 strikeouts over 64 games (156 plate appearances) between both clubs.

Upon getting traded from Arizona to New York on July 1, Locastro suffered a season-ending injury very early into his Yankees career, as he tore his right ACL in a game against the Red Sox in the Bronx on July 17.

After undergoing season-ending knee surgery on July 21, Locastro later lost his spot on the Yankees’ 40-man roster, thus allowing the Red Sox to claim him in the first place.

As of early November, the right-handed hitting speedster had began running again and was making significant progress in his rehab.

“Tim’s on track for a full recovery from his injury,” Red Sox chief baseball officer Chaim Bloom said in a recent conversation with BloggingtheRedSox.com. “With his speed and athleticism, he’s great depth for us to add at the beginning of the off-season.”

At that time, Bloom also said, “We’ll see how things play out from here.” Less than a full month later, it turns out Boston has removed Locastro from their 40-man roster.

While coming off a tough injury such as an ACL tear, Locastro had previously established himself as one of the quickest base runners in the majors. Per Baseball Savant, the 6-foot-1, 190 pounder led the league in sprint speed in 2019 (30.8 feet per second) and 2020 (30.7 feet per second) and was tied with Trea Turner atop the leaderboard in 2021 (30.7 feet per second).

Taking his elite speed and the fact that he plays all three outfield positions into consideration, there is an appeal to Locastro’s game. The former 13th-round draft pick out of Ithaca College does not turn 30 until next July, has one minor-league option year remaining, and is also under club control through 2024.

With that being said, Cotillo notes that in their efforts to retain Locastro, the Red Sox could get the New York native to sign a minor-league deal for the 2022 season that would include an invite to major-league spring training.

Boston has, after all, been active in minor-league free agency as of late. On Tuesday, the club reportedly inked outfielders Rob Refsnyder and Christin Stewart to minor-league contracts for the 2022 campaign.

Adding Locastro via another minors pact would only further strengthen the Sox’ outfield depth behind the likes of Alex Verdugo, Enrique Hernandez, Hunter Renfroe, and Jarren Duran.

On another note, it is worth mentioning that Locastro was one of 41 players to not be tendered a contract by their respective teams on Tuesday. It’s likely that the Red Sox will be involved in talks with those who have recently been made free agents before the impending work stoppage begins on Wednesday night.

(Picture of Tim Locastro: Steven Ryan/Getty Images)

Red Sox sign outfielder Christin Stewart to minor-league deal for 2022 season, per report

The Red Sox have signed outfielder Christin Stewart to a minor-league contract for the 2022 season, according to WEEI’s Rob Bradford. The deal includes an invite to major-league spring training.

Stewart, who turns 28 on December 10, was originally selected by the Tigers in the first round of the 2015 amateur draft out of the University of Tennessee. He made his big-league debut in September 2018 and spent parts of three major-league seasons with Detroit (2018-2020) before becoming a free agent earlier this month.

Across 157 games with the Tigers, Stewart slashed .225/.300/.376 with 29 doubles, two triples, 15 home runs, 59 RBIs, 45 runs scored, 49 walks, and 146 strikeouts over 587 cumulative plate appearances.

Leading up to the 2021 season, Stewart was designated for assignment by Detroit in early April and was subsequently outrighted to the club’s alternate training site/Triple-A affiliate shortly thereafter.

With Triple-A Toledo this year, the left-handed hitter batted .254/.339/.538 (127 wRC+) to go along with 13 doubles, five triples, 21 homers, 58 RBIs, 51 runs scored, two stolen bases, 33 walks, and 100 strikeouts over 89 games spanning 343 trips to the plate.

A native of Atlanta, Stewart has only played left field at the major-league level, but he did see a significant amount of his playing time with Toledo come in right field this year.

Listed at 6-foot and 220 pounds, Stewart is represented by the Boras Corporation. He has three minor-league options remaining and could remain under club control through the end of the 2025 campaign.

By inking Stewart to a minor-league pact for the 2022 season, the Red Sox have continued to add to their upper-minors outfield depth at Triple-A Worcester after signing fellow outfielder Rob Refsnyder on Tuesday as well.

(Picture of Christin Stewart: Stacy Revere/Getty Images)

Red Sox sign outfielder Rob Refsnyder to minor-league deal for 2022 season, per report

The Red Sox have signed free-agent outfielder Rob Refsnyder to a minor-league contract for the 2022 season, according to MassLive.com’s Chris Cotillo. The deal includes an invite to major-league spring training.

Refsnyder, 30, spent the 2021 season with the Twins after signing a minor-league pact with Minnesota last November. In 51 games, he slashed .245/.325/.338 with seven doubles, two home runs, 12 RBIs, 21 runs scored, one stolen base, 17 walks, and 40 strikeouts over 157 trips to the plate while making appearances at all three outfield positions.

Born in Seoul, South Korea, Refsnyder was originally selected by the Yankees in the fifth round of the 2012 amateur draft out of the University of Arizona. The right-handed hitter was regarded as one of the top prospects in New York’s farm system before making his big-league debut against the Red Sox in July 2015.

Since that time, Refsnyder has bounced around a bit, as he was traded by the Yankees to the Blue Jays in July 2017 and was claimed off waivers by the Guardians that November.

The Rays purchased Refsnyder’s contract from Cleveland ahead of Opening Day in 2018, so it’s safe to assume there is some there is at least some history between him and Red Sox chief baseball officer Chaim Bloom.

After appearing in 40 games in Tampa Bay throughout the 2018 campaign, Refsnyder inked a minor-league pact with the Diamondbacks that November before being dealt to the Reds the following spring.

While Refsnyder did not appear in a game for Cincinnati in 2019, he did make his way back to the majors with the Rangers during the compressed 2020 season.

All in all, Refsnyder has appeared in 232 total big-league contests between the Yankees, Blue Jays, Rays, Rangers, and Twins dating back to 2015. And he has done so while seeing playing time at every defensive position besides catcher and shortstop.

Listed at 6-foot, 205 pounds, Refsnyder — who turns 31 in March — is represented by PSI Sports Management. He is out of minor-league options, but is technically under club control through 2024.

In adding Refsnyder via a minor-league contract, the Red Sox add a somewhat versatile player who will mainly provide outfield depth while also having a chance to make an impact at Triple-A Worcester next year.

Per Cotillo, Refsnyder is the fourth known minor-league signing Boston has made since the start of the off-season. Right-handers Caleb Simpson, Zack Kelly and Michael Gettys all re-signed with the club earlier this fall.

(Picture of Rob Refsnyder: Brace Hemmelgarn/Minnesota Twins/Getty Images)