Red Sox’ James Paxton diagnosed with Grade 1 hamstring strain

Red Sox left-hander James Paxton has been diagnosed with a Grade 1 hamstring strain, manager Alex Cora told reporters (including MLB.com’s Ian Browne) on Saturday.

Paxton strained his right hamstring in the second inning of Friday’s 9-4 Grapefruit League win over the Twins in Fort Myers. The 34-year-old was scheduled to pitch two innings but had to come out of the game with a trainer after recording the first two outs of the second.

“It’s a strain. Not as bad, but probably similar to [Connor] Wong,” Cora said. “We’ll know how he’s reacting. If we need imaging, we’ll do it. But right now, we don’t feel that way.”

When speaking with reporters outside the Red Sox clubhouse on Friday, Paxton said he began feeling discomfort in his hamstring on his second-to-last pitch to Michael A. Taylor. He retired the outfielder with his next offering, but could be seen grabbing at and stretching out his right hamstring in an attempt to get loose.

At that point, Paxton received a visit on the mound from Cora and a member of the team’s training staff. The decision was then made that the lefty’s day would be over right then and there.

“My hamstring just grabbed on me a little bit just as I was kind of starting to find that firing pin to let the ball go a little bit harder,” said Paxton. “I wanted to step on it a little bit and the hamstring just grabbed.”

Before departing, Paxton proved to be effective against the Twins on Friday. He struck out Carlos Correa as part of a 1-2-3 first inning and then got the first two outs of the second. Twelve of the 19 pitches he threw went for strikes and he topped out at 94.7 mph with his four-seam fastball, per Baseball Savant.

As part of Saturday’s announcement, Cora revealed that Paxton will be shut down temporarily, which puts his status for Opening Day into question. If he falls behind in his progressions enough, Paxton could very well start the season on the injured list for the second year in a row.

“Obviously, he’s going to fall behind a little bit here,” Cora said. “It doesn’t look that bad. It sucks because he worked so hard to get to this point. We’ll be patient, just like he will be and he’ll be ready whenever he’s ready.”

Paxton originally signed a one-year, $6 million contract with Boston in December 2021 that came with a two-year club option and a one-year player option. At that time, the southpaw was about eight months removed from having undergone Tommy John surgery while still a member of the Mariners.

After his rehab from the procedure was initially delayed by posterior elbow soreness last May, Paxton was able to began a rehab assignment in the Florida Complex League in August. Just two batters into his start for the FCL Red Sox, though, Paxton suffered a Grade 2 lat tear, which ended his 2022 season before it really even started.

In November, the Red Sox declined Paxton’s two-year, $26 million club option that would have covered the 2023 and 2024 seasons. Paxton, in turn, elected to remain in Boston by exercising his $4 million player option for the 2023 campaign.

“I’m comfortable here,” Paxton told MassLive.com’s Christopher Smith last month. “They know me. I know them. And I’m trying to establish myself back in the big-leagues and I felt like this was the place for me to do it.”

Dating back to the start of the COVID-shortened 2020 season, Paxton has been limited to just six starts spanning 21 1/3 innings. For his major-league career, which spans nine seasons, he has only surpassed the 150-inning plateau twice (2018, 2019) due to different injuries, most of which have been arm-related.

The Red Sox came into camp with seven starters (Paxton, Chris Sale, Nick Pivetta, Corey Kluber, Brayan Bello, Garrett Whitlock, and Tanner Houck), competing for five rotation spots. Since workouts began though, Paxton has gone down with a hamstring injury, Bello was slowed by right forearm tightness, and Whitlock has yet to fully ramp up after undergoing hip surgery last September.

Since Boston is expected to exercise caution with all of its starters in camp, it’s certainly possible all three of Bello, Paxton, and Whitlock start the season on the 15-day injured list. If that is indeed the case, the Red Sox do have rotation depth to turn to in right-handers Kutter Crawford and Josh Winckowski. Beyond those two, prospects with starting experience in the minor-leagues — such as Bryan Mata, Chris Murphy, and Brandon Walter — are on the 40-man roster as well.

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

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Red Sox’ James Paxton leaves first start of spring early with hamstring injury

James Paxton was scheduled to pitch two innings in his first start of the spring for the Red Sox against the Twins on Friday afternoon. The left-hander unfortunately fell short of that goal due to a right hamstring injury.

After recording the first two outs of the second inning at Hammond Stadium, Paxton could be seen grabbing at and stretching out his right hamstring in an attempt to loosen it up. That prompted a visit from Red Sox manager Alex Cora and a member of the team’s training staff.

Paxton, who to that point had retired all five batters he faced while recording one strikeout over 1 2/3 scoreless innings of work, then left the field with a trainer and was pulled from the game in favor of fellow lefty Rio Gomez.

“We’ll know tomorrow,” Red Sox manager Alex Cora told reporters (including MLB.com’s Ian Browne) following Boston’s 9-4 win over Minnesota. “Obviously, not perfect. Hopefully it was just a cramp. I think obviously with him, we’ve got to be very careful. It’s a shame because he was throwing the [heck] out of the ball today. His location was great, velo was up. … And that happened. Hopefully it’s nothing and we can just continue to move on.”

Paxton himself said he first felt discomfort on his second-to-last pitch to Michael A. Taylor with one out in the second. He got the center fielder to fly out to left with his next offering, but was unable to continue after that despite only needing to get one more out.

“My hamstring just grabbed on me a little bit just as I was kind of starting to find that firing pin to let the ball go a little bit harder,” Paxton said. “I wanted to step on it a little bit and the hamstring just grabbed. We’ll see what we got. We don’t really know yet. But we’ll see how I come in feeling tomorrow and go from there.”

Of the 19 pitches Paxton threw on Friday, 12 went for strikes. He punched out Twins shortstop Carlos Correa as part of a 1-2-3 first inning and needed nine pitches to get the first two outs of the second. According to Baseball Savant, the 34-year-old southpaw topped out at 94.7 mph with his four-seam fastball.

“I think there’s positives and negatives,” Paxton said of his shortened outing. “I think that going out there and filling up the zone like I did felt good. Some good breaking balls, fastball felt pretty good. I felt like it was coming out of the hand well. But then this happens and now we’re gonna have to deal with this so that I can continue moving forward. I’ll do whatever I have to do to get back out there.”

Paxton has been with the Red Sox since signing with the club as a free agent in December 2021. At that time, the veteran hurler was about eight months removed from undergoing Tommy John surgery after making one start for the Mariners that season. He spent most of the 2022 campaign rehabbing before suffering a Grade 2 left lat tear in his first rehab outing in late August.

Given his recent injury history, Paxton elected to exercise his $4 million player option for 2023 and return to the Red Sox without any sort of limitations this spring. Even if this latest setback proves to be minor, Boston will undoubtedly exercise caution when it comes to Paxton’s health moving forward.

Paxton is one of seven candidates vying for five spots in the Red Sox’ Opening Day starting rotation alongside the likes of Chris Sale, Nick Pivetta, Corey Kluber, Brayan Bello, Garrett Whitlock, and Tanner Houck. As noted by MassLive.com’s Chris Cotillo, though, Bello, Whitlock, and now Paxton have all been slowed by different issues this spring, which could put someone like Kutter Crawford into the rotation mix early this season.

Paxton said that he is unsure if he strained his hamstring or simply experienced a cramp. Regardless, he is disappointed and frustrated by what transpired on Friday.

“This is not how I wanted this to go,” said Paxton. “I wanted to go through spring training clean. But I can’t control that. All I can control is going to work on this now and doing whatever I can to get back out there and pitch again.”

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

Red Sox’ Garrett Whitlock may not be ready for Opening Day, Alex Cora says

Red Sox right-hander Garrett Whitlock may not be ready for the start of the season, manager Alex Cora indicated to reporters (including MLB.com’s Ian Browne) on Monday.

Having undergone right hip surgery in September, Whitlock came into camp this spring still in rehab mode. While the 26-year-old has been throwing bullpens like the club’s other pitchers in Fort Myers, he has not yet been cleared to face live hitters or participate in fielding practice, which requires additional movement.

Because the Red Sox are still waiting for that clearance, Cora admitted that Whitlock could have to start the season on the injured list if he is not ready for Opening Day against the Orioles on March 30.

“His next bullpen is up and down again. He’s throwing the ball well, he’s moving well. Not yet doing PFPs. We’re not concerned. We’ve got a plan,” Cora said. “We’ll see where we’re at in the upcoming weeks. If he’s ready for Opening Day, he’s ready. But if he’s not, he’s not going to lose too much time. If he’s not there [for Opening Day], it’s not because he’s hurt or whatever. It’s just the progression of where we’re at, especially moving around.”

In addition to Whitlock, the Red Sox have six other candidates vying for five starting rotation spots this spring in Chris Sale, Corey Kluber, Nick Pivetta, James Paxton, Brayan Bello, and Tanner Houck. So, if Whitlock were to miss a few starts to begin the season, they at least have some insurance there.

Though Whitlock has primarily been used out of the bullpen in his first two big-league seasons, the Red Sox have remained adamant that they want the righty to become a full-time starter in 2023. The four-year, $18.75 million contract extension he signed last April that includes significant incentive clauses based on the number of innings he pitches reflects that notion.

Whitlock is not the only Boston starter whose progress has been slowed since camp began earlier this month. Bello was shut down on February 17 due to forearm tightness, but has since been cleared to throw off a mound again. Pivetta has been on the mend following a recent bout with COVID-19 and bowed out of pitching for Canada in the World Baseball Classic as a result.

While the status of those three will remain in question until they can get into games, Kluber will make his spring debut against the Marlins in Jupiter on Tuesday. Houck and Paxton are scheduled to start on Thursday and Friday while Sale is getting close to game action after facing hitters for the first time this year over the weekend.

(Picture of Garrett Whitlock: Maddie Malhotra/Boston Red Sox/Getty Images)

Red Sox’ Brayan Bello throws off mound for first time since being shut down earlier this month

For the first time since being shut down with forearm tightness earlier this month, Red Sox starter Brayan Bello threw off a mound at the Fenway South complex on Sunday.

As part of a 20-pitch bullpen with pitching coach Dave Bush looking on, Bello threw strictly fastballs and changeups. The right-hander told reporters (including MLB.com’s Ian Browne) that he did not feel any discomfort and will feature all of his pitches in his next side session.

“I feel good. I’m pushing myself to be ready for Opening Day,” Bello said through a translator, via The Boston Globe’s Pete Abraham. “In the beginning I was worried because I didn’t know what it was, but I’m fine now.”

After debuting for the Red Sox last July and posting a 4.71 ERA (2.94 FIP) with 55 strikeouts to 27 walks over 13 outings (11 starts, 57 1/3 innings) as a rookie, Bello came into camp this spring with the hopes of competing for a spot in Boston’s Opening Day starting rotation. But the 23-year-old hurler was shut down on February 17 due to experiencing soreness in his right forearm.

Following a brief hiatus, Bello resumed throwing on flat ground last Monday. Shortly thereafter, he told MassLive.com’s Christopher Smith that he was optimistic he would be able to avoid the injured list and would be ready for the start of the 2023 season.

“Of course I’m ready,” Bello said through translator Carlos Villoria Benitez. “The (tightness) that set me back, it wasn’t that much of a time. So for me, I’m ready, hopefully, to be the No. 5 starter in that rotation.”

Although he has graduated from his prospect status, Bello — who turns 24 in May — is still considered to be the top young pitching talent in the Red Sox organization. He is one of seven candidates competing for a spot in Boston’s five-man rotation to begin the year. The other six starters are Chris Sale, Corey Kluber, Nick Pivetta, James Paxton, Garrett Whitlock, and Tanner Houck.

“I feel way better than last year. I feel more prepared,” said Bello. “I know I’m competing with other pitchers for a spot in the starting rotation. For me, that’s my goal. My goal is to try to make the team out of camp as a starter.”

If Bello does not experience any setbacks following Sunday’s bullpen and his next side session, the next step will presumably be for him to face live hitters. The Red Sox, of course, will exercise caution and patience. One would have to assume that the club would need to see how Bello fares in competitive action (i.e. in Grapefruit League Games) before determining if he will indeed be ready for Opening Day or not.

(Picture of Brayan Bello: Billie Weiss/Boston Red Sox/Getty Images)

Red Sox’ Brayan Bello provides update on sore forearm: ‘I feel much better right now’

On Friday, Red Sox manager Alex Cora announced that Brayan Bello had been shut down from throwing through the weekend due to what he described as forearm soreness.

On Saturday, Bello provided an update on how he was feeling when speaking with reporters (including MassLive.com’s Christopher Smith) at JetBlue Park in Fort Myers.

Bello first began experiencing tightness in his forearm after throwing a bullpen session at the Fenway South complex at the beginning of the week. The right-hander did not describe it as being painful.

“I didn’t feel any pain,” Bello said (through translator Carlos Villoria Benitez). “I just felt tight and I really didn’t want to force it.”

After showing signs of promise in his big-league debut last season, Bello came into camp this spring competing for a spot in Boston’s Opening Day starting rotation. Like Cora, the 23-year-old expressed confidence that he will be able to resume his throwing program in the coming days.

“I feel very anxious. I just want the moment to come,” said Bello. “I feel better right now that I can throw. So let’s wait until Monday.”

Though Bello did say he is feeling better, he also noted that the tightness he felt in his forearm was unlike anything he had experienced before. With that being said, though, the young hurler is not worried about it and is instead looking forward to getting back on the mound.

“I feel much better right now,” he said. “We’re working really hard to get ready.”

Since the Red Sox figure to roll with a five-man starting rotation out of spring training next month, Bello is competing with six other potential starters (Chris Sale, Corey Kluber, Nick Pivetta, James Paxton, Garrett Whitlock, and Tanner Houck) for five spots in total.

With that in mind, it would likely be beneficial for Bello if he is able to resume throwing on Monday and does not risk falling further behind the competition. The discomfort he felt may have something to do with the amount of breaking balls he threw in that bullpen session.

“It was right after I was throwing a lot of breaking pitches,” Bello said. “It was the next day when I felt a little bit tight. So it probably was that.”

(Picture of Brayan Bello: Maddie Meyer/Getty Images)

Red Sox’ Nick Pivetta on the mend following recent bout with COVID-19

Red Sox right-hander Nick Pivetta is on the mend following a recent bout with COVID-19, according to MassLive.com’s Chris Cotillo.

As was first reported by Jamie Gatlin of Beyond the Monster from the back fields of Fenway South on Friday morning, Pivetta “left workouts earlier today with a trainer. He threw a pitch and then crouched down before a trainer came over.”

After that, Pivetta “did not join the other 12 pitchers in his assigned group for pitchers’ fielding practice,” per Cotillo. He was, however, present for Corey Kluber’s bullpen session.

When speaking with reporters (including Cotillo) on Friday, Red Sox manager Alex Cora said that Pivetta had COVID-19 “not too long ago” and that he is “just building back.”

Pivetta, who has been seen wearing a mask around the team’s complex in Fort Myers recently, is still expected to be ready for Opening Day next month. The 30-year-old hurler is also slated to pitch for Team Canada in the upcoming World Baseball Classic.

While Pivetta’s status for Opening Day is not yet in question, his bout with COVID-19 could put him behind other pitchers at camp who are also competing for a spot in Boston’s starting rotation. In addition to Pivetta, fellow righty Brayan Bello has been shut down from throwing for the next few days due to forearm soreness.

Pivetta is coming off a 2022 season in which he led the Red Sox in both games started (33) and innings pitched (179 2/3). He went 10-12 with a 4.56 ERA and 4.42 FIP while recording 175 strikeouts to 73 walks.

(Picture of Nick Pivetta: Billie Weiss/Boston Red Sox/Getty Images)

Red Sox’ Brayan Bello shut down from throwing due to right forearm soreness

The Red Sox have shut down Brayan Bello from throwing after the right-hander experienced forearm soreness following his last bullpen session, manager Alex Cora told reporters (including MassLive.com’s Chris Cotillo) at JetBlue Park on Friday.

Bello is not scheduled to undergo any imaging at this time. The Red Sox are optimistic that the 23-year-old will be able to resume his program at the Fenway South complex on Monday after taking the weekend off from throwing.

“Nothing to alarm, but obviously, he’s so important to the organization,” Cora said. “He’s important for what we’re trying to accomplish. He’ll be back on his throwing program on Monday.”

Bello informed Cora that the soreness he has experiencing is something that popped up recently and not before he reported to camp earlier this month.

“I talked to him in one of those eye-to-eye, heart-to-hearts,” said Cora. “I was like, ‘Did this happen here or did this happen before?’ He threw a lot of breaking balls in that one, working on stuff. It was kind of a different bullpen for him and he felt it. We’re very confident that Monday he’s back on his throwing program and we’ll go from there.”

Bello, who turns 24 in May, made his major-league debut last July. In 13 appearances (11 starts) for Boston, the Dominican-born hurler posted a 4.71 ERA and 2.94 FIP with 55 strikeouts to 27 walks over 57 1/3 innings of work. That includes a 2.59 ERA (2.70 FIP) in his final six starts (31 1/3 innings) of the season.

Although he has graduated from his prospect status, Bello is still considered to be the Red Sox’ top young pitching talent. As long as the soreness in his forearm does not linger, the righty has a strong chance of making Boston’s Opening Day starting rotation out of spring training.

(Picture of Brayan Bello: Billie Weiss/Boston Red Sox/Getty Images)

Red Sox’ James Paxton on exercising player option: ‘I’m trying to establish myself back in the big-leagues and I felt like this was the place for me to do it’

Back on November 7, the Red Sox elected to decline James Paxton’s two-year, $26 million team option. Two days later, the left-hander somewhat surprisingly exercised his $4 million player option to return to the club for the 2023 season.

As MassLive.com’s Christopher Smith wrote on Thursday, Paxton might have received more than $4 million in free agency if he chose to hit the open market this winter. Fellow southpaw Matthew Boyd, for instance, got $10 million from the Tigers in December after pitching just 13 1/3 innings of relief for the Mariners in 2022.

Paxton, like Boyd, has been hindered by injury issues in recent years. Rather than taking his chances as a free agent, though, the 34-year-old opted for familiarity by remaining with Boston.

“I haven’t pitched healthy in like three years,” Paxton told reporters (including Smith) at JetBlue Park on Thursday. “I’m comfortable here. They know me. I know them. And I’m trying to establish myself back in the big-leagues and I felt like this was the place for me to do it.”

The Red Sox originally signed Paxton to a one-year, $6 million contract in December 2021. The deal came with a two-year, $26 million club option ($13 million per year) as well as a one-year, $4 million player option if the former was rejected.

Having undergone Tommy John surgery while with the Mariners in April 2021, Paxton was initially optimistic that he would be able to return to the mound before the All-Star break last season. He was shut down from throwing for a few weeks in early May due to posterior elbow soreness, but he was able to begin a rehab assignment in the Florida Complex League on August 18.

Just two batters into his start for the FCL Red Sox, however, Paxton was forced to exit due to left lat (latissimus dorsi muscle on the back) tightness. He was later diagnosed with a Grade 2 lat tear, which ended his 2022 season before it really even started.

“It was hard,” said Paxton. “I really wanted to make it out there last year. I had just started feeling really good with the elbow and started letting it rip a little bit and the lat wasn’t quite ready for that so it gave out on me. But I got myself in the best shape I could this year and ready to compete.”

Paxton threw eight bullpen sessions this offseason and threw his first of the spring before speaking with the media on Thursday. The Red Sox came into camp with seven different starters (Paxton, Chris Sale, Nick Pivetta, Corey Kluber, Garrett Whitlock, Brayan Bello, and Tanner Houck) vying for five rotation spots, so Paxton certainly has his work cut out for him these next few weeks.

“I’m going to do what I do,” he said. “Then we’ll see where it all shakes out in the end. But I’m not going to worry about it. I’m just going to go out there and pitch and have a good time and get ready to compete.”

Since debuting for the Mariners in 2013, Paxton has started all 137 games he has pitched in. The Red Sox have not yet approached the lefty about coming out of the bullpen, but it does not seem as though he is totally against that idea.

“I like starting. I’ve made starts my whole career,” Paxton said. “Obviously if that’s the conversation they want to have, we’ll have it.”

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

Coming off solid 2022 season with Red Sox, Michael Wacha remains unsigned as spring training nears

Pitchers and catchers are scheduled to report to their respective spring training sites in Arizona and Florida in just a matter of days, yet Michael Wacha remains unsigned despite being the top free agent starting pitcher still on the market.

Wacha, 31, posted a 3.32 ERA and 1.12 WHIP with 104 strikeouts to 31 walks in 23 starts (127 1/3 innings pitched) for the Red Sox last season after signing a one-year, $7 million deal with Boston in November 2021.

While those surface-level numbers are certainly respectable, his 4.14 FIP and 20.2 percent strikeout rate are less encouraging. The veteran right-hander also ranked in the 27th percentile of all big-league pitchers in expected batting average (.254), the 13th percentile in expected slugging percentage (.446), the 14th percentile in barrel rate (9.6 percent), and the 12th percentile in whiff rate (20.7 percent), per Baseball Savant.

Though Wacha led all Red Sox pitchers in Baseball-Reference’s Wins Above Replacement metric last year (3.3 bWAR), he also missed time with injuries. Left intercostal irritation kept him sidelined from May 5-20 while right shoulder inflammation cost him more than a month (July 5-August 14) of action over the summer.

When the offseason first began in November, the Red Sox entertained the idea of extending Wacha a qualifying offer, which would have tied the righty to draft pick compensation. They elected not to go in that direction and instead issued qualifying offers to Xander Bogaerts and Nathan Eovaldi, who both left the club by signing with the Padres and Rangers in free agency.

Wacha, meanwhile, has not had much of a market to speak of. He has been loosely linked to the Angels, Orioles, and Twins this winter, though Baltimore and Minnesota have recently added starting pitching by acquiring Cole Irvin and Pablo Lopez, respectably, via trade.

Last month, Jon Heyman of the New York Post reported that Wacha was seeking a two-year deal. Bob Nightengale added on by relaying that the CAA Sports client was looking for a contract that would net him $15 million per year, or about $30 million altogether.

That Wacha prefers a multi-year offer is not all that surprising when you consider the fact that he has settled for one-year pacts with the Red Sox, Rays, and Mets in each of the last three offseasons. An additional, guaranteed year of security would be rewarding, but it seems as though teams are hesitant to go that far given Wacha’s recent health history and discouraging peripherals.

Wacha, who turns 32 in July, may have to settle for another one-year deal or a one-year deal with an option attached if he intends on signing with a club before Opening Day. At this point, a reunion with the Red Sox seems unlikely since already Boston has seven starters (Chris Sale, Nick Pivetta, Garrett Whitlock, Corey Kluber, James Paxton, Brayan Bello, and Tanner Houck) in its rotation mix heading into camp.

Of course, Wacha’s market could heat up if teams sustain rotation injuries over the course of spring training and find themselves in need of an established replacement leading up to the start of the season.

(Picture of Michael Wacha: Maddie Malhotra/Boston Red Sox/Getty Images)

Red Sox designate Connor Seabold for assignment

The Red Sox needed to clear a spot on their 40-man roster before making the signing of veteran starter Corey Kluber official on Thursday afternoon. They did so by designating fellow right-hander Connor Seabold for assignment.

Seabold, who turns 27 later this month, was regarded by SoxProspects.com as the No. 22 prospect in Boston’s farm system, which ranked seventh among pitchers in the organization. The Red Sox originally acquired the California native from the Phillies alongside Nick Pivetta in the August 2020 trade that sent relievers Brandon Workman and Heath Hembree to Philadelphia.

For the better part of the last two seasons, Seabold has served as upper-minors rotation depth for the Red Sox. He posted a 3.50 ERA in 11 starts (54 innings) for Triple-A Worcester in 2021 and followed that up by producing a 3.32 ERA in 19 starts (86 2/3 innings) with the WooSox in 2022.

Unfortunately, that success has not translated to the major-league level as of yet. Seabold made his big-league debut in September 2021 and made five additional starts for Boston last season. In those six outings, the righty allowed 25 earned runs on 38 hits, 10 walks, and 19 strikeouts over 21 1/3 cumulative innings of work. That is good for an ERA of 10.55 and FIP of 6.82.

Seabold has dealt with his fair share of injuries in his time with the Red Sox organization. He was sidelined with right elbow inflammation during the early stages of the 2021 campaign and spent time on the injured list with a pectoral strain and right forearm extensor strain in 2022. Perhaps as a result of those arm issues, the 6-foot-2, 190-pound hurler averaged just 92.1 mph on his four-seam fastball in the majors, per Baseball Savant.

With the addition of Kluber, the Red Sox have only further bolstered a starting rotation mix that already included Chris Sale, Nick Pivetta, Garrett Whitlock, Brayan Bello, James Paxton, and Tanner Houck. When you add others like Josh Winckowski, Kutter Crawford, Bryan Mata, Chris Murphy, and Brandon Walter, Seabold undoubtedly became more expandable.

The Red Sox now have the next seven days to either trade, release, or waive Seabold, who has one minor-league option year remaining and could be of interest to other clubs as a result. If he clears waivers, the Red Sox would be able keep Seabold in the organization without committing a 40-man roster spot to him.

Regardless of his fate, though, Seabold becomes the latest in a long line of players to be lopped off the Red Sox’ 40-man roster this winter. He joins the likes of Eduard Bazardo, Yu Chang, Franchy Cordero, Tyler Danish, Jeter Downs, Eric Hosmer, and — most recently — Darwinzon Hernandez.

(Picture of Connor Seabold: Winslow Townson/Getty Images)