Red Sox lose outfield prospect Marcus Wilson on waivers to Mariners

Red Sox outfield prospect Marcus Wilson has been claimed off waivers by the Mariners, the club announced earlier Monday afternoon.

Wilson, who turns 25 later this month, was initially designated for assignment by the Sox this past Friday so that the team could make room on its 40-man roster for newly-acquired reliever Hansel Robles.

After opening the 2021 campaign with Triple-A Worcester, Wilson slashed .242/.370/.452 (121 wRC+) to go along with 10 doubles, three triples, 10 home runs, 30 RBI, 34 runs scored, 10 stolen bases, 41 walks, and 88 strikeouts over 64 games (265 plate appearances) with the WooSox.

The Red Sox originally acquired the right-handed hitting outfielder from the Diamondbacks in exchange for catcher Blake Swihart back in April 2019.

A former 2014 second-round draft pick of Arizona out of Junipero Serra High School (Gardena, Calif.), Wilson spent the remainder of the 2019 season between Double-A Portland and High-A Salem, as well as with the Peoria Javelinas of the Arizona Fall League, before being added to Boston’s 40-man roster that November in order to avoid being eligible for that winter’s Rule 5 Draft.

While he was protected from the 2019 Rule 5 Draft, Wilson — listed at 6-foot-2 and 199 pounds — was a late addition to the Sox’ alternate training site roster the following summer and was an early cut from big-league camp this spring.

Taking that into consideration, as well as the fact that he was not a highly-touted prospect in Boston’s farm system (SoxProspects.com’s No. 34 prospect), it becomes clear that Red Sox brass were more than willing to lose Wilson via a waiver claim if it meant creating space on the team’s 40-man roster to accommodate other moves.

With the Mariners, Wilson — who was optioned to the club’s Triple-A affiliate in Tacoma — will join a crowded outfield mix that consists of Mitch Haniger, Jarred Kelenic, Kyle Lewis, and Taylor Trammell, among others.

(Picture of Marcus Wilson: Billie Weiss/Boston Red Sox/Getty Images)

Red Sox outright Austin Brice to Triple-A Worcester after reliever clears waivers

Four days after being designated for assignment, Red Sox reliever Austin Brice has cleared waivers and has subsequently been outrighted to Triple-A Worcester, the club announced Tuesday afternoon.

Brice, who turns 29 next month, was designated by Boston last Friday when utility man Danny Santana was called up from the WooSox ahead of this past weekend’s series against the Phillies in Philadelphia.

Originally acquired in a January 2020 trade from the Marlins, the veteran right-hander struggled to find his footing in his second season with the Sox, posting an unsightly 6.94 ERA, 6.40 FIP, and 9:6 strikeout-to-walk ratio over 12 appearances (11 2/3 innings pitched) this year.

Because he went unclaimed on waivers, Brice will report to Worcester, where — as noted by MassLive.com’s Chris Cotillo — he will join a WooSox bullpen that includes the likes of Brandon Brennan, Colten Brewer, Matt Hall, Kevin McCarthy, John Schreiber, Marcus Walden, and Brandon Workman, all of whom have big-league experience with the Red Sox or elsewhere.

Cotillo also adds that if the Red Sox found themselves in need of bullpen help at the minor-league level, they would likely turn to Brewer since he is one of two names above who are currently on Boston’s 40-man roster.

(Picture of Austin Brice: Adam Glanzman/Getty Images)

Red Sox lose right-hander Joel Payamps on waivers to Blue Jays, again

The Red Sox have lost right-hander Joel Payamps on waivers to the Toronto Blue Jays, the team announced Saturday afternoon.

Payamps, who turns 27 next month, has had quite the eventful offseason, as he has now been claimed by the same two teams on multiple occasions.

In late November, Boston claimed the Dominican reliever off waivers from the Diamondbacks and added him to their 40-man roster, where he would stay until early February.

At that point in time, the Sox designated Payamps for assignment in order to clear a roster spot for then-recently-signed right-hander Garrett Richards.

With seven days to trade him, release him, or sneak him through waivers, the Red Sox nearly retained Payamps’ services until he was claimed off waivers by the Blue Jays on February 10.

Less than two weeks later, the 6-foot-2, 225 lb. hurler had been DFA’d again — this time by Toronto — and was once more claimed off waivers by Boston on February 22.

Payamps had been at Red Sox camp in Fort Myers and even got into a Grapefruit League game and tossed a scoreless inning against the Rays this past Tuesday, but he will now make the trek up north to Dunedin to re-join the Jays for the time being.

For his major-league career, which spans two seasons with the D-backs from 2019 through 2020, Payamps has allowed four runs (three earned) on six hits, six walks, and five strikeouts over four total appearances spanning seven total innings of work. That’s good for an ERA of 3.86 and a FIP of 4.35.

He also made eight relief appearances for Estrellas de Oriente of the Dominican Winter League this offseason, where he posted a 1.38 ERA over 13 innings pitched out of the bullpen.

Per Baseball Savant, Payamps primarily works with a a four-seam fastball, slider, sinker, and changeup. He will have the chance to show off that pitch mix with the Blue Jays once again, though it would not be too surprising to see him back with the Red Sox before Opening Day.

That being the case because Payamps still has one minor-league option remaining, so he does come with some flexibility if a club were willing to use a 40-man roster spot on him.

Speaking of 40-man rosters, Boston’s 40-man now stands at 39 players. This might signal that backup catcher Kevin Plawecki, who has been on the COVID-19 related injured list since late February, is ready to be activated from the IL considering the fact he started behind the plate for the Sox on Saturday.

We will have to wait and see if the Red Sox make a corresponding roster move sometime between now and the end of the weekend, so stay tuned for that.

(Picture of Joel Payamps: Billie Weiss/Boston Red Sox/Getty Images)

Red Sox bring back right-hander Joel Payamps via waiver claim, place outfielder Franchy Cordero on COVID-19 related injured list

The Red Sox have claimed right-hander Joel Payamps off waivers from the Blue Jays, the team announced Monday afternoon.

In order to make room for Payamps on their 40-man roster, Boston also placed outfielder Franchy Cordero on the COVID-19 related injured list.

Payamps comes back to the Sox a little less than three weeks after being designated for assignment by the club in order to open up a roster spot for starter Garrett Richards on February 3.

The 26-year-old hurler was then claimed off waivers by the Blue Jays a week later, but his stint with Toronto obviously did not last that long.

Prior to getting DFA’d earlier this month, Payamps originally came to Boston from the Diamondbacks via a waiver claim back in November.

In limited action with Arizona the last two seasons, the Dominican native yielded four runs (three earned) on six hits, six walks, and five strikeouts over four total appearances and seven innings of work. That’s good for an ERA of 3.86 and a FIP of 4.35.

Now that he is back with the Sox, Payamps will presumably compete for a spot on the team’s Opening Day roster as a mid-inning reliever, assuming he does not get designated and/or claimed by another club again.

Of course, Payamps, who works with a four-seam fastball, slider, sinker, and changeup, does have one minor-league option remaining, so him starting the year with Triple-A Worcester is a legitimate possibility as well. He is also under team control through 2026, for what it’s worth.

Moving on to Cordero now, the Red Sox placed the 26-year-old outfielder on the COVID-19 injured related list, but as noted by MassLive.com’s Christopher Smith, “being placed on this list does not require a confirmed positive test.”

MassLive.com’s Chris Cotillo tweeted earlier Monday that Cordero was not yet with the team and that manager Alex Cora was not sure of the exact reason as to why.

Cotillo later tweeted that the reasoning behind Cordero being placed on the COVID-19 related IL was “unclear,” noting that it’s not yet known if “he tested positive or has a disputed test or what the exact deal is.”

Cordero joins catcher Kevin Plawecki as the only two members of the Red Sox currently on the team’s COVID-19 related injured list. Both players will not count towards Boston’s 40-man roster as long as they are on said list.

The Dominican-born slugger was originally acquired by Boston from the Royals earlier this month as part of the trade that sent fellow outfielder Andrew Benintendi to Kansas City. He figures to see significant playing time in left field for the Sox this coming season, assuming he is healthy.

Following this particular transaction, the Red Sox’ 40-man roster is back at full capacity, though some spots may be in jeopardy relatively soon assuming both Cordero and Plawecki return sooner rather than later.

Also, the Marwin Gonzalez signing still needs to be made official, so there’s that.

(Picture of Joel Payamps: Kiyoshi Mio/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)

Chaim Bloom on possibility of Red Sox making more additions before Opening Day: ‘There’s still some players out there that are of interest’

Even after making a slew of roster moves this offseason, the Red Sox are likely still not done making additions between now and Opening Day on April 1.

Outside of the Marwin Gonzalez signing being made official sometime in the near future, nothing in regards to a roster move for Boston is imminent at this point, but that is not going to stop the club from exploring opportunities to improve for the short- and l0ng-term.

Red Sox chief baseball officer Chaim Bloom said as much on Sunday when asked if this is the roster that will kick off the 2021 season.

“Outside of what you alluded to (Gonzalez), there’s nothing else pending,” Bloom said via a Zoom call with reporters. “But, we’re always going to be on the lookout. There’s still some players out there that are of interest. We’re going to keep staying in touch with them, keep monitoring them. You guys saw the other day, we made a waiver claim.”

On Thursday, the Sox claimed right-handed reliever John Schreiber off waivers from the Tigers while placing ace left-hander Chris Sale to the 60-day injured list.

It was a transaction that, on the surface, is reminiscent of when Boston claimed right-hander Phillps Valdez off waivers from the Mariners last February and placed the now-retired Dustin Pedroia on the 60-day injured list in a corresponding move.

Valdez, 29, seemingly came out of nowhere and wound up making quite the impact in his debut season with the Red Sox, posting a 3.26 ERA and 4.28 FIP over 24 relief appearances and 30 1/3 innings pitched in 2020.

Expecting Schreiber, 27 in March, to do the same with his new team this coming season might be a bit unfair, but it’s safe to assume that Boston is making these sorts of moves with the idea that the players they bring in can contribute to the cause.

“This is a time of year when sometimes there can be that kind of roster shuffling in other organizations,” Bloom added. “It’s a bit early in spring to start having a lot of those conversations with other clubs, but we just want to make sure that we’re active. That we have our finger on the pulse and that we don’t walk past anything that has a chance to help us.”

While it still may be too early in the spring to engage with teams on players who may or may not be available via trade, one area the Red Sox can turn to is the free-agent market. And one free-agent the team is still interested in is old friend Jackie Bradley Jr.

Despite coming off a 2020 campaign in which he slashed .283/.364/.450 with seven home runs and 22 RBI over 55 games played, the 30-year-old client of Scott Boras remains unsigned with just weeks to go until the 2021 season begins. That might have something to do with his reported asking price as well as the limited number of suitors out there.

The Red Sox, even while adding the likes of Gonzalez, Franchy Cordero, Enrique Hernandez, and Hunter Renfroe to help bolster their outfield depth, have yet to rule out a reunion with Bradley Jr. — who spent the first eight seasons of his major-league career with Boston — to this point.

“We continue to stay in touch and make sure we’re in touch with Scott about his situation,” said Bloom in regards to Bradley Jr.’s free agency. “We’re going to do that until it resolves. Obviously, as the winter’s gone on, we haven’t let that prevent us from making other moves when we’ve seen opportunity to add good players that fit us and can bolster this roster. But, we love Jackie and we’ve stayed in touch with Scott on him throughout the entire winter.”

Red Sox manager Alex Cora echoed this same sort of sentiment on Saturday when talking about Bradley Jr.’s current situation.

“We talk a lot, but we don’t talk baseball,” Cora said. “We don’t talk about his situation. I talk about Emerson and the baby and how they’re doing. He asks about my family, and we keep it at that. Obviously, he’s a good player. He’s a guy that can help any team at the big-league level to win ballgames. There’s more than just the manager and the player. There’s a relationship and I keep our conversations with that.”

(Picture of Chaim Bloom: Billie Weiss/Boston Red Sox/Getty Images)

Red Sox claim right-hander John Schreiber off waivers from Tigers, place left-hander Chris Sale on 60-day injured list

The Red Sox have claimed right-handed reliever John Schreiber off waivers from the Detroit Tigers, the team announced Thursday.

In order to make room for Schreiber on their 40-man roster, Boston also placed left-hander Chris Sale on the 60-day injured list.

Schreiber, 27 in March, was designated for assignment by the Tigers last Friday so that the club could make room on its own 40-man roster for outfielder Nomar Mazara.

Originally a 15th-round selection of Detroit in the 15th round of the 2016 amateur draft out of the University of Northwestern Ohio, the Michigan native made his major-league debut in August 2019.

Since that time, Schreiber has posted a 6.28 — but a much more promising 4.05 xFIP — over 28 relief appearances and 28 2/3 innings pitched out of the Tigers bullpen the last two seasons.

Per Baseball Savant, the 6-foot-2, 210 lb. sidearmer operates with a low-velocity four-seam fastball, a curveball, a changeup, and a sinker.

When he wasn’t up with the Tigers last year, Schreiber was at the team’s alternate training site in Toledo. He also brings with him a solid minor-league track record, owning a lifetime 1.99 ERA and .191 batting average against in 147 outings (204 innings pitched) across four different levels from 2016-2019.

Seeing how he still has three minor-league options, it’s somewhat surprising to see the Tigers part ways with Schreiber at this point in time. The fact that he has those options and is under team control through 2025 must have made the righty appealing to the Red Sox, though.

As for Sale being placed on the 60-day injured list, that move was expected and is more of a formality than anything since the ace left-hander is still recovering from Tommy John surgery, which he underwent last March.

“I have not been off a mound yet,” Sale said Thursday, the first day of pitcher and catcher workouts in Fort Myers, when speaking to reporters via Zoom “That’s another one of those things, I’ll just wait until I’m told to do so. I don’t want to be vague with (the media), obviously, but you know how I operate and I said at the beginning of this process, I don’t want to get too far ahead. I’m not looking at a month from now, two months from now or even the season. I can’t. That wouldn’t be fair to myself, my teammates or anyone else in this process. The mound comes when it comes. Like I said, I take it a day at a time and I’m doing everything I can to get out there as soon as I can.”

With this transaction being made, Boston’s 40-man roster remains at full capacity, meaning another two moves will need to be made when the club officially signs veteran utilityman Marwin Gonzalez and activates catcher Kevin Plawecki from the COVID-19 related injured list. Stay tuned for that.

(Picture of John Schreiber: Duane Burleson/Getty Images)

Red Sox make Hirokazu Sawamura signing official, designate Jeffrey Springs for assignment

The Red Sox have officially signed right-hander Hirokazu Sawamura to a two-year contract that includes a dual club/player option for the 2023 season, the team announced Tuesday.

In order to make room for Sawamura on their 40-man roster, Boston also designated left-hander Jeffrey Springs for assignment.

According to The Athletic’s Ken Rosenthal, Sawamura will earn $3 million over the next two seasons with the chance to earn a total of $7.65 million over the next three years if he “hits every performance bonus and escalator.”

Rosenthal also described Sawamura’s option as “conditional and complex,” and seeing how it is a dual club/player option, that would fit said description.

Expanding on that, MassLive.com’s Chris Cotillo tweets that Sawamura will earn a base salary of $1.2 million in 2021 and a base salary of $1.2 million in 2022 that can escalate up to $1.7 million.

As for Sawamura’s dual option for 2023, Cotillo adds that if its a club option, it’s worth anywhere between $3 and $4 million depending on escalators. If the Red Sox decline that, the option then becomes a player option worth anywhere between $600,000 and $2.2 million depending on escalators.

For this year alone, Sawamura will count as a $1.2 million hit against Boston’s competitive balance tax threshold.

The soon-to-be 33-year-old hurler had been pitching in Japan’s Nippon Professional Baseball Organization since 2011, mostly for the Yomiuri Giants.

This past season, Sawamura got off to a tough start with Yomiuri and was ultimately dealt to the Chiba Lotte Marines as part of a midseason trade between the clubs.

Once he arrived in Chiba City though, things turned around for the better for the Japanese-born righty.

Across 22 relief appearances spanning 21 total innings of work, Sawamura posted a dazzling 1.71 ERA and 0.95 WHIP to go along with 29 strikeouts and just 10 walks.

Sawamura’s pitch arsenal consists of a 94-99 mph four-seam fastball, a swing-inducing splitter, and a below-average slider.

With his new club, Sawamura figures to slide into a late-inning role alongside the likes of Matt Barnes, Adam Ottavino, Ryan Brasier, Darwinzon Hernandez, and Josh Taylor.

As for Springs, the 28-year-old southpaw was designated for assignment 13 months after the Red Sox acquired him from the Texas Rangers in exchange for infielder Sam Travis.

In his debut season with Boston, Springs produced a 7.08 ERA and 4.81 FIP over 16 relief outings and 20 1/3 innings of work in two stints with the club.

That being said, there was a stretch from August 31 through September 23 of last season in which the North Carolina native thoroughly impressed to the tune of a 2.53 ERA and 2.39 xFIP over nine appearances out of the Sox’ bullpen.

Considering the fact he still has three minor-league options remaining, it would not be all that surprising to see another team take a chance on Springs through waivers.

Having said that, the Red Sox will have seven days to either trade Springs, release him, or try to sneak him through waivers themselves.

On another note, Boston’s 40-man roster is back at full capacity, so there will be another move to make in order to accommodate the signing of Marwin Gonzalez, which should be made official in the coming days.

(Picture of Hirokazu Sawamura: Sports Nippon/Getty Images)

Red Sox lose right-hander Joel Payamps on waivers to Blue Jays

In the second-most prevalent roster move related to the Red Sox of the day, right-hander Joel Payamps was claimed off waivers by the Blue Jays Wednesday evening, per MLB.com’s transaction wire.

Payamps, who turns 27 April, never pitched a game in a Red Sox uniform. He was originally claimed off waivers from the Diamondbacks back in November before getting designated for assignment last week in order for Boston to make room on its 40-man roster for fellow righty Garrett Richards.

Because it took a full seven days for him to be claimed by another club, it appeared as though Payamps was on track to get outrighted to Triple-A Worcester, which would likely lead to him taking part in major-league spring training as a non-roster invite.

That is no longer the case, however, as the Dominican native joins the Blue Jays organization with less than a week to go until pitchers and catchers report to their respective spring training complexes.

Prior to briefly becoming a member of the Red Sox, Payamps had appeared in four total games for the D-backs over the last two seasons and had given up four runs (three earned) over seven total innings pitched at the big-league level. That’s good for an ERA of 3.86 for those keep tracking at home.

And while he is with the Blue Jays for the time being, MLB Trade Rumors’ Jeff Todd noted earlier that “it’s certainly possible [Payamps will] end up on the DFA carousel as teams compete to see who’ll be able to slip him through waivers in hopes of stashing him for depth.”

For what it’s worth, Payamps, who is listed at 6-foot-2 and 225 lbs., still has one minor-league option left for 2021, if you were curious.

MassLive.com’s Chris Cotillo was the first to report that Payamps had been claimed by Toronto.

(Picture of Joel Payamps: Kiyoshi Mio/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)

Red Sox should consider claiming former Indians outfielder Greg Allen off waivers

So far this offseason, the Red Sox have done a fine job in bolstering their outfield depth.

Slugging outfielder Hunter Renfroe signed a one-year deal with the club last month, while the likes of Cesar Puello and Michael Gettys have been signed to minor-league contracts for 2021.

That being said, you can never have enough depth at any position, and it just so happens an intriguing outfielder technically became available earlier this week. That outfielder’s name? Greg Allen.

The 27-year-old was designated for assignment by the Padres on Thursday in order for the club to make room on its 40-man roster for South Korean infielder Ha-Seong Kim.

With San Diego this past season, Allen appeared in just one game after being part of the trade that sent Mike Clevinger from the Indians to the Friars in late August.

Prior to that blockbuster trade, Allen spent parts of four major-league seasons with the Tribe starting in 2017, accruing a .239/.295/.344 slash line to go along with eight home runs, 57 RBI, and 31 stolen bases over 220 total games played.

Seven of those 220 games have come at Fenway Park, where Allen owns a career-best 1.249 OPS over 27 plate appearances.

In addition to providing speed on the base paths, the California native has proven to be a capable major-league defender who can play all three outfield positions adequately.

Looking back at the 2019 campaign, Allen posted a positive-six defensive runs saved and ultimate zone rating of 5.0 while logging 570 1/3 innings — 360 2/3 in left, 132 2/3 in center, 77 in right — in the Indians outfield.

He also ranked sixth among major-league left fielders in sprint speed (29 feet per second) and 44th among major-league outfielders in outs above average (3) in 2019, per Statcast.

Having presented all this information, the Red Sox could very well look into adding Allen to their outfield mix despite the former top prospect’s light-hitting ways.

It’s a scenario that is reminiscent of Christian Arroyo’s over the summer.

Boston claimed the infielder off waivers from the Indians on August 13, promptly designated him for assignment a week later, and then outrighted him on August 23 before purchasing his contract on September 8.

It’s a unique — and somewhat risky — way to go about adding depth, but the Sox managed to do it with Arroyo, who is out of minor-league options, as is the case with Allen.

On top of that, trying to stash Allen away would address an offseason need by bolstering Boston’s outfield defense. Chief baseball officer Chaim Bloom conveyed this school of thought last month in the wake of the Renfroe signing.

“I always talk about depth and it’s so important, but I do think we still have room to add without straining our roster,” Bloom said when speaking with reporters via Zoom. “The good thing here is we have a number of outfielders who are all good enough athletes to play center field. But we still also have room to augment that with a center fielder or a corner outfielder. So we now have options and different paths we can take. But it would be nice to increase our depth as we go forward.”

Bringing on Allen seems like a potentially sound way for Bloom and Co. to increase the Red Sox’ depth going forward. But, another roster move would be required in order for that to happen.

This is the case because the club’s 40-man roster is currently at full capacity.

To make it clear, this is just a suggestion. Allen won’t clear waivers until late next week, and I’m assuming he doesn’t have enough service time to refuse an outright assignment to the minors given the fact he isn’t supposed to reach free agency until the conclusion of the 2024 season.

Former Red Sox catcher Deivy Grullón claimed off waivers by Reds

Before signing right-hander Matt Andriese to a one-year deal on Wednesday, the Red Sox needed to clear a spot on their 40-man roster, which at the time was at full capacity.

Well, it turns out they accomplished this by placing catcher Deivy Grullon on waivers recently, and he was claimed off waivers by the Reds on Wednesday.

The 24-year-old backstop appeared in just one game for Boston this past season after getting picked up off waivers from the Phillies in early September.

In that one game, which came against Philadelphia in the nightcap of a day-night doubleheader on September 8, the Dominican national went 1-for-3 at the plate with one walk, one RBI, and one strikeout while catching all seven innings.

Grullon was subsequently optioned back down to the alternate training site the following day, where he spent the rest of the season before returning to the Dominican Republic to play for Aguilas Cibaenas of the Dominican winter league.

Since reporting back home, Grullon has struggled a bit on both sides of the ball, as noted by SoxProspects.com’s Chris Hatfield.

With the Reds, Grullon will presumably slide behind Tucker Barnhart and Tyler Stephenson in terms of catching depth. He has two minor-league options remaining on his current contract.

As for how this affects the Red Sox, catching prospect Connor Wong is now without a doubt the No. 3 backstop on Boston’s 40-man roster behind Christian Vazquez and Kevin Plawecki.

The 24-year-old was added to the 40-man in late November and is projected to begin the 2021 season with Triple-A Worcester.