Red Sox outright Eduard Bazardo to Triple-A Worcester after right-hander clears waivers

Three days after designating him for assignment, the Red Sox announced on Sunday that right-hander Eduard Bazardo had cleared waivers and had been outrighted to Triple-A Worcester.

Bazardo, 26, was one of two pitchers (the other being Ralph Garza Jr.) Boston designated for assignment last Thursday in order to clear 40-man roster spots for the additions of Hansel Robles and Travis Shaw.

While Garza Jr. was quickly claimed by the division rival Rays, Bazardo remains in the Red Sox organization after spending a few days in limbo.

The Venezuelan-born righty was originally signed by Boston for just $8,000 as an international free agent in 2014. It took some time for Bazardo to rise to relevance, but he did so at fall instructs in 2020, where he displayed increased fastball velocity to ultimately earn a spot on the Sox’ 40-man roster that November.

The Red Sox added Bazardo to their 40-man roster in order to protect him from the Rule 5 Draft. He made two appearances (including his debut) with the big-league club in 2021, though he was also sidelined for about three months due to a right lat strain.

During spring training this year, Bazardo was used in just one Grapefruit League game before losing his spot on Boston’s 40-man roster ahead of Opening Day. According to Red Sox manager Alex Cora, the 6-foot, 187 pound hurler was completely healthy.

“That decision goes above me,” Cora said on Thursday. “He was healthy and he pitched on the backfields. He only pitched in one game but everything went fine. Our roster is becoming harder and harder, especially the last two years. That’s a good problem to have, right? Because you have good pitchers, good players. It was a tough decision toward the end. There were a few guys that we talk about it.”

Cora had also been hopeful that Bazardo would clear waivers and stick with the organization as a non-40-man player, which turned out to be the case.

Now that he has been outrighted to Worcester, Bazardo joins an intriguing WooSox bullpen that includes others with major-league experience such as Taylor Cole, Tyler Danish, Michael Feliz, Geoff Hartlieb, Derek Holland, Kaleb Ort, and John Schreiber.

Considering that he has two minor-league option years remaining and does not turn 27 until September, it would not be all that surprising if Bazardo found his way back into the Red Sox’ bullpen mix at some point down the line.

(Picture of Eduard Bazardo: David Berding/Getty Images)

Red Sox outright Hudson Potts to minor-leagues after infielder clears waivers

Three days after designating him for assignment, the Red Sox have outrighted infielder Hudson Potts to the minor-leagues, the club announced on Friday afternoon.

Boston had designated Potts for assignment earlier this week when they needed to clear a spot on their 40-man roster for right-hander Kyle Tyler, who has since been designated for assignment himself.

Potts, 23, was one of two prospects (the other being outfielder Jeisson Rosario) the Red Sox acquired from the Padres in the trade that sent veteran first baseman to San Diego in August 2020.

A former first-round draft pick of the Padres in 2016, Potts was added to the Sox’ 40-man roster in November 2020 and entered the 2021 season ranked by Baseball America as the No. 27 prospect in Boston’s farm system.

After dealing with an oblique injury during spring training, Potts missed the first month or so of the minor-league season and did not make his debut with Double-A Portland until June 10. Limited to just 78 games with the Sea Dogs, the right-handed hitter slashed .217/.264/.399 (76 wRC+) with 18 doubles, 11 home runs, 47 RBIs, 33 runs scored, 16 walks, and 100 strikeouts over 307 plate appearances.

Defensively, Potts was used strictly as a third baseman with Portland despite having prior experience at every other infield position. The 6-foot-3, 205 pounder logged a total of 609 2/3 innings at the hot corner in 2021.

Before losing his spot on the 40-man roster on Tuesday, Potts had appeared in four Grapefruit League games this spring and had gone 0-for-7 with one walk and four strikeouts. Since the Texas native cleared waivers, the Red Sox retain his services as a non-40-man player.

Coming into the 2022 campaign, Potts is regarded by SoxProspects.com as the 53rd-ranked prospect in the organization. He is projected by the site to return to Portland for the start of the minor-league season, which begins next month.

(Picture of Hudson Potts: Mary DeCicco/MLB Photos via Getty Images)

Red Sox claim Ralph Garza off waivers from Twins, designate Kyle Tyler for assignment

The Red Sox have claimed right-hander Ralph Garza off waivers from the Minnesota Twins, the club announced on Thursday afternoon. In order to make room for Garza on the 40-man roster, fellow righty Kyle Tyler was designated for assignment.

Garza, who turns 28 next month, had been designated for assignment by the Twins on Tuesday so that Minnesota could accommodate the addition of star free-agent shortstop Carlos Correa.

The 27-year-old was originally selected by the Astros in the 26th round of the 2015 amateur draft out of the University of Houston and broke in with Houston just last year.

Just nine outings into his Astros career, though, Garza was designated for assignment on August 1 and was subsequently scooped up by the Twins three days later.

After spending a little more than a week with Minnesota’s Triple-A affiliate, Garza was recalled by the big-league club on Aug. 14. He closed out the year with the Twins by posting a 3.26 ERA and 4.88 FIP to go along with 15 strikeouts to seven walks over 18 relief appearances spanning 19 1/3 innings of work.

Listed at 6-foot-2 and 220 pounds, Garza — a Texas native — operates with a five-pitch mix that consists of a slider, sinker, four-seam fastball, cutter, changeup, curveball. His slider was his most-used pitch last year (31.1%) and opponents hit just .118 off it, per Baseball Savant.

Boston has already optioned Garza to Triple-A Worcester, so he should provide the Sox with some additional bullpen depth who has minor-league options remaining.

Tyler, on the other hand, loses his spot on Boston’s 40-man roster just two days after getting claimed off waivers from the Angels earlier this week. The 25-year debuted with Los Angeles last season and yielded a 2.92 ERA (5.20 FIP) in five appearances out of the Halos’ bullpen.

The Red Sox will now have the next seven days to either trade, release, or waive Tyler. It’s certainly possible that chief baseball officer Chaim Bloom and Co. are optimistic they can sneak the Oklahoman through waivers and keep him in the organization as a non-40-man roster player.

(Picture of Ralph Garza: David Berding/Getty Images)

Red Sox claim right-hander Kyle Tyler off waivers from Angels, designate infielder Hudson Potts for assignment

The Red Sox have claimed right-hander Kyle Tyler off waivers from the Angels, the club announced on Tuesday. In order to make room for Tyler on the 40-man roster, infielder Hudson Potts was designated for assignment.

Tyler, 25, made his major-league debut with Los Angeles last September after originally being selected by the Halos in the 20th round of the 2018 amateur draft out of the University of Oklahoma. The Oklahoma native posted a 2.92 ERA and 5.20 FIP to go along with six strikeouts and six walks over five appearances (12 1/3 innings pitched) out of the Halos’ bullpen.

Before getting called up for the final few weeks of the 2021 campaign, Tyler had spent the entirety of the year between the Double-A and Triple-A levels, producing a 3.66 ERA and 3.69 FIP with 92 strikeouts and 25 walks across 20 outings (14 starts) spanning 86 total innings of work.

At the midway point of the 2021 season, Tyler was regarded by Baseball America as the No. 28 prospect in the Angels’ farm system. The 6-foot, 185 pound hurler operates with a four-pitch mix that includes a four-seam fastball, slider, curveball, and changeup, per Baseball Savant.

Boston was able to claim Tyler off waivers when he was designated for assignment by Los Angeles this past Saturday so that they could accommodate the addition of free-agent reliever Ryan Tepera.

Tyler, who does not turn 26 until December, has minor-league options remaining and has already been assigned to Triple-A Worcester. He should be joining the Red Sox at major-league camp soon and has the chance to provide his new club with versatile pitching depth as both a starter and reliever.

Potts, meanwhile, was one of two prospects (the other being outfielder Jeisson Rosario) the Red Sox acquired from the Padres in the trade that sent veteran first baseman Mitch Moreland to San Diego in August 2020.

After being added to Boston’s 40-man roster that November, Potts missed the first month of the 2021 minor-league season due to an oblique injury. As a result, the right-handed hitting 23-year-old was limited to just 78 games with Double-A Portland and struggled to the tune of a .217/.264/.399 slash line with 11 home runs and 33 RBIs over 307 plate appearances.

A former first-round pick of the Padres in 2016, Potts entered the 2022 season ranked by SoxProspects.com as the No. 53 prospect in the system. By taking him off their 40-man roster, the Red Sox now have the next seven days to either trade, waive, or release Potts.

If Potts goes unclaimed and clears waivers, he would remain with Boston as a non-40-man roster player. Since the Sox’ 40-man roster is still at full capacity, they will need to clear another spot before making the signing of Trevor Story official.

(Picture of Kyle Tyler: Brian Rothmuller/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)

With acquisition of Tim Locastro, Red Sox gain speed and athleticism, Chaim Bloom says

New Red Sox outfielder Tim Locastro has — and quite frankly always has had — elite speed in the field and on the base paths.

As a junior at Ithaca College in 2013, Locastro stole 40 bases in 41 attempts, setting the single-season program record in stolen bases as well as runs scored (71).

Upon being selected by the Blue Jays in the 13th round of the 2013 amateur draft, Locastro swiped 32 bags in his first full professional season with Low-A Vancouver in 2014 and was only caught four times.

As a prospect, Locastro was well-known for his “plus-plus speed” and was traded from the Blue Jays to the Dodgers in July 2015. With Los Angeles, the right-handed hitter’s speed was highly coveted leading up to his major-league debut in late September of the 2017 campaign.

Locastro appeared in just 21 total games for the Dodgers, however, as he was dealt to the Yankees at the conclusion of the 2018 season before ultimately winding up with the Diamondbacks that following January.

In his debut season with Arizona in 2019, Locastro put his speed on full display by recording 17 stolen bases without getting caught once. He led all of Major League Baseball with a sprint speed of 30.8 feet per second and finished tied for second in bolts (61), or any run with a speed of at least 30 feet per second.

While his stolen base numbers took a dip in the pandemic-shortened 2020 season, Locastro did enjoy a career year at the plate in which he slashed .290/.395/.464 (134 wRC+) across 33 games and 82 plate appearances. In the process of putting up those impressive numbers, he was perfect in stolen base attempts (4-for-4) while again putting up an MLB-best sprint speed of 30.7 feet per second.

Coming into 2021, Locastro had yet to be caught stealing (26-for-26) for his big-league career. He picked up stolen base No. 28 at Chase Field on April 13 to set the MLB record for most successful stolen bases to start a career, passing Hall of Famer Tim Raines in the process of doing so.

Just four days after breaking Raines’ record, though, Locastro was finally caught stealing for the first time, as he was picked off at second base by then-Nationals catcher Yan Gomes at Nationals Park on April 17.

Locastro stole two more bases and was caught two more times in a Diamondbacks uniform before he was traded back to the Yankees in exchange for pitching prospect Keegan Curtis at the start of July.

New York re-acquired Locastro in order to inject more speed into a station-to-station lineup that was in desperate need of a boost. Just nine games into his Yankees tenure, though, the Auburn, N.Y. native suffered a season-ending injury in a game against the Red Sox.

Manning left field for the Yankees in the first inning of a July 17 contest against the Sox in the Bronx, Locastro leaped to catch an Alex Verdugo fly ball in foul territory, but landed awkwardly and could be seen grabbing at his right knee after crashing into the wall down the left field line.

As a result of said play, Locastro came up gimpy and was later replaced in left field by Tyler Wade before being diagnosed with an ACL tear that same night.

The Yankees placed the 29-year-old on the 10-day injured list the following day and transferred him to the 60-day injured list a week later. At the end of the season, they must have felt that it was not worth it to add Locastro back to their 40-man roster and instead placed him on waivers.

This gave other clubs the opportunity to put a claim in for the 6-foot-1, 190 pound speedster, which is exactly what the Red Sox did last Friday.

Now a member of Boston’s 40-man roster, which currently sits at 33 players, Locastro was expected to begin running again sometime this fall after undergoing knee surgery at the Hospital for Special Surgery in New York City back in late July.

Red Sox chief baseball officer Chaim Bloom essentially confirmed as much in a recent conversation with BloggingtheRedSox.com.

“Tim’s on track for a full recovery from his injury,” Bloom said via email. “With his speed and athleticism, he’s great depth for us to add at the beginning of the off-season.”

Locastro, who does not turn 30 until next July, certainly fits the profile of player the Red Sox have added since Bloom took over two years ago in that there is little risk and plenty to gain from it.

As previously mentioned, Locastro is extremely fast and is dangerous on the base paths, which is something Alex Cora’s Red Sox were lacking this past season. Not only that, but he plays all three outfield positions as well and has been a plus-defender in right field (positive-3 defensive runs saved, positive-2.1 ultimate zone rating in 207 1/3 innings) throughout his career.

Additionally, Locastro comes with club control, as he is slated to become eligible for salary arbitration for just the first time next season and is projected by MLB Trade Rumors to earn approximately $700,000 in 2022.

There is, of course, risk involved in acquiring someone like Locastro considering the fact that he is a player who primarily relies on their speed and is coming off a major ACL injury.

Still, the addition of Locastro — should he prove to have recovered from his injury — does provide the Red Sox with experienced outfield depth. It could also make some for some interesting positional battles come spring training.

That being said, spring training is still a long ways away and there is still plenty of off-season ahead. As Bloom put it, “We’ll see how things play out from here.”

(Picture of Tim Locastro: Rob Leiter/MLB Photos via Getty Images)

Red Sox claim speedy outfielder Tim Locastro off waivers from Yankees

The Red Sox have claimed outfielder Tim Locastro off waivers from the Yankees, the club announced Friday afternoon.

Locastro, 29, must have been designated for assignment by the Yankees recently for him to be available on waivers and eventually claimed by the Red Sox.

Under chief baseball officer Chaim Bloom, the Sox have made a habit of plucking players away from the Yankees, with Locastro being just the latest instance of that.

Boston acquired right-hander Garrett Whitlock from New York via last winter’s Rule 5 Draft before adding both veteran reliever Adam Ottavino and right-handed pitching prospect Frank German in a January trade with the Bronx Bombers.

A native of New York himself, Locastro was originally selected by the Blue Jays in the 13th round of the 2013 amateur draft out of Ithaca College. He was traded to the Dodgers along with left-hander Chase De Jong for two international bonus slots two years later and made his major-league debut for Los Angeles in September 2017.

Shortly after the conclusion of the 2018 season, the Dodgers dealt Locastro to the Yankees, who then traded him to the Diamondbacks prior to the start of spring training in 2019. He spent the entirety of the 2019 and 2020 campaigns with Arizona before getting traded to New York again for right-hander Keegan Curtis this past July.

With the Diamondbacks this year, Locastro slashed .178/.271/.220 with two doubles, one home run, five RBI, 11 runs scored, five stolen bases, six walks, and 26 strikeouts over 55 games spanning 133 plate appearances. Following the trade, the right-handed hitter appeared in just nine games with the Yankees before tearing his ACL in a game against the Red Sox at Yankee Stadium on July 17.

On July 21, Locastro underwent season-ending knee surgery, which was performed by Dr. David Altchek at the Hospital for Special Surgery in New York City. Last month, MLB.com reported that Locastro “could begin running in October or November and he is expected to be active by the beginning of the 2022 season.”

Known for his elite speed and versatility, Locastro, who does not turn 30 until next July, has stolen 31 bases on 34 attempts across 209 major-league games between the Dodgers, Diamondbacks and Yankees while seeing time at all three outfield positions.

Listed at 6-foot-1 and 190 pounds, Locastro has been added to Boston’s 40-man roster, which now sits at 35 players. He is slated to become eligible for salary arbitration for the first time in his career next season and is projected by MLB Trade Rumors to earn approximately $700,000 in 2022.

(Picture of Tim Locastro: Adam Hunger/Getty Images)

Red Sox lose reliever Michael Feliz on waivers to Athletics

Former Red Sox reliever Michael Feliz has been claimed off waivers by the Athletics, the club announced earlier Monday afternoon.

Feliz was initially designated for assignment when the Sox needed to clear a spot on their 40-man roster for the additions of Matt Barnes and Chris Sale, who were both activated from the COVID-19 related injured list this past Friday.

The 28-year-old right-hander originally signed a minor-league with Boston in late August, shortly after getting released by the Cincinnati Reds, and was promptly assigned to Triple-A Worcester.

In just two appearances for the WooSox, Feliz worked a pair of scoreless innings before having his contract selected by the big-league club on September 6. His Red Sox debut was less than memorable, though, as he served up two home runs in the process of getting roughed up by the Rays at Fenway Park the following day.

Taking that outing into consideration, Feliz wound up allowing a total of two earned runs on four hits, one walk, and five strikeouts over four appearances spanning 5 1/3 innings of work in his brief stint with the Sox. That’s good for an ERA of 3.38, a FIP of 6.72, and an OPS against of .819.

While he did look considerably better in his final three outings as opposed to his first one, the Dominican native still lost his spot on Boston’s 40-man roster when it was time for the club to add reinforcements (Barnes and Sale) back into the mix.

Assuming he appears in a game for his new squad, the Athletics will become the fourth team Feliz has pitched for this season, as he had also appeared in a total of 16 games between the Pirates and Reds before joining the Red Sox earlier this summer.

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

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)