FORT MYERS, Fla. – And the wait continues for the Boston Red Sox.
The Jackie Bradley Jr. roster spot situation is becoming less of a mystery and more of an unending saga, one that may not have its ending revealed until Sunday in New York.
Manager John Farrell said Friday that because of the still-unsettled Ryan Sweeney contract situation, it may take until Sunday, when rosters have to be submitted, before Bradley can find a spot not just on the 40-man roster but the 25-man roster, and as it still remains likely, in the opening-day lineup as the left fielder.
“Until it’s official, yeah, there would be a scenario” where Bradley does not make the team, Farrell said, “but that means someone’s going to come who’s already been sent out or we look to do something different. Again, we’ve got things to get through.”
Mike Carp, Daniel Nava and Clayton Mortensen are on the team, Farrell said.
“We’re at the point where we’re working through some final roster situations,” said Farrell. “We’re at 40 currently, any changes to that are going to require a process, so we’re not at the final 25 or the final 40 yet.”
Bradley, 22, created a strong case for the final roster spot this spring. He’s arguably been the best player on the team.
In his first spring training he has impressed, going 26 for 59 with four doubles, a triple, two home runs, 12 RBI and 10 runs. He is hitting .441.
When the Red Sox declined to purchase the contract of minor league invitee Sweeney after Friday’s game against the Twins, it added to speculation that Bradley Jr. would make the team.
The outfielders on the 40-man roster right now are Shane Victorino, Jacoby Ellsbury, Jonny Gomes and Daniel Nava. Carp, a first baseman, also can play left field.
By Sunday, when the Red Sox complete the Sweeney-induced roster contortions that have caused the current Bradley Jr. holding pattern, they will have made a move on their full 40-man roster. Bradley Jr. is not on it yet.
There could be more, but possible moves could be designating for assignment infielder Mauro Gomez, outfielder Alex Hassan or catcher Dan Butler. The team also could place left-handed pitcher Franklin Morales on the 60-day DL.