Saturday, March 8, 2014
The Boston Red Sox re-aligned their 40-man roster late Tuesday night, the deadline to do such things before next month's Rule V draft.
The draft allows teams to buy minor league veteran players from another team (price: $50,000) and place them on their major league roster.
Players on the 40-man roster are protected.
Before Tuesday night, Boston had 39 players on its 40-man roster. Then Boston cleaned its house a little, designating (i.e. releasing) five players - pitchers Sandy Rosario, Zach Stewart and David Carpenter, and infielders Danny Valencia and Ivan DeJesus.
Then Boston added six players to the 40-man:
Pitchers Allen Webster, Alex Wilson and Steven Wright, catchers Dan Butler and Christian Vazquez, and outfielder Alex Hassan.
The pitchers - the three W's - were not a surprise. Webster was considered the Dodgers' No. 2 prospect before being dealt to Boston in the mega August deal involving Adrian Gonzalez, Carl Crawford and Josh Beckett.
Wilson, a second-round draft pick in 2009, has moved steadily through the Boston system, utilizing a nice fastball-slider combination.
Wright, a knuckle-ball pitcher who shows lots of potential, was obtained from Cleveland, in the Lars Anderson trade.
Vazquez's selection was not a complete surprise, even though he has only 20 games of Double-A experience. Vazquez, 22, is strong enough defensively that a team could possibly draft him as its major league back-up.
The same goes for Butler, 26, who has a little more experience. He has not hit consistently at the higher levels.
Hassan, 24, is a surprise. He did not have a great year in Pawtucket (.256, seven home runs) and it would be a gamble for a team to draft him. But the Red Sox apparently did not want to take that chance, seeing potential in Hassan.
Hassan still gets on base (.377 on-base percentage last year) and he showed his promise in Portland in 2011 (.291, 13 home runs, .404 on-base percentage).
As for the designated players, all were acquired from other teams. None were considered up-and-coming regulars - Rosario (picked up on waivers from the Marlins), Stewart (from White Sox in Kevin Youkilis trade), Carpenter (part of the John Farrell compensation package deal), DeJesus (add-on in the Dodgers deal), and Valencio (from the Twins in a minor deal).
The biggest name left off the 40-man roster was Josh Fields, one of Boston's best relievers in the Red Sox minor league system last year (2.62 ERA in Portland, then 0.00 in 13 2/3 innings with Pawtucket).
Other pitchers left unprotected are Brock Huntzinger and Chris Balcom-Miller, who both pitched well last year in the Sea Dogs bullpen) and Pawtucket reliever Jose De La Torre.
In other news Tuesday, the Red Sox named former Sea Dogs manager Arnie Beyeler as its first base coach. Those who know Beyeler and his work ethic are applauding the move.
We wrote of Beyeler's possible promotion in this September 5 story.
Kevin Thomas covers baseball and basketball for the Portland Press Herald/Maine Sunday Telegram. He wisely moved to Maine in 1994 after working for the St. Petersburg Times. He is married to Nancy and they have nine children.
Follow his thoughts on the Boston Red Sox and Portland Sea Dogs on Clearing the Bases
Follow his thoughts on the Boston Celtics and Maine Red Claws on Holding Court
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