Friday, March 7, 2014
PORTLAND - He is a former supplemental round draft pick and he led the Portland Sea Dogs with nine saves.
But Caleb Clay is not sure he will be back with the Red Sox organization.
Clay, 24, is one of several minor leaguers that the Red Sox will have to make decisions about in the offseason.
Clay was drafted out of high school in 2006 -- 43rd overall, after Daniel Bard and Kris Johnson, and before Justin Masterson. He will be a minor league free agent after the season.
"I'll weigh my options and see if I get offers from anyone else," Clay said. "Just play it by ear and go from there."
Clay finished his second full season with the Sea Dogs with a 3-3 record and 4.61 ERA in 34 outings (66 innings). He struck out 61 and walked 19.
He has watched other relievers not re-signed by Boston (Kyle Fernandes and Blake Maxwell), others released this year (Eammon Portice and Michael Lee) and others promoted (Josh Fields and Brock Huntzinger).
"I've seen a lot of turnaround," Clay said.
OTHER FREE AGENTS include relievers Michael Olmsted and Jason Urquidez, catcher Matt Spring, infielder Marquez Smith and outfielder Ronald Bermudez.
Olmsted is having a breakout year (0.00 ERA in 14 outings with Portland) and is headed to the 40-man roster. Spring is a valuable veteran, important to a young pitching staff, and should be re-signed by Boston.
Urquidez (2.85 ERA) and Smith (.293 average) have performed well, but the question will be if they are in Boston's plans.
Bermudez, 24, signed with Boston when he was 17. He's bounced between Portland and Pawtucket the past two years, hitting .278 in 47 games with the Sea Dogs this season. It would be nice to see Bermudez get a "stable" assignment and see how he performs.
THE ANNUAL SEA DOGS AWARDS were announced before Monday's game. Outfielder Bryce Brentz, promoted last week to Pawtucket, was named the team's MVP after batting .296 with 30 doubles, 17 home runs and 76 RBI.
Chris Hernandez, promoted to Triple-A in late July was the Pitcher of the Year. He led all starters with a 3.13 ERA.
Pitchers Jeremy Kehrt received the "10th Man" award, and Spring was named Citizen of the Year.
FAMILY MATTERS will dominate the offseason for some Sea Dogs. Olmsted, first baseman Travis Shaw and pitcher Chris Balcom-Miller are all getting married (as is Hernandez). Spring and his wife are expecting their first child in late November.
JACKIE BRADLEY JR. will put down his glove today and pick up a textbook. He is going back to the University of South Carolina to continue work on his degree in retail management.
PORTLAND'S ROTATION could be strong at the beginning of 2013. Monday's starter, Brandon Workman, is expected back, and recently-acquired Allen Webster could also return to Double-A. Much-injured Anthony Ranaudo should be back, along with two pitchers from Salem, Matt Barnes and Keith Couch.
Barnes, the 2011 first-round draft pick, was a combined 7-5 with a .286 ERA in Class A Greenville and Salem.
Couch allowed one earned run over five innings Monday to lower his ERA to 3.46.
SEA DOGS SCOREKEEPER Thomas Hinton, a man teeming with integrity and knowledge, scored his 700th game Monday. The Sea Dogs and Eastern League are lucky to have him.
Staff Writer Kevin Thomas can be contacted at 791-6411 or at: