Jeter Downs, right, was one of the prospect Boston acquired from the Dodgers in the Mookie Betts trade. Downs played just 14 games with the Red Sox and was selected off waivers by the Nationals after being designated for assignment earlier this month. Michael Dwyer/Associated Press

One week after designating infielder Jeter Downs for assignment, the Red Sox officially bid him adieu Thursday.

Downs was claimed off waivers by the Nationals, who added him to their 40-man roster. The Red Sox confirmed the move, which was first reported by Jesse Dougherty of the Washington Post.

Downs, one of the key pieces of the Feb. 2020 trade that sent Mookie Betts to the Dodgers, was designated to make room on the 40-man roster for outfielder Masataka Yoshida last week. The 24-year-old will now head to his fourth pro organization; he was drafted by the Reds before being traded to the Dodgers, then eventually the Red Sox.

Downs entered the Red Sox organization as one of its top prospects and a top-100 prospect in baseball but struggled mightily at the plate after missing a year when the 2020 minor league season was canceled due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Downs hit just .191 with 14 homers and a .606 OPS in 99 games at Triple-A in 2021, then posted a subpar .197 average and .728 OPS in 81 games for the WooSox in 2022. In a 14-game big league cameo over the summer, he was 6 for 39 (.154) with one homer. He struck out at an absurd 51.2% rate, going down on strikes in 21 of 41 plate appearances. MLB Pipeline ranked Downs as the No. 44 prospect in baseball when the Red Sox acquired him; he was ranked as the 24th prospect in Boston’s system before being cut loose.

Red Sox Chief Baseball Officer Chaim Bloom said it was a tough decision to move on from Downs.

“This was a tough one,” Bloom said last week. “The fact that he was in a position where we considered him and chose him to be designated, I think just speaks to some of the struggles we’ve had getting him on track. I still think there’s a lot of physical ability there but we haven’t been able to unlock it consistently. Certainly know he’s still young and there’s no reason to write him off but he has obviously had some struggles.”


THE RED SOX officially released first baseman Eric Hosmer, making the veteran a free agent six days after Boston designated him for assignment.

Boston acquired Hosmer from the Padres at the trade deadline but he was limited to just 14 games due to a back injury. He quickly fell behind Triston Casas on the depth chart once Casas debuted and played well in Hosmer’s absence. Needing a roster spot for newly acquired reliever Wyatt Mills, the Red Sox designated Hosmer on Friday with Casas’ future in mind.

“Our roster isn’t complete yet, but as we build our club, we feel it’s important to give Triston a clear lane, and that carrying two left-handed hitting first basemen would leave us short in other areas,” Bloom said over the weekend. “Given that, it’s important to do right by Eric and give him time to find his next opportunity. We knew when we first got him that this day would come at some point, and wanted to make sure we treated him right.”

The Red Sox worked hard to trade Hosmer in recent weeks, according to industry sources, but found that there was little to no interest around the league. That wasn’t necessarily a surprise considering that the Red Sox didn’t give up much (they sent Jay Groome to the Padres for Hosmer and two minor leaguers with San Diego picking up all of Hosmer’s remaining salary) because Hosmer didn’t have a strong market at the trade deadline.

Any team that claimed Hosmer would have been responsible for picking up the remainder of his contract (three years and $39 million) so he was an obvious candidate to clear. Whoever signs him will be on the hook for the major league minimum salary next year with the Padres picking up the rest of the tab.

METS: Carlos Correa was in the St. Regis San Francisco with his parents, brother and in-laws, ready to head to Oracle Park for his introductory news conference. That’s when agent Scott Boras asked the prized player to meet him in room 1212.


Farhan Zaidi, the Giants’ president of baseball operations, had called Boras at 8 a.m. PST Tuesday morning, three hours before the scheduled announcement.

“He reported to me that they needed more time, more evaluation,” Boras said Thursday. “They had not made any decisions, but they weren’t prepared to go ahead with a news conference because they didn’t feel they would be able to collect the information within that short period of time.”

Boras conveyed the startling revelation to Correa.

“He was obviously surprised, as we all were,” Boras said.

Instead of finalizing a $350 million, 13-year agreement with the Giants, Boras struck a $315 million, 12-year deal with the free-spending Mets, and Correa headed to New York for a physical Thursday. Boras said results usually come back within 24-48 hours and timing of an announcement was up to the team. A news conference likely won’t be scheduled until next month, after the holiday break.

Correa had taken his physical with the Giants on Monday.


“We’ve had three teams offer this player contracts in excess of 10 years,” Boras said. “Obviously, every one of them had their medicals. There is no current issue with Carlos’ health whatsoever. There’s been a lot of discussion about backs and ankles. There’s nothing about him that is currently any form of medical issue. All the conjecture and evaluation of him has been about physicians using their crystal ball for years to come.”

Boras spoke after pitcher Carlos Rodón’s introductory news conference with the New York Yankees. The agent said all teams had been provided results of Correa’s end-of-season physical conducted by Dr. Christopher Camp, the Twins’ medical director and director of high performance and an orthopedist at the Mayo Clinic.

“They have a full account of the player prior to doing anything that has to do with offers,” Boras said. “Got a long letter passing him, and with that came a recommendation for over a 10-year contract. So that was the known of the Minnesota team physician who was with him all year long.”

Boras maintained Correa’s 2014 surgery to repair a broken right tibia should not have been an issue. Dr. Kevin Varner, chairman of the Department of Orthopedics at Houston Methodist Hospital, operated on Correa.

ORIOLES-METS TRADE: Baltimore acquired catcher James McCann and $19 million from New York on Wednesday night for a player to be named.

McCann was an All-Star in 2019 for the Chicago White Sox, but hit just .195 with three home runs and 18 RBIs for the Mets last season. He joins a Baltimore team that already has perhaps the top young catcher in the game in Adley Rutschman, but the 32-year-old McCann could be a capable backup and fill the type of role veteran Robinson Chirinos did last season.


McCann is due $12 million in each of the next two seasons as part of the $40.6 million, four-year contract he signed with New York in December 2020. As part of the trade, the Mets agreed to pay the Orioles $11 million in 2023 and $8 million in 2024.

REDS: Wil Myers signed a one-year contract with Cincinnati, joining his third big league club after spending the previous eight seasons with San Diego.

The Reds announced the deal. It includes a mutual option for the 2024 season.

The 32-year-old Myers has started major league games at first base, third base and each of the outfield spots. He is a .254 hitter with 153 homers and 521 RBI in 1,063 games.

Cincinnati went 62-100 last season. It was its first season with at least 100 losses since it went 61-101 in 1982.

Myers could be used in the outfield with the Reds. He also could see some time at first while Joey Votto works his way back from rotator cuff surgery.


Myers hit .261 with seven homers and 41 RBI in 77 games in his final season with the Padres. He was 3 for 29 in 10 playoff appearances.

CUBS: Chicago bolstered its defense again, agreeing to a contract with Gold Glove-winning catcher Tucker Barnhart.

Barnhart, who turns 32 on Jan. 7, is expected to back up Yan Gomes. Willson Contreras was the starting catcher for Chicago last season, but he signed an $87.5 million, five-year contract with St. Louis during free agency.

WHITE SOX-GIANTS TRADE: Chicago acquired reliever Gregory Santos from San Francisco for minor league pitcher Kade McClure.

Santos has made five appearances over the past two years for San Francisco. The 23-year-old right-hander has a 4.63 ERA over 35 appearances – two starts – between Triple-A Sacramento and the Arizona Complex League Giants Black last season. He has a 3.56 ERA over 97 appearances, including 44 starts, in six minor league seasons with the San Francisco and Boston organizations.

The 28-year-old McClure has a 4.03 ERA over 108 games and 59 starts in five minor league seasons with the White Sox.

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