Left-handed reliever Joely Rodriguez will start the season in the Boston Red Sox bullpen. Jeff Chiu/Associated Press

Slowly but surely, the roster picture for the Boston Red Sox is coming into focus.

On Sunday morning, their final day in Fort Myers, Florida, the Red Sox added reliever Joely Rodriguez to their roster while releasing first baseman C.J. Cron.

The news was first reported by Alex Speier of the Boston Globe.

Both players had notified the Red Sox on Friday of their intent to opt-out of minor league deals. The Red Sox had until Sunday to make decisions on both.

Rodriguez was with the Red Sox in 2023, but missed most of the season because of injuries. He signed a minor league deal with an invite to major league camp this spring and had a 2.57 ERA in six appearances.

In recent days, Manager Alex Cora has said the Red Sox would like to keep two lefties in the bullpen. Presumably, Rodriguez will pair with Brennan Bernardino, who is also expected to make the 26-man roster.


Cron missed a good chunk of 2023, suffering from a back injury. He signed a minor league deal with the Red Sox well after camp had opened and had to catch up quickly in his bid to make the roster as a back-up first baseman to Triston Casas while also serving as a right-handed bat off the bench.

He got just 11 at-bats and didn’t have an extra-base hit. He notified the team of his intent to opt-out of his deal Friday if the team didn’t add him to the roster.

Presumably, this means that Bobby Dalbec will make the Opening Day roster in that role. It’s possible, however, that the Red Sox could still be scouring the waiver wire while also checking in on other players who have opted out elsewhere.

• Kutter Crawford allowed five runs on eight hits in 5 2/3 innings, and the Red Sox played to a 5-5 tie with the Braves in Fort Myers, Florida, in their final game of Florida spring training.

Boston will play exhibition games against the Rangers in Arlington, Texas, on Monday and Tuesday before opening the regular season on Thursday in Seattle.

Crawford allowed eight hits, struck out five and walked two in his final spring start. Sean Murphy hit a pair of two-run home runs off Crawford, one in the second inning and one in the fourth.


Triston Casas had a two-run single in the third for Boston, while Masataka Yoshida and Allan Castro each added an RBI single.

BREWERS: Right-hander Brandon Woodruff says he won’t pitch this season while he recovers from surgery to his throwing shoulder.

When Woodruff underwent surgery in October, the Brewers said the two-time All-Star was expected to miss most, if not all, of the season. Woodruff told the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel that he won’t pitch this year and is targeting a return in 2025.

“Honestly, I’m going to be the strongest I’ll ever be at any point in my career because I’m going (to) have a year and just basically get my body ready for pitching,” Woodruff told the newspaper.

Woodruff, 31, went 5-1 with a 2.28 ERA in 11 starts last year despite missing four months with a subscapularis strain in his shoulder. He hurt the shoulder again late in the season, preventing him from playing in the Brewers’ NL Wild Card series loss to the Arizona Diamondbacks.

WHITE SOX: Chicago re-signed Kevin Pillar, two days after releasing the veteran outfielder.


Pillar was in camp on a minor league deal before he was cut on Friday. Chicago announced on Sunday that it had agreed to a big league deal with the 35-year-old Pillar.

The White Sox also designated right-hander Touki Toussaint for assignment before their spring training game against Colorado. Toussaint went 4-6 with a 4.97 ERA for Chicago last year, making 15 starts and four relief appearances.

Chicago has 42 players – 22 pitchers, three catchers, seven infielders and 10 outfielders – left in big league camp. It hosts Detroit on Thursday on Opening Day.

Pillar played for Atlanta last year, hitting .228 with nine homers and 32 RBI in 81 games.

ROYALS: Right-hander Michael Wacha was hit on his pitching hand during his final inning of spring training, just before the club was to leave Arizona, and will have X-rays on his middle finger to determine the extent of the injury.

Wacha was pitching in the fifth inning of an intrasquad game when Salvador Perez lined his pitch up the middle. The ball hit Wacha’s right middle finger, and he immediately grabbed the hand as Royals Manager Matt Quatraro came out to check on him.


Quatraro said he was optimistic that Wacha would be OK. The Royals are counting on him to fill out an almost entirely revamped rotation after signing the 32-year-old veteran to a $32 million, two-year contract during free agency.

PHILLIES: Left-hander Matt Strahm and Philadelphia agreed to a $7.5 million contract for the 2025 season, a deal that includes a team option for 2026.

Strahm also has a $7.5 million salary this year in the final season of a $15 million, two-year contract. He would have been eligible for free agency after the World Series.

The 32-year-old was 9-5 with a 3.29 ERA and two saves last year in 10 starts and 46 relief appearances. He pitched 5 1/3 scoreless innings over seven postseason games and got a save in the final game of the NL Division Series against Atlanta.

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