Red Sox Set 40-Man Roster Ahead Of Rule 5 Draft

Kirby Lee-US PRESSWIRE

The Red Sox have finalized their 40-man roster, leaving a few players out in the cold as the Rule 5 draft nears.

The Red Sox finalized their 40-man roster late Tuesday night, designating five players for assignment in the process.

Danny Valencia, Zach Stewart, Ivan De Jesus Jr., David Carpenter, and Sandy Rosario are the unlucky few to be dropped from the 40-man. Of that bunch, Zach Stewart is the biggest surprise, with Ivan De Jesus in second. Stewart was acquired from the Chicago White Sox in the Kevin Youkilis trade. Once a top prospect, Stewart bombed miserably in his two starts with Boston, and while his numbers in Pawtucket were decent, at 25 it seems Stewart may have run out of chances.

Ivan De Jesus, meanwhile, was the fourth minor leaguer included in the blockbuster deal with the Los Angeles Dodgers. Where Allen Webster and Rubby De La Rosa headed the group, and Jerry Sands offered some interesting possibility, De Jesus has long been seen as a utility infielder at the major league level, and it seems as though Pedro Ciriaco has won that particular job by virtue of his surprising major league performance (and, likely, his ability to steal some bases when necessary).

The other three--Carpenter, Rosario, and Valencia--are of relatively little note. Danny Valencia and Sandy Rosario were both brought over as extra depth signings late in the year, simply providing warm bodies to fill open spaces, while Carpenter was used in the John Farrell trade to avoid the situation where a manager is being traded for a player. Everyone knows that's what happens, but the league wants to have its deniability and the teams humor it.

The beneficiaries of the open roster spots included obvious choices like Alex Wilson and the aforementioned Allen Webster, as well as journeyman knuckleballer Steven Wright, the intriguing catcher Christian Vazquez (.266/.360/.396 in Salem after a strong season in Greenville), the somewhat less intriguing catcher Dan Butler, and the light-hitting-but-uber-patient outfielder Alex Hassan.

That leaves Jeremy Hazelbaker Josh Fields, Michael Almanzar (who actually found his bat some last year), and a few other semi-interesting prospects available to be snatched up in the Rule 5 draft. If I had to guess, Fields is the guy the Sox could actually lose, with Hazelbaker perhaps being picked up on a whim and returned.

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