The Red Sox gambled on their infielder clearing waivers, and were rewarded with retention of him
Ivan De Jesus was one of the victim's of Boston's 40-man housecleaning last week, as he was designated for assignment. It seemed a bit odd, given his competition on the roster to be the team's utility player is Pedro Ciriaco, but the Red Sox wanted the spot to protect outfielder Alex Hassan and what they believe is his potential to be a big-league player someday.
It doesn't matter so much now about a week later, though, as De Jesus has cleared waivers, and has been assigned to Triple-A Pawtucket. The infielder is no longer on the 40-man roster, but he gets to continue on in the Red Sox organization. If they like what they see at Pawtucket, and Ciriaco continues to play like he did for much of 2012, then they can always bring him back up.
Now, the Red Sox have Hassan protected, and De Jesus still around. Clearly, they thought Hassan would be selected in the Rule 5 (though the jury is still out on that) while De Jesus was likely to clear waivers and allow the Red Sox to have both. Maybe the same feeling that they could get away with De Jesus on waivers is what made them keep Hassan, but it's hard to tell just why they thought the latter would be stolen while the former would be around regardless of 40-man designation or not.
The key point here is that De Jesus is still around, but the fact no one else in the league bothered to take him away speaks either to a collective belief he lacks value, or Boston just getting the timing right by waiting until the league had set their 40-man rosters. Or maybe a little of both. This is enough to soften the previous position on his designation being odd, but at the same time, Pedro Ciriaco. At least they have both now, and only taking up one spot. That's an improvement.