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Red Sox make cuts, roster down to 48

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The Sox optioned a number of players to the minors, including one surprise.

New York Yankees v Boston Red Sox Photo by Elsa/Getty Images

The Red Sox announced a series of roster moves before Tuesday's game against the Yankees, and they cut the roster down to 48 players. There are still moves and decisions to be made, not just because 48 is too many players but also because just 35 of those 48 are on the 40-man roster. This was a pretty significant cut, though, and one that gives us some insight into a player's development, too.

The Sox optioned Bryce Brentz, Sean Coyle, Pat Light, and Edwin Escobar to Triple-A Pawtucket. There are multiple points of interest there: Coyle was a guy you could easily see being pushed to Double-A again if only to get him some at-bats, but it looks like the Sox will just stash him on the bench at Triple-A instead. Escobar is the other one that's worth mentioning, mostly because it was believed he was out of options.

Players get three option years. Escobar used his three -- it even said as much on his profile at Sox Prospects, which is up on all this kind of transactional information. The Sox must have been able to acquire a fourth option year for Escobar, though, thanks to his 2015 injuries. So, all that earlier discussion about the Sox needing to make roster decisions that considered Escobar's lack of options? Well, at least reading it didn't take as long as writing it did.

That's good news for the Sox, as Escobar gets a chance to establish himself as a viable big-league reliever with a (hopefully) healthy and full season out of the Pawtucket pen. He's a former top-100 prospect, so there have been flashes before, and he's still just 24 years old even if it seems like he's been around forever.

The other transaction of note is Williams Jerez, who was optioned to Double-A Portland. Jerez finished his 2015 with 22 appearances at Portland, and while there was a chance he would get the bump to the Triple-A pen, this is the move that probably makes the most sense. Jerez rocketed through the system, pitching at three levels in 2015, so giving him a second to breathe and show off what he learned before giving him another promotion is worthwhile.

The last two cuts saw third baseman Chris Dominguez and catcher Ali Solis reassigned to minor-league camp, which is more house cleaning than anything. Dominguez is 29 and not on the 40-man roster, while Solis is 28 and played all of seven games at Triple-A last summer.