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Red Sox make flurry of roster moves ahead of the Rule 5 draft protection deadline

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Including a couple surprises

Denyi Reyes (right) and Ryan Oduber (left). I don’t know why they’re with a camel but I had to use this picture.
Kelly O’Connor; sittingstill.smugmug.com

The deadline to add minor leaguers to the 40-man roster and protect them from the Rule 5 draft is at 8:00 PM ET on Tuesday, and the Red Sox have made their moves. There was a flurry of activity from the front office this afternoon, with some pretty surprising moves in there. We discussed some possibilities on who could be protected, and while we got the number of players correct we didn’t get all of the right guys. Here is the full list of roster movement for the day.

  • So, first thing first, the Colten Brewer trade. We talked about that already, but now we know it’s official and that he will be added to the 40-man, as expected.
  • William Cuevas is taking an opportunity to play overseas. The righty has spent the majority of his professional career to this point in the minors, making a few brief major-league stints including one this past year. Cuevas appeared in nine games for the Red Sox this year with one start, pitching to a 7.41 ERA over 17 innings.
  • Austin Maddox being outrighted off the 40-man roster is a bit of a surprise. Maddox missed most of last season due to injury and struggled in his brief time back on the mound when he was healthy. If you recall, Maddox did spend some time in the majors back in 2017 and pitched very well for Boston. In 17 13 innings with the big-league squad he allowed just one run. It is worth noting that Maddox underwent surgery in September and is expected to miss all of the 2019 season, which makes this move a little more understandable.
  • As far as the Rule 5 protections go, there is a bit of a surprise. As we expected, Michael Chavis, Travis Lakins, Darwinzon Hernandez and Josh Taylor were protected. What we didn’t really expect was Denyi Reyes to get a not. The righty is coming off an incredible 2018 in which he posted a 1.97 ERA between Greenville and Salem in his age-21 season. There is certainly some intrigue here, though with him never having appeared at Double A it seemed like they may be willing to take a chance and not have to burn an option already. Apparently, they were afraid he’d be selected and they didn’t want to take that chance. It’s much easier to stash a pitcher on a major-league roster than a hitter.
  • Which brings us to the other end of that surprise. Not getting protected was Josh Ockimey, the first base prospect who ended last season in Pawtucket. Ockimey is generally a more highly-rated prospect than Reyes, though he does have flaws in his game. Mostly, it comes down to the fact that there is a whole lot of swing and miss and since he doesn’t add a ton of defensive value his bat carries all of his value. That being said, he has very real power and draws a ton of walks, so there is certainly potential for a good major leaguer there. My guess is that he will be selected by someone in the Rule 5 draft this December, though the Red Sox may be hoping they won’t be able to hold him on the major-league roster all year.
  • With all of the moves and the dust settled, the Red Sox’ 40-man roster now sits at 39. I’ll have the payroll/roster tracker updated later tonight.