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Red Sox Notes: Spring training invites and arbitration deals

A couple quick notes heading into the weekend.

Seattle Mariners v Boston Red Sox Photo by Omar Rawlings/Getty Images

We’re still waiting for the Red Sox to add to their team a little more in free agency, but we did get news on a couple different fronts on Thursday. We’ll quickly go over the two bits of news here, as the team announced some more non-roster invitees to spring training and have so far agreed to one deal before arbitration figures are exchanged.

Red Sox announce non-roster spring training invitees

We are just about a month away from pitchers and catchers reporting to Fort Myers for the start of spring training, and it’s starting to become clearer as to who will be in camp when things really get underway. The 40-man roster is currently at 39, and obviously all of them will be in big-league camp. On top of that, hopefully there will be a new reliever added to the list to get that number to 40. In addition to the players already under major-league contract, the Red Sox have announced a number of non-roster invitees. Here’s the latest group of non-roster players to get the invite.

Here’s a quick rundown of all of the non-roster invitees to this point.

  • Pitchers: Zach Putnam, Erasmo Ramírez, Carson Smith, Mike Shawaryn, Josh Smith, Domingo Tapia, Ryan Weber
  • Catchers: Juan Centeno, Óscar Hernández, Austin Rei
  • Infielders: C.J. Chatham, Bobby Dalbec, Chad De La Guerra, Josh Ockimey, Tony Renda
  • Outfielders: Bryce Brentz, Rusney Castillo, Gorkys Hernández, Tate Matheny, Cole Sturgeon

Obviously this is not the most exciting list of players, but that’s what happens with non-roster invitees. Remember, this also doesn’t include players on the 40-man roster including prospects like Michael Chavis, Darwinzon Hernandez and Travis Lakins. I’d also expect Durbin Feltman to get some time with the big leaguers. Still, there are plenty of guys here who could help the major-league team in 2019, including all of the pitchers there as well as guys like Brentz, De La Guerra, Renda and Gorkys Hernández. Dalbec and Chatham are also interesting prospects who should be interesting to see against high-level competition. Again, this is not the most thrilling time of year, but that we are even talking about this means spring training is not far away. That in and of itself is good enough for me.

The arbitration figure exchanging deadline is just about here

Friday is an important day on the MLB calendar as it marks the deadline for teams and players to exchange figures ahead of potential arbitration hearings. I can’t seem to find the exact time these figures must be exchanged, but in the past it’s been in the early afternoon here on the East Coast. This is a significant date because more and more teams seem to be going with a file-and-trial approach, meaning that once figures are exchanged negotiations end and they head to a hearing to determine players’ salaries for the coming season. The Red Sox have been going to trials more and more of late, including one with Mookie Betts last year.

As of this writing, only three of the 12 arbitration-eligible players on the roster have agreed to a deal to avoid an arbitration hearing. Tyler Thornburg and Heath Hembree both avoided a hearing with deals back in December, and on Thursday Steven Wright reportedly agreed to a deal worth $1.375 million. That was just $25,000 less than what MLB Trade Rumors projected for him. They are very good at these projections. The players who are still at risk of going to a trial are: Mookie Betts, Xander Bogaerts, Jackie Bradley Jr., Sandy León, Matt Barnes, Brandon Workman, Blake Swihart and Eduardo Rodríguez. Some of these players are likely to agree to deals before the deadline this afternoon. When able, I’ll be updating the payroll tracker with official salaries.