On Friday, the Red Sox made some news by releasing Steven Wright. The righty was on the 60-day injured list and was eligible for arbitration this winter as a clear nontender candidate. This was essentially just getting that move with early. Later in the day they cleared two players off their 40-man roster. As first reported by Chris Cotillo of Masslive, Boston outrighted Josh Smith and Gorkys Hernández off the roster down to Pawtucket. Both players went unclaimed on waivers.
Red Sox outrighted Gorkys Hernandez and Josh Smith off the 40-man roster. They went unclaimed on waivers.— Chris Cotillo (@ChrisCotillo) October 18, 2019
Both players should be eligible for minor-league free agency this winter.
The Red Sox seem very likely to have a lot of moving pieces this winter, and this is a sign that they feel the same way. They are set to lose free agents Rick Porcello, Brock Holt, Mitch Moreland, Andrew Cashner, Jhoulys Chacín and potentially J.D. Martinez as well as having other nontender candidates on their roster. Now, they have opened up two more spots with this latest move. It should also be mentioned that Chris Sale and Dustin Pedroia will have to be added back onto the roster after the season ends, so this makes room for that.
Smith was signed as a minor-league free agent by the Red Sox during the 2018 season and was first called up by to the majors in May of this past season. As an up-and-down swingman, Smith tossed 31 innings across two starts and 15 relief appearances in 2019, pitching to a 5.81 ERA with a 6.60 FIP.
Hernández spent a long time with the Giants before signing a minor-league deal with the Red Sox prior to the 2019 season. He spent most of the year in Triple-A as the top outfield depth option but wasn’t needed. The outfielder was called up for September, though, and he played in 20 games down the stretch. Over 57 plate appearances he hit .143/.218/.245 for a 21 OPS+.