On Monday, we had learned that Brian Johnson was placed on outright waivers by the Red Sox, meaning he was available to any team in the league for only the cost of paying his salary. No team wanted to take the pitcher or the Red Sox up on that deal. On Wednesday, we learned Johnson had indeed cleared through waivers. Upon clearing waivers he was outrighted to Pawtucket.
Brian Johnson cleared waivers and was outrighted to Pawtucket.— Chris Cotillo (@ChrisCotillo) November 27, 2019
So, the Red Sox don’t lost this bit of pitching depth after all. As we said earlier in the week, that Johnson is among the top options to fill in if needed in the rotation says more about the team’s depth than it does about Johnson. Still, he remains in the mix with guys like Hector Velázquez, Ryan Weber, Mike Shawaryn and Kyle Hart.
Johnson was not able to reject this assignment because he had fewer than three years of service time. However, if the Red Sox do call up him at some point in 2020 and want to send him back down, he will again have to go through waivers due to being out of minor-league options. At that point, he’d have the option to reject the assignment, as a player can only be outrighted without the right to reject it once in their career.
As it stands for now, the southpaw is set to start the 2020 season in Pawtucket in a rotation along with (potentially) Weber, Hart, Tanner Houck, and Denyi Reyes.