The moves are coming fast and furious today. First, the Red Sox decided to tender a contract to Jackie Bradley Jr. (reportedly, at least. As of this writing nothing is official). Then, they traded Sandy León for minor-league pitcher Adenys Bautista. This was essentially a non-tender in which they got a very, very minor piece in return. Then, Monday afternoon it was announced that Trevor Kelley had been claimed off waivers by the Philadelphia Phillies.
RHP Trevor Kelley today was claimed off waivers by the Philadelphia Phillies. #RedSox— Red Sox (@RedSox) December 2, 2019
It had not been announced whenever Trevor Kelley was placed on waivers, but this is a time of year in which teams try to sneak moves like this through. The Rule 5 deadline was relatively recently so many teams are dealing with full rosters, and with the non-tender deadline coming focus is a bit all over the place. This was, presumably, a way the Red Sox thought they could get a little depth off the 40-man roster without losing them from the organization, but it didn’t work out that way. To be fair, it was apparently pretty close to working out, as the Phillies would have been 21st in the waiver order out of the 29 other teams.
In Kelley, though, the Red Sox are a little more shallow in terms of right-handed relief depth that can be moved up and down through the minors. Even without Kelley they have Colten Brewer, Marcus Walden, Mike Shawaryn, Ryan Weber, Denyi Reyes and Travis Lakins currently on the 40-man. They also Durbin Feltman, Tanner Houck and Austin Maddox, among others, off the 40-man. That also doesn’t mention the possible additions they can make off the roster.
Kelley now tries to make his stuff transfer to the majors in a National League setting. He was (results-wise) one of the best relievers at the Triple-A level last year, posting an ERA of 1.79 thanks to a sidearm approach that made him difficult to square up. It didn’t work out so well in the majors, though, as he pitched to an 8.64 ERA with only slightly better peripherals in his small sample of 8 1⁄3 innings.
With Kelley off of it, the Red Sox 40-man roster now stands at 36.