The offseason doesn’t really get underway until the World Series has concluded. We have at least a couple more days until that, but the Red Sox are getting their roster ready. Over the weekend, we learned they had put righty Domingo Tapia on waivers and he was claimed by the Mariners. As it turns out, he was just one of six players that had been put on waivers. He was the only one claimed. Joining him on waivers were Tzu-Wei Lin, Robinson Leyer, Zack Godley, Mike Kickham and Andrew Triggs. The first two will remain in the organization after being outrighted to Pawtucket. The latter three, meanwhile, did not accept their assignments and will become free agents.
None of these are major surprises, though it is nice for the Red Sox that they get to keep Lin and Leyer in the organization. Neither player had much success in small samples this year — Lin had a 3 OPS+ over 57 plate appearances and Leyer had a 23 ERA+ over 4 2⁄3 innings — but they have the skillset to contribute if things break right. Lin hasn’t been able to hit major-league pitching at a consistent level, but he does bring athleticism on the bases and can play good defense at multiple positions in both the infield and outfield. Leyer, meanwhile, needs to refine his command but has legitimate stuff with his fastball and slider. Both players can remain emergency-type depth options for next season while not spending the offseason on the 40-man roster.
As for the other three, none of them figured to play into the plans for the future anyway. All of them could potentially be back on minor-league deals if their market isn’t what they hope it could be, but in any scenario they would just be emergency depth as well.
With these moves in the books, the Red Sox 40-man stands at 35. Once the offseason officially begins, they will be at an even 40 with six players — Dustin Pedroia, Chris Sale, Eduardo Rodriguez, Andrew Benintendi, Colten Brewer, and Kyle Hart — needing to be taken off the injured list and Jackie Bradley Jr. officially becoming a free agent. With (at least) six prospects needing to be added at some point for Rule 5 protection along with the additions that will be necessary to shore up the roster, these five are just the start of what should be an eventful few weeks for the bottom portion of this roster.