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Red Sox Summer Camp Notes: Caleb Simpson added to player pool

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Plus, two players test positive for COVID and David Price opts out of the season.

Chicago Cubs Photo Day Photo by Jamie Squire/Getty Images

The Red Sox are officially at Fenway and most of the team is participating in the weird summer camp training camp second spring training extravaganza (or whatever you want to call it). We took yesterday off for the holiday, but there was a bit of news we can catch up on today.

Caleb Simpson added to player pool

When teams were first required to submit their player pools for this summer camp, the Red Sox submitted an initial roster of 47 out of the maximum 60 slots, and then pushed that number to 48 with the addition of Jonathan Lucroy, the delay for which was purely procedural. Things get interesting after that, though, as there is a question of who will be added and how many of the remaining 12 spots will be prospects in the organization and how many will be free agent signings or trade acquisitions. We have the answer to the first of the 12, with the Red Sox signing right-handed pitcher Caleb Simpson to a minor-league deal and making him player number 49 in the player pool.

Simpson is entering his age-29 season and was a 21st round pick by the Giants back in 2013. He has yet to make his major-league debut and to this point has spent his entire career — at least in the regular season — with the Giants. Last season he split time between High-A and Double-A, tossing 42 innings in 34 relief appearances and pitching to a 3.00 ERA with 56 strikeouts and 30 walks. Control has always been an issue for the righty with nearly seven walks per nine innings over his professional career. Simpson was a non-roster invitee for the Cubs this spring before baseball was paused, but was cut.

Josh Taylor, Darwinzon Hernandez test positive for COVID

Part of the restart of the season has been every player being tested before he is back on the field, and the Red Sox had a couple of positive tests with Josh Taylor and Darwinzon Hernandez both away from the team after positive tests. Obviously these are two key pitchers in the bullpen, but considering we are talking about a virus with some pretty serious symptoms for many who get it, the role of these players on the team is much less consequential than they’re help. As far as I can tell, no one has indicated whether or not either of them are displaying symptoms. Obviously, we wish them a speedy recovery.

Eduardo Rodriguez is also not yet with the team as he is awaiting test results after coming into contact who tested positive.

David Price opts out of the season

There have been some players who have opted out of this season already and some high-profile players — most notably Mike Trout — who have at least openly considered it, but David Price became the highest profile player to actually do so on Sunday. Clearly, it is impossible to blame anyone who makes this choice particularly since the section above this talks about two Red Sox players testing positive. There was also news yesterday of Freddie Freeman testing positive for the Braves and displaying symptoms, reminding us that this is not nothing. As for Price, there is already a preconceived notion about him as a teammate and people will lean into that, but let’s not forget this is also the guy who gave each minor leaguer in the Dodgers system $1,000 during the pandemic. As far as how this affects the Red Sox, since Price will be forgoing his salary the Red Sox save the nearly-$6 million they would have owed for that contract and can use that now to sign free agents without going over the luxury tax.