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Red Sox designate Franchy Cordero for assignment

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The offseason starts with the playoffs still going.

Boston Red Sox v Detroit Tigers Photo by Nic Antaya/Getty Images

The postseason is obviously still going on and the Red Sox are still playing baseball, but on Thursday we got what was basically the first move of the offseason with some movement on the bottom of the Red Sox 40-man. The team announced on Thursday that they had reinstated Phillips Valdez from the COVID IL, and more consequentially designated Franchy Cordero for assignment in order to make room on the 40-man.

The Valdez part here is pretty straight forward, as he couldn’t stay on the COVID list indefinitely. But Cordero being taken off the 40-man is certainly interesting. The outfielder was, of course, part of the return in the Andrew Benintendi deal. Possessing some loud tools that have enticed scouts for years now, Cordero really struggled against major-league pitching, hitting just .189/.237/.260 in 136 plate appearances for a 32 wRC+, meaning he was 68 percent worse than league-average by that measure.

On the other hand, he was excellent in his time with Triple-A Worcester, serving as one of the best examples of the gulf in talent between Triple-A and the majors at the moment. Over 335 plate appearances in the minors he hit .300/.398/.533. It was no guarantee he was going to be cut from the 40-man despite that major-league performance, in large part due to the aforementioned tools as well as that performance in the minors. On top of that, Cordero has a minor-league option remaining.

The Red Sox will have some 40-man decisions to make this winter, though, and Cordero was the first casualty. He’ll likely be a candidate to be claimed by a rebuilding team who can give him playing time, but if he does manage to clear waivers the Red Sox can outright him to Triple-A and keep him in the organization.