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Red Sox notes: Franchy Cordero stays, and Silver Slugger finalists

Winter is here.

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Boston Red Sox v Toronto Blue Jays - Game Two Photo by Cole Burston/Getty Images

A couple bits of Boston Red Sox news from Monday afternoon to cover here on Franchy Cordero’s status as well as Silver Slugger finalists, which are apparently a thing.

Franchy Cordero clears waivers, will stay with the Red Sox

The Red Sox made some very mild waves while they were still in the midst of their postseason run, clearing room on the 40-man for Phillips Valdez (who had to be activated off the COVID list) by designating Franchy Cordero for assignment. Given the immense perceived talent as well as his remaining minor-league option, there was some reasonable doubt as to whether or not he would clear waivers despite his extremely tough 2021 in the majors. We learned on Monday that he did indeed clear waivers, and beyond that he is staying in Boston. Chris Cotillo reports that Cordero signed a one-year deal for $825K before being outrighted, which means he’s still under contract but is off the 40-man.

Cordero, one of the players to come back in the Andrew Benintendi trade from last winter, struggled big-time in the majors in 2021, finishing with a line of .189/.237/.260 for a 32 wRC+. For some context, among 463 players with at least 100 plate appearances (Cordero had 136) only seven were worse by that metric. He did, however, have plenty of success in Triple-A, finishing his run in Worcester hitting .300/.398/.533. As he is no longer on the 40-man, Cordero is indeed Rule 5 eligible, and while stranger things have certainly happened it would be a bit odd for a team to take him in that setting when they had a chance to claim him off waivers while having the ability to option him. More likely is that he sticks around as one of the top outfield depth options to kick off 2022.

Red Sox have three Silver Slugger finalists

To be perfectly honest, I had no idea Silver Slugger finalists were even a thing, but apparently they are and they were announced on Monday, with the Red Sox claiming three of them. For some reason there is no uniform number of finalists among positions either.

Rafael Devers, who hit .279/.352/.538 for a 134 wRC+ with 38 homers, was a finalist at third base along with José Ramirez of Cleveland and Kyle Seager of Seattle. Devers finished three points behind Ramirez in wRC+ while Seager’s inclusion is a bit curious with a slightly below-average mark of 99. This would be Devers’ first Silver Slugger.

Xander Bogaerts also got a nomination at shortstop after hitting .295/.370/.493 for a 130 wRC+. He is nominated alongside Carlos Correa of Houston, Tim Anderson of Chicago, and Bo Bichette of Toronto. Bogaerts, who already has three Silver Sluggers at shortstop, finished second in that group behind Correa in wRC+.

Finally, Hunter Renfroe got a nod among outfielders after hitting .259/.315/.501 with 31 homers and a 114 wRC+. There will be three winners among the nominations, which include Renfroe along with Cedric Mullins (Baltimore), Teoscar Hernández (TOR), Aaron Judge (NYY), Kyle Tucker (HOU), Mitch Haniger (SEA), Lourdes Gurriel Jr. (TOR), and Randy Arozarena (TB). This would be Renfroe’s first Silver Slugger.

If you’re looking for snubs here, J.D. Martinez may qualify as he was not among the five finalists at DH — those finalists were Shohei Ohtani (LAA), Giancarlo Stanton (NYY), Joey Gallo (NYY/TEX), Yordan Alvarez (HOU), and Nelson Cruz (TB) — although he was only ahead of Cruz and Alvarez in that group. Plus, Martinez has already won two Silver Sluggers in one year back in 2018, so it’s not even worth it to only win at one position, ya know?