After an agreement to push up the deadline by a couple of days in order to get things done before the likely lockout coming at midnight Wednesday going into Thursday, Tuesday turned into the last day for teams to tender contracts to their arbitration-eligible players. Remember, this is not the same thing as signing a deal, but rather keeping them on the roster for an eventual arbitration hearing or a deal to avoid said hearing. For the Boston Red Sox, there were eight players who were eligible for arbitration this winter. One of the players was non-tendered, while another agreed to a deal as the other six were tendered contracts to be determined later. The team made the official announcement Tuesday night.
We’ll start with Ryan Brasier, who was the player to agree to a deal to avoid arbitration. According to a report from Robert Murray, the right-handed reliever is set to receive a $1.4 million salary for 2022. That is right in line with the projection from MLB Trade Rumors. Brasier missed most of 2021 due to injury, but came back late in the year and pitched to a 1.50 ERA over 12 innings, striking out nine and walking four.
Meanwhile, the lone player to not be at least tendered a 2022 contract was Tim Locastro, who you may remember was claimed off waivers early in the offseason. The former Yankee and Diamondback is most known for his speed and is ideally a fifth outfielder if on the roster at all. Splitting time between Arizona and New York this past season, he put up a 44 wRC+ in 156 plate appearances. It always seemed unlikely he’d be able to stick on the 40-man all winter, though it still seemed possible they’d tender him a contract since he was only projected to make $700,000 in arbitration. It seems likely the Red Sox will look to bring him back on a minor-league deal.
Beyond those two, everyone else was tendered a contract and will either agree to a deal to avoid arbitration or will head to a hearing. With the league set to go into a lockout in a little more than 24 hours, these contracts will decided after the lockout is over. Hunter Renfroe may be the most notable player to be tendered a deal as he is set for a relatively large raise to a salary over $7 million. That may not be a bargain, but for what he can provide it’s a fair salary. Rafael Devers is the other player of note here. Tendering him a deal was never in question, of course, but he is projected for a $11.1 million salary. The team should at least approach him for extension talks after the lockout as camp approaches.