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Red Sox reportedly claim Tim Locastro off waivers

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The outfielder adds some speed to the roster.

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Boston Red Sox v New York Yankees Photo by Adam Hunger/Getty Images

The Boston Red Sox have made their first addition of the offseason, albeit not in the form of a big splash but rather on the waiver wire. The wire was busy on Friday with the first activity of the winter, and Boston got in on the action by picking up outfielder Tim Locastro from the New York Yankees. Robert Murray reported the news.

Locastro was originally drafted by the Toronto Blue Jays in the 13th round back in 2013 before being traded to the Los Angeles Dodgers organization while still in the minors. He made his debut with L.A. in 2017 and made his way to the Arizona Diamondbacks in another trade before the 2019 season. Last summer he was traded to from Arizona to New York. His season ended prematurely when he suffered a knee injury at Fenway Park while making a catch. He is expected to be ready to go for spring training.

Before the injury, the outfielder hit .180/.263/.252 for a dismal 44 wRC+ over 156 plate appearances. Over his major-league career, he has accrued 503 plate appearances and has a career 82 wRC+. In other words, he has been 18 percent worse than the league-average hitter by that metric.

Locastro is mostly a depth piece, and as illustrated above the offense is certainly below-average. Defensively he has experience playing all three outfield positions, grading out average-to-above-average across the board. But it’s with the legs that Locastro is most intriguing. One of the fastest runners in baseball, he has ranked within the top 1 percent of the league by Statcast’s sprint speed metric each year of his career. He shouldn’t factor into the roster in any major way, but he has some value as a situational depth player.

The outfielder is entering his age-29 season next year and has a minor-league option remaining. Locastro is arbitration-eligible for the first time this winter, with MLB Trade Rumors projecting a $700,000 salary for next season. The Red Sox 40-man roster is now at 31, not including players whose option decisions have yet to be made.

Boston hopes Locastro can follow in the footsteps of other recent acquisitions they’ve made off the Yankees roster.