The Red Sox are slowly but surely catching up with their glut of roster moves that have been needing to be made official. The latest move came Tuesday afternoon when the team officially announced their signing of reliever Hirokazu Sawamura. He gets a two-year deal with an option for a third year, with the guaranteed money for the first two years believed to be around $3 million. In order to make room on the 40-man, Jeffrey Springs has been designated for assignment.
The #RedSox today signed RHP Hirokazu Sawamura to a two-year contract, with a dual club/player option for the 2023 season.— Red Sox (@RedSox) February 16, 2021
To make room on the 40-man roster, the club designated LHP Jeffrey Springs for assignment.
Sawamura has been rumored to be heading to Boston for a couple of weeks now, with the deal reportedly being agreed to at some point last week. The righty, who has spent his entire professional career to this point in Japan, is mainly a two-pitch pitcher with a fastball that sits in the mid-90s along with a splitter. He has shown plenty of swing and miss stuff in his time in the NPB, but also some command issues as well. Last season he got off to a horrible start before being traded midseason and turning things around in a big way in the second half. He will likely start the year in a setup role, but will have a chance to move up the depth chart given all the questions elsewhere in the bullpen.
To make room, as mentioned above Jeffrey Springs has been designated for assignment. This is not a huge surprise as he was on the short list of being next on the chopping block, likely along with Marcus Walden and Marcus Wilson. Springs was, in my opinion, better than he got credit for last season, though that is not a very hight bar. He made a horrible first impression, and while he missed more bats than was expected he still gave up enough hard contact that he wasn’t more than bullpen depth looking ahead to 2021. The hope is obviously that he’ll clear waivers and can remain in that role, but that part remains to be seen.
With the Sawamura signing official, all that is left for the Red Sox in terms of roster moves waiting to be official is Marwin Gonzalez. Chris Sale can be added to the 60-day injured list, and thus taken off the 40-man roster, within the next week as camp gets started, so my assumption is that they will wait to announce the Gonzalez signing until that move is officially made.