The Red Sox traded Brandon Workman back last summer in what looks to be a steal already, having gotten Nick Pivetta and Connor Seabold back in return. To make matters even better, they were able to get Workman back anyway after he became available early this season. Things had been trending down for the righty since the start of last season, and the Red Sox were able to bring him back on a minor-league deal. That deal included an opt-out, and Workman has apparently triggered it, giving the Red Sox 48 hours to decide whether or not they will promote him or make him available as a free agent.
Cora on Workman: ‘He’s gonna opt out. I think we have two days to make a decision. We’ll see where it goes.’— Alex Speier (@alexspeier) June 1, 2021
Workman had been pitching in the majors to start the season after signing with the Cubs over the offseason. His velocity was down a bit, and that helped contribute to a tough 6.75 ERA with 11 strikeouts and seven walks over eight innings. He’s since been pitching in the Worcester bullpen, and things seem to be at least a bit better. He’s pitched seven innings at Triple-A, allowing one run on three hits and four walks with 10 strikeouts.
This doesn’t seem like too complicated of a decision for the Red Sox, who essentially have to choose between Colten Brewer and Workman. The former has been with the organization since 2019, and frankly we’ve never really seen him perform like someone who is more than Quad-A depth. There have been portions of his game that looks potentially attractive, but things have never stuck. Workman, on the other hand, has had real success as a closer for the Red Sox as recently as 2019. There’s a real chance he struggles here like he did with Chicago, but Brewer already isn’t offering much more than that, and hasn’t for years.
It should of course be mentioned that adding Workman would mean a counter move would be needed on the 40-man. Boston could accomplish that by either designating Brewer for assignment or pushing Hudson Potts to the 60-day injured list. They’ll have to make another move in the near future for Ryan Brasier as well, whose rehab assignment should come soon. So there are some complexity, but there are enough options present to make this move now to bring Workman up rather than let him hit free agency.