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Red Sox Weekend Notes: Roster cuts and DFA’s

Catching up on a few things we missed.

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Boston Red Sox Photo Day Photo by Brace Hemmelgarn/Getty Images

Due to some personal reasons (nothing bad), we’ve fallen behind a bit on some of the moves made on the Red Sox roster over the last few days. It’s been something of a busy weekend for Boston, not in terms of any big moves being made but rather a handful of smaller moves, most notably with another round of roster cuts and a couple other notes on players who were recently designated for assignment. We’ll catch up on all of that below.

Jarren Duran leads the latest round of roster cuts

The regular season is now less than two weeks away, which is pretty wild considering that spring training just started and it seems like players are still in the ramp up part of their schedule. The Red Sox are cognizant of the lack of time remaining, though, and want to make sure they have all of the playing time necessary for their key players. With that in mind, they made another big round of roster cuts over the weekend, getting down to something closer to what we’ll see for the roster on Opening Day. Below is a quick rundown of the players who were sent down to minor-league camp. Players marked with an asterisk are on the 40-man roster and burned an option by being sent down.

  • Jarren Duran* leads this group of optioned players as he was looking pretty solid this pring. The speedy outfielder, who scored from second on a sacrifice fly the day before being optioned, needs reps to get his swing back on track after a tough second half last year, so it was always a longshot he’d make the majors. That said, with him now officially off the roster the need for another outfielder, even just for the bench, is that much more clear.
  • Ronaldo Hernández* has experienced a bit of helium this spring among evaluators. He’s a better hitter than your typical catcher, though his defensive questions limit the ceiling pretty significantly, at least until the automatic strike zone is implemented. He’ll be in competition with the next guy on this list for the third catcher role this year.
  • Connor Wong* was that third catcher last year with Hernández still in Double-A. Wong is the better defensive player and adds some versatility being able to play some infield, but Hernández looks like the more reliable bat at this point.
  • Ryan Fitzgerald was the best story of the spring so far, with the former undrafted signing out of Indy Ball leading the way in home runs this spring. He’s not a future home run king, but he’s shown enough that a future as a major-league bench piece is very much in play, and not too far down the road.
  • Roldani Baldwin often gets forgotten with the other catchers in the high minors, but he’s another solid bat-first backstop who has gotten some time at third base as well.
  • Kole Cottam is yet another bat-first catcher who could have a future as a backup who could also be used as a bat off the bench. Boston has a glut of these kinds of players who are projected to play at Double-A or higher, giving them a good chance at having at least one work out.
  • Roberto Ramos was a minor-league signing from this past winter with some experience in Asia in recent seasons. The first baseman has got big power and could be up in case of injury later in the year.
  • Silvino Bracho was another recent minor-league signing, though he is a right-handed pitcher. With some major-league experience, he’ll serve as bullpen depth through the season.
  • Michael Feliz came up during the season late last year after being signed to a minor-league deal, filling in during the COVID breakout in August. Like Bracho, he’s veteran bullpen depth.
  • Taylor Cole continues the trend of recent minor-league signings. He can provide more length than the other pitchers mentioned thus far and is rotation and/or long relief depth.
  • Darin Gillies signed a minor-league pact during the lockout, and is more bullpen depth. He’s coming off a good showing last year in Triple-A and is still waiting for his major-league debut.
  • Geoff Hartlieb joined the organization late last season and is yet another bullpen arm to serve as depth with major-league experience.
  • Zack Kelly was with the organization last year and is an underrated name to remember. Had the Rule 5 Draft taken place, he was a candidate to be selected.
Boston Red Sox Photo Day
Hudson Potts
Photo by Mary DeCicco/MLB Photos via Getty Images

Hudson Potts clears waivers

The Red Sox made a few roster moves last week, with Potts being the first player to hit waivers when he was designated for assignment to make room for Kyle Tyler, who Boston had claimed off waivers. Potts did end up clearing waivers and will remain in the organization. The infield prospect was picked up in the Mitch Moreland trade, but was never able to get into a rhythm last year. Potts has interesting power which makes him a name to watch in case of a bounce back, but hit tool and defensive issues give him a very slim margin of error.

Jeisson Rosario claimed off waivers by the Yankees

Rosario was the other player who Boston picked up in that aforementioned Moreland trade, and he was put on waivers shortly after Potts when he was designated for assignment to make room for Trevor Story. Unlike Potts, though, Rosario will not be returning to the organization. Instead, the Yankees have taken a chance on the outfielder. Rosario is also coming off a tough season and there are flaws offensively, most notably with a major lack of power and impact contact in general. That said, he can play a solid center field and draws a ton of walks, so there’s enough of a floor here for the Yankees to fill up a 40-man spot.

Kyle Tyler claimed off waivers by the Padres.

We mentioned above that Tyler was claimed by the Red Sox, which led to them designating Potts for assignment. Well, the Tyler era in Boston didn’t last long. Just two days after being claimed he was put back on waivers to make room for another pitcher, Ralph Garza. As we wrote in that linked post, it made sense for Boston to try and keep Tyler in the organization without taking up a 40-man spot to build as much pitcher depth as possible. It didn’t work out, though. The Padres grabbed him off waivers, and Boston’s gambit didn’t go to plan. It was a move worth trying, but it doesn’t always go the way you hope.