The Red Sox did not do a whole lot to bolster their position player depth this past offseason, hoping they’d be able to find some diamonds in the rough with shrewd low-cost or minor-league deals. One of those gambits was with Travis Shaw, who they hoped would provide a good left-handed complement to Bobby Dalbec, even if it wasn’t a full-blown platoon. That did not go according to plan, with Shaw failing to reach base even once in his 19 plate appearances. It seems the team has seen enough, with Chris Cotillo reporting on Friday morning that Shaw has been designated for assignment.
The Shaw part of this is pretty straight forward, especially with SoxProspects’ Chris Hatfield’s note that his contract did not become fully guaranteed until May 15. This clearly was not working, so cutting bait now makes plenty of sense.
What becomes interesting now is where the Red Sox go from here. Cotillo also reported that it will be Franchy Cordero coming up to take Shaw’s spot on the bench. Cordero started getting work at first base last season and has gotten two straight starts there for Worcester this week as well, so it seems like the team is looking at this as the move. In Triple-A this season Cordero is hitting .296/.378/.535. Of course, we saw him light up Triple-A last season as well, but he struggled mightily in the majors hitting .189/.237/.260 for a 32 wRC+. This is certainly worth a try over keeping with Shaw, but with Cordero I’m certainly in wait-until-I-see-it mode.
The roster situation here is also a bit confusing with all of the moving parts that come with players coming off the restricted and COVID lists. Bear with me as I try to talk out loud and figure this 40-man math out. The team added outfielder Jaylin Davis to the 40-man yesterday, claiming him off waivers and taking the roster to 40, so it would seem that simply designating Shaw and adding Cordero, who is not on the 40-man at the moment, would be an easy move.
Howevah, the team also needs to add Tanner Houck and Kutter Crawford back from the restricted list after they were taken off the roster for the Toronto trip. They were replaced by John Schreiber and Tyler Danish, and they should be able to take Schreiber back off the 40-man for one of those spots, but Danish was already on the 40-man before the move so they can’t do that with him. So that means there’s one spot available for one of those pitchers, and then another spot that needs to be opened for Cordero. My guess is they’ll either send Davis right back through waivers or designate Danish for assignment, but there are no slam dunk calls here. There is also Rob Refsnyder, who was added to the roster when Jonathan Araúz was added to the COVID list, but as far as I understand he cannot be taken off the roster penalty-free until Araúz comes back.
All of this is to say: Stay tuned for more moves this afternoon.
Update (5:20 PM ET)
The full moves have been mostly figured out. Apparently I was wrong about Refsnyder! He, Danish, and Schreiber head to Triple-A, with Cordero, Houck, Crawford, and Davis coming up.