Mar 13, 2014; Fort Myers, FL, USA; Boston Red Sox pitcher Francisco Cordero (left) greets catcher Christian Vazquez (right) after defeating the Minnesota Twins 4-3 at Hammond Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Steve Mitchell-USA TODAY Sports

Red Sox release Francisco Cordero, re-assign four others

The roster tinkering is finished. With their final round of cuts today, the Red Sox have finalized their 25-man roster to begin the 2014 season. The big names in this round of cuts include Francisco Cordero, who was released after refusing to go down to the minor leagues, as well as four re-assignments: pitchers Tommy Layne and Brayan Villarreal as well as outfielder Corey Brown and utility man Mike McCoy.

None of these cuts come as a huge surprise, although both Cordero (8 scoreless innings with 8 strikeouts, 5 hits, and a walk) and Layne (9.1 scoreless innings with 8 strikeouts, 2 hits, and 3 walks) were in the competition for the Red Sox’ final bullpen spot after strong springs. That job eventually went to Brandon Workman, who did not have a great spring (5.17 ERA in 15.2 despite a 16:2 K:BB ratio) but has the highest ceiling of the bunch. Workman will likely serve as the long reliever and swingman in the Red Sox’ bullpen at least until Craig Breslow is ready to come off the disabled list.

None of the other players cut this morning were really expected to make the team. By this point of the spring, the Red Sox have already announced the resolutions of their other spring competitions: Jonathan Herrera will make the team as utility infielder over Brock Holt and Grady Sizemore beat out Jackie Bradley Jr. as the starting center fielder.

However, all of the Red Sox’ recent cuts will serve as depth throughout the season. All three players have spent some time in the major leagues and have experienced varying degrees of success at the Major League level: Villarreal had a 2.63 ERA in 50 games with Detroit in 2012, Mike McCoy is an incredibly versatile utility man, and Brown has a unique power-speed combination that perhaps gives him the highest ceiling of the bunch. It will be good to have them in the system and we could see each of them in 2014, but they don’t belong on the 25-man roster right now and cutting them is the right move.

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Tags: Boston Red Sox Brayan Villarreal Corey Brown Francisco Cordero Mike McCoy Tommy Layne

  • Pete Sonski

    Can’t be understated: Red Sox have a deep, deep roster.

    • Conor Duffy

      Definitely deepest in the AL, possibly in all of baseball.

  • Nathan Zassman

    They should have kept Cordero. Miller has been spotty, and he pitched beautifully. I think this is a decision that will come back to haunt them.

    • Pete Sonski

      The Sox released Cordero at his request. There wasn’t a spot for him on the active roster. The chance that he would supplant Uehara, Tazawa or Mujica was slim from the beginning. The Sox are big on roster depth, which is what Cordero provided them. The active roster need now is for a pitcher who confidently can go multiple innings, which is why Workman got the nod.

      No team has swooped in to add Cordero to its 25-man roster yet. He could still opt to come back and bide his time in Pawtucket.

      Miller is a lefty, so he fits a defined role. He pitched well before his injury last season. No reason to doubt him yet.

    • Conor Duffy

      That’s all well and good, but spring training stats don’t matter. Miller is recovering from a season-ending injury last year and it’s understandable that he wouldn’t pitch too well in his first few outings. Having Cordero as depth would be great (and as Pete mentioned, it’s still possible), but the Red Sox have so much depth that it probably won’t come back to haunt them.