Mandatory Credit: Steve Mitchell-USA TODAY Sports
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.