On Friday, the Red Sox designated left handed reliever Drake Britton for assignment after signing ex-Rangers right hander Alexi Ogando to a major league contract. When new players come in, the team has to make decisions about who can stay on the 40 man roster and Britton was the one to go at this time. Once the Red Sox traded for another Ranger, lefthanded reliever Robbie Ross, the team had four other left handers on its roster, leaving Britton as the odd man out.
Considering pitchers and catchers report around February 20, a move this late in the offseason is somewhat unusual. Perhaps Ogando needed time to fully recover from last season’s injuries to show teams that he is ready for next season. Given the fact that Britton has had success in the majors (2.93 ERA in 25 games), and is left handed, it is unlikely he will pass through waivers without some team claiming him, though the Red Sox probably would have liked to keep him in the organization going forward. Last year’s 5.86 ERA at Pawtucket doomed Britton despite 6.2 scoreless innings in the majors as the Red Sox played out the string in September.
Britton was last seen appearing at the Red Sox’ Baseball Winter Weekend interacting with fans. Britton seemed to be part of the Red Sox plans going forward, but there wasn’t a spot for him at the moment.
Britton has acquitted himself well as a professional (in addition to his positive attributes mentioned above), no matter his struggles last season on the field, so he will get more chances in the majors. Since there are at least 10 other relievers on the 40 man roster vying for a spot on the major league 25 man roster as of this morning, expect the Red Sox to make further moves as we count down to the start of Spring Training. As my colleague Brandon Nickel posted this morning, that move may include righthander Edward Mujica
Stay tuned to BoSoxInjection.com as we break down all the Red Sox trade scenarios as they craft their 2015 team.