Red Sox roster moves: Quintero stays, Paulino goes

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In a somewhat suprising move, journeyman catcher Humberto Quintero decided on Tuesday to stay with the Red Sox organization, accepting a $100 thousand bonus to play for the AAA Pawtucket Red Sox.  Fans of Blake Swihart might have thought that Swihart was the natural choice to back up Ryan Hanigan in the wake of Christian Vazquez‘ devastating elbow injury which landed Vazquez on the 60 day disabled list (DL). That DL move was made so the newly acquired backup Sandy Leon (who is out of minor league options) can be added to the 40 man roster without taking someone else off of it.  Though the Red Sox might like the 26 year old Leon better at this point, he only has 34 games of major league experience compared to the 35 year old Quintero’s 471.

Assuming Leon can stick with Boston, Quintero will likely be mentoring Swihart at Pawtucket, at least until June 1 when Quintero has another opt-out clause. It is clear the Red Sox want to be careful with the development of their prize catching prospect. For all the hoopla surrounding Swihart (his .296/.376/.444 Spring Training batting line proves to some that he is ready), he has just 18 games of experience above AA in which he posted a .659 OPS in 2014, which won’t make anyone forget Pudge Rodriguez or Buster Posey. If Swihart can translate his Spring success into improvement at the AAA level, we could see him at the major league level by the All-Star break. There have been some whispers that Vazquez might need the dreaded Tommy John ligament replacement surgery on his sore throwing elbow, which would keep him out until 2016.

In the significantly less important half of this set of transactions, journeyman right handed reliever Felipe Paulino was released. Paulino allowed just one run in four innings of work this Spring but the Red Sox would have had to pay him $100 thousand to keep him at the minor league level and must have figured there are many more lower cost options.

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