The Boston Red Sox were busy with a flurry of roster moves that were announced Friday afternoon.
Catcher Sandy Leon re-signed on a one-year deal for the 2016 season and was outrighted to Triple-A Pawtucket. Leon played 41 games with the Red Sox this season, hitting .184 with a .439 OPS. While unable to make much of an impact with his bat, Leon still provided a solid defensive presence behind the plate at a time when the Red Sox had few options to turn to at the position. He was eventually replaced on the big league roster when Blake Swihart was pushed to the majors. With Christian Vazquez working his way back from elbow surgery, the Red Sox wisely retained Leon to bolster their depth at the catcher position without committing a spot on the 40-man roster to him.
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Machi was a disappointment ever since the Red Sox picked him up following his designation for assignment by the San Francisco Giants. He produced a 5.09 ERA in 23.0 innings since joining Boston’s bullpen, while steadily seeing his role reduced.
Ogando led all Red Sox relievers with 65.1 innings, but his 3.99 ERA and 1.89 K/BB ratio left a lot to be desired. Boston took a flier on him hoping he would rebound from an injury-plagued 2014 season. While he managed to shave nearly three runs per nine innings off of his ERA, Ogando didn’t quite do enough to convince the Red Sox that he would be worth the bump in arbitration he was due, which MLB Trade Rumors projected to be a salary of $2.4 million.
Boston also outrighted outfielder/first baseman Allen Craig to Pawtucket. To nobody’s surprise, Craig accepted his assignment rather than taking a chance in free agency. The Red Sox still owe him $20 million over the next two years, plus another $1 million to buy him out in 2018. The 31-year old has hit a pitiful .123 over parts of two seasons in Boston, leaving little hope that he can recapture the form that once made him an All-Star. Things would need to go terribly wrong with this roster in order for the Red Sox to consider giving Craig another shot.
The Red Sox also announced that reliever Ryan Cook has been claimed off of waivers by the Chicago Cubs. Cook was a disaster in his short run in Boston, producing an unfathomable 27.00 ERA in 4.1 innings. Good luck with that, Theo.
These moves were necessary in order for the Red Sox to activate a handful of players from the 60-day disabled list. Vazquez joins a group of pitchers that includes Clay Buchholz (right elbow strain), Koji Uehara (fractured wrist), Anthony Varvaro (elbow surgery) and Brandon Workman (Tommy John surgery), all of whom were re-added to the 40-man roster.