The Boston Red Sox had to let go of someone on the roster for David Price to fit. That left Garin Cecchini to be designated for assignment.
Well, someone had to be sacrificed. The Boston Red Sox were not going to be able to add anyone without someone taking the fall. However, instead of trading away most of their youth movement for a legitimate ace, all they had to do was throw a great wad of cash at David Price and designate one young player for assignment. That player was Garin Cecchini.
Brian MacPherson of The Providence Journal covered the move, stating how “the Red Sox signed Cecchini to a $1.3 million bonus in 2010 with hopes his inside-out lefty swing would translate to a Wade Boggs-esque career at Fenway Park. It hasn’t materialized. He has hit .238 with a .314 on-base percentage and a .338 slugging percentage in more than 900 plate appearances at the Triple-A level, stalling what had been rapid progress to that point.”
Cecchini had every avenue to reach the majors with the Red Sox cut off from him.
He spent most of his time in the minors playing in the outfield, which was odd considering that Boston only used him in the infield when he was called up in 2014 and 2015. Cecchini played 65 games in left field for Triple-A Pawtucket, posting a .983 fielding percentage and a 1.74 range factor. That defence pales in comparison to the likes of Jackie Bradley Jr., Mookie Betts, and Rusney Castillo, all of whom are expected to be starting outfielders next season.
And, it’s not like Cecchini would be on the bench either. The Red Sox just signed Chris Young to a huge contract for a depth player. Young posted a .994 fielding percentage and a 1.96 range factor for the New York Yankees, last season. His .252/.320/.453 slash line helped knock out 14 home runs and 42 RBIs in the majors last year, compared to Cecchini’s bat which couldn’t even match that in the minors.
Looking at the infield, Cecchini was going nowhere fast. Between paying Pablo Sandoval and Hanley Ramirez top-dollar to try to find their comeback years in Boston, Brock Holt and Travis Shaw waiting in the wings, Xander Bogaerts dominating as one of the best MLB shortstops, and Dustin Pedroia taking back his throne as the ruler over Fenway Park’s infield, Cecchini became a victim of the logjam of young talent and expensive veterans.
Cecchini’s only hope to make the big leagues with the Red Sox would have been if the team had traded the other Beantown Babes away for an ace. That was never going to happen, though. A major reason why the Red Sox are able to pay Price’s giant contract is because of the current state of the roster. With either Blake Swihart or Christian Vazquez behind the plate, Boston would have five starting players with very small entrance contracts to pay, with a couple of bench players making the same amount. With prospects like Andrew Benintendi and Yoan Moncada coming up the ranks fast, there’s little to no hope for Cecchini to make the roster next season unless he changes the status quo on his Triple-A career just as quickly.
It may be time for Cecchini fans to hope that he gets picked up on waivers or by trade to another club in need of a decent infielder or outfielder with some potential. However, Cecchini’s window of opportunity to prove that the potential is still legitimate is closing pretty quickly as well.