Red Sox claim Steve Selsky off waivers from Cincinnati Reds
By Sean Penney
The Boston Red Sox have claimed first baseman/outfielder Steve Selsky off waivers after the Cincinnati Reds designated him for assignment.
The Boston Red Sox have a full 40-man roster again.
The team announced on Wednesday that they have claimed Steve Selsky off waivers from the Cincinnati Reds, who designated the 27-year old for assignment in order to clear roster space for Luis Castillo and Austin Brice, acquired from the Miami Marlins for Dan Straily.
The right-handed hitter made his big league debut in 2016, batting .314/.340/.471 over 54 plate appearances. The slash line is enticing, but he walked only twice and struck out 22 times for an obscenely high 40.7 K%.
The Reds drafted Selsky in the 33rd round of the 2011 draft. He was never considered among the top prospects in the organization, but has a strong track record of hitting for average at the minor league level. Selsky owns a .295/.379/.459 slash line with 51 home runs and 276 RBI in 537 games spread across six minor league seasons.
Dave Dombrowski recently made mention of the Red Sox having trouble attracting talent willing to sign a minor league deal with an invite to camp this spring. Selsky fits the bill as a player that has shown a modicum of success in the majors that they can stash in Triple-A Pawtucket to call upon if needed.
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Boston’s expected Opening Day roster is loaded with talent in the outfield, but they were thin on reliable depth at the minor league level. Bryce Brentz was the only outfielder on the 40-man roster expected to begin the season in Pawtucket.
Rusney Castillo and Allen Craig both have big league experience, but have mostly disappointed during their tenure in Boston. Adding either back to the 40-man roster, along with their burdensome contracts, would hinder their plans to stay under the dreaded luxury tax.
Selsky can also handle first base, where the Red Sox currently have Mitch Moreland penciled in on a one-year deal. Hanley Ramirez also proved capable of filling in with a surprisingly competent 2016 season at first base, but seems eager to spend the bulk of his time as the designated hitter. Beyond that the future of the position is uncertain until promising prospect Sam Travis is ready to take over.
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Bolstering their depth at multiple positions with a player that can potentially contribute at least an average bat seems like a good way to use the final roster spot.