Red Sox add 10 more non-roster invitees for spring training
By Sean Penney
The Boston Red Sox have announced 10 more non-roster invitees to major league camp for their 2019 Spring Training roster.
The roster that will assemble at Jet Blue Park this spring continues to grow for the Boston Red Sox.
The team announced 10 new non-roster invitees that have been added to their spring training roster. These new additions are catcher Austin Rei; right-handed pitcher Mike Shawaryn; outfielders Bryce Brentz, Rusney Castillo, Tate Matheny, and Cole Sturgeon; shortstop C.J. Chatham; third baseman Bobby Dalbec; utility player Chad De La Guerra; and first baseman Josh Ockimey.
Dalbec (No. 6), Chatham (No. 8), Shawaryn (No. 9), and Ockimey (No. 10) are all among the top-10 prospects in the Red Sox system, according to MLB.com’s Prospect Watch rankings. These players have bright futures and are worth monitoring in camp. BSI has already discussed how Dalbec and Chatham are poised for big years that could lead to a big league promotion in the near future.
Brentz is another interesting player to keep an eye on. The once-promising prospect was traded away to the Pittsburgh Pirates last spring as a roster casualty to free up space to sign J.D. Martinez. He signed a minor league deal to return to the Red Sox organization last month, adding outfield depth in the system without taking up a 40-man roster spot. Brentz hit .287 with a .690 OPS in 87 career at-bats with the Red Sox between 2014-2016. His minor league track record shows enticing power potential that could put him back on the radar with a strong spring.
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Brentz will likely begin the year in Triple-A alongside Castillo, a major league-ready outfielder who continues to be held back by his contract. Castillo can’t receive a promotion to Boston without being added back to the 40-man roster, which would put his salary back on the payroll for luxury tax purposes. Castillo is talented enough to play in the big leagues but he’d be a fourth outfielder receiving limited playing time on this team (especially if Martinez insists on seeing time in the outfield). There isn’t enough opportunity for him in Boston to warrant the increased tax penalty.
The benefit of bringing Castillo to camp is that a strong spring could increase his trade value. He’s clearly overpaid with about $26 million owed to him over the next two seasons (unless he opts out after 2019) but he becomes less of a risk the closer we get to the end of his contract.
This is the second crop of non-roster invitees the Red Sox have announced this month. Juan Centeno, Óscar Hernández, Gorkys Hernández, Tony Renda, Zach Putnam, Erasmo Ramírez, Carson Smith, Josh Smith, Domingo Tapia, and Ryan Weber have also received invitations to big league camp.
Non-roster invitees are long shots to make the Opening Day roster. However, if they perform well in Grapefruit League action it could pave the way for a promotion later this season.