Which players should the Red Sox DFA to open roster spots for promising prospects before the 2022 season ends?
The Boston Red Sox haven’t been mathematically eliminated from the 2022 Wild Card race yet, but the writing is on the wall and has been for a while.
Coming into Thursday’s series opener against the Texas Rangers, the Sox were 63-68, last in the American League East, and eight games out of a Wild Card spot.
They still have a slim chance, but presuming September turns into a time of treading water until the season wraps up, the Sox should get proactive. Instead of holding on to players they don’t plan to bring back in 2023, they should use this time wisely. Call up their most promising prospects – only the ones who look ready – and see how they do.
Here are three expendable players whose roster spots should be opened up to get a first look at top prospects…
Jeurys Familia has accrued enough service time to refuse a demotion, so the Sox don’t have a choice but to designate him for assignment.
This is the most obvious of all possible roster moves; since Familia should not be part of the team’s future, there’s really no reason to keep him around for the present season. The Sox signed him to a minor-league depth deal after the Philadelphia Phillies released him, so he was an inexpensive chance to take, but never an appealing addition.
Familia actually hasn’t been as unreliable as he was in Philly, but that’s in part due to the Sox not using him in high-leverage situations, which kind of says it all. He’s made three scoreless appearances and allowed an earned run in each of the other three games. The Sox don’t trust him in tough spots, and there should be no chance of him coming back in 2023, so why is he still here? This is an opportunity for the front office to get a first look at prospects who could be part of next year’s big-league roster, which can help them formulate their offseason acquisition plans. Why waste innings on Familia that could be a first look at someone like Frank German?
Another former Yankees prospect, German began the season with 11 games at Double-A Portland before getting promoted to Triple-A Worcester, where he’s posted an impressive 2.88 ERA over 28 relief appearances, including 20 games finished and five saves. He’s struck out 43 batters and issued 16 walks across 34 1/3 innings.