The Boston Red Sox have been virtually silent on social media since finishing a disappointing season earlier this month.
Hopefully, their inactivity online doesn’t indicate idleness behind the scenes, as various front office figures promised that certain endeavors – such as extending Xander Bogaerts – would begin immediately.
Only two roster moves have been announced since the season ended on October 5. First, the Sox designated Abraham Almonte for assignment, and he elected free agency rather than be outrighted to the minor leagues.
On Monday, the same news for a second time, but with Eduard Bazardo. He, too, elected free agency after the Sox DFA’d him to make room for reliever Jake Reed, whom they claimed off waivers from the Baltimore Orioles.
Eduard Bazardo elects free agency after Red Sox DFA
Whereas Almonte was a veteran with a decade of big-league time under his belt, Bazardo was still technically a rookie. The 27-year-old righty made his debut with the Sox in April 2021, and only had 19 1/3 innings of major-league pitching under his belt across the last two seasons.
Working solely out of the bullpen, Bazardo made 14 appearances between 2021-22, allowing five earned runs on 13 hits, walking six batters, and striking out 14. Opposing batters hit .188/.273/.406. While the sample size is small, the batting average and on-base numbers to which he held hitters are well-below league average, and the slugging percentage hovers just above.
After spending most of the season in the minors, the Sox recalled Bazardo at the beginning of September. His first three appearances were shaky; he allowed four earned runs (including three homers) on four hits. But over his remaining nine appearances of the year, he only allowed one earned run, a solo homer, and finished three games.
Bazardo certainly wasn’t the best pitching prospect in the newly-fruitful farm system, but he handled himself better than many of the big-league bullpen arms this season. If the Sox are willing to part with him and all of his club control, it could signal that they’re gearing up to spend big on more proven relievers this offseason.