On Tuesday night, the final spot on the Red Sox's 40-man roster was filled, but not by veteran right-handed pitcher Lucas Giolito. Before his deal was finalized, Boston picked up Max Castillo, another right-hander, off waivers from the Kansas City Royals.
The Sox had to make another move to create space for Giolito, and they designated Mauricio Llovera for assignment on Wednesday afternoon.
Boston acquired Llovera in a trade with San Francisco in July of the 2023 season — the Red Sox sent right-handed pitching prospect Marques Johnson to the Giants in the exchange. Llovera made 25 appearances for the Sox in his three months with the team and he threw 29.2 innings out of the bullpen. He registered a 5.46 ERA and closed 12 games for the Sox.
Llovera has routinely performed his best in the minor leagues, but he was a consistent middle reliever for San Francisco. In his two seasons with the Giants — 17 appearances in 2022 and five in 2023 — Llovera clocked a 3.74 ERA and recorded 25 strikeouts in 21.2 innings pitched.
After Boston signed Castillo on Tuesday night, another roster move was imminent to secure Giolito's spot on the 40-man. And with the Sox's rotation and bullpen both up in the air, more changes could be coming. Closer Kenley Jansen is also reportedly on the trade block for the Red Sox, despite his All-Star selection in 2023. He's owed $16 million in 2024, and after some out-of-character performances last season, trading him could free up some much-needed cash for other roster improvements.
Giolito is the newest starter on Boston's roster. The 29-year-old veteran is coming off a down year in his career. He played for three teams last season -- the White Sox, Angels and Guardians -- and he finished the year with a 4.88 ERA. The Red Sox signed him to a two-year, $38.5 million contract with a player option for 2025.
His presence does improve the rotation, however, and it appears the addition of Castillo helped the team absorb the departure of Llovera in the bullpen.