Red Sox players with minor-league options on the 40-man roster

Polar Park Inaugural Game Worcester Red Sox  v. Syracuse Mets
Polar Park Inaugural Game Worcester Red Sox v. Syracuse Mets / Billie Weiss/Boston Red Sox/GettyImages

The Boston Red Sox organization has reported to Fort Myers for spring training. The beginning of the end of the offseason is inching ever closer, and as Opening Day nears, the Red Sox need to do some trimming of the 40-man roster.

The Opening Day lineup can only carry 26 players. Luckily for Boston, it's a fairly young team with 29 players on the 40-man roster still having minor-league options — that means the Sox can send players with options down to the minor leagues without having to put them through waivers and risking another team snatching them up.

There are a lot of jobs up in the air in the Red Sox lineup. Jarren Duran might be traded, or he may stay in Boston to play center field. Between eight and nine pitchers are vying for three starter slots. The Sox's new second baseman who has something to prove spent most of his 2023 season in the minors.

Some players have minor-league options that never get used and some are a guarantee for the 26-man roster this season. The Sox risk using other players' last option this season.

Red Sox players with minor-league options on the 40-man roster

Red Sox players with three minor-league options remaining:

  • 1B Triston Casas
  • OF Masataka Yoshida
  • RHP Garrett Whitlock
  • RHP John Schreiber
  • RHP Justin Slaten
  • RHP Wikelman Gonzalez
  • RHP Luis Perales
  • RHP Zack Kelly

Casas is unlikely to be optioned, barring any drastic regression in his progress from last season. Whitlock and Schreiber are also likely to remain in the majors all season, especially since Whitlock could become a key piece of the starting rotation.

Perales and González are predicted to land in High-A and Double-A, respectively, and likely won't grace the 26-man roster to start the season. Kelly and Slaten could find themselves in Triple-A or in Boston's bullpen, which is admittedly quite crowded.

Red Sox players with two minor-league options remaining:

  • OF Jarren Duran
  • OF Wilyer Abreu
  • INF Vaughn Grissom
  • INF Enmanuel Valdez
  • RHP Brayan Bello
  • RHP Kutter Crawford
  • RHP Tanner Houck
  • RHP Josh Winckowski
  • INF Romy González
  • INF David Hamilton
  • INF/OF Ceddanne Rafaela
  • LHP Brandon Walter
  • LHP Chris Murphy
  • RHP Isaiah Campbell
  • LHP Joe Jacques

Unless he's traded, Duran is probably a lock for the Opening Day roster alongside Abreu, Grissom, Bello, Houck, Crawford and Winckowski. Hamilton, González and Valdez will likely spend most of their seasons in Triple-A as there's a lot of competition for middle infield spots on Boston's roster. Rafaela has the potential to win the center field spot on the roster, but if Duran ends up sticking around he'll probably head back to Triple-A for another year of offensive development.

Walter, Murphy, Campbell and Jacques will likely all end up in the minors for another season as Boston's bullpen is packed.

Red Sox players with one minor-league option remaining:

  • C Connor Wong
  • INF Bobby Dalbec
  • LHP Brennan Bernardino
  • C Tyler Heineman
  • RHP Cooper Criswell

Wong is Boston's starting catcher so he's likely to hold onto his one remaining option for now. Same with Bernardino, who is a key piece of Boston's bullpen as a lefty (he's also been used as an opener on multiple occasions).

Criswell has been instructed to prepare as a starter this offseason and it's unclear where he'll play in 2024 as of now, but he has potential to be placed in the bullpen. Heineman will probably spend most of 2024 in the minors unless Wong or McGuire is injured this season.

Dalbec is an interesting case. He's played near-entire seasons in the big leagues but spent most of the 2023 season in Triple-A. But the Red Sox have trust in Dalbec, even after a season in Worcester, so he'll probably be brought on as a bench player in Boston.

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