A trivia question for the future surfaced yesterday when the Boston Red Sox outrighted righty Justin Garza, the first move of the Craig Breslow regime. Breslow was the freshly minted chief baseball officer, and in the weeks and months to follow, more roster shaping will take place.
Garza was not the only player to have possibly former in front of his Red Sox years as Adam Duvall, James Paxton, and Adalberto Monesi chose to spin the free agency wheel and are now part of the transaction wire.
Roster cleansing is the precursor to roster building, and in the case of Garza, you don't want him—the cold calculations of the business of baseball. There will be a few more Garza's as the Red Sox prepare to make space for Rule 5 protections, free agents, and picking through the scraps as other teams also participate in a cleansing.
The building of the roster is where the future of Breslow rests, and BSI has already provided a primer to follow the action. Commander Breslow has stated the right and expected things at his presser to soothe the angst of the Red Sox Nation.
Breslow's background is pitching both on the professional level and the development level with the Chicago Cubs. If there is anything in the Red Sox baseball closet that needs an upgrade, it is pitching. Management has expressed that money is willing to be spent and what they must do until (and if) Breslow can resurrect the development side of pitching.
Minor transactions can have impact results
The pickings of players released or designated for assignment was a target for Chaim Bloom (remember him?), and it will be for Breslow and every other GM. The turnstile approach we saw in 2023 - especially pitching - can drive the fans to adult beverages, but think Justin Turner.
Turner was dumped by the Mets back in the day and was unemployed for a few months until the Dodgers took a chance. We collectively saw the impact of Turner last season. The Red Sox also grabbed Davis Ortiz when the Twins felt Papi was not in their future so you can see the baseball lottery ticket sometimes is a winner.
This offseason could be a precursor to short-term success or failure for Breslow based on who the Red Sox can grab or who they may add or lose via Rule 5. The free agent signings of big-ticket players may be sexy, but the work in the trenches for position pieces or finding the next Ortiz or Luis Tiant.
Breslow may sign a Corey Kluber type, and we know how that worked out, or a Chris Martin type, and that certainly worked out. I will follow the under-the-radar signings, second-tier free agent signings, and the lesser signings that could be a disaster or a Rule 5 Garrett Whitlock. Let the hot stove season begin!