Making Sense of Saturday’s Flurry of Red Sox Moves

(Photo Credit: Eagle Tribune)

By Terry Cushman – @cushmanMLB

Deven Marrero Traded to Arizona for Cash Considerations and a Player to be Named Later

These decisions are never easy, only 25 players can be on the big league roster, and often there are a few who will inevitably miss the cut. Of the four open spots on the bench, Mitch Moreland and Sandy Leon were completely safe for the first two. Blake Swihart slugged his way to winning over Alex Cora and Dave Dombrowski to take the third spot.

Of the final spot on the bench remaining, it came down to Deven Marrero and Brock Holt. Marrero was out of options, and could not be sent to Pawtucket. So he had to either make the team, be traded, or get designated for assignment. Holt has one more option remaining, so he can eventually be stashed down in Pawtucket if need be, and then eventually called back to the big club when the situation calls.

The decision by the Red Sox President, Dave Dombrowski, was to trade Marrero to the Arizona Diamondbacks, which now allows Brock Holt to stay with the team. Many beat writers and sox fans immediately started a pity party on social media. While not strong offensively, they still viewed Marrero as more durable, and equally as versatile as Holt.

However, there is a much bigger picture in play. Dustin Pedroia will eventually be ready to return to the Red Sox following a serious knee surgery last fall. Assuming nobody else in the starting lineup goes on the disabled list, his activation would relegate Eduardo Nunez to the bench. This would make Brock Holt the odd man out, and his option would be exercised to Pawtucket. Since Marrero still would be out of options, he would be in the exact same predicament as he was in this weekend.

Brock Holt was simply retained as a matter of convenience.

Christian Vazquez Reportedly Agrees to Three Year Extension, Plus Club Option for 2022

With all of the uncertainty surround Blake Swihart until this weekend, this extension for Vazquez all but certainly means the Red Sox front office views him as the primary catcher. The deal does not kick in until 2019 and runs through 2021, followed by an option year in 2022. So Vazquez will most likely be the primary catcher for the Boston Red Sox for the next five seasons.

Starting Rotation

Steven Wright will begin the 2018 with a 15 game suspension. This is exactly half the length Aroldis Chapman served following his domestic violence related suspension. Though the latter involved a firearm.

This will guarantee that Brian Johnson will at the very least begin the season on Boston’s starting rotation. He is also out of options, and with a loaded bullpen, finding a spot for him on the big league roster would have been difficult.

Chris Sale abruptly left his spring training start in the first inning after taking a line drive off his hip. X-rays were reportedly negative, and he will still make his opening day start as scheduled.

It was also confirmed Saturday by Red Sox manager Alex Cora that Drew Pomeranz and Eduardo Rodriguez will in fact begin the season on the DL, though both stints are expected to be very short.

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