BOSTON On Wednesday, the Red Sox placed right-hander Josh Beckett and first baseman Adrian Gonzalez, along with several other players on trade waivers. The moves are pretty standard at this time of the year. Teams can place up to seven players a day on waivers, and most teams will place most if not all of their entire rosters on waivers at some point during the month.
The move allows teams to help gauge interest in players by other teams. If a player clears waivers, a team can trade him to any other team. If he is claimed, the original team could try to work out a deal with the claiming team, or pull the player back. A claiming team would be responsible for a players entire contract.
While news of Beckett and Gonzalez being placed on waivers generated a great deal of buzz, it is unlikely either player would be moved at this point.
Beckett still has two years remaining on his contract and is owed more than 32 million. Combine that with his poor performance and equally poor reputation and it is unlikely a team would claim him. He is also a 10-5 player (10 years in the major leagues, five with one team) and can veto a trade if he chooses.
Gonzalez has six years remaining on his contract after 2012 and is owed more than 133 million at this point.
The Red Sox signed Cuban outfielder Rusney Castillo to a seven-year, $72.5 million contract bn August 2014. Over parts of three seasons, the 29-year-old has a .679 OPS across 337 plate appearances in the majors and spent the vast majority of the 2016 season at Triple-A Pawtucket.
Castillo had a chance to start things off on the right foot in 2017, but that ship has already sailed. On Thursday against Northeastern at JetBlue Park, Castillo didn’t run out a routine ground ball. He claims he lost track of the outs. Manager John Farrell isn’t happy about the situation. Via Evan Drellich of the Boston Herald:
“Disappointing for a couple of reasons,” Sox manager John Farrell said. “One, he has lost the number of outs. Still, regardless of another of outs, getting down the line is controllable. And for a player in his situation, every little aspect of the game is important. That’s something that was addressed in the moment. He needs to execute the game situation. And for that matter, every player. But that one obviously stood out.”
Everyone always makes far too big a deal about running out grounders. It’s a real nit to pick when it’s February 23 and your team just finished playing an exhibition game that is even more meaningless than the other exhibition games that will be played in the coming month.
That being said, Castillo has to prove himself to merit inclusion on the 25-man roster and that means dotting all his i’s and crossing all his t’s. Even if he went hitless all spring, Castillo could have at least said he couldn’t have done anything else better. But on day one, he already gave his team a reason to count him out.