FORT MYERS, Fla. — Live from Arizona via the scoreboard in right field, Dustin Pedroia was a guest speaker when the Red Sox met as a group before the first full-squad workout of spring training on Monday.
To maintain social distancing protocols, the meeting was held in the stands at JetBlue Park, and wrapped up in less than an hour.
“We talked about a few things: Expectations, trust, family environment. It was a good one,” manager Alex Cora said. “To have the whole crew here, it was fun to see it. It was a day we were waiting for, and now we can take off.”
It was Cora’s idea to include Pedroia, who retired earlier this month after a long struggle with injuries. He spoke to the team about commitment and what it meant to play for the Sox.
“It was obviously good timing for him to come in, talk to them,” Cora said. “He is who he is. He’s going to be part of this organization for the rest of his life. For how great it was for us, I know it was great for him, which is very important to me. I’m glad he was available and was part of it.”
Cora, team chairman Tom Werner, and chief baseball officer Chaim Bloom were among those who also spoke. Werner and principal owner John Henry, who also owns the Boston Globe, stayed at the complex to watch some of the workout.
Franchy Cordero goes on COVID-19 list
Outfielder Franchy Cordero was not present for the workout and was placed on the COVID-19 related injured list afterward.
Cordero, 26, was acquired from the Kansas City Royals earlier this month in the Andrew Benintendi deal. He will have to be isolated for a minimum of 10 days, and be cleared by a team physician and MLB’s COVID-19 Joint Health and Safety Committee, before rejoining the team.
Cordero also will undergo a cardiac evaluation as part of that process.
With Cordero coming off the 40-man roster, the Sox claimed righthander Joel Payamps off waivers from the Toronto Blue Jays. Payamps, 26, made two appearances with the Arizona Diamondbacks last season. The Sox claimed him off waivers on Nov. 25 before the Blue Jays claimed him off waivers on Feb. 10.
Christian Vázquez had a productive offseason based on his appearance, having added some muscle. Cora pronounced his catcher was — wait for it — in the best shape of his life. Vázquez worked out in the Miami area, and incorporated Rapsodo and other technology to guide his workouts and the areas he wanted to improve. He is in the final year of his contract, with the team holding a $7 million option for 2022 . . . Cora is dealing with the coronavirus protocols for the first time, having missed last season while suspended. “It feels the same for me. The only difference is you’ve got to wear your mask, right? Because you have to be responsible,” he said. “But besides that, we’re having a blast. The vibe, the discipline, the organization, the way they’re going about the whole thing has been fun. Somebody told me that it was going to be a challenge, you don’t know what you’re getting into, around December. Well, if this is what I was getting into, wow, it’s awesome. I’m blessed” . . . Righthanded reliever Ryan Brasier, who missed the first few days of camp with an excused absence, reported Sunday and was on the field Monday . . . The Sox signed catcher Jett Bandy to a minor league contract and invited him to spring training. Bandy, 30, was in the organization last season with the reserve group in Pawtucket. He has 156 games of major league experience, the last of it coming in 2018. The Sox have 72 players on the spring roster, three shy of the limit . . . The Sox will have an evening workout on Wednesday that will air at 7 p.m. live on NESN.