In a disappointing season, the performance of Red Sox first baseman Triston Casas stood out as an unquestioned bright spot. And on Monday, his excellence as a rookie was recognized with status as a finalist in American League Rookie of the Year voting.
Major League Baseball announced the top three candidates in each league for the MVP, Cy Young, Rookie of the Year, and Manager of the Year awards. Casas made the cut in AL Rookie balloting, along with presumed favorite Gunnar Henderson of the Orioles and Guardians pitcher Tanner Bibee. The Rookie of the Year results will be announced on Nov. 13.
Casas is the first Red Sox to be a Rookie of the Year finalist since Andrew Benintendi in 2017. The 23-year-old led all qualifying American League rookies in both on-base (.367) and slugging (.490), while finishing second to Henderson in homers (24). The 24 homers were tied for the seventh-most ever by a Red Sox rookie, and the second most by a Red Sox rookie in his age-23 season or younger, behind only the 27 launched by George Scott as a 22-year-old in 1967.
Justin Garza goes
Righthander Justin Garza declined his outright assignment and elected free agency. He went 0-2 with a 7.16 ERA in 17 appearances for the Sox after being claimed on waivers from the Angels in April . . . In a required procedural move, the Sox reinstated both outfielder Jarren Duran (flexor tendon on left big toe) and righthander Wyatt Mills (Tommy John surgery) from the 60-day injured list. Their returns leave the Sox with 37 players on their 40-man roster . . . The Sox did not extend a one-year, $20.325 million qualifying offer to free agents James Paxton and Adam Duvall; Justin Turner was ineligible for such an offer after having received one from the Dodgers earlier in his career. As a result, the Sox will not be entitled to any draft-pick compensation should any of their players sign elsewhere.