Red Sox tweak roster ahead of Rule 5 draft
The Red Sox on Friday added infielder Marco Hernandez, lefthanded reliever Williams Jerez, and righthanded reliever Pat Light to their 40-man roster.
With two spots needed to accommodate the moves, righthanded reliever Anthony Varvaro was outrighted and infielder Josh Rutledge were designated for assignment. Varvaro elected free agency.
Hernandez, 23, was the player to be named later in the 2014 trade that sent lefthander Felix Doubront to the Chicago Cubs. Hernandez hit .305 with a .783 OPS for Double A Portland and Triple A Pawtucket last season. He started games at shortstop, second base, and third base.
Light, who turns 25 in March, was a supplemental first-round pick in 2012, He has a fastball that sits at 96-97 m.p.h. and has taken well to pitching in relief after struggling as a starter. Had Light not been added to the roster, he was sure to be selected in the Rule 5 Draft next month.
The same was true of Jerez, a 23-year-old former outfielder who became a pitcher in 2014. He has since struck out 126 batters in 123 innings and finished last season in Portland.
Rutledge, 26, was obtained from the Los Angeles Angels on July 27 for Shane Victorino. He hit .284 in 39 games for the Red Sox and started 19 games, all but one at second base filling in for an injured Dustin Pedroia.
With Brock Holt in place as the utility infielder and Hernandez in the minors, Rutledge was unlikely to have a place on the major league roster.
Varvaro certainly had an odd tenure with the Red Sox.
The 31-year-old was acquired from the Atlanta Braves last December, made the team out of spring training, and appeared in nine games before being designated for assignment.
The Cubs claimed Varvaro off waivers on May 3. Varvaro never pitched for the Cubs and was designated again.
Varvaro at that point said he had an elbow injury. The Cubs then returned him to the Red Sox on May 24, citing the previous injury. The Red Sox placed Varvaro on the disabled list and he had surgery two days later.
Fernandez backs Boras
Marlins ace Jose Fernandez said any conversations regarding his 2016 workload will include Scott Boras, contrary to what team president David Samson pledged last week . . . The Tigers reacquired outfielder Cameron Maybin (.267, 10 HRs, 59 RBIs last season) from the Braves in exchange for lefthanders Ian Krol and Gabe Speier, a former Red Sox prospect. Detroit drafted Maybin in 2005 before trading him as part of the package for Miguel Cabrera . . . The Blue Jays fortified their rotation, acquiring righty Jesse Chavez, 32, from the Athletics for rising 26-year-old reliever Liam Hendricks . . . The Rays claimed pitcher Chase Whitley off waivers from the Yankees while he recovers from Tommy John surgery . . . The Rockies designated closer John Axford (25 saves last season) for assignement.