The Boston Red Sox continue to narrow down their roster as spring training comes to an end this week. A few of the cuts are prospects such as Henry Owens or Sam Travis who have a strong upside and could see time in the bigs soon.
A few others have had a history of success at the big league level, and may see time in Boston in 2016, or at least with another team.
Allen Craig was a player the Red Sox thought would become an important part of their lineup when he was acquired from the St. Louis Cardinals along with Joe Kelly for John Lackey. Instead, injuries continued to deter Craig, and eventually he found himself in Pawtucket. Craig will likely be the first depth called up from Triple A for the outfield with David Murphy having been released, and Craig did have a strong spring training. In six major league seasons, Craig is a career .276 hitter, but hit just .152 in 36 games in Boston last season. He hit .126 in 29 games the season before, after he was acquired by the Red Sox. The season before, he had hit .315 with the Cardinals.
Carlos Marmol was a project to begin with when the Red Sox signed him early on in camp. Marmol, formerly a closer for the Chicago Cubs, hasn’t pitched routinely in Major League Baseball since 2012. Marmol gave up four runs in three innings this spring, walking seven in those outings, and the experiment did not pan out the way Boston had hoped. Manager John Farrell said there were not enough innings in Pawtucket for Marmol, so the former closer will become a free agent.
David Murphy, the most recently released, had a clause in his contract to become a free agent if he did not make the Red Sox 25 man roster. Today the Red Sox granted him his release with the outfield set at the big league level. Murphy came up through the Red Sox system before being traded to the Texas Rangers in 2007, and since then has emerged as a solid fourth outfielder option throughout the majors. 33 years old, Murphy has played ten seasons in the majors with a respectable career average of .274 and 104 home runs.
Brennan Boesch had a breakout season with the Detroit Tigers in 2011 and spent three seasons there before bouncing between the Yankees, Angels, and Reds. A career .250 hitter, Boesch would actually see some time as a depth outfielder, but he broke his wrist a little over a week ago and is out indefinitely. If he recovers this season, he is a player we might see in Boston in September.
Anthony Vavaro saw limited success with the Red Sox last season, but before joining the team last season, he had two excellent seasons with the Atlanta Braves. The Red Sox ended up DFAing Vavaro, who returned to the Chicago Cubs and was injured, and returned to Boston on a minor league deal this off season. Now he will go to Pawtucket and almost certainly will be one of the first relief pitchers recalled if the team needs bullpen depth.