Red Sox Notes: Alfaro, Goodrum, Tapia, Allen
Catcher Jorge Alfaro is in camp with the Red Sox on a minor league deal and it was reported about three weeks ago that he has an upward mobility clause in his contract. Today, Chris Cotillo of MassLive has the details on how that will play out.
If Alfaro is not added to the club’s 40-man roster today, he can request that the Sox email the other 29 clubs, which they must do within 24 hours. Those other clubs will then have 24 hours to express their interest in giving Alfaro a spot on their own respective rosters. If one or multiple clubs are willing to give Alfaro a spot, Boston has 72 hours to decide whether or not to add Alfaro to their roster or let him join one of the other interested teams. If more than one team is interested, the Sox can choose which one he goes to.
The Red Sox only have two catchers on their 40-man roster at the moment, who are Reese McGuire and Connor Wong. The latter of those two was dealing with a hamstring strain earlier in spring, which seemed to open the door for Alfaro to get a job. However, Wong now seems healthy and back in the mix for a spot on the Opening Day roster. The Sox would surely love to keep Alfaro around as depth in the event another injury pops up, but it will depend on his level of interest from other clubs around the league.
Chris Hatfield of SoxProspects.com reports that utility player Niko Goodrum also has an upward mobility clause that gets going today, though it’s not known if it will take the exact same shape as Alfaro’s. The 31-year-old signed a minor league deal with the Red Sox on the heels of a rough season with the Astros. He hit .116/.156/.163 last year while striking out in 51.1% of his 45 plate appearances. He was optioned by the Astros but an injury limited him to just 20 minor league games for the year. He was released by Houston and the Red Sox took a flier on him but he’s hitting just .178/.275/.178 in spring so far. He can play all over the diamond but likely has steep odds of making the team, as he’s competing against guys who already have roster spots. Rob Refsnyder and Jarren Duran are candidates for a backup outfield job, while Bobby Dalbec and Yu Chang are potential bench infielders.
Another option for a job with the Red Sox is outfielder Raimel Tapia, who’s also in camp on a minor league deal. Hatfield adds that Tapia can opt-out of his deal on Monday if not added to the roster. Tapia was with the Blue Jays last year and hit .265/.292/.380 for a wRC+ of 90. With the Sox moving Enrique Hernández to cover shortstop while Trevor Story is injured, they have some uncertainty in center field. Adam Duvall is set to be the regular option there, though the 34-year-old has never seen extended time there. Tapia has primarily been a left fielder in his career, though he did play center in 38 games last year and the Sox are reportedly open to using him there as well. Perhaps that ability to play center gives him an edge in the battle for bench jobs in Boston, though he’s not on the 40-man right now. The club will evidently have to make a decision in the next couple of days or they could watch him walk away from his contract. He’s having a nice spring, hitting .325/.372/.600 thus far.
The Sox currently have a full 40-man roster and would have to open up some spots if they want to add anyone from this group. Should any of this group not make the club and then end up sticking around, they will have more options to opt out in the future. Per Hatfield, Goodrum can opt out on May 1 and July 1, Alfaro on June 1 and July 1 and Tapia on July 1. Additionally, outfielder Greg Allen has an upward mobility clause on May 15 and June 15.