Under new management, the Red Sox should be expected to make plenty of low-profile moves.
Now that the dust has settled and the Washington Nationals have been crowned World Series champions, the offseason has started to pick up steam. Major League teams recently reached the deadline to protect players from the “Rule 5” draft which resulted in various small moves. In past offseasons these were largely disregarded, as Dave Dombrowski was notorious for the flashy, larger scale moves; however times have changed in Boston.
Chaim Bloom, and the Tampa Bay Rays, have flourished on the small moves in making the small market, low budget team into a viable competitor in the AL East. There’s little doubt that Bloom has been seeking the under-the-radar moves and may continue to take advantage of roster shuffling. The Red Sox recently made a couple of changes to the 40 man roster, but will certainly continue to overhaul it over the coming months.
In the flurry of moves, the Oakland Athletics designated former well-regarded pitching prospect, Jharel Cotton for assignment. A featured piece in the deal that sent Rich Hill and Josh Reddick to the Dodgers, Cotton has been the victim of multiple season-ending injuries, including the dreaded Tommy John surgery. He’s struggled to find Major League consistency, but has flashed his once-heralded potential on various occasions. If prospect speak isn’t your thing, take it from Red Sox legend, Pedro Martinez on the potential that Cotton possesses. The Hall of Fame arm compared his arsenal to that of which now is enshrined in Cooperstown. Not bad.
At a mere 27 years old, this appears to be the exact type of move that Bloom made his money on with Tampa Bay. There’s a low risk / high reward arm that needs to occupy a 40 man spot and would have the opportunity to win a spot on the active roster throughout Spring Training. While the Red Sox have an available spot on the 40 man, Cotton represents more upside than fellow members Hector Velazquez and Brian Johnson and could merely take their respective places.
With an open spot at the back-end of the current starting rotation, Cotton is a prime bounce-back candidate. If it doesn’t work out, it’s a very low-risk move that the club could easily move on from. There’s no guarantee that he’ll end up with the Red Sox, but it would be surprising if Chaim Bloom didn’t at least sniff around, or if another team doesn’t claim Jharel Cotton.