January 5, 2015 at 2:00 PM
here), but things slowed down a bit with the holidays approaching. Here are the notes from the second half of December:
- Former Red Sox top prospect Will Middlebrooks (pictured) was traded earlier this month for catcher Ryan Hanigan, and staff writer James Dunne went into his history as Red Sox prospect.
- On December 17, the Red Sox acquired right-handed reliever Anthony Varvaro, sending Aaron Kurcz to Atlanta. Dunne also has that trade summary with information on both players.
- The fall/winter league updates keep rolling out, and the second half of this month had updates from the weeks of December 15-21, December 22-28, and December 29 - January 4. Check out the Fall-Winter stats page for the numbers on every Red Sox player participating in fall and winter leagues.
- If you read the fall/winter roundups (which you should), then you know that Rusney Castillo has been having a great fall and winter, split between the Arizona Fall League and Roberto Clemente Professional Baseball League in Puerto Rico. Alex Cora is Castillo's coach in Puerto Rico, and has been very impressed with the outfielder, writes ESPNBoston's Gordon Edes.
- Former Red Sox prospect Ryan Lavarnway was designated for assignment by the Red Sox earlier this offseason, and since then he has been designated and claimed three times. Most recently, the Cubs claimed him on December 19 after he was designated by the Dodgers, and he then was claimed by the Orioles on December 23.
- Another former Red Sox prospect, outfielder Brandon Jacobs, was released by the Diamondbacks as Baseball America's Matt Eddy notes. In 2013, Jacobs, a former MVP of the South Atlantic League with the Greenville Drive, was sent to the White Sox in exchange for reliever Matt Thornton and cash.
- MLB.com's Jesse Sanchez has been one of the reporters tracking Cuban defector Yoan Moncada, and as Sanchez notes, the final step before he is free to sign is for him to be cleared by the U.S. Office of Foreign Assets Control. The 19-year-old is being pursued by many teams, and Sanchez says he expects him to begin workouts for teams shortly.
- It looks like Christian Vazquez is due to begin the year as the Red Sox starting catcher, and Over the Monster's Ben Buchanan took a look into the impact he will have on the starting rotation.
- Many others have taken note of Vazquez's impressive defense. Mark Simon of ESPN.com is one of them, and he studied his pitch framing data during his time with the Red Sox and presents it with some great visuals.
- Jackie Bradley Jr. entered 2014 as the second-ranked prospect in the Red Sox system, but struggled mightily during his time with the big league club. That has Matt Collins of Over the Monster wondering, can Jackie Bradley Jr. contribute anything in 2015?
Photo Credit: Will Middlebrooks by Kelly O'Connor.
Will Woodward is a Staff Writer for SoxProspects.com. Follow him on Twitter @SPWill.