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SoxProspects News

January 13, 2020 at 12:00 PM

Monthly Notes: Song's waiver status remains uncertain

Here are December's minor league notes:

  • The 170th episode of the SoxProspects.com podcast is out, as Executive Editor Chris Hatfield and Director of Scouting Ian Cundall give updates on rankings and rosters while also discussing on the Rule 5 draft. They finish up with some trade rumors and mailbag questions. 
  • The question of eligibility for pitcher Noah Song continues to linger. An existing rule that allowed athletes to forgo their military commitment was repealed and then re-instituted by the current administration. Unfortunately for the Red Sox, the recommended policy takes effect for 2020 graduates, meaning Song would need to serve for two years before he could report to the Red Sox. Song applied for a waiver, but bureaucratic hurdles--such as the lack of a current Secretary of the Navy--have caused the case to linger. After initial reports came through that the waiver had been denied, it was clarified by Alex Speier of The Boston Globe that the waiver had simply not been recommended by the Chief Naval Officer at the Academy. The final decision rests with the Navy itself, and it is unclear how much consequence is carried by the lack of recommendation of the CNO. 
  • The Red Sox had a solid Rule 5 draft, as they did not lose any of their players while also selecting three players. In the major league portion of the draft, they took Jonathan Arauz from the Astros. He is a 21-year old shortstop that spent time at both High-A and Double-A in 2019. Combined, he hit .249 with a .707 OPS in 115 games. He hit 11 home runs, 22 doubles, and stole six bases. In the minor league portion, the Sox took Raynel Espinal from the Yankees and Jose Espada from the Blue Jays. Espinal is a 27-year old right-handed pitcher who posted a 4.32 ERA in 75 innings at Triple-A. Espada is a 22-year old right-handed pitcher who tossed 11 2/3 innings between rookie ball and Single-A last year. 
  • The Red Sox also made eight minor league signings. They include: catcher Jett Bandy, outfielders John Andreoli and Nick Longhi, left-handed pitcher Mike Kickham, and right-handed pitchers R.J. Alvarez, Domingo Tapia, and Robinson Leyer
  • Longhi returns to the Sox after being with the Reds organization since the end of 2017. Last year, he played 111 games for Triple-A Louisville, hitting .283/.336/.463 with 28 doubles and 12 home runs. Witte has been with the Sox since 2013 when he was drafted in the 24th round. The 29-year old had just a .568 OPS in the Puerto Rico Winter League in 2019. Tapia returns to the Sox after posting a 5.18 ERA in 44 games last year with the PawSox. Leyer appeared in three games for Lowell and 15 games for Portland last season. 
  • Andreoli returns to his home state after bouncing around with six different teams since his professional career began. Jennifer Toland of telegram.com wrote a piece about how he grew up as a Red Sox fan and is excited to prove himself this spring training. 
  • Jen McCaffrey of The Athletic (subscription required) wrote a terrific piece about SoxProspects.com and how the site got started. McCaffrey spoke to founder Mike Andrews, Hatfield, and former staff member Chris Mellen. 
  • Jim Callis of MLB.com ranked the Red Sox as the third best farm system of the past decade. He highlights the 2011 draft as well as the Sox great work in the international department as well.
Photo Credit: Noah Song by Kelly O'Connor