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SoxProspects News

March 15, 2022 at 9:00 AM

Fort Report: Lockout ends, major-league spring training begins

On the same day Red Sox minor-league position players reported to spring training last Thursday, the MLB lockout finally ended, thus preserving a 162-game season in 2022. From the time the new collective bargaining agreement was ratified and the transaction freeze was lifted that night, there has been plenty of action across Major League Baseball before spring training games begin later this week. 



12 minor-leaguers added to spring training roster

On Saturday, the Red Sox added 12 non-roster invitees to their 2022 spring training roster. The list of players added includes some of the top prospects in the organization such as first baseman Triston Casas (No. 1, pictured), left-hander Chris Murphy (No. 14), infielders David Hamilton (No. 26), Christian Koss (No. 31), and Ryan Fitzgerald (No. 38), right-handed reliever Durbin Feltman (No. 48), and catcher Kole Cottam (No. 56). 

The other five invitees are right-handers Geoff HartliebBrian KellerKaleb Ort, and John Schreiber and outfielder/first baseman Franchy Cordero. With the addition of these 12 players, the Red Sox now have 23 non-roster invitees on their spring training roster.

Red Sox sign left-handed relievers Jake Diekman and Matt Strahm to major-league deals 

According to multiple reports, the Red Sox agreed to sign a pair of veteran left-handers in Jake Diekman and Matt Strahm to major-league contracts on Sunday. Neither deal is official and both are pending physicals, though Diekman's contract is believed to be for multiple years while Strahm's is a one-year pact worth $3 million. 

Diekman, 35, spent the 2021 season with the Athletics and posted a 3.86 ERA with 83 strikeouts to 34 walks over 67 relief appearances (60 2/3 innings pitched) out of Oakland's bullpen. Strahm, 30, spent the 2021 campaign with the Padres but was limited to just 6 2/3 innings after undergoing surgery to repair the patellar tendon in his right knee the previous October. During the pandemic-shortened 2020 season, Strahm produced a 2.61 ERA and 15:4 strikeout-to-walk over 19 outings (20 2/3 innings) for San Diego. 

With the reported additions of Diekman and Strahm, Boston has now bolstered the left side of their bullpen. Beyond those two, the Red Sox also have southpaws like Austin Davis, Darwinzon Hernandez, and Josh Taylor in their arsenal. 

Thomas Pannone signed to minor-league deal

Former Blue Jays left-hander Thomas Pannone inked a minors pact with the Red Sox last Thursday, per the team's transaction log. Pannone, 27, spent the 2018 and 2019 seasons with the Jays but was outrighted off Toronto's 40-man roster in August 2020 and later became a free agent. He latched on with the Angels on a minor-league deal for the 2021 campaign and spent the entirety of the year at the Triple-A level, posting a 7.07 ERA with 82 strikeouts to 40 walks over 24 appearances (21 starts, 118 1/3 innings) for the Salt Lake Bees. Although Pannone has yet to receive an invite to major-league spring training with Boston, the lefty is expected to begin the 2022 season with Triple-A Worcester.

Dominic D'Alessandro retires

A former 22nd-round draft selection of the Red Sox out of George Washington University in 2019, D'Alessandro officially retired from baseball last Tuesday. The 25-year-old first baseman/outfielder spent the 2021 season with High-A Greenville and batted .218/.286/.363 with six home runs and 22 RBIs across 51 games for the Drive. 


Key Links

MassLive.com's Christopher Smith has been quite busy in Fort Myers and recently profiled Red Sox pitching prospect Rio Gomez (pictured). The son of late ESPN reporter Pedro Gomez, Rio discusses how he remembers and pays tribute to his father with a bracelet he wears everyday. 

Durbin Feltman was disappointed to find out that the Rule 5 Draft was cancelled ahead of the 2022 season. The former third-round pick out of TCU expressed his frustration in a recent conversation with WEEI's Rob Bradford. 

Our own Ian Cundall continues to provide updated scouting reports on some of the top prospects in the organization. Monday's update focused on third baseman Brandon Howlett (No. 50), outfielder/first baseman/catcher Stephen Scott (No. 51), right-hander Franklin German (No. 52), and third baseman Hudson Potts (No. 53). 


Where are they now?

A few members of the 2021 Red Sox who became free agents after the season ended have recently signed elsewhere. Adam Ottavino is heading to the Mets, José Iglesias is heading to the Rockies, and Martín Pérez is returning to the Rangers. All three players agreed to one-year deals with their new clubs. 

Seth Blair was an intriguing addition when he joined the Red Sox on a minors pact in August 2020. Blair re-signed with Boston that December and split the 2021 season between Portland and Worcester. The 33-year-old right-hander became a free agent once again this winter and just recently inked a minor-league contract with the Rays. 

Brad Peacock joined the organization last August when he was acquired from Cleveland for cash considerations. The veteran right-hander made just two appearances (one start) for Boston and two appearances for Worcester before becoming a free agent in November. He has since signed a minors deal with the Royals for the 2022 season. 


Photo Credit: Triston Casas and Rio Gomez by Kelly O'Connor