The Red Sox have put former top prospect Henry Owens on outright waivers, taking him off the 40-man roster, a baseball source said Wednesday.
The 40-man roster was full after the Red Sox protected players ahead of the Rule 5 draft. Putting Owens on waivers exposes him to other teams and also allows the Red Sox to add a player to the 40-man roster. Any major leaguer acquired via trade or as a free-agent signing would need a 40-man space.
It wasn't immediately known if the Sox were making space preemptively, because they will eventually need likely multiple spaces, or if a player acquisition was imminent. Two baseball sources speculated a move was likely sooner rather than later, and one noted it was probably just a matter of time before Owens' spot in particular was needed.
Owens, a tall 25-year-old lefty, has always had a high ceiling but has had severe control problems. He was a 36th overall draft pick in 2011 and has 85 big league innings with a 5.19 ERA. He walked 24 in 63 innings in 2015, and walked 20 in 22 innings in 2016. In 2017, between Double-A and Triple-A, he walked 115 in 126 innings.
Owens was Baseball America's No. 2 prospect in the Sox system for two straight years, heading into 2014 and 2015.
LOS ANGELES - Matt Kemp is returning to the place where he began his major league career, reacquired by the Los Angeles Dodgers on Saturday as part of a five-player trade with the Atlanta Braves that sent former Red Sox first baseman Adrian Gonzalez from L.A. to Atlanta.
The Dodgers sent Gonzalez, oft-injured starting pitchers Scott Kazmir and Brandon McCarthy, infielder Charlie Culberson and cash to Atlanta for the 33-year-old Kemp. Gonzalez then was designated for assignment by the Braves.
After sitting on the sidelines during the recent winter meetings, the Dodgers moved quickly to dump nearly $50 million in salary committed to Gonzalez, Kazmir and McCarthy for 2018. Kemp is owed about $43 million over the next two seasons. Click here for more.
Free agent slugger J.D. Martinez has told the Red Sox he would DH and play the outfield for them, a baseball source said Friday. The flipside: teams are offering Martinez a full-time outfield job, and he enjoys playing the outfield.
Martinez, the best bat available via free agency, visited with teams at the winter meetings this week.
Michael Silverman of the Herald wrote Friday that Martinez has been telling teams he prefers to play the outfield, and suggested the Sox will have to pay a bit more to land Martinez.
“Martinez remains open to being a DH so his preference to play defense regularly does not eliminate the Red Sox from signing Martinez,” Silverman wrote. “It does, however, put them in a position of having to make an aggressive offer that would distance themselves from competing offers where teams can present a corner outfield position.
“Just what defines aggressive is something only Martinez and his agent Scott Boras will ultimately determine.”
The market could start to move a bit now, although that doesn’t mean anything is necessarily imminent. Another baseball source on Friday night noted that the market has started to thaw with Carlos Santana off the board. He agreed to a three-year, $60 million deal with the Phillies.
The Red Sox made an offer for Santana, but the offer made clear that Santana was not their primary choice. In other words, it wasn't close to what Santana ended up with.
A scenario in which Jackie Bradley Jr. is traded to make room for Martinez in the outfield seems reasonable, even if the Red Sox and Boras, who represents Bradley, have both downplayed that possibility.