How 5 Red Sox minor-leaguers' lives changed Wednesday night

Rob Bradford
November 20, 2019 - 8:33 pm
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The Red Sox adjusted their roster Wednesday night. In the process, five minor-leaguers had their lives significantly altered, as well.

The Sox added first baseman Bobby Dalbec, infielder C.J. Chatham, outfielder Marcus Wilson, and pitchers Kyle Hart and Yoan Aybar to their 40-man roster, leaving just one spot still open. Dalbec, Chatham and Wilson were seemingly locks, with Hart potentially representing a depth starter and Aybar serving as an intriguing reliever. 

The most notable omission was pitcher Eduard Bazardo, leaving the 24-year-old as a prime candidate to be selected in the Rule 5 draft. The righty totaled a 2.78 ERA in 21 relief outings for Double-A Portland last season.

For the five making the cut, it means more than just a step closer to the majors.

Here are some of the perks that getting placed on the 40-man roster allow for:

- As of Opening Day, these players will now get at least the major league minimum if in the big leagues and the minimum first-year minor-league roster salary if in the minors. This year the major league minimum is $563,500 and the minor-league first-year roster salary is $46,000. If a first-year player gets called up and then sent back down, his salary would then be $91,800. (Those in their first year in Triple-A and not on the 40-man roster make $2,150 a month before dues and taxes.)

- The players now are eligible to get major league health insurance an life insurance as of major league Opening Day, 2020.

- If a player is optioned to the minors they will be paid until the end of the major league season as opposed to the end of the minor league season.

This is from the Red Sox' press release Wednesday night:

Chatham, 24, split the 2019 season between Portland and Pawtucket and was named an Eastern League Post-Season All-Star. The right-handed batter led Red Sox minor leaguers with 31 doubles while hitting .298 (130-for-436) with five home runs, making 93 starts at shortstop and 12 at second base. Following the regular season, Chatham played for Peoria in the Arizona Fall League and was selected to the Fall Stars Game, then joined Team USA for the WBSC Premier12 tournament. Selected by Boston in the second round of the 2016 June Draft, Chatham has hit .298 (305-for-1,024) with 57 doubles, 14 home runs, and 124 RBI in 266 minor league games.

Dalbec, 24, led Red Sox minor leaguers in 2019 with 27 home runs and 217 total bases, ranking second among that group with 73 RBI, 48 extra-base hits, and 73 walks. He hit .239 (113-for-472) with an .816 OPS between Portland and Pawtucket, making 104 starts at third base and 21 at first base. Selected as both a Mid-Season and Post-Season All-Star in the Eastern League, he joined Chatham on Team USA in the WBSC Premier12 tournament following the regular season. Selected by Boston in the fourth round of the 2016 June Draft, Dalbec has hit .261 (113-for-1,370) with 83 doubles, 79 home runs, and 256 RBI in 383 minor leagues games.

Hart, 27, made 27 appearances (24 starts) between Portland and Pawtucket in 2019, going 12-13 with a 3.52 ERA (61 ER/156.0 IP). He led Red Sox minor leaguers in wins, innings, and complete games (2), and ranked second in strikeouts (140). The left-hander threw a 9.0-inning shutout in his Triple-A debut on May 30 vs. Lehigh Valley and threw 6.2 innings in Portland’s combined no-hitter on April 25 at Binghamton. He posted a 3.86 ERA (43 ER/100.1 IP) for Pawtucket, allowing three earned runs or fewer in 13 of his 15 starts. Selected by Boston in the 19th round of the 2016 June Draft, Hart is 25-29 with a 3.13 ERA (147 ER/423.1 IP) in 77 minor league games (71 starts).

Wilson, 23, spent the majority of 2019 within the Red Sox organization after being acquired from Arizona in exchange for Blake Swihart and international amateur signing bonus pool space. In 107 games between High-A Salem and Double-A Portland, the right-handed batter hit .273 (96-for-352) with 16 home runs, 10 stolen bases, and 51 RBI while making 100 starts in the outfield. Following the regular season, he played in eight games for Peoria in the Arizona Fall League, batting .333 (10-for-30) with eight RBI. Selected by Arizona in the second round of the 2014 June Draft, Wilson has hit .258 (463-for-1,794) with 40 home runs and 224 RBI in 498 minor league games.

Aybar, 22, made 44 relief appearances between Single-A Greenville and High-A Salem this season, posting a 4.61 ERA (29 ER/56.2 IP) with 70 strikeouts and a .176 opponent batting average (36-for-205). From June 28 through the end of 2019, the left-hander posted a 2.19 ERA (6 ER/24.2 IP) with a 1.09 WHIP. Aybar was signed by the Red Sox in August 2013, beginning his career as an outfielder and converting to a relief pitcher prior to the 2018 season. In 61 career pitching appearances, Aybar is 3-4 with a 4.45 ERA (42 ER/85.0 IP) and a .196 opponent batting average (61-for-312), having allowed only one home run to his 378 batters faced.

BOSTON RED SOX 40-MAN ROSTER (39)

PITCHERS (23): Yoan Aybar, Matt Barnes, Ryan Brasier, Colten Brewer, Nathan Eovaldi, Kyle Hart, Heath Hembree, Darwinzon Hernandez, Brian Johnson, Trevor Kelley, Travis Lakins, Josh Osich, Bobby Poyner, David Price, Denyi Reyes, Eduardo Rodriguez, Chris Sale, Mike Shawaryn, Josh Taylor, Hector Velázquez, Marcus Walden, Ryan Weber, Brandon Workman

CATCHERS (2): Sandy León, Christian Vázquez

INFIELDERS (9): Xander Bogaerts, C.J. Chatham, Michael Chavis, Bobby Dalbec, Rafael Devers, Marco Hernández, Tzu-Wei Lin, Dustin Pedroia, Sam Travis

OUTFIELDERS (5): Andrew Benintendi, Mookie Betts, Jackie Bradley Jr., J.D. Martinez, Marcus Wilson