BOSTON – (Staff report fro my Official News Release) – The Boston Red Sox made the following roster moves:
· The club exercised its 2017 contract option on right-handed pitcher Clay Buchholz.
· As a formality, the club also exercised its 2017 contract option on designated hitter David Ortiz, who is still expected to retire this offseason.
· The club declined its 2017 contract option on catcher Ryan Hanigan, who will become a free agent.
· Third baseman Pablo Sandoval, outfielder/catcher Blake Swihart, and right-handed pitchers Carson Smith and Brandon Workman were reinstated from the 60-day disabled list.
Additionally, infielder Josh Rutledge was reinstated from the 60-day disabled list and outrighted to Triple-A Pawtucket.
President of Baseball Operations David Dombrowski made the announcement.
Buchholz, 32, went 8-10 with a 4.78 ERA (74 ER/139.1 IP) in 37 appearances (21 starts) for the Red Sox in 2016. From July 27 through the remainder of the season, the right-hander was 5-1 with a 2.80 ERA (17 ER/54.2 IP) and a .212 opponent batting average (41-for-193). Buchholz’s final appearance of the regular season came on September 28 at Yankee Stadium, where he allowed only one hit in 6.0 scoreless innings. He was dealt the loss in Game 3 of the AL Division Series against the Indians at Fenway Park, allowing two earned runs in 4.0 innings. An American League All-Star in 2010 and 2013, Buchholz is the longest-tenured member of the Red Sox pitching staff, having appeared in the major leagues in each of the last 10 seasons.
Hanigan, 36, batted .171 (18-for-105) in 35 games this season, missing 52 team games due to a pair of stints on the disabled list. The Red Sox went 21-9 in his starts, including 19-4 from April 22 through August 4. Acquired from the San Diego Padres in exchange for third baseman Will Middlebrooks on December 19, 2014, Hanigan appeared in 89 games over two seasons with the Red Sox, batting .219 (61-for-314) and throwing out 16 of 58 (28%) attempted base stealers. Originally signed by Cincinnati as a non-drafted free agent in 2002, the Andover, MA native has played in 647 games with the Reds (2007-13), Tampa Bay Rays (2014), and Red Sox (2015-16).
Sandoval, 30, was placed on the 15-day disabled list with a left shoulder strain on April 13 (retroactive to April 11), ending his season after just three games. He underwent successful surgery to repair a torn labrum in his left shoulder on May 3 in Pensacola, FL, and was transferred to the 60-day disabled list on May 6. The three-time World Series champion has played 998 career games between San Francisco (2008-14) and the Red Sox (2015-16), batting .287 (1,061-for-3,691) with 441 runs scored, 217 doubles, 20 triples, 116 home runs, and 509 RBI.
Swihart, 24, was limited to 19 games with Boston due to a left ankle sprain suffered on June 4. The switch-hitter finished 16-for-62 (.258) with nine runs, three triples, five RBI, 11 walks, and a .365 OBP. After making six starts at catcher in his first major league stint of the year, Swihart returned to the club on May 20 and played his remaining 13 games in left field, committing no errors in 31 total chances before the injury ended his campaign. He was transferred to the 60-day disabled list on July 9 and underwent left ankle surgery on August 15 at Mercy Hospital in Charlotte, NC.
Smith, who was acquired from the Seattle Mariners on December 7, 2015, missed the majority of this season after undergoing Tommy John surgery on May 24 at the Hospital for Special Surgery in New York, NY. The 27-year-old right-hander began the regular season on the 15-day disabled list with a right flexor muscle strain. After being reinstated on May 3, Smith pitched in three games for the major league club, allowing no earned runs over 2.2 innings before returning to the disabled list with right elbow soreness on May 20. The Texas native has a 2.00 ERA (18 ER/81.0 IP), 13 saves, and 104 strikeouts in 82 major league games between Seattle (2014-15) and Boston (2016).
Workman, 28, spent this season on the disabled list recovering from Tommy John surgery performed on June 15, 2015. He returned to minor league action on July 5 on a rehab assignment and finished 0-2 with a 7.65 ERA (17 ER/20.0 IP) in 10 rehab appearances over the course of the season between the Rookie-level GCL Red Sox, Short-A Lowell, and Double-A Portland. The 2013 World Series champion has 39 games of regular season major league experience (18 starts), going 7-13 with a 5.11 ERA (73 ER/128.2 IP) and 117 strikeouts. He has not appeared at the major league level since 2014.