Red Sox add veteran righty, 8 other NRIs

December 22nd, 2020

The Red Sox announced nine non-roster invitees to the 2021 Spring Training roster on Tuesday, including veteran righty Kevin McCarthy, who will get a chance to win a job in what should be a transformed Boston bullpen next season.

Signed to an under-the-radar Minor League deal in November, McCarthy, 28, pitched to a 3.80 ERA in 169 games for the Royals across parts of the past five seasons. McCarthy was a big part of Kansas City’s relief corps from 2017-19, pitching to a 3.65 ERA and a 4.01 FIP, with 111 strikeouts and 54 walks in 177 1/3 innings. But the Royals outrighted him after he struggled in '20, appearing in just five games at the big league level.

The other invitees include: Righties Seth Blair, Raynel Espinal and Caleb Simpson, left-hander Stephen Gonsalves, catchers Roldani Baldwin and Jhonny Pereda, first baseman Josh Ockimey and outfielder César Puello.

Chief baseball officer Chaim Bloom is expected to supplement this group with more non-roster invitees later in the offseason, particularly on the pitching side. Boston hurlers pitched to a 5.58 cumulative ERA in 2020, behind just the Tigers (5.63) for worst among American League teams.

Gonsalves and Puello are the other invitees with prior big league experience, Gonsalves with the Twins in 2018 and Puello with four different clubs. Gonsalves, 26, appeared in seven games (four starts) for Minnesota in '18, pitching to a 6.57 ERA. Puello, 29, is a journeyman outfielder who made five late-season appearances for the Red Sox in '20, going 3-for-8 with two walks in limited action.

Simpson, 29, reached Double-A Richmond with the Giants organization in 2019 and then spent '20 as part of the Red Sox's player pool, but did not reach the Majors. The right-hander posted a 2.45 ERA in 29 1/3 innings at Richmond, with 41 strikeouts and 18 walks.

Ockimey, 25, is a former fifth-round pick in the 2014 Draft who hit 25 homers with a .353 OBP and an .811 OPS at Triple-A Pawtucket in 2019. The left-handed hitter has compiled 81 homers across 579 Minor League games.

Red Sox 40-man roster:
Pitchers (21): Matt Barnes, Eduard Bazardo, Ryan Brasier, Colten Brewer, Austin Brice, Nathan Eovaldi, Jay Groome, Darwinzon Hernandez, Tanner Houck, Bryan Mata, Chris Mazza, Joel Payamps, Nick Pivetta, Eduardo Rodriguez, Chris Sale, Connor Seabold, Jeffrey Springs, Josh Taylor, Phillips Valdez, Marcus Walden, Garrett Whitlock

Catchers (4): Deivy Grullón, Kevin Plawecki, Christian Vázquez, Connor Wong

Infielders (9): Jonathan Araúz, Christian Arroyo, Xander Bogaerts, C.J. Chatham, Michael Chavis, Bobby Dalbec, Rafael Devers, Dustin Pedroia, Hudson Potts

Outfielders (6): Andrew Benintendi, J.D. Martinez, Hunter Renfroe, Jeisson Rosario, Alex Verdugo, Marcus Wilson