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On The Move: Trades & Transactions

Nationals add Miller; Murphy heads on rehab

Goodwin also to begin assignment on Saturday
Special to MLB.com

MIAMI -- The Nationals selected the contract of right-hander Justin Miller on Friday prior to opening a three-game series at Marlins Park.

The 30-year-old joins the Nationals after tossing 13 2/3 scoreless innings across nine relief appearances at Triple-A Syracuse. He struck out 23 while walking only three during that span and pitched more than one inning in six of the nine outings. Opposing batters were just 3-for-43 (.070) against Miller this season.

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MIAMI -- The Nationals selected the contract of right-hander Justin Miller on Friday prior to opening a three-game series at Marlins Park.

The 30-year-old joins the Nationals after tossing 13 2/3 scoreless innings across nine relief appearances at Triple-A Syracuse. He struck out 23 while walking only three during that span and pitched more than one inning in six of the nine outings. Opposing batters were just 3-for-43 (.070) against Miller this season.

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"The numbers are very impressive," Nationals manager Dave Martinez said. "He deserves to be here, he's going to get a chance to pitch. What we really like is he's got three good pitches and he's throwing them all for strikes."

Mostly a fastball/slider pitcher for the majority of his career, Miller has developed a split that he feels comfortable throwing.

"I just go with what the catcher calls," Miller said. "I'm not really a big shaker. I don't really try to overthink things, just go out there and attack guys."

Miller has appeared in 82 games across three Major League seasons with Detroit (2014) and Colorado ('15-16), posting a 4.99 career ERA with 88 strikeouts in 88 1/3 innings.

The spot on Washington's 25-man roster was made available after the Nationals optioned right-hander Erick Fedde to Triple-A Syracuse on Thursday.

"It's good to be back," said Miller, who last pitched in a Major League game on Oct. 2, 2016. "Last year was a down year for me, but I lost some pounds in the offseason, got more mobility and flexibility. It's been working out so far this year."

Murphy, Goodwin headed for rehab assignment
Daniel Murphy and Brian Goodwin are both going out to Double-A Harrisburg for rehab assignments on Saturday.

"That's great news for us and definitely headed in the right direction," said Martinez, who noted that Murphy has played sparingly in extended spring games because of the weather and an illness. "He's played the last couple of days, four or five innings, and now he's ready for a rehab assignment.

"We'll probably start him out five or six innings and see how he feels, maybe give him a day off in between. But he looks good. I saw some videos. Hopefully he can get ready and get back and help us out here soon."

Martinez said he has no timetable for either Murphy or Goodwin.

"The good news is they're both going out on a rehab assignment," Martinez said. "Hopefully there's no bumps in the road moving forward and they get back as soon as possible."

Murphy is recovering from October 2017 right knee surgery. Goodwin went on the 10-day disabled list retroactive to April 16 with a left wrist contusion.

Glenn Sattell is a contributor to MLB.com based in Miami.

Washington Nationals, Justin Miller

Rays deal Colome, Span to M's for 2 RHPs

Tampa Bay acquires Moore, Romero; club also lands righty Font from A's for Minor Leaguer Bayer
MLB.com

ST. PETERSBURG -- Tampa Bay made a surprising move before Friday night's game against the Orioles when the club traded outfielder Denard Span and closer Alex Colome to the Mariners in exchange for right-handed pitching prospects Andrew Moore and Tommy Romero.

Moments later, the Rays acquired right-handed pitcher Wilmer Font from the Athletics in exchange for Minor League right-hander Peter Bayer. Font was designated for assignment by the A's on Wednesday.

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ST. PETERSBURG -- Tampa Bay made a surprising move before Friday night's game against the Orioles when the club traded outfielder Denard Span and closer Alex Colome to the Mariners in exchange for right-handed pitching prospects Andrew Moore and Tommy Romero.

Moments later, the Rays acquired right-handed pitcher Wilmer Font from the Athletics in exchange for Minor League right-hander Peter Bayer. Font was designated for assignment by the A's on Wednesday.

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The Rays played short-handed Friday night. Outfielder Carlos Gomez will likely be activated from the disabled list for Saturday's game, and Font will join the Rays' bullpen upon his arrival.

"I think usually when you see moves made this time of year, it's not very common," said Erik Neander, senior vice president of baseball operations. "This is usually the time where you're still learning about your club and where you're at competitively, and so on. A lot of the focus for the front office is on the Draft at this point.

Video: BAL@TB: Rays deal Colome and Span to the Mariners

"But I think some circumstances changed in Seattle, with respect to where their team is at and where their finances were at, and that led to some motivation from them to seek out and try to find ways to improve their team. That was a situation where we responded to the interest that was there. And Andrew Moore is a player that we value highly. He fits in really well to the group we have in place already."

Moore, 23, pitched in 11 games (nine starts) over four separate stints with Seattle in 2017, going 1-5 with a 5.34 ERA and only eight walks. This season, Moore was 3-1 with a 3.04 ERA in nine starts for Double-A Arkansas. Neander explained that the Mariners placed Moore at the Double-A level so he could better work on some things rather than doing so at the Triple-A Pacific Coast League. He added that it is not reflective of the level Moore is qualified to pitch at.

Video: SEA@SD: Moore shines in relief for the Mariners

Romero, 20, was 3-3 with a 2.45 ERA and 54 strikeouts in nine starts for Class A Clinton. He ranked seventh in the Midwest League in ERA, fifth in strikeouts and third in strikeouts per nine innings (11.05).

Font, 28, has split the 2018 season between the Dodgers and Athletics organizations, posting a 0-2 record with a 12.71 ERA in 10 appearances. He was named to the Dodgers' Opening Day roster as a reliever this season, but was designated for assignment on April 23 after six appearances. He appeared in four games with the A's.

Colome left the Rays clubhouse, shook hands with the security guard, then hopped in a golf cart and drove off, waving to reporters without comment.

Span did talk to reporters about getting traded from his hometown team.

"Definitely shocked," said Span, who grew up in Tampa. "Obviously, I knew coming into this situation that it probably wouldn't be a full season that I get an opportunity to play here. Honestly, I was concerned I wouldn't get out of Spring Training. But once I got out of Spring Training, I figured that I'd at least have until July to play here, so this definitely caught me off guard."

Span came to the Rays in the December trade that sent Evan Longoria to the Giants. All along it was speculated that Tampa Bay would flip Span in a trade because of the $11 million he will make for the 2018 season.

Span, who was popular in the clubhouse, said he would miss the Rays players. He also sounded disappointed because of how the team had been playing of late, and he hoped that might lead to a special summer.

"Obviously, we've been playing better here of late, but you know, this is part of the business," Span said. "I'm just happy that I have a job and somebody wants me. So I'm looking forward to going to Seattle, even though it hasn't sunk in yet. I'm looking forward to this new challenge. But as you know, Tampa is home for me."

Span said he told Neander and co-senior vice president of baseball operations Chaim Bloom that the Rays "have a good thing going here."

"Just an unbelievable atmosphere," Span said.

Colome, 29, leaves the Rays ranked second in club history with 95 saves, trailing only Roberto Hernandez (101). This season, Colome is 2-5 with a 4.15 ERA and 11 saves in 23 appearances. In 2017, he became the first pitcher in franchise history to lead the Majors in saves (47). Colome will make $5.3 million this season.

Span, 34, is batting .238/.364/.385 with seven doubles, one triple, four home runs, 28 RBIs and six stolen bases in 43 games. His 28 RBIs are his most ever through his first 48 games.

Bayer, 24, was 0-0 with an 18.00 ERA in five appearances for Class A Advanced Charlotte this season. Over parts of three Minor League seasons, he is 4-4 with a 4.08 ERA. He was selected by the Rays in the ninth round of the 2016 Draft from California Polytechnic State University.

Bill Chastain has covered the Rays for MLB.com since 2005.

Tampa Bay Rays, Wilmer Font, Andrew Moore

A's deal Font to Rays for Minor Leaguer

MLB.com

OAKLAND -- The A's traded right-handed pitcher Wilmer Font to the Rays for Minor League right-handed pitcher Peter Bayer, the club announced Friday.
 
Font was acquired from the Dodgers on April 25 for Minor League pitcher Logan Salow and compiled a 14.85 ERA in four games with the A's after posting an 11.32 ERA in six outings with the Dodgers. He has a 12.71 ERA and .388 opponents batting average in 10 games overall and has surrendered 10 home runs in 17.0 innings. Font was designated for assignment on Wednesday.
 
Bayer was 0-0 with an 18 ERA in five relief appearances with Single-A Charlotte of the Florida State League before he was sent to extended spring training April 23. The 24-year-old right-handed pitcher was selected by the Rays in the ninth round of the 2016 draft. He is 4-4 with a 4.08 ERA in 40 career appearances, including 11 starts, over three seasons in the minors. Bayer has 146 strikeouts in 103.2 innings, an average of 12.68 per nine innings.

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View Full Game Coverage OAKLAND -- The A's traded right-handed pitcher Wilmer Font to the Rays for Minor League right-handed pitcher Peter Bayer, the club announced Friday.
 
Font was acquired from the Dodgers on April 25 for Minor League pitcher Logan Salow and compiled a 14.85 ERA in four games with the A's after posting an 11.32 ERA in six outings with the Dodgers. He has a 12.71 ERA and .388 opponents batting average in 10 games overall and has surrendered 10 home runs in 17.0 innings. Font was designated for assignment on Wednesday.
 
Bayer was 0-0 with an 18 ERA in five relief appearances with Single-A Charlotte of the Florida State League before he was sent to extended spring training April 23. The 24-year-old right-handed pitcher was selected by the Rays in the ninth round of the 2016 draft. He is 4-4 with a 4.08 ERA in 40 career appearances, including 11 starts, over three seasons in the minors. Bayer has 146 strikeouts in 103.2 innings, an average of 12.68 per nine innings.

Oakland Athletics, Wilmer Font

Mariners acquire Colome, Span from Rays

Club sends out young arms Moore, Romero in deal to bolster depth
MLB.com

SEATTLE -- Any question about the Mariners' belief in their ability to contend even with Robinson Cano suspended for half the season was answered Friday when general manager Jerry Dipoto engineered a trade with the Rays to bolster his club's chances to compete in the tough American League West.

Dipoto improved both his bullpen and outfield with a two-for-two deal, acquiring Tampa Bay closer Alex Colome, veteran outfielder Denard Span and cash for Minor League starters Andrew Moore and Tommy Romero.

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SEATTLE -- Any question about the Mariners' belief in their ability to contend even with Robinson Cano suspended for half the season was answered Friday when general manager Jerry Dipoto engineered a trade with the Rays to bolster his club's chances to compete in the tough American League West.

Dipoto improved both his bullpen and outfield with a two-for-two deal, acquiring Tampa Bay closer Alex Colome, veteran outfielder Denard Span and cash for Minor League starters Andrew Moore and Tommy Romero.

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The Mariners had gone 6-3 since Cano's 80-game suspension and were 29-20 going into Friday's series opener with the Twins despite injuries to Dee Gordon, Nelson Cruz and Mitch Haniger.

Cruz and Haniger are back now, Gordon is about a week from returning and the club will add a power arm to the back of its bullpen and a veteran in Span who helps bolster the outfield now that Gordon has moved back to second base in Cano's absence.

"I think it's an awesome message that [despite] everything we've dealt with in the last 8 to 10 days here, that we're all in on this season," manager Scott Servais said. "That even though we had a setback with Robbie and the injury and suspension, it's not going to derail us. Our eyes are set on the goal and that's getting to the playoffs and I think this helps us."

The Mariners are adding roughly $10 million in remaining 2018 salary with the two veterans, but they had about $12 million of payroll open up with the suspension of Cano. According to the Associated Press, they're receiving $4.75 million in cash from the Rays as part of the deal.

"Denard Span's skill set fits our team quite well," Dipoto said. "And the impact we felt like we were getting in Alex Colome trumps what we thought we could get into in the starting pitching market, while leaving ourselves some wiggle room that if a starter or something otherwise is needed as we get [further] into the season, we still aren't entirely cut off. We have the ability to go for it if we can."

Video: MIN@SEA: Dipoto on Mariners acquiring Colome, Span

To make room on the 40-man roster, Seattle transferred right-handed pitcher David Phelps to the 60-day disabled list.

The Mariners already have an established closer in Edwin Diaz, but Colome adds another late-inning setup option to go with Juan Nicasio and Nick Vincent. The Mariners lost Phelps to Tommy John surgery this past spring, so Colome essentially fills that primary setup role.

Colome, a 29-year-old right-hander, was an All-Star in 2016 for the Rays when he posted a 1.91 ERA and 37 saves. He racked up a Major League-leading 47 saves with a 3.24 ERA last year.

Colome struggled early this season and has a 4.15 ERA with 11 saves and 23 strikeouts in 21 2/3 innings over 23 appearances. But in his last 17 outings dating back to April 17, his ERA is 2.16 and opposing batters are hitting .194 against him.

Video: BOS@TB: Colome earns his 11th save as Rays win, 6-3

The six-year veteran is earning $5.3 million this season and has two years of arbitration eligibility remaining before becoming a free agent in 2021.

Span is in the final year of a contract that is paying him $11 million this year, with the Giants absorbing $2 million of that as part of their trade for Evan Longoria in December. Span does have a $12 million team option for 2019, with a $4 million buyout.

Span has primarily played center field throughout his 11-year career with the Twins, Nationals, Giants and Rays, putting up a career .282/.348/.396 line. But he's been in left much of this year for the Rays, and Dipoto indicated the veteran would play mostly left field for the Mariners as well.

"He's a pro," Dipoto said. "I'm sure his comfort zone would most likely be in center, but at the same time he's playing left for the Rays and I feel like that's the place he fits best for us and it gives Scott the ability with him and Mitch Haniger and Guillermo [Heredia] and Denard to have four outfielders who will play anywhere you need them to play.

"They can serve as a kind of rotating group and I'm sure on most days you'll see Haniger in right, Heredia in center and left field will be mostly Denard Span and that gives [Ben Gamel] the ability to roam and give the other guys a break and I'm sure he'll still be getting at-bats as if he were playing regularly."

Video: TB@BOS: Span rips inside-the-park HR vs. Price

Span has posted a.238/.364/.385 line with four homers and 28 RBIs in 43 games after the Tampa native was acquired from the Giants to play in his hometown last December.

"Obviously, we've been playing here better of late, but you know, this is part of the business," Span told reporters in Tampa Bay. "I'm just happy that I have a job and somebody wants me. So I'm looking forward to going to Seattle, even though it hasn't sunk in yet. I'm looking forward to this new challenge. …They're in a position to win. They saw an opportunity to get myself and Colome. They're trying to win over there."

To acquire the two veterans, the Mariners gave up a pair of young pitching prospects. Moore, who turns 24 next week, went 1-5 with a 5.34 ERA in 59 innings over 11 outings, including nine starts, last year for Seattle. The 2015 second-round Draft choice out of Oregon State is 3-1 with a 3.04 ERA in nine starts for Double-A Arkansas this season.

Romero, 20, was a 15th-round Draft pick out of Eastern Florida State who has been impressive for Class A Clinton this season, going 3-3 with a 2.45 ERA in nine starts and striking out 54 batters in 44 innings. 

Greg Johns has covered the Mariners since 1997, and for MLB.com since 2011. Follow him on Twitter @GregJohnsMLB.

Tampa Bay Rays, Alex Colome, Andrew Moore, Denard Span

Candelario knocks in go-ahead run in return

Injury updates: Miggy, Wilson, Zimmermann
MLB.com

DETROIT -- The Tigers' lengthy disabled list shrunk by a player on Friday. With Jeimer Candelario's return, the Tigers also gained one of their most valuable bats in the middle of the order. His value was apparent after the go-ahead single in Friday's 5-4 win over the White Sox.

Candelario, out since May 13 with tendinitis in his left wrist, was activated from the 10-day DL before the game and inserted into the third spot in the lineup, between Nicholas Castellanos and Victor Martinez. It's one spot down from his old role, but manager Ron Gardenhire opted not to disrupt the hitting outburst Castellanos has going this week.

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DETROIT -- The Tigers' lengthy disabled list shrunk by a player on Friday. With Jeimer Candelario's return, the Tigers also gained one of their most valuable bats in the middle of the order. His value was apparent after the go-ahead single in Friday's 5-4 win over the White Sox.

Candelario, out since May 13 with tendinitis in his left wrist, was activated from the 10-day DL before the game and inserted into the third spot in the lineup, between Nicholas Castellanos and Victor Martinez. It's one spot down from his old role, but manager Ron Gardenhire opted not to disrupt the hitting outburst Castellanos has going this week.

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"I have the same approach," Candelario said. "I just try to be aggressive in the zone with my pitch and try to look for a pitch I can drive, no matter if I'm second or third."

That's what Gardenhire surmised.

"He's a pretty easy person to put in the lineup," Gardenhire said.

Candelario was placed on the DL to address the wrist, which had bothered him off and on since at least last season. He received a cortisone injection, but more importantly, he began a rehab routine to strengthen the muscles in the area to try to avoid -- or at least limit -- a recurrence of the injury.

"Right now, it doesn't hurt at all," Candelario said Friday afternoon, after doing early work with fellow infielders Pete Kozma and Niko Goodrum. "Just gotta work hard every day to get it strong, so it doesn't come back again."

He felt pretty well after sending a blooper just out of first baseman Jose Abreu's reach in shallow right field, scoring Castellanos with the go-ahead run. Though it looked like a routine pop-up, Candelario said he believed off the bat it had a chance to fall in.

Video: CWS@DET: Candelario gives Tigers lead with RBI single

"It's not easy, that ball, when you're playing in," Candelario said. "Thank God that we got the win."

Candelario returned to Detroit on Friday morning after a two-game rehab assignment with Triple-A Toledo. He went 2-for-8 with a walk, three runs scored and an RBI for the Mud Hens. Though manager Ron Gardenhire gave an initial target of 12 at-bats for Candelario with the Hens, his nine plate appearances were enough to show he was ready.

"I went down, felt comfortable with my at-bats and told myself, 'You know what, I'm ready to go,'" Candelario said.

Outfielder Mikie Mahtook was optioned to Triple-A Toledo to make room on the 25-man roster. Mahtook went 9-for-38 for the Tigers since being recalled earlier this month, but his playing time dwindled after Leonys Martin's return from the DL. Mahtook received a lone at-bat in Minnesota, pinch-hitting for Dixon Machado and striking out Tuesday.

"He needs to be playing. He needs to be hitting," Gardenhire said. "That's the only way he's going to find his true swing and keep it. And we're going to need it at some point."

With Martin playing every day in center and JaCoby Jones shifting to left, the Tigers don't need Mahtook for now.

Quick hits
• In other Tigers injury news, Miguel Cabrera took batting practice and ground balls at first base Friday as he continues to work his way back from a right hamstring strain. Though he did some light running in the outfield, he did not run bases, which he'll need to do before he's cleared to return. Cabrera told reporters he hopes to return soon, though there's no firm timetable for when that is.

Alex Wilson (ruptured left plantar fascia) and Jordan Zimmermann (right shoulder impingement) both threw bullpen sessions Friday, Gardenhire said, and Zimmermann could be close to going on a Minor League rehab assignment to stretch out his arm.

• Tigers assistant general manager David Chadd was in attendance at the SEC Tournament on Thursday, where top Draft prospect Casey Mize took the loss for Auburn with four runs over 7 2/3 innings. The junior right-hander struck out seven with no walks, but threw a pair of wild pitches.

Jason Beck has covered the Tigers for MLB.com since 2002. Read Beck's Blog, follow him on Twitter @beckjason and Facebook.

Detroit Tigers, Miguel Cabrera, Jeimer Candelario, Alex Wilson, Jordan Zimmermann

Pirates designate Kontos for assignment

MLB.com

PITTSBURGH -- The Pirates acquired George Kontos in August to steady their shaky bullpen. They brought him back this season to lead a group of young relievers. He did both of those things, but his performance this season never matched his track record.

Pittsburgh designated Kontos for assignment Friday to make room on the roster for starter Joe Musgrove. Kontos struggled to a 5.03 ERA and 1.42 WHIP this season, losing his grip on the setup role he earned down the stretch last season.

PITTSBURGH -- The Pirates acquired George Kontos in August to steady their shaky bullpen. They brought him back this season to lead a group of young relievers. He did both of those things, but his performance this season never matched his track record.

Pittsburgh designated Kontos for assignment Friday to make room on the roster for starter Joe Musgrove. Kontos struggled to a 5.03 ERA and 1.42 WHIP this season, losing his grip on the setup role he earned down the stretch last season.

"We wish George well moving out, because he did nothing but add value to everything he touched while he was here," manager Clint Hurdle said. "That's a hard conversation to have with a guy that has brought a lot and done some good things for us. Unfortunately the game demands execution, and right now, that level for him isn't where it's been for him at any other point in time in his career."

Kontos won two World Series rings during his 5 1/2 seasons with the Giants, who let him go in August. The Pirates quickly claimed him off waivers and gave him a high-leverage role. He delivered a 1.84 ERA and a 0.82 WHIP with 15 strikeouts in 14 2/3 innings, agreed to a $2.725 million salary for this season and returned as the eighth-inning setup man.

But Kontos' success did not carry over. His velocity dropped, his command deteriorated, and he struggled to make hitters swing and miss. He lost his setup job on May 12 and didn't pitch for a week after that. He was scored upon in five of his last six outings as a Pirate.

"Just inconsistency. I haven't really been able to get my delivery where it needed to be," Kontos said. "Just some things that weren't characteristic of myself and what I'm capable of doing."

When a player's contract is designated for assignment -- often abbreviated "DFA" -- that player is immediately removed from his club's 40-man roster, and 25-man roster if he was on that as well. Within seven days of the transaction (it was previously 10 days), the player must either be traded, released or placed on irrevocable outright waivers.

Kontos, 32, hopes to catch on with another team. Despite giving up a run in his last outing Tuesday, he felt better as he struck out two Reds hitters.

"I haven't forgotten how to play baseball. I'm still a competitor. I still have a lot left in this game," he said. "I would imagine, hopefully, somebody takes a shot on a guy who's been around a little bit and knows how to pitch and has had, in my opinion, quite a bit of success in the big leagues."

Kontos said he is proud of the success young relievers like Tyler Glasnow, Michael Feliz and Edgar Santana have enjoyed and hopes he played a part in their development. The Pirates considered Kontos' influence and leadership as they evaluated their options, Hurdle said, but ultimately decided to keep their more effective pitchers and cut ties with Kontos.

"There's times when you can say, 'Yeah, guys got [Minor League] options.' We've got guys that are pitching well," Hurdle said. "We'd prefer to stick with the men that are pitching well and finding outs and keeping people off the plate."

Marte may be ready
Starling Marte (right oblique strain) ran the bases, took early batting practice and went through a full pregame workout Friday afternoon. The Pirates may activate their star center fielder, depending on how he feels Saturday, the first day he is eligible to return from the disabled list.

Marte's return will force the Pirates to make another tough roster move. Austin Meadows, who took Marte's spot, entered Friday with 11 hits and three homers in his first six games. Will the hot-hitting prospect go back to Triple-A when Marte is activated?

"We will find out tomorrow," Hurdle said. "We'll have another decision to make."

Adam Berry has covered the Pirates for MLB.com since 2015. Follow him on Twitter and Facebook and read his blog.

Pittsburgh Pirates, George Kontos

6 potential landing spots for Hanley

MLB.com

Hanley Ramirez was designated for assignment by the Red Sox on Friday, bringing his stint in Boston to a close earlier than expected.

Assuming the Red Sox are unable to trade Ramirez -- and given the vesting option in his contract that would pay him $22 million in 2019 if he accrues 302 more plate appearances this season under his current contract, it seems far-fetched to think any team would deal for him -- then he'll be released next week and become a free agent.

Hanley Ramirez was designated for assignment by the Red Sox on Friday, bringing his stint in Boston to a close earlier than expected.

Assuming the Red Sox are unable to trade Ramirez -- and given the vesting option in his contract that would pay him $22 million in 2019 if he accrues 302 more plate appearances this season under his current contract, it seems far-fetched to think any team would deal for him -- then he'll be released next week and become a free agent.

Boston would have to pay Ramirez the balance of his $22 million salary this season, meaning his next club would owe nothing more than the prorated portion of the league minimum.

So where might Ramirez wind up? Although the Red Sox decided they had better options on their roster, there are plenty of teams that could use Ramirez's bat in their lineup or on their bench.

Here's a look at a half-dozen clubs that could make a play for Ramirez if (when?) he hits the open market.

Twins
Joe Mauer landed on the DL last week with a cervical neck strain and concussion-like symptoms, taking the first baseman/designated hitter out of Minnesota's lineup for the foreseeable future. Although Ramirez's season hasn't lived up to his previous years, many of his numbers are better than what Mauer produced prior to his injury. He won't offer the same on-base skills as Mauer (Ramirez's .313 OBP is inferior to Mauer's .404), but he would bring more power to the Twins, whose four home runs from the DH spot are tied for the fewest in the American League.

Astros
Houston is fourth in the Majors in runs scored, yet its production from the DH spot has been woeful. The Astros, who have started five players at DH this season, have a collective .651 OPS from the spot, ranking 14th out of 15 AL teams. Evan Gattis has started 33 games as the DH, slashing .224/.286/.388 in 126 plate appearances. Ramirez would offer a better alternative against lefties in particular, as his .854 OPS vs. southpaws is significantly higher than Gattis' .698 mark.

Mets
The Mets gave Jose Bautista another shot, so perhaps they'll offer up a landing spot for Ramirez, who would bring another professional bat to a lineup ranked 27th in the league in runs scored. Ramirez hasn't played in the outfield since 2015, but Bautista hadn't played third base with any regularity since '11 before the Braves brought him in to play there.

Rockies
Ian Desmond is having a brutal year at the plate, slashing .181/.234/.374 in 48 games. Desmond's .608 OPS ranks 150th out of the 164 hitters with enough at-bats to qualify for a batting title, the biggest reason Colorado's .598 OPS at first base ranks 29th out of 30 big league teams this season. Ramirez would give the Rockies another option at the position, while a move to Coors Field -- where his career 1.040 OPS in 32 games is his highest in any ballpark -- could re-energize him.

Blue Jays
Kendrys Morales has struggled to get it going this season, leaving Toronto 12th out of 15 AL teams with a .666 OPS out of the DH spot. There have been countless calls for Vladimir Guerrero Jr. to get the call as Morales' replacement, but if the Jays are resolved to keeping their top prospect in the Minors, Ramirez would give them a more productive option at the DH spot than Morales. One potential catch: Morales is owed $12 million next season.

Orioles
Chris Davis is owed nearly $85 million between 2019-22, so it's unlikely that the Orioles would replace him altogether, but the first baseman is off to a horrendous start, slashing .152/.240/.250 with four home runs. Davis' OPS is even worse than Desmond's, with his .490 mark topping only two of the 164 qualified hitters this season. If nothing else, Ramirez would give manager Buck Showalter a much better option against lefties, against whom Davis is hitting .125 this season.

Mark Feinsand is an executive reporter for MLB.com.

Hanley Ramirez

Williamson off DL, promptly nails runner at home

MLB.com

CHICAGO -- The Giants hope that Mac Williamson can perform as if those 27 games he missed were a mere nuisance.

The Giants activated Williamson from the disabled list Friday and immediately installed him in left field for 6-2 loss in the series opener against the Cubs at Wrigley Field. Williamson hadn't played for the Giants since April 24, when he sustained a concussion in a collision with the left-field wall.

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CHICAGO -- The Giants hope that Mac Williamson can perform as if those 27 games he missed were a mere nuisance.

The Giants activated Williamson from the disabled list Friday and immediately installed him in left field for 6-2 loss in the series opener against the Cubs at Wrigley Field. Williamson hadn't played for the Giants since April 24, when he sustained a concussion in a collision with the left-field wall.

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This wasn't a mere one-day, knock-the-rust-off start for Williamson. Giants manager Bruce Bochy said that Williamson, who hit a robust .316 (6-for-19) with three homers and six RBIs in five games before being sidelined, will receive "the lion's share" of playing time in left.

Williamson hurt himself when he stumbled and collided with the left-field wall adjacent to the Giants' bullpen at AT&T Park in pursuit of a foul ball.

"I'm excited to be back," Williamson said. "My body feels good. It's encouraging."

Video: WSH@SF: Williamson belts a solo home run to center

Williamson contributed immediately by throwing out Albert Almora Jr. at home plate in the first inning. Statcast™ stracked Williamson's throw at 94.6 mph. He finished the game 0-for-4 with three strikeouts, including going down swinging on three pitches to end the game with two runners on.

The Giants optioned left-hander Josh Osich to Triple-A Sacramento to clear roster room for Williamson. This trimmed San Francisco's pitching staff to 12 -- one fewer than usual, which is not an ideal situation with a three-game series at Coors Field looming ahead beginning Monday. Expect the Giants to add a reliever by that date.

Chris Haft has covered the Giants since 2005, and for MLB.com since 2007. Follow him on Twitter at @sfgiantsbeat and listen to his podcast.

San Francisco Giants, Mac Williamson

Brewers option Arcia amid flurry of moves

Veteran catcher Kratz acquired from Yankees; Lopez optioned; Bandy DFAed; Sogard, Houser recalled
MLB.com

MILWAUKEE -- The Brewers demoted slumping shortstop Orlando Arcia to the Minor Leagues on Friday, stunning some of the 23-year-old's teammates amid a flurry of transactions that also produced a change at catcher.

Arcia was optioned to Triple-A Colorado Springs while a similarly slumping player, backup catcher Jett Bandy, was designated for assignment. The team acquired veteran catcher Erik Kratz from the Yankees for a player to be named or cash to replace Bandy, and recalled Eric Sogard for Arcia's spot.

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MILWAUKEE -- The Brewers demoted slumping shortstop Orlando Arcia to the Minor Leagues on Friday, stunning some of the 23-year-old's teammates amid a flurry of transactions that also produced a change at catcher.

Arcia was optioned to Triple-A Colorado Springs while a similarly slumping player, backup catcher Jett Bandy, was designated for assignment. The team acquired veteran catcher Erik Kratz from the Yankees for a player to be named or cash to replace Bandy, and recalled Eric Sogard for Arcia's spot.

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The Brewers also continued to cycle relievers between the Minors and Majors in an ongoing effort to have as many fresh arms on hand as possible, sending down Jorge Lopez and calling up Adrian Houser in a swap of right-handers.

The boldest of those moves was demoting Arcia, the former top prospect who was a cornerstone of the franchise's brief rebuilding period. He continued to rate in advanced metrics as one of the best defensive shortstops in baseball, but was hitless in his last 15 at-bats and had two hits in his last 29 at-bats, falling to .194/.233/.273 in 146 plate appearances this season.

Of players with at least 100 plate appearances in the Majors, Arcia was fifth worst with 35 wRC+ and a .225 wOBA.

"There were no good results coming out of the [batter's] box," said Brewers manager Craig Counsell. "I believe that we're our best team when he's playing shortstop, but he's got to provide something on the offensive end.

"We know he's continued to do it on the defensive end, but he can do better on the offensive end. He's shown that to us. He's shown us a lot better. This is an attempt to just get back to that a little bit, or get back close to that. I think he will. It's never good news or fun news to deliver, but I think in the long run this is the best thing for him and for us."

Video: MIA@MIL: Arcia homers, goes back-to-back with Braun

Arcia was quiet but professional, Counsell said, while receiving the news Thursday night in the wake of a 5-0 loss to the Mets. It was Milwaukee's Major League-leading ninth shutout loss this season.

Teammates were surprised.

"Everybody, we're kind of like, 'Why?'" said first baseman Jesus Aguilar. "But we don't [make] decisions here. We're moving forward, and we hope he's going to be here in 10 days."

Asked how Arcia's absence would impact the Brewers' lively clubhouse and dugout culture, Aguilar said, "A lot. I think it's going to be a lot different. We're a unit, a family, but it's going to be tough, especially with those two guys, Bandy and Arcia."

Said Manny Pina: "It's kind of quiet in the clubhouse."

Brewers GM David Stearns said clubhouse chemistry "is always a consideration" when teams make sweeping changes, but spoke highly of what he believes Sogard and Kratz will bring.

Added Counsell, "Players are aware that there [are] performance expectations on them. They live with it every day. It's challenging. It doesn't change that Orlando is not part of this. He's got to get himself straightened out. He's still part of this. That hasn't changed one bit."

Sogard was demoted himself earlier this season after a 6-for-60 start, and didn't fare much better at hitter-friendly Colorado Springs, slashing .229/.255/.313. He will fill a complementary role for the Brewers to Tyler Saladino, who has been terrific at shortstop while beginning his Brewers career with a 190 wRC+ in his first 35 plate appearances.

Video: CIN@MIL: Gennett skies popup off Miller Park cables

Kratz turns 38 next month, and while he has produced at the plate in the Minor Leagues -- especially in the last two seasons for the Indians' and Yankees' top affiliates -- he has not done much in the Majors in very limited duty in recent seasons.

But the Brewers deemed it time to move on from Bandy, 28, who hit .188/.268/.266 this season and had a .608 OPS in 259 plate appearances for the Brewers over the past two years. With Stephen Vogt out for the year with a shoulder injury and Bandy struggling, the Brewers have had a hard time finding a productive complement to Pina.

Video: NYM@MIL: Kratz and Stearns on trade with Brewers

"There's a possibility that he stays in the organization, but the possibility of it being more final is certainly there with Jett's departure," Counsell said.

The team had high hopes that Bandy could be its everyday catcher when it traded Martin Maldonado and a Minor League pitcher to the Angels for then-26-year-old Bandy in December 2016, but while Maldonado went on to win the American League Gold Glove Award in '17, Bandy struggled.

Now the job belongs to Kratz, whom the Brewers tried to sign to a Minor League deal during the offseason, according to Stearns. Kratz began his Brewers career by catching a Brent Suter bullpen.

Video: NYY@BAL: Kratz belts a solo homer to left

"It's a challenge, no doubt," Kratz said of joining a team at midseason. "It's not the first time I've done it. I know one time I came midseason and got to the field at 6:30, so I got a five-hour jump on that this time. But it's just something where it's not me necessarily learning them, it's them being comfortable with me. They need to be able to do what they do to be successful, and they need to feel comfortable that I know them and I want what's best for them, and that's just time.

"That takes time. It's not overnight, but it's something that's exciting for me."

Adam McCalvy has covered the Brewers for MLB.com since 2001. Follow him on Twitter @AdamMcCalvy and like him on Facebook.

Milwaukee Brewers, Orlando Arcia, Eric Sogard

Yankees deal Kratz to Crew, release Lind

MLB.com

The Yankees traded Minor League catcher Erik Kratz to the Brewers in exchange for cash or a player to be named on Friday. The club also released first baseman Adam Lind from Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre.

New York also announced that the club acquired Minor League catcher Wilkin Castillo from the Atlantic League's Long Island Ducks on Thursday. Castillo will report to Triple-A.

The Yankees traded Minor League catcher Erik Kratz to the Brewers in exchange for cash or a player to be named on Friday. The club also released first baseman Adam Lind from Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre.

New York also announced that the club acquired Minor League catcher Wilkin Castillo from the Atlantic League's Long Island Ducks on Thursday. Castillo will report to Triple-A.

The Brewers acquired Kratz after designating catcher Jett Bandy for assignment on Friday. The veteran Kratz hit .269 over 17 games with the RailRiders, knocking four home runs and driving in six while slugging .538.

This is the second time in 2018 that the Yankees have released Lind, who did not log an official at-bat with New York. Lind spent time with the Pinstripes in Spring Training and signed again with the club on a Minor League contract on April 18. The veteran hit .302 and compiled an .838 OPS over 24 games between Scranton and Class A Advanced Tampa, with three home runs and 14 RBIs. Lind is a career .272 hitter with 200 home runs over 12 Major League seasons, most recently logging MLB time with the Nationals in 2017.

Matt Kelly is a reporter for MLB.com based in New York. Follow him on Twitter at @mattkellyMLB.

New York Yankees, Wilkin Castillo, Erik Kratz, Adam Lind

Red Sox part ways with Hanley

Veteran infielder designated for assignment to make room for Pedroia
MLB.com

BOSTON -- In a stunning move, the Red Sox designated slumping slugger Hanley Ramirez for assignment on Friday to clear a spot on the roster for second baseman Dustin Pedroia, who was activated from the disabled list.

All the speculation leading up to Friday was that Blake Swihart, who is out of Minor League options and has been used sparingly by manager Alex Cora this season, would be the one to get DFA'd.

BOSTON -- In a stunning move, the Red Sox designated slumping slugger Hanley Ramirez for assignment on Friday to clear a spot on the roster for second baseman Dustin Pedroia, who was activated from the disabled list.

All the speculation leading up to Friday was that Blake Swihart, who is out of Minor League options and has been used sparingly by manager Alex Cora this season, would be the one to get DFA'd.

Instead, the Red Sox parted ways with Ramirez, who was hitless in his last 21 at-bats.

• Moreland, Swihart to receive more playing time

"He did an outstanding job early in the season, but sometimes you've got to make tough decisions on a daily basis," Cora said. "Sometimes it was tough not to play Mitch [Moreland] and sometimes it was tough not to play Hanley, just like everybody else." 

The move will allow Cora to play first baseman Mitch Moreland on a near everyday basis. Swihart, who has started just four games this season, all at DH, should also see more time with the revamped roster.

"I don't think he didn't fit in but I think his role was going to diminish and for how good of a player he is, it was going to be difficult," Cora said. "It was probably platoon, maybe come in and pinch-hit late in games, and that's not the perfect role for Hanley Ramirez. He's a guy that needs his at-bats. Obviously, with the versatility we have with the other players, with Brock [Holt], with [Eduardo] Nunez, and with Blake, as far as managing the game, it's a lot easier with those guys."

Ramirez thanked Red Sox fans in a tweet shortly after the move was made official. "Thank you #RedSoxNation. It's been real. Love you always," wrote Ramirez.

Tweet from @HanleyRamirez: Thank you #RedSoxNation. It���s been real. Love you always🙏

The 34-year-old hit .254/.313/.395 with six home runs and 29 RBIs in 44 games for the Red Sox this year. Ramirez had a solid start to the season, hitting .311 with three homers and 17 RBIs in his first 103 at-bats.

"It was a baseball-related move for us," president of baseball operations Dave Dombrowski said. "We've been looking at making a move because we knew that this day with Dustin would come, where he'd be coming back, probably since February, since Spring Training. We talked about different possibilities when somebody would be ready, when they won't be ready. We talked about all type of possibilities. So for us it really was a baseball move, one that I talked to Alex about yesterday. We were prepared to maybe go in a different direction with our move. He called me, was about 11:30 in the morning, I was getting ready to go for a run. And Alex says, 'I've got a thought for you with what we're doing. And he said that this was a move that I would like to make. I recommend making it.'

"It comes down to my final decision, but [Cora] said, 'I really want to play Mitch Moreland more. He's a good player, he's played very well for us. I don't think that Hanley is a person that sits idling on the bench well. It gives us an opportunity to keep Blake Swihart. Also we'll be in a position to give Blake some more playing time.' So he said this is something I'd recommend us doing. And I said, 'You sure?' And he said, 'Yeah.' And he went through some different reasons behind it from his thought process. And what I asked him to do at that point was to make sure that he went to the ballpark, because he gets there earlier than me, meet with his coaching staff, and be in a position where that's what he really wanted to do. And when I got to the ballpark yesterday, Frank [Wren, senior VP/player personnel] and I drove over and I said, 'This is what we would like to do. So we're proceeding in that direction."

Video: ATL@BOS: Ramirez DFA'd, Pedroia activated from DL

Once Boston's top prospect, Ramirez was traded to the Marlins for Josh Beckett and Mike Lowell in November on Nov. 24, 2005. That trade worked for both sides, as Beckett and Lowell helped the Red Sox win a World Series in '07, and Ramirez emerged into a star for the Marlins, winning the National League Rookie of the Year Award in '06.

A key wrinkle to this move is a vesting option in Ramirez's contract. The Red Sox reacquired Ramirez as a free agent, signing him to a four-year, $88 million contract that includes a $22 million vesting option for 2019 if he reaches 497 plate appearances this year. Ramirez already has 195 plate appearances and was well on his way to reaching the threshold that would cause the option to vest, but by letting him go now, the Red Sox will assure that does not happen with them.

When a player is designated for assignment -- often abbreviated "DFA" -- that player is immediately removed from his club's 40-man roster, and 25-man roster if he was on that as well. Within seven days of the transaction (it was previously 10 days), the player must either be traded, released or placed on irrevocable outright waivers.

Unless he's claimed, the Red Sox will pay about $15 million that remains on Ramirez's contract, which runs through the end of this season. It should not be assumed that the Red Sox are just going to eat the money and let Ramirez sign elsewhere. In fact, there is some recent precedent for a team DFAing an impending free agent and working out a reasonable trade. The Mets designated Matt Harvey for assignment on May 5 and then swung a deal with the Reds for catcher Devin Mesoraco a few days later. Both players are eligible for free agency this offseason and have been performing well with their new clubs.

In his four seasons with Boston since 2014, Hanley hit .260/.326/.450 with 78 home runs, 255 RBIs and 71 doubles.

Ramirez was at his best in 2016, helping the Red Sox win the American League East title by belting 30 homers to go with 111 RBIs and an .866 OPS. Hampered by discomfort in both shoulders last season, Ramirez was inconsistent but came up big in Boston's Division Series loss to the Astros, going 8-for-14 with two doubles.

The charismatic Ramirez came into this season optimistic he would have a rebound season, and spoke with enthusiasm of how following Tom Brady's "TB12" exercise regimen and diet would help him. Ramirez also noted last winter that he was going to be "Miami Hanley" again.

"I was a little surprised," Pedroia said. "I've played with Hanley since we were real young. It's tough. I haven't spoke with him yet, but obviously everyone knows my relationship with him. I care about him and his family and everything. I wish him the best. I hope he'll play somewhere and do great things."

A three-time All-Star for the Marlins, Ramirez finished second in NL Most Valuable Player voting in 2009, hitting .342 to win the league's batting title. In that season, Ramirez had 106 RBIs and 24 home runs with 42 doubles in 151 games at shortstop. He won Silver Slugger Awards in '08 and '09 and was the NL Player of the Month in June '08.

Afterward, he had some good moments for the Dodgers, producing an .874 OPS over parts of three seasons.

As recently as Thursday, Ramirez was still batting third for the Red Sox. But he hit just .163 with three home runs, 12 RBIs, four walks, two doubles and 14 strikeouts in 19 games in May.

It remains to be seen if the Red Sox will miss Ramirez in their "rivalry" games against the Yankees. This season, Ramirez belted three homers in 22 plate appearances against the Bronx Bombers, slashing .389./.455/.889.

"It was a bit of a stunner, obviously," Yankees manager Aaron Boone said. "The first [thought] was, 'I'm glad we don't have to see him.' He has some big hits against us already this year, and obviously he's still a guy that probably has a lot of baseball left in him. I'm sure there will be a number of teams inquiring about him.

"When you take a step back and look at it, I think you can understand the move to some degree for them and their roster. But still, when you see that come across, I think it's a bit of a stunner for a guy who's still a good player and has had the career that he's had."

The label of "big-game player" would be a fair way to characterize Ramirez, who is a .380 lifetime hitter in 80 postseason at-bats.

Ian Browne has covered the Red Sox for MLB.com since 2002. Follow him on Twitter @IanMBrowne and Facebook.

Boston Red Sox, Hanley Ramirez

Rangers option reliever Mann to Round Rock

Bibens-Dirkx tabbed to start series opener against Royals
MLB.com

ARLINGTON -- Rangers manager Jeff Banister did something on Thursday he has never done before when he told reliever Brandon Mann that he was being optioned to Triple-A Round Rock.

"First time I've ever sent out a pitcher who hasn't given up a run," Banister said.

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ARLINGTON -- Rangers manager Jeff Banister did something on Thursday he has never done before when he told reliever Brandon Mann that he was being optioned to Triple-A Round Rock.

"First time I've ever sent out a pitcher who hasn't given up a run," Banister said.

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Mann was optioned to make room for right-hander Austin Bibens-Dirkx, who started the series opener against the Royals at Globe Life Park. Mann pitched in three games for the Rangers and did not allow a run. He gave up two hits, walked two and struck out one.

It was his first time in the Major Leagues after 15 years of pitching in the Minor, independent and Japanese Leagues. It's unlikely to be his last.

"I think he knew, but he has great confidence," Banister said. "He knows the landscape, the opportunity to come back is real. You never use just 25, they all know that. The second chapter of that story has yet to be written. It will get an opportunity to be written at some point."

Mann was not on the 40-man roster when he was first called up on May 13. A spot came open for him when Renato Nunez was designated for assignment. Now that Mann is on the 40-man, it makes it easier to be called up when there is a need.

"Now it's not so much proving to them that I can pitch in the big leagues," Mann said. "I know what I need to work on to be even more successful. I believe 100 percent in my heart of hearts that I will be back."

Celebration for Colon
The Rangers were planning a big surprise for Bartolo Colon before Thursday's game against the Royals.

"Probably something that nobody has done to him in his life," shortstop Elvis Andrus said.

So what is it?

"It's a surprise. ... I can't tell you," Andrus said.

The surprise was Colon being shoved head-first into his birthday cake. He is slated to start on Saturday and he will be the first Major League player 45-and-over since Omar Vizquel in 2012. Some of his teammates don't see it happening to them.

"I don't think I would be able to move," Andrus said. "My body wouldn't let me play at 45."

"It's hard to think about," pitcher Mike Minor said. "I'm only 30. I couldn't imagine pitching 15 more years."

Adrian Beltre only needs six more years.

"I would be divorced," Beltre said. "My wife would divorce me."

Rangers beat
• Left-hander Matt Moore, on the disabled list with a sore right knee, threw 70 pitches over four simulated innings of batting practice on Thursday. Beltre was among those who hit against Moore during the session. The Rangers will see how Moore responds, but he could return to the rotation on Tuesday against the Mariners.

• This was the second straight day that Beltre has taken batting practice on the field. He has been sidelined for two weeks with a strained left hamstring.

"It was good to get out there and see how I feel," Beltre said. "Swinging the bat is OK. It is a work in progress. That's always the first thing I can do is hit. The rest of it, taking ground balls, moving side to side and starting to run, that's secondary. It's day by day. Obviously it's not going to be tomorrow or the next day, but we'll see how it goes. "

• With Bibens-Dirkx pitching and Isiah Kiner-Falefa playing third base on Thursday, the Rangers are the first Major League team in history to have a lineup with two hyphenated last names. They also had Shin-Soo Choo at designated hitter.

• Bibens-Dirkx was called up instead of Yovani Gallardo, who has made seven starts at Round Rock since being signed to a Minor League contract. Gallardo is 0-1 with a 4.55 ERA while averaging 9.4 hits, 3.1 walks and 6.5 strikeouts per nine innings.

"Very similar to what we've seen in the past," Banister said. "Controlling the strike zone with his secondary stuff. He can throw the baseball where he wants to. No negative reports. They have all been positive."

T.R. Sullivan has covered the Rangers since 1989, and for MLB.com since 2006. Follow him on Twitter @Sullivan_Ranger and listen to his podcast.

Texas Rangers, Austin Bibens-Dirkx, Bartolo Colon, Brandon Mann

Velazquez returns from DL; Poyner sent down

MLB.com

The Red Sox returned right-handed pitcher Hector Velazquez from his injury rehabilitation assignment and activated him from the 10-day disabled list on Thursday. To make room for Velazquez on the 25-man roster, left-handed pitcher Bobby Poyner was optioned to Triple-A Pawtucket following Wednesday's game against the Rays.

Velazquez, 29, made one rehabilitation appearance for Pawtucket on Monday, throwing a scoreless seventh inning in the PawSox' 5-4 win over Scranton/Wilkes-Barre. In 10 games for the Red Sox this season, including two starts, the right-hander is 5-0 with a 2.10 ERA.

The Red Sox returned right-handed pitcher Hector Velazquez from his injury rehabilitation assignment and activated him from the 10-day disabled list on Thursday. To make room for Velazquez on the 25-man roster, left-handed pitcher Bobby Poyner was optioned to Triple-A Pawtucket following Wednesday's game against the Rays.

Velazquez, 29, made one rehabilitation appearance for Pawtucket on Monday, throwing a scoreless seventh inning in the PawSox' 5-4 win over Scranton/Wilkes-Barre. In 10 games for the Red Sox this season, including two starts, the right-hander is 5-0 with a 2.10 ERA.

Velazquez pitched professionally in the Mexican League for seven seasons before making his Major League debut last season with Boston. Since allowing six earned runs in his debut on May 18, 2017, at Oakland, he is 8-0 with a 1.59 ERA and a .232 opponent batting average in his last 17 big league games, including four starts. In 13 career relief appearances, he has gone 6-0 with a 1.07 ERA and a 1.03 WHIP.

Poyner, 25, began the season with the Red Sox after attending Spring Training as a non-roster invitee. In nine relief appearances over three stints with Boston -- the first games of his big league career -- he has allowed two runs on 12 hits over 9 2/3 innings, striking out nine batters and walking only one. He recorded his first Major League win on April 5 against Tampa Bay, holding the Rays scoreless in the 11th and 12th innings as the Red Sox earned a walk-off win. Selected by Boston in the 14th round of the 2015 Draft, Poyner has appeared in 107 Minor League games, posting a 2.34 ERA.

Boston Red Sox, Bobby Poyner, Hector Velazquez