Neither move is a surprise, really, but they’re still interesting: Boston has sent last year’s Opening Day center fielder Jackie Bradley Jr. and this offseason’s $72.5 million Cuban signing Rusney Castillo to Triple-A
Outfield depth is a huge strength for the Red Sox, who’ll go with Hanley Ramirez in left field, Mookie Betts in center field, and Shane Victorino in right field, with Allen Craig and Daniel Nava on the bench.
Obviously something has to give there at some point, because Castillo is a high-upside prospect and the Red Sox didn’t give him $72.5 million to sit at Triple-A for long and Bradley still has upside despite flopping as a rookie. Moving on from the 34-year-old Victorino would seem to be the most likely way to clear a spot in a month or two, but in the meantime he’s getting a chance to show he’s got some gas left in the tank.
ESPN’s Jeff Passan reports that the Rockies and shortstop Trevor Story have come to terms on a two-year, $27.5 million deal, buying out his two remaining years of arbitration eligibility.
Story, 27, and the Rockies did not agree on a salary before the deadline earlier this month. Story filed for $11.5 million while the team countered at $10.75 million. The average annual value of this deal — $13.75 million — puts him a little bit ahead this year and likely a little bit behind next year.
This past season in Colorado, Story hit .294/.363/.554 with 35 home runs, 85 RBI, 111 runs scored, and 23 stolen bases over 656 trips to the plate. He also continued to rank among the game’s best defensive shortstops. Per FanGraphs, Story’s 10.9 Wins Above Replacement over the last two seasons is fifth-best among shortstops (min. 1,000 PA) behind Alex Bregman, Francisco Lindor, Xander Bogaerts, and Marcus Semien.
With third baseman Nolan Arenado likely on his way out via trade, one wonders if the same fate awaits Story at some point over the next two seasons.