The Red Sox made two roster moves Friday.
Just before the 8 p.m. non-tender deadline, the Red Sox traded infielder Luis Urías to the Mariners for reliever Isaiah Campbell.
Urías, acquired from the Brewers at the trade deadline, dealt with a good number of injuries throughout the season and struggled to find his footing. He batted just .145 in 20 games with Milwaukee, resulting in a demotion to Triple A. His time with the Red Sox wasn’t much better; Urías hit .225 in 32 games before a calf strain at the end of September claimed the rest of his season.
The Sox, including manager Alex Cora, remained bullish on Urías, believing he could regain his old form — where he hit a combined .244/.340/.426 with 39 homers for Milwaukee in 2020-21. He had two more years of control, and was a capable enough defender to play second base, shortstop, and third, but the Sox remain true to their mission this offseason to fortify their pitching staff.
Campbell, 26, worked 28⅔ innings for the Mariners, compiling a 2.83 ERA in 27 appearances in 2023 with a 28 percent strikeout rate.
The Sox opened another 40-man roster spot when they non-tendered lefthander Wyatt Mills, making him a free agent. Acquired from the Royals last December for minor leaguer Jacob Wallace, Mills never appeared for the Sox, beginning the year on the injured list (elbow inflammation) and undergoing Tommy John surgery in July.
Surviving on the bubble was Reese McGuire. The catcher was viewed as a potential non-tender candidate — he suffered an oblique strain in June, cementing Connor Wong as the everyday backstop, and it became apparent pitchers preferred Wong’s game-calling.
McGuire also struggled to control the run game, base stealers swiping 34 bags in 41 chances. Yet the market for catchers is thin, and McGuire is a dependable lefthanded bat who has hit .291/.333/.407 since being traded to the Red Sox at the 2022 deadline.
Top Red Sox catching prospect Kyle Teel could make his way to Boston next season as a backup. Though he’s the longterm option over Wong, Teel’s path to the big leagues is no different than most, and may require some twists and turns. The prudent decision was to retain McGuire.
The Mills and Urías subtractions put the major league roster at 37. Boston will tender 2024 contracts to all 29 remaining unsigned players, joining the eight — Rafael Devers, Kenley Jansen, Chris Martin, Rob Refsnyder, Chris Sale, Trevor Story, Garrett Whitlock, and Masataka Yoshida — already under contract.