Many indications throughout the week pointed towards the Red Sox finalizing their 25-man roster on Friday, but it now appears the decision could come as late as Sunday, the official deadline for teams to declare their final rosters before the 2013 season begins.
Although no official confirmation has been made, it appears the Red Sox have just one spot left to fill. First baseman Mike Carp and reliever Clayton Mortensen have been told they’ve made the team, while Thursday night outfielder Ryan Sweeney was told he is "the odd man out."
Sweeney has an opt out clause in his contract, stating he can opt out of his minor league contract, and would be free to sign with another team, but he would need to opt out by midnight Friday. Otherwise, he would report to Triple-A Pawtucket.
It would appear the final roster spot will go to Jackie Bradley Jr., who had an unbelievable spring hitting .433, but manager John Farrell would not confirm either way, but did say it would take some maneuvering to get him onto the 25-man roster.
“To get [Bradley on the team], we’ve got to work through the roster to get to that point. That’s why it’s not a given, it’s not an absolute that he’s in New York,” Farrell told reporters in Fort Myers. “We’ve got some things to work through. He’s done a great job. We’ve talked about it — and rightfully so — daily, but we’re not going to officially announce it.”
Since Bradley, 22, isn’t on the 40-man roster the organization would need to get someone off the roster who is already on it now, and then replace him with Bradley. One option could be to put a player on the 60-day disabled list to open the year – someone like Franklin Morales who is dealing with a lower back injury.
The other option would be to trade a player on their 40-man roster for a minor league player who they have no plans in putting on the 40-man roster. This seems the more likely case, especially because the team has not made any official announcement and seem to be waiting until the last minute trying to find the best deal.
Even though nothing has been confirmed, pending something very unusual happening, Bradley will be with the team Monday in New York when they open the season against the Yankees.
Follow Metro Boston Red Sox beat writer Ryan Hannable on Twitter @hannable84.