Headed into the 2015 MLB season, the Boston Red Sox look to have six of their seven bullpen spots locked up while Brandon Workman is the favorite to win the last spot on the 'pen.
Right now, there are two lefties who are guaranteed to make the Red Sox Opening Day team. Tommy Layne who is a highly effective LOOGY and Craig Breslow who is coming off the worst year of his career both look to make the roster without a problem.
Since Breslow posted a 5.96 ERA in 2014, the Red Sox did not re-sign him immediately. Instead, they waited and agreed to terms for a one-year contract worth $2 million. The deal has yet to be finalized meaning that the team will need to find a way to cut someone from the 40-man roster.
It will be tough to decide who should be Designated For Assignment or dealt, so Drake Britton might end up getting the boot. The team DFA'd Milton native Alex Hassan earlier this offseason showing their willingness to cut guys who have contributed to big league teams in the past.
Britton struggled quite a bit in his first season as a full time reliever for the Paw Sox walking more guys than he struck out (38 BB's to 37 K's). Not to mention he posted a 5.86 ERA in 58.1 innings which is not exactly impressive.
The fact that Britton is out of option years does not work in his favor either. He would either need to make the big league roster or clear waivers and accept Minor League assignment, neither of which sounds likely given that other teams may be interested in the hard-throwing lefty.
When the Red Sox go out and sign a veteran like this, more often than not it will lead to someone who could contribute at the big league level being Designated For Assignment. If it must be done, it must be done.