When you’re coming off the worst tenure in your big leaguer career and took that team to court in hopes they’d give you more money, there’s an expectation you’re going to want to go out and do everything you can to prove you’re worth a spot on the 40-man roster. There’s a special exception to that role — or so it seems. Let’s call it the Fernando Abad clause.
Seriously. What the heck is this guy doing? He’s pitching in the World Baseball Classic even though he’s supposed to be competing for a job with the Red Sox. The way he pitched last year, he’s not guaranteed anything. He hasn’t really made a positive impact on the Red Sox and he decides it’s time to go risk injury and pitch for some national team that isn’t paying him $2 million? Smart. Very smart.
Abad’s one saving grace here is the Red Sox left-handed relief depth, or lack of it. Robby Scott is someone you could say is “in the mix” for Abad’s spot, but the sad truth is the Red Sox pitching depth is so poor they probably need Scott to start the year in the minors. Plus, he hasn’t really done enough at the big league level to prove himself worthy of a left-handed specialist role just yet.
It still wasn’t a bad deal for Boston. They only had to give up Pat Light, whose command is a major question mark that could prevent him from enjoying big league success. It was worth trying out Abad. After all, he wasn’t a bad arm in Minnesota. But then again, the Twins are the Twins and they used him more in that left-handed specialist role. The Red Sox, at times, mismanaged Abad last season. Still frustrating for Red Sox fans regardless of what happened.