Boston will be forced to expose Escobar to waivers, if it can’t first work out a trade, because of a need for fresh arms at the major league level. In addition to Cuevas, Noe Ramirez will be coming back up as Joe Kelly hits the DL. Infielder Marco Hernandez is heading down to Pawtucket on optional assignment to clear room for Ramirez.
Escobar, who’ll soon turn 24, came to the Sox along with Heath Hembree from the Giants in the 2014 Jake Peavy trade. Though he was added to San Francisco’s major league roster before the 2013 season, he has only made two major league appearances; this is his final optionable year.
Though he has previously received some top-100 prospect consideration, Escobar hasn’t been terribly impressive since coming to Boston. Last year, he worked to a 5.07 ERA in 49 2/3 Triple-A innings while seeing time as both a reliever and a starter. He issued 25 walks against just 24 strikeouts in that span — a far cry from the impressive K:BB ratios he sported at times earlier in his minor league career.