The Red Sox announced on Wednesday that infielder Josh Rutledge underwent season-ending arthroscopic surgery on his left hip. He’s expected to be ready for the 2018 season. per the Red Sox’ press release.
After spending the 2015-16 seasons with the Red Sox organization, Rutledge inked a minor league pact with the Rockies (the organization that initially drafted him) back in November, only to be selected by the Red Sox in the Rule 5 Draft just two weeks later. As Evan Drellich of CSN New England points out, Rutledge didn’t meet the minimum 90 days on the active roster, so despite the fact that he has more than four years of service time, he’ll retain Rule 5 status headed into the 2018 season (Twitter link).
Rule 5 status for Rutledge is somewhat of a moot point anyhow, though, as he’s out of minor league options and therefore would have to break camp with the team next spring or else be exposed to waivers. If the Red Sox keep him on the roster this winter, Rutledge will retain arbitration eligibility as well — he’s earning $600K in 2017 — though his limited role and sub-par results at the plate make him a non-tender candidate despite that modest salary.
Rutledge logged 118 plate appearances with the Red Sox this season — his most in the Majors since 2014 — and batted just .224/.297/.262 with two doubles and a triple. Overall, he’s a career .258/.310/.384 hitter in 1206 Major League plate appearances. He played primarily third base for the Sox in 2017, though he’s also capable of playing second base and has logged the vast majority of his Major League innings at shortstop.