Utilityman Niko Goodrum has opted out of his minor league deal with the Red Sox and is now a free agent, reports Chris Cotillo of MassLive.com (Twitter link). He’d been with their Triple-A club in Worcester.
Goodrum, 31, has appeared in parts of six big league seasons, spending time with the Twins, Tigers and Astros since his 2017 big league debut in Minnesota. He’s a career .226/.299/.389 hitter in 1531 big league plate appearances, and he was particularly solid with Detroit in 2018-19, when he received semi-regular work all around the diamond. During those two seasons, Goodrum slashed .247/.318/.427 with 28 homers and 24 steals in 964 trips to the plate. Statcast credits Goodrum as a plus defender at both middle infield spots and a passable option in the outfield as well.
It’s been a strong season for Goodrum down in Worcester, where he’s turned in a .280/.448/.440 batting line with more walks than strikeouts. The fleet-footed switch-hitter has swatted eight homers, swiped seven bases and drawn a walk in a sensational 23.1% of his plate appearances through his first 65 games (286 plate appearances).
Despite that production, it seems the Sox will allow Goodrum to seek out other opportunities in free agency rather than add him to the big league roster themselves. That registers as a moderate surprise, particularly given the presence of Trevor Story, Pablo Reyes, Yu Chang and Adalberto Mondesi on the injured list. Boston is currently deploying Christian Arroyo, David Hamilton and Enrique Hernandez in the middle infield and has had issues both offensively and defensively in the middle infield throughout the year.