Left-hander Ryan Sherriff went unclaimed on outright waivers following his DFA by the Red Sox and has elected free agency rather than accept an assignment to the minors, Chris Cotillo of MassLive.com reports (Twitter link).
Sherriff, 33, held opponents to two runs on six hits and a pair of walks with five strikeouts in 6 2/3 innings earlier this season. He’d since been optioned to Triple-A and, after pitching well in 22 1/3 innings, diagnosed with a flexor strain that sent him to the injured list. The Sox reinstated him last week but immediately designated the southpaw for assignment, needing a 40-man roster spot to reinstate infielder Yu Chang from the 60-day injured list.
While Sherriff has seen action in parts of five big league seasons, injuries have frequently limited his ability to take the field. In addition to this year’s flexor strain, Sherriff has also dealt with a broken toe, a shoulder strain and undergone Tommy John surgery over the past five years. In 51 major league innings, Sherriff has a 3.53 ERA, an 18.5% strikeout rate, an 8.6% walk rate and a hefty 52.6% ground-ball rate. He’s also turned in a 3.08 ERA in 193 innings at the Triple-A level.
If Sherriff is healthy enough to get back on the mound, he ought to draw interest from clubs in need of some left-handed depth in the bullpen. That could include a return to the Red Sox, as it’s not uncommon for veterans of this nature to reject an outright assignment and quickly return on a new minor league contract.