The Red Sox have cleared a 40-man roster spot for Kevin Plawecki.
Boston signed the backup catcher Thursday afternoon, and hours later made a corresponding move by designating Sam Travis for assignment, according to MassLive’s Chris Cotillo and the Boston Globe’s Alex Speier. Now, Travis either will be waived, released or traded at some point over the next week.
Travis was a 2014 second-round pick who has struggled to live up to his draft potential. Primarily a first baseman who can play in left field as well, Travis’ power-hitting ability often was overshadowed by his inconsistency and struggles to hit for average. He got his most extended shot in Boston this past season, and though there were some promising stretches, mostly early on, the 59 Major League Baseball games he played in 2019 largely were underwhelming. The 26-year-old finished the season having hit .215 with six homers and 16 RBIs with 36 strikeouts.
The emergence of Michael Chavis as a first baseman made Travis expendable, but with Steve Pearce and Mitch Moreland both almost certainly gone, finding another first baseman is even more important before the upcoming campaign begins.