Alex Cora responds to Red Sox criticism over Kevin Plawecki release

Alex Cora pushes back on criticism about Kevin Plawecki release appeared first on NBC Sports Boston

Who knew releasing a backup catcher would cause so much controversy?

The Boston Red Sox designated veteran catcher Kevin Plawecki for assignment last week, freeing up a roster spot to raise pitching prospect Franklin German from Triple-A Worcester.

Plawecki was popular in the Boston clubhouse, and his release later in the week did not go down well with players such as pitcher Nathan Eovaldi, who called the move “disappointing” and “a shock to me.”

Tomase: The Red Sox players need to recognize their role in the Plawecki incident

Plawecki’s release was also met with criticism from the outside, with many asking why the team parted with a clubhouse “glue mood” instead of a fringe roster member such as outfielder Abraham Almonte.

While Red Sox manager Alex Cora may not agree with all of Chaim Bloom’s moves this offseason, he came to Boston’s chief baseball officer’s defense Wednesday regarding Plawecki’s decision.

“I hate that people mention business when you have to make baseball decisions,” Cora told WEEI’s “Merloni, Mego & Fauria” in a radio interview.

“In the same way we have to move on from (Jeurys) Familia because we had to see another reliever — at this point we had to play (catchers) Reese (McGuire) and Connor (Wong) more. (Abraham) also has value. ) Almonte is staying here, and people don’t see that aspect, right?”

Cora added that having “journeyman or Four-A” players like Almonte, Rob Refsnyder and John Schreiber on the roster essentially allows them to try out for their next job with a major league team. Plawecki, who has eight years of major league experience as a solid backup catcher, didn’t necessarily need that hearing.

“We love Kevin,” Cora said. “I think Kevin will be fine. He’ll probably be a big leaguer sooner rather than later. We’re grateful for everything he’s done for us.”

Cora was proven right, as were the Texas Rangers Plawecki signed to a major league contract Wednesday night.

As for speculation that morale is low in a Red Sox clubhouse that has lost popular players from the team’s run to the 2021 ALCS — Hunter Renfroe, Kyle Schwarber and Christian Vazquez, to name a few — Cora insisted that his club is pretty good.

“People have their thoughts about the time, that’s all. The only thing I can tell you from my end, I remember being with 15-18 people in the clubhouse after the decision was made and there were a few we had a drink and talked about last year and this year with Kevin,” said Cora.

“We’ve got all these things about our split and this, whatever — yeah, people have opinions, but at the end of the day we’re still a family, we’ve got a great culture. We wish Kevin nothing but the best.”

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