DENVER, CO - JUNE 19: Starting pitcher Aaron Cook #28 of the Colorado Rockies looks on from the dugout in the fifth inning against the Detroit Tigers at Coors Field on June 19, 2011 in Denver, Colorado. Cook collected the loss as the Tigers defeated the Rockies 9-1. (Photo by Doug Pensinger/Getty Images)
The Boston Red Sox did not call up right handed pitcher Aaron Cook before the May 1st-at-midnight deadline to prevent him from activating his opt-out clause in his contract, according to Alex Speier of WEEI.
He now has 24 hours to exercise the opt-out, after which the club would have 48 hours to call him up or trade him. If that 48 hours ends without action, Cook would be a free agent. Speier speculates that Boston is likely to do their part to keep him:
It appears likely that the Sox will work out an agreement to retain Cook and add him to the major league roster, though there is no formal agreement for a call-up at this time. On Tuesday night, the team optioned first baseman/left fielder Lars Anderson to the minors, thus freeing a roster spot on the big league club.
While the Sox would have to create a spot on the 40-man roster for Cook, who signed a minor league deal that included a prorated $1.5 million salary if he is called up to the majors, they can create that either by designating a player for assignment or by transferring outfielder Carl Crawford to the 60-day disabled list.
In related news, top prospect Will Middlebrooks looks to be called up to replace Kevin Youkilis and could impact the Aaron Cook situation, potentially leading to Jose Iglesias to be sent back down. Over the Monster has the analysis:
It's likely Iglesias would be sent back down for Cook, should Middlebrooks take the currently-empty roster spot left by Lars Anderson's departure.