Red Sox' outfielder Allen Craig has been outrighted to Triple-A after clearing waivers, according to a report from Tim Britton of the Providence Journal. Craig, who was recently optioned to Triple-A Pawtucket after struggling in the majors, is no longer on Boston's 40-man roster and was passed over by every major-league team, likely due to the fact that he is owed more than $25 million through the 2017 season.
Though his status as a major-leaguer with more than three years of service time allows him to decline the assignment, Craig would have to forfeit his remaining salary if he declined, meaning that he will almost surely remain with the Red Sox at Triple-A. Craig signed a five-year, $31 million extension with the Cardinals in March of 2013 before being traded to Boston in last summer's John Lackey trade.
Craig, 30, has hit just .130/.235/.192 with two home runs in 53 games for the Red Sox since being acquired last July, and is 6-for-23 in five games since being sent down to Triple-A last week. The former All-Star was a .291/.343/.460 hitter with 57 home runs in parts of five seasons with the Cardinals, and was considered, along with Joe Kelly, as part of a significant haul for the Sox in the Lackey trade. Both Craig and Kelly have struggled tremendously since the deal while Lackey has thrived in St. Louis while playing for the league-minimum salary, making the deal appear to be extremely one-sided, at least in terms of its early results. Craig and Kelly are both under team control through the 2018 season, meaning that the final verdict on the deal cannot be reached for some time.