What may or may not happen to Chef Aaron
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The ball is actually in the Red Sox’ court on this one. Cook can only opt out if the Sox don’t add him to the 25-man roster by midnight. He’ll then have 24 hours to request his release. If he does, the Sox will still have 48 hours after that either to add him to the 25-man or release him.
Less likely, though still possible, is that Cook could agree to push back his opt-out date and remain in Pawtucket.
Complicating matters is Cook’s expected role with the big league club. ManagerBobby Valentine said yesterday that if Cook is summoned, he plans to use him in relief.
“You don’t know what’s going to happen,” Valentine said. “Right now, I can’t say that it can be anything other than that.”
Herald | Aaron Cook coming up in short order?
It's going to be a tough call for the Red Sox to decide what to do with Cook.
On the one hand, he's a low-ceiling player. He's a veteran who doesn't throw hard, put up pedestrian numbers in Colorado, and is making the sizeable jump from the NL West to the AL East.
On the other hand, you can never have enough pitching. And despite this seven-wins-in-eight-games turnaround, the Sox could still use more. The bullpen still doesn't completely inspire confidence -- although I don't think Cook profiles as the type of guy who can remedy that -- and Buchholz and Bard still haven't been what they should be.
The change that everyone is calling for is to put Bard in the pen and bring Cook up for his spot, probably sending Scott Atchison down. Short term, that's the right move, but long term? The Bard as a starter experiment is an important one for the team -- don't let anyone try to tell you that Bard is more valuable as a set-up man than as a starter. Give me 180 innings over 70 innings any day. And if you have a good starter, there's less of a need for a good bullpen.
I don't envy Ben Cherington, as I think this will be a tough call. It would be foolish to let Cook, who has at the very least become an asset, opt out. Somebody will take him. It's just hard to envision how he fits in with this roster.
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