The Red Sox did not call up right-hander Aaron Cook by midnight on May 1, thus activating the opt-out clause in his contract, according to a source familiar with the situation. However, that does not preclude the club from adding Cook -- who went 3-0 with a 1.89 ERA in five starts for Triple-A Pawtucket -- to the roster.
Cook has 24 hours to either exercise his opt-out clause or work out an agreement to stay in the Sox organization. If he exercises the opt-out clause, the team would then have 48 hours to call him up or trade him. At the end of that window, if he was not in the majors, then the 33-year-old would become a free-agent.
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.
On Monday, Red Sox manager Bobby Valentine said that if Cook is called up, it will be as a contributor out of the bullpen.