FORT MYERS, Fla. — For a brief time, when news first came down that Christian Vazquez’s right elbow was going to sideline the catcher for quite a while, Humberto Quintero thought there was a window to make the Red Sox
‘ Opening Day roster.
It was unlikely that the Red Sox would promote Blake Swihart so soon, leaving Quintero has the next logical option to play alongside newly-tabbed starter Ryan Hanigan.
But then came Monday, when the Sox traded for Quintero’s former teammate from the Venezuelan Winter League, Sandy Leon, and then the landscape suddenly changed.
“I’ve been playing in the big leagues for a few years so I know, it’s baseball,” said the 35-year-old Quintero. “I’ll just try and do my best every time they put me in the lineup. I’ve hit the ball well, blocked the ball, and I feel great.”
Now both the Red Sox and Quintero have to make a decision.
The catcher has an opt-out clause in his contract that would allow him to get out of the minor-league deal he has been in camp under which officially kicks in today. If he did accept a minor-league assignment and not opt-out, the Red Sox would be obligated to pay Quintero $100,000.
But the veteran of 471 major league games has decided to wait a while before making any decisions, with Leon scheduled to get his first start with the Red Sox Tuesday in Port Charlotte against the Rays.
Despite a solid camp, Quintero would seem to be once again pushed back on the depth chart considering the 26-year-old is out of options and resides on the Red Sox’ 40-man roster.
“You never know,” Quintero said. “I’m going to wait for a couple of more days to see what they’re going to do.”
Quintero, who last played regularly in the major leagues in 2011 with Houston, also has another opt-out on June 1 if he chooses not to enact the clause this time around.
“It’s a decision that’s part of baseball,” he said. “The only thing I can do is every time they tell me to play is try and do my best.”