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May 23, 2021; Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA; Boston Red Sox outfielder Franchy Cordero (16) hits a home run in the eighth inning against the Philadelphia Phillies at Citizens Bank Park. Mandatory Credit: Kyle Ross-USA TODAY Sports

Needing help in their bullpen as they head to Houston for the back end of the ALCS against the Houston Astros, the Red Sox activated relief pitcher Phillips Valdez off the COVID-IL on Thursday. In order to make room for him on the 40-man roster, the team designated outfielder Franchy Cordero for assignment.

Valdez made 28 relief appearances for the Red Sox in 2021, posting a 5.85 ERA in 40 innings. He hasn’t pitched in a game since September 5.

The Red Sox would now need to make a corresponding move if they want to get Valdez on the playoff roster and have him be eligible for Game 6. Any player removed from the playoff roster would have to be because of injury, and that player would be ineligible for the remainder of the postseason.

Cordero split his 2021 season between the Red Sox and Triple-AAA Worcester after being acquired as a part of the Andrew Benintendi trade in February. The 27-year-old hit just .189 in 48 games in the majors this season. He mashed in the minors though, hitting .300 with 13 home runs in 78 games. By DFA’ing him, the Red Sox now have seven days to trade him or place him on waivers, after which time he can be sent to the minor leagues.

Although Cordero’s future in Boston is now cloudy, the Red Sox have four other players they received from the Andrew Benintendi trade. The most notable among them is starting pitcher Josh Winckowski, who went 9-4 with a 3.94 ERA in the minors this year, mostly with Double-AA Portland.

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Alex Barth is a writer and digital producer for 985TheSportsHub.com. Any opinions expressed do not necessarily reflect those of 98.5 The Sports Hub, Beasley Media Group, or any subsidiaries. Thoughts? Comments? Questions? Looking for a podcast guest? Let him know on Twitter @RealAlexBarth or via email at abarth@985TheSportsHub.com.