Red Sox Finally Release Controversial Pitcher

Better late than never, as they say. Just like the Toronto Blue Jays before them with their own pitcher controversy, the Boston Red Sox finally acted—though a little too late in critics' eyes—by releasing starting pitcher Matt Dermody on Friday. 

The controversy began over a week ago when Dermody was promoted from Triple-A despite the surfacing of a homophobic tweet he posted in 2021 (subsequently deleted). Red Sox chief baseball officer Chaim Bloom said they were not aware of Dermody’s tweet when they signed him to a minor league deal in January, but did meet with him to discuss it after they learned of it during spring training.

Dermody, like the Jays' Anthony Bass, cited his 'Christian beliefs' for his off-color remarks. 

After his start last Thursday with Boston, in which he gave up three earned runs in four innings, he was immediately DFA'd, and then outrighted back to Triple-A after he cleared waivers. But now, after reconsidering due to the blowback this has all caused, they've decided to simply release him. 

So why wait until he was back in AAA instead of releasing him immediately? It all comes down to money (naturally). If they had cut him while on the major league roster, they would have owed him the prorated remainder of his major league minimum salary of $730,000. By waiting until he cleared waivers and was back on the Triple-A roster, the team only owes him based on his minor league salary, likely less than $200,000.

For what it's worth, Bloom says he’s sorry for how the Red Sox handled the whole debacle“I made a decision here (to start him despite the controversy) that ended up hurting people. That’s something I have to learn from,” Bloom said.

Photo: David Richard-USA TODAY Sports