Wednesday, November 26, 2008 at 9:22 AM
Per SoxProspects.com sources, the Red Sox have signed Billy Traber to a minor league deal for the 2009 season. Traber, 29, pitched in the Yankees system in 2008, splitting time between New York and AAA Scranton-Wilkes Barre. He struggled to the tune of a 7.02 ERA in 16.2 major league innings. In terms of stuff, Traber is a lefty reliever that induces a lot of ground ball outs. He makes use of a high-80s fastball, a 78 mph circle change, a low-70s curve, and a decent splitter. He has dominated lefties over the course of his career, but in 2008 worked about equal against right and left handed batters. Traber previously spent a brief stint in the Red Sox organization four years ago, when he was claimed off waivers from Cleveland in November 2004 and then non-tendered in December 2004, never putting on a Sox uniform. This time around, he should get a shot at making Boston's bullpen in 2009, but will likely also see some time in Pawtucket.
Boston has also re-signed Marcus McBeth and Gil Velazquez to minor league deals. McBeth was claimed off waivers from Cincinnati in August, and thereafter went 1-0 with a 2.57 ERA and an 11/1 strikeout-to-walk ratio in 7 innings with the PawSox. Velazquez should be penciled in as Pawtucket's starting shortstop, and will provide versatility and insurance to the organization, much as he did in his brief cup-of-coffee with Boston in September.
In other news, last week the Sox reinstated Zach Borowiak from the inactive list. The 27-year-old shortstop will apparently take another shot at playing pro ball in 2009 after "retiring" prior to the 2008 season.