December 22, 2009 at 3:10 PM
According to Baseball America, the Red Sox have signed free agent infielder Nate Spears to a minor league deal. Spears, a former fifth-round pick of the Orioles in 2003, was dealt to the Cubs in 2006 as part of the deal that brought Corey Patterson to Baltimore. He spent last season with the Triple-A Iowa Cubs, hitting .253/.319/.345 with 20 doubles, 4 triples, and 2 home runs in 368 at-bats. The 24-year-old got off to a particularly brutal start in 2009, hitting just .194 in April and May, but recovered to post a .296 batting average the rest of the way. Spears enjoyed a strong 2008 season as well, hitting .299/.394/.433 while splitting time between Double-A Tennessee and Triple-A Iowa.
A versatile left-handed hitter, Spears saw significant time at third base, second base, and shortstop for the Cubs in 2009, but he has spent most of his career at second base. In 2,450 minor league at-bats spanning parts of seven seasons, Spears owns a career line of .276/.358/.389.