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SoxProspects News

February 4, 2013 at 12:00 PM

January Notes: Red Sox add depth as Spring Training nears

With only eight days until pitchers and catchers report to Fort Myers, the too-long offseason is finally drawing to a close. The Red Sox had a busy January. Beyond the much-reported completion of the Mike Napoli contract, Boston was busy adding necessary depth for the 2013 season.

  • The major bad news in January was the announcement that outfielder Ryan Kalish tore his left labrum, necessitating surgery. It is another in a litany of injuries that have prevented Kalish from capitalizing on the skills that made him the former SoxProspects.com top prospect. Dan Roche of WBZ reports that the recovery time may take six to eight months
  • Because of Kalish's injury, the Red Sox quickly found themselves in the market for a left-handed bat off the bench. They took to the free agency to bring in a pair of major league veterans. Outfielder Ryan Sweeney (pictured) and first baseman Lyle Overbay were signed to minor league contracts, both with clauses allowing them to opt out if they do not make the major league club out of spring training. After a scorching hot first six weeks in a Red Sox uniform, Sweeney struggled badly with both injuries and performance. He appeared in only 25 games from June 1 on, hitting .157/.234/.243, and was non-tendered earlier in the offseason. Overbay is a 12-year veteran who ranks among the top 50 active players in career doubles and bases on balls. He split 2012 between Arizona and Atlanta, hitting .259/.331/.397.
  • Mark Hamilton, another left-handed bat, was inked to a minor league deal earlier in January. Hamilton has shown significant power in the minor leagues, but it has not translated in limited major league playing time. While Hamilton's deal includes a spring training invite, he is a long-shot to make the club.
  • The Red Sox continued to add veteran pitching depth with the additions of two right handers with major league experience, J.D. Durbin and Charlie Haeger. Both have had stints in the Red Sox organization in the past. Durbin spent one day with the club in 2007 when he was claimed on waivers by the Phillies, but did not pitch and was designated for assignment later the same day. Haeger, a knuckleballer, pitched in eight games for Double-A Portland in 2011. He missed all of 2012 because of Tommy John surgery.
  • Right-hander Chris Carpenter, acquired as part of the compensation for Theo Epstein, was designated for assignment when the Red Sox officially signed Mike Napoli. Carpenter has cleared waivers and was outrighted to Pawtucket.
  • Here at SoxProspects.com, the guys got together to record a Podcast with audio from prospects at the New Stars for Young Stars Jimmy Fund event.
  • Also from that event, SoxProspects.com Managing Editor Matt Huegel penned feature stories on Deven Marrero, Brandon Workman, and Anthony Ranaudo (on ESPNBoston.com).
  • The accolades continue for top prospect Xander Bogaerts. The 20-year old was named to the Netherlands' World Baseball Classic team. He's also getting serious attention as one of the top prospects in all of baseball. Jonathan Mayo of MLB.com ranks him #20 overall, Jim Callis of Baseball America ranks him 10th, and John Sickels of MinorLeagueBall rates him the fourth best among position players. Ashley Marshall of MLB.com has a must-read profile of Bogaerts.
  • This video from the Red Sox rookie development camp is one of the highlights of the offseason. 
  • The minor league coaching staffs announced last month have already seen a bit of reconfiguring. Tim Hyers, originally slated to be the hitting coach at Low-A Greenville, was promoted to minor league hitting coordinator. To take his place at Greenville, U.L. Washington was moved up from the same position with the Gulf Coast League squad. Washington has been with the Red Sox organization since 2003. No replacement has been named to the GCL staff.
  • Six-foot-five lefty Christian Perdomo, an undrafted free agent out of Advanced Software Analysis Junior College in Brooklyn, was signed by the Red Sox. He appeared in only three games last season.
  • The Red Sox announced several international signings. Twin brothers Luis Alejandro Basabe and Luis Alexander Basabe were signed out of Venezuela by Red Sox scout Angel Escobar. Luis Alejandro is listed a shortstop, while Luis Alexander plays center field. Heri Quevedo, a right-handed pitcher out of the Dominican Republic, and Raiwinson Lameda, a right fielder from Venezuela, were also signed.
  • Scott Atchison, non-tendered along with Sweeney and Rich Hill earlier in the offseason, signed a minor league contract with the Mets that includes a spring training invitation.
  • Tony Pena, Jr., a converted shortstop who spent the last two years pitching for Pawtucket, signed a minor league deal with the Chicago White Sox.
  • A number of former Red Sox minor leaguers were on the move this month
    • Former top prospect Lars Anderson joins his fourth organization in the past seven months. The Diamondbacks designated the first baseman for assignment, and he was claimed by the Chicago White Sox. 
    • Manny Delcarmen, now several years removed from the success he had in the Red Sox bullpen in 2007 and 2008, signed a minor league deal with the Baltimore Orioles. The right-hander last appeared in the major leagues with Colorado in 2010. In 2012, Delcarmen posted a 4.42 ERA in 39 appearances with Scranton, the Triple-A affiliate of the Yankees. 
    • Rich Rundles, dealt in 2001 by Dan Duquette to the Montreal Expos along with Tomo Ohka in the deal that brought Ugueth Urbina to the Red Sox, is re-upping with Baltimore on a minor league deal. The Orioles nabbed the tall left-hander out of Lancaster of the Atlantic League during the season. He impressed in a short stint, posting a 2.02 ERA in 13 1/3 innings. Rundles last appeared in the majors with Cleveland in 2009.
    • Right-hander Chris Smith, a 2002 fourth rounder who made 153 minor league appearances with Boston affiliates before making his major league debut in 2008, signed a minor league contract with the Yankees. Smith last pitched in the majors in 2010 with the Brewers, and spent 2012 with Washington of the independent Frontier League.
    • Outfielder Darnell McDonald was reunited with Theo Epstein, as the Cubs signed the veteran to a minor league deal that includes an invite to spring training. 
    • Fernando Cabrera, who spent 2009 and 2010 anchoring the Pawtucket bullpen, signed with Angles on a minor league contract. Cabrera hasn't appeared in the majors since his 2010 stint with Boston.
    •  The Miami Marlins re-signed infielder Nick Green to a minor league contract with an invitation to spring training. Green unexpectedly became the Red Sox starting shortstop in the first half of 2009, appearing in 104 games for Boston when injuries shut down Julio Lugo and Jed Lowrie
  • Congratulations to Bryan Corey (pictured), who spent parts of three seasons with the Red Sox organization and won a ring as a member of the 2007 World Series champions, for landing a job as a scout with the Cleveland Indians.
Photo credit: Ryan Sweeney and Bryan Corey by Kelly O'Connor