December 16, 2013 at 4:52 PM
The Red Sox have signed right-handed reliever Dayan Diaz and third baseman Carlos Rivero to minor league contracts, reports Matt Eddy of Baseball America. Going in the other direction is Mark Hamilton who has signed a minor league deal with the Atlanta Braves after spending the 2013 season with Pawtucket.
Diaz, 24, has a live arm that has been held back by injuries. Originally signed out of Colombia by the Astros, the 5-foot-10 righty debuted in the Venezuelan Summer League in 2006. According to Brett Taylor of the Cubs website Bleacher Nation, Diaz was set to come stateside in 2009, but an elbow injury necessitated Tommy John surgery. He missed all of that season and returned to pitch only twice in 2010. He opened eyes in 2011 and 2012, striking out 134 in 108 1/3 innings between Short Season-A Tri-City and Low A Lexington, compiling a 1.91 ERA but issuing 39 walks.
This performance led the Cubs to sign Diaz to a minor league deal that included an invitation to spring training before the 2013 season. However, he did not make his 2013 debut until June 29 due to an undisclosed injury. After a pair of rehab appearances in the Rookie Arizona League, and High A Daytona, Diaz earned his first promotion to Double-A. He made five appearances with Tennessee, allowing four runs on five hits in seven innings, striking out 10 and walking three, and was released on August 23.
Rivero joins his fourth organization as a professional. Originally signed as a shortstop out of Venezuela by the Cleveland Indians, he climbed to Double-A Akron in 2009 and was added to their 40-man roster that November. After struggling to a .232 /.278/.325 line while repeating at Akron, he was designated for assignment and claimed by Philadelphia. Moved to third base by the Philles, Rivero had a solid season at the plate in 2011, hitting .275/.331/.440 with 15 home runs at Double-A Reading and getting a week-long August promotion to Triple-A, his first exposure at that level. However, he was a victim of the Phillies roster crunch and was again designated for assignment in November, this time getting claimed on waivers by Washington.
Spending all of 2012 at Triple-A Syracuse, Rivero hit .303/.347/.435 in 126 games. He got a long look in 2013 spring training, appearing in 30 games, and was one of the team's final cuts. Out of options, the Nationals were able to clear Rivero through waivers and outright him to Triple-A. He split the season between Syracuse and Double-A Harrisburg.
Hamilton hit a solid .261/.361/.463 for Pawtucket, despite missing six weeks with a fractured wrist. He split time between first base, left field and designated hitter.
Photo Credit: Dayan Diaz from milb.com