December 15, 2015 at 5:30 PM
The Red Sox announced today that they signed six players to minor league contracts with invitations to spring training, including four players who saw varying degrees of playing time in the majors in 2015. Right-handers William Cuevas (pictured), Sean O'Sullivan, and Anthony Varvaro will all get a chance to contribute in Pawtucket this season, while third baseman Chris Dominguez, center fielder Ryan LaMarre, and catcher Ali Solis will offer depth for the lineup.
Cuevas and Varvaro are familiar faces, with Cuevas spending his entire career with the Red Sox after debuting in 2009, and Varvaro spending the first month of last season in Boston's bullpen before undergoing surgery to repair a torn flexor tendon in his pitching arm.
After beginning last season in the rotation for Philadelphia, O'Sullivan was sent back down to Triple-A in July after going 1-6 with a 6.08 ERA over 13 starts. He had much better success there, going 5-2 with an ERA of 3.20, with 41 strikeouts in 56 1/3 innings. He figures to slot into the back end of Pawtucket's rotation.
LaMarre also has a direct path to playing time in Pawtucket, as the projected 2016 roster lacks a true center fielder. With the major league team likely to carry four players who can patrol center, LaMarre is blocked at the major league level, but he has a good chance to get consistent at-bats in Triple-A. He spent most of last season with Cincinnati's Triple-A affiliate, batting .257/.307/.400, before going 2 for 25 in a late-season callup.
He was teammates for most of the season with Dominguez, who hit .223/.275/.378 in 296 at-bats in the minors and .261/.261/.522 in a 14-game stint with the Reds. He is known for his power and his strong arm, but his high strikeout rate and low walk rate hold him back at the plate.
Solis has a reputation for being a defense-first catcher, throwing out over 30 percent of base stealers throughout his career and earning a reputation as a good receiver and pitch-framer. At the plate, he hit only .145/.180/.197 in 234 at-bats between Double-A and Triple-A with the Dodgers last year, and he is a career .221 hitter over his 10 seasons in the minors.
Photo Credit: William Cuevas by Kelly O'Connor