Red Sox Add Reliever Alfredo Aceves To An Already Overcrowded Bullpen

UPDATE: Per Alex Speier, Aceves' contract is a split deal worth $200,000 if he is sent to the minors. The team is also viewing him more as a starter, which at least to me doesn't make a ton of sense given that they seem to have seven guys already in line to start.

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According to Peter Abraham and Nick Cafardo of the Boston Globe, the Red Sox have agreed to terms with free agent reliever Alfredo Aceves on a one-year Major League deal.  Aceves, who last pitched for the Yankees, has already undergone his physical and is expected to earn $650,000 according to ESPN's Buster Olney.

Aceves missed nearly the entire 2010 season with a back injury, as he was limited to only 10 games last season--posting a 3-0 record with a 3.00 ERA .  When healthy, Aceves could be a very valuable piece to the Red Sox bullpen.  In 2009, he proved to be a very solid option out of the Yankee bullpen, posting a 10-1 record in 43 appearences, while logging an impressive 84 innings of work.  He recorded a 3.54 ERA and a very good 7.4 SO/9 and 1.012 WHIP that season.

With Aceves in the fold, the Red Sox bullpen has become very overcrowded, after already adding Bobby Jenks, Dan Wheeler, Matt Albers, Hideki Okajima, Dennys Reyes, and most recently, Aceves to the fold.  With his Major League deal, Aceves might have an opt-out clause, which allows him to become a free agent if he does not make the varsity squad. 

The addition of Aceves will require the Red Sox to free up a spot on the 40-man roster. Though there are a few possible candidates, with so many borderline bullpen arms on the team, Matt Albers' non-guaranteed contract seems like the most likely to go. 

With Spring Training on the horizon, the bullpen will certainly be a spot to keep an eye on, as there are only likely seven available spots for the 2011 bullpen.  And with Jonathan Papelbon, Bobby Jenks, Daniel Bard, Tim Wakefield, and Dan Wheeler likely all locks, there could be four-way battle for two spots.

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