Red Sox To Sign Vicente Padilla

According to Peter Gammons, the Red Sox and Vicente Padilla have agreed to a contract. Details have not been released yet, but given Padilla missed almost all of 2011, and we're about a month from the start of spring training, you can be sure that the contract is short, and the cost was low.

You might still be shell-shocked from the Yankees adding Hiroki Kuroda and Michael Pineda on Friday, but back down from the ledge for a moment. The Yankees' rotation has been upgraded, there is no denying that, but they were also attempting to catch Boston's strong front three with their acquisitions. A Red Sox rotation of Jon Lester, Josh Beckett, Clay Buchholz, Vicente Padilla, and Daniel Bard -- with Alfredo Aceves, Aaron Cook, and Carlos Silva all around for depth and spot starts -- is, by all accounts, pretty good. Maybe it's not the rotation Boston started 2011 with, but it's well ahead of the one they went through almost all of last season using. And let's not forget the offense supporting this group, either.

Padilla has basically been average throughout his career, with stretches of being better than that. He has been throwing in the mid-90s, and is supposedly healthy after first elbow and neck issues kept him off of the field. If he is indeed as healthy as Boston hopes/believes him to be, he's a very good addition for this late in the game.

He generally learns groundball, and can miss bats while generally keeping things in the strike zone. He could suit up in the Red Sox rotation, or he could take on an Alfredo Aceves role out of the pen. His versatility can help the Red Sox substantially if that's the route they choose to go, but if he ends up winning a spot in the rotation this spring, he is good enough to make that plan a solid one, too.

He might not be as Twitter-breaking as Kuroda or Pineda, but as Ben pointed out the other day, that's not necessarily the kind of move the Red Sox needed, anyway. Padilla helps them either add depth or round off the starting pitching, and with Boston's top three and the potential of Bard as a starter, either of those routes are good things.

*****

Alex Speier has some more on Padilla, who the Red Sox watched in winter ball this off-season.

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