It turns out Ivan De Jesus is not the only player designated last week to clear waivers and remain with the Red Sox, as Sandy Rosario and David Carpenter have also both signed minor-league deals with Boston. Rosario was acquired earlier this off-season as a waiver claim from the Miami Marlins, while Carpenter was sent along with new manager John Farrell from Toronto in the Mike Aviles swap. In addition to those three, Boston also re-signed Jose De La Torre, who was acquired from the Indians in exchange for Brent Lillibridge this past season.
Carpenter was set to be released by the Blue Jays before he was shipped to Boston, so his designation was no surprise. The former Astro and Jay has thrown exactly 60 innings in the majors, striking out a batter per inning while allowing half-as-many walks and 1.2 homers per nine. He was a 12th-round pick of the Cardinals back in 2006, and while he has some decent minor-league numbers, it just hasn't translated to the bigs. Having him back in the organization as a non-roster player isn't a bad thing, but he might not even be actual relief depth.
Carpenter peaked as a prospect two years ago, when he was ranked #25 in the Houston organization by Baseball America. Remember, though, that at the time, Houston's farm was so bereft of talent that Kevin Goldstein rated a pair of two-star prospects in Houston's top 10. Conversely, heading into 2012, much of Boston's top 20 was made up of three-star or better prospects. Carpenter, in many organizations, might not have been a top-30 prospect at all.
Should he find some command while in Boston's organization, his mid-90s heater could do some good in the majors with the Red Sox. That's no sure thing, but at least the Red Sox can let him figure it out in the minors without taking up a roster spot.
As for Rosario, he has similar questions surrounding him. His arm looks better in the minors than in the majors at this point, as his four-seam fastball, despite excellent velocity, has been a little too straight. If the Red Sox can shorten his arm action, his command could improve, and more of a focus on his two-seamer would also help. Like with Carpenter, it's good that this can be resolved -- or at least, an attempt can be made to have these issues resolved -- in the minors rather than in the bigs.
De La Torre has never pitched in the majors, and will be 27 in 2013. Evan Drellich reports that his deal includes an invitation to spring training, and if he can pitch as well in the spring as he did while at both Double- and Triple-A in 2012, then he might be someone the Red Sox end up placing on the 40-man when relief depth is necessary.
He isn't a prospect, but De La Torre has allowed all of 15 homers in 339 innings in the minors. That, combined with striking out over a batter per nine for his career as well as in Triple-A, makes him intriguing, if nothing else. Combining a non-roster piece like De La Torre with all of the rostered relief talent the Red Sox already have should be considered a positive. He might not turn into anything, just like Rosario and Carpenter, but unless risks are taken on live arms, you'll never get a success story from a project, either.