Shane Victorino Officially Signs Three-Year Contract With Red Sox

Jared Wickerham

Unlike Mike Napoli, Victorino's contract is officially signed and cleared

Boston's second signing of the winter meetings is the first that's officially completed, as the Red Sox announced right fielder Shane VIctorino's three-year, $39 million contract as complete. Victorino inherits #18 from departed pitcher Daisuke Matsuzaka, which you can take as a symbolic closing of a book that's been closed for a couple of months now.

Victorino passed his physical, performed on Wednesday, and was introduced in a press conference at noon on Thursday. The plan is to play him in right field -- though Victorino said he'll play wherever in the field or lineup that manager John Farrell wants him too -- where his defense can shine in a tough park for it, but he can also capably fill in at center if Jacoby Ellsbury is traded or injured. Finding an in-season replacement was a 2012 problem the organization understandably is not looking forward to dealing with again.

Victorino was a bit below-average offensively for a right fielder in 2012, thanks to a tough go of things after a mid-season trade to the Dodgers where he hit just .245/.316/.351, as well as, what Victorino has said, is his own being bothered by trade rumors and his impending free agency. (Take that for what it's worth, but there are scouts who agree.) Thanks to his glove and his excellent baserunning, though, it's likely he should be at least average for Boston in his role, with potential to be more than that should his bat rebound a bit. As we've noted, in this park, with his swing and approach, that's a distinct possibility.

Boston's 40-man roster is now at 39 with Victorino officially on board. Unless there's a trade, that's likely it for outfielders, as Victorino makes seven of them on the 40-man.

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