Boston brings a second knuckler into the mix, re-signing an old friend following surgery
According to Baseball America's Matt Eddy, the Red Sox have re-signed knuckleballer Charlie Haeger to a minor-league deal. Haeger was with the Red Sox in 2012 until they cut him prior to spring training, and he spent the season recovering from Tommy John surgery. Now, just short of one year after the procedure, he's back with the organization that last had him.
Haeger hasn't pitched in the majors since 2010, when he tossed 30 innings of awful baseball with the Dodgers. In his time with the Mariners Triple-A affiliate in 2011, Haeger was once again a mess, allowing a 7.74 ERA in nine starts. After coming to Boston, though, and heading for Double-A Portland, the 27-year-old pitched very well, with 49 strikeouts against 22 walks and a 3.24 ERA in 50 innings. Such is the life of a potential knuckler.
It's unclear where Haeger will pitch, or what his role will be, if his minor-league deal keeps him in the organization past spring training. Sox Prospects currently projects the Triple-A rotation to be full, with Allen Webster, Rubby De La Rosa, Chris Hernandez, Steven Wright, and Terry Doyle all in tow, while Portland features its share of prospects in Drake Britton, Matt Barnes, Brandon Workman, Anthony Ranaudo, and future reliever Keith Couch. A healthy Haeger, at 29 years old, remains intriguing -- but basically impossible to scout -- as a knuckleballer, much like the aforementioned Wright, whom Boston acquired in mid-2012. If he looks good once he's fully recovered from surgery, the Red Sox will find a place for him, especially given how easy it is to store a minor-league free agent for a year.
Baseball America also reports that the Red Sox signed left-handed pitcher Christian Perdomo, an undrafted free agent out of Advanced Software Analysis Junior College. Perfect Game scouted Perdomo after he graduated from high school in 2011, describing the lanky 6-foot-5 southpaw as having an overhand arm slot for his fastball and curve, the velocities of which have likely risen from their high school figures.