The Red Sox announced today the signing of five minor league free agents: Mitch Maier, Terry Doyle, Oscar Villarreal, Jose De La Torre, and Drew Sutton.
Yes, Drew Sutton who hit .315/.362/.444 in some 60 plate appearances with the Red Sox back in 2011 Drew Sutton.
The rest of Sutton's career has been a bit less impressive. He did manage to make his way to the plate 130 times between Tampa Bay and Pittsburgh last year, but picked up just a .686 OPS in those appearances, bringing his career figure down to .708. He'll give the Red Sox some infield depth in Pawtucket, where Ivan De Jesus is likely to play the first line of defense.
Mitch Maier, an outfielder who has spent his entire career in Kansas City's farm system. He's a quintessential Quadruple-A type, with a bat that just can't make the jump from Triple-A and not enough glove to warrant a consistent bench role on a good team. Still, he's got enough experience in center that he probably won't balk on if he must be called on to do so. Red Sox fans will probably not remember his most interesting performance in Boston, when he allowed a double to David Ortiz in a scoreless inning at Fenway Park. Gotta love position players pitching.
Terry Doyle is a local righty, hailing from Concord, Massachusetts and having attended Boston College from 2006 to 2008. He's never pitched an inning in the maors, but has actually had some pretty decent years in the minors. In 11 starts last year with an ERA under 3.00 for the White Sox' Triple-A affiliate. Taken by the Twins in the 2011 Rule 5 Draft but returned before the season began, Doyle went on to strike out 71 batters in 76 innings with just 18 walks to his name. He's a control-first guy without a lot of stuff, but for a minor league signing he's pretty interesting, and rotation depth, however sketchy, is always welcome.
Oscar Villarreal has perhaps the most success of the bunch in the majors with a career 3.86 ERA in 336 innings, but hasn't pitched in the big leagues since 2008. He missed all of 2009 after undergoing Tommy John Surgery, and hasn't been able to work his way back up since. Last year he managed a 2.88 OPS in Triple-A Norfolk, but with an ugly 49:27 K:BB ratio to go with it.
Finally, there's Jose De La Torre, who came over to the Red Sox for Brent Lillibridge back in July. We've known about this for a while, but it seems the Sox are just getting around to announcing it now.