The Red Sox have not been silent about their need for additional outfield help if they're to contend in 2014, and even if they had kept things under wraps, we recognize their continued playing of Grady Sizemore to be a quiet cry for help. That's why we shouldn't be surprised they agreed to a minor-league deal with free agent outfielder Andres Torres, according to Fox Sports' Ken Rosenthal.
Torres has not been good for the last three years, compiling an 85 OPS+ and .232/.315/.336 in 1,132 plate appearances split between the Giants and Mets. The 36-year-old has hit lefties better than he has righties in his career, at least -- .265/.340/.397 against southpaws, with only a 680 OPS against righties -- so it's possible he could find use in an outfield in which Jackie Bradley Jr. has failed to hit anyone and Sizemore has similarly failed. At least Bradley can play plus defense in center, though: Sizemore's glove is not what it once was, and he's batted .157/.232/.235 against his fellow lefties, albeit in just 56 plate appearances on the year.
It's easy to envision the Sox cutting bait on Sizemore, then putting Torres/Bradley into a platoon in center field in order to keep Bradley getting consistent developmental at-bats while also letting him contribute defensively. It's also easy to envision the Sox optioning Bradley to the minors to let him reset, then using Torres as someone who can actually play center field, unlike Sizemore.
Torres isn't on the 40 since this is a minor-league deal, so it seems as if the Red Sox want to see him play, or at least see how quickly he can get into game shape -- he hasn't played for anyone in 2014 -- before fully committing to him. If they do decide to bring him to the majors, even if he's below-average offensively, there might end up being room for him. Such is Boston's outfield situation.
I will say, though, that Grant Brisbee of McCovey Chronicles is a huge fan of Torres, and that's enough for me to welcome him to Boston with open arms.