Red Sox Sign Cuban Catcher Ibarra

The Red Sox signed Cuban catcher Adalberto Ibarra to a five-year Major League deal, according to Cubanballplayers.comPeter Abraham of the Boston Globe confirmed the signing with Ibarra's agent Edwin Mejia.  Michael Silverman of the Boston Herald says the deal guarantees $3MM, "with incentives that could bring the total to $4.3MM."  Silverman says Ibarra will report to the team's minor league complex before they decide where to assign him.

Ibarra, 22, played catcher, first base, second base, and third base in Cuba, but says the Sox view him as a backstop.  According to Silverman, he hasn't focused on catching until the last few years.

38 Responses to Red Sox Sign Cuban Catcher Ibarra Leave a Reply

  1. tim, can he throw runners out, thats all i care about!

    • iains 5 years ago

      According to what I’ve been reading he’s well below the average ML catcher in the time it takes to deliver to 2nd base.. so the answer would be yes. But can he do it accurately? Who knows. Will he hit at the ML level? Who the heck knows.

      • isn’t below average bad tho?

        • iains 5 years ago

          NO, as in quicker… less time than the average. 1.68-1.69 seconds compared to the ML average of 1.75 seconds. 6 tenth of a second will catch a lot of runners.

          • wolf9309 5 years ago

            well to nitpick, 6 hundredths of a second. 6 tenths of a second and no runner ever would ever have a chance.

          • iains 5 years ago

            True enough.. 6 hundredths of a second, not tenths. Still will cut down a lot of runners.

          • raysbringdownthbuymynewteamal 5 years ago

            He won’t catch C.C. or Upton or Barlett or Des Jennings but he can have fun trying!

  2. ok thanks.

  3. If they signed him to a major league deal as suggested does that mean he’ll be placed on the 40 man as soon as he signs & passes his physical? I assume he’ll be optioned to AAA but a ML deal kind of suggests we might see he before the end of the season…no?

    • iains 5 years ago

      Using Adeiny Hechavarria as an example, he was placed on the 40 man roster since it was an ML contract, but he will start at high A. I imagine Ibarra will be evaluated and placed at the appropriate level, but will be on the 40 man.

  4. aap212 5 years ago

    So many Cubans to Boston. I feel like the Marlins are going to start signing Irish players to strike back.

  5. Devern Hansack 5 years ago

    Who gets designated for assignment to make room? My money’s on Dusty Brown.

    • Yeah, I’d think that it’s Brown, too.

      Otherwise, maybe it could be Fabio Castro?

      • Thinking Brown might be the PTBNL in the Van Every deal.

        • ronny9 5 years ago

          brown WILL NOT be the PTBNL in the Van Every deal. He is the next guy in line. Lets say tomorrow for instance Tek breaks his leg. Brown is the next catcher, and catcher is deff not a depth chart position where the sox can deal from. Think a single a or double a middle infielder, obviously not named isglesias (i think he’s in double a but maybe not) Van Every has a very low value

      • BoSoXaddict 5 years ago

        Won’t be Castro, he just got called up today.

        • wolf9309 5 years ago

          Castro’s called up today because the pen is exhausted from the last few days. He could still well be getting DFA’d after he’s up for probably just a day.

    • ELPinchy 5 years ago

      Bill Hall? Ortiz?

      • wolf9309 5 years ago

        I don’t think there will be any point this year where they are carrying 13 pitchers…
        Hall’s defensive versatility is too important right now with Cameron and Ellsbury out, and they haven’t quite given up on Ortiz yet, he’ll get a couple more weeks.

        • damnitsderek 5 years ago

          My money is on Hulett getting the DFA to make room for Ibarra, and with Embree getting called up today, Bonser to the 60-Day DL. Speculation obviously, but that’s what I would do if it were my call.

  6. nelson_c 5 years ago

    It would be really interesting to see what the total $ amount cuban players have signed for each year in the past 5-10 years. I wonder if its possible Cuba gives up the fight and develops a posting system similar to what the Japanese league has. I’m sure cuban baseball could be collecting millions each year, instead of losing these players year after year for nothing.

    • jwredsox 5 years ago

      It would also help if the defectors didn’t have to flee the country to get out

  7. sagua 5 years ago

    Cuba will have in 2010 La Selectiva (suspended many years ago) the tournament will have the best players of the island looking for spots on the national team.

    Pay atention to that ,,,,,,,the best will be on display.

  8. jwredsox 5 years ago

    I’d kinda be shocked if he was on the ML team soon. If he were this ready why has he gone unsigned since ’09 (when he defected)? Not sure of the circumstances but that seemed strange to me. He apparently was a very good hitter in Cuba and even added power to his 5′ 9″ frame. If this guy is for real and can produce he could be a steal for the Sox

  9. mbh3593 5 years ago

    he’s got impressive potential offensively ,and his arm is fantastic ; my guess is a month in XST and then assigned to either Salem or Portland .

    • jwredsox 5 years ago

      That was what I was thinking but maybe with his glove and the catcher situation they could force it and move him to Pawtucket right away. Not the most desirable thing but it would give them a chance to see him play at a higher level of play and be able to gage what to do with V-Mart’s expiring contract and whether to go for a long term deal with him or a short term stop gap with someone else.

  10. ELPinchy 5 years ago

    I wonder if this kid is ready by next season,I highly doubt it but it would be great. The Redsox could part ways with Vmart and consider if V-tek is still an option at back up catcher next year. Tek appears to be doing well so far with limited playing time and could be a good mentor. It’s just unfortunate they didn’t have this kid at this stage about 3 years ago.

  11. BoSoXaddict 5 years ago

    I’m a little surprised by this move as I thought the Sox were more likely to try and trade for a major league catcher (like a Montero) given the defensive catching problems this year. If we signed this guy for a 5-year ML contract and gave him a guaranteed it wrong to expect that the Sox expect HIM to be the catcher of the future the same way Jose Igelesias is the SS of the future? Seems kind of unlikely. At the very least, I suppose the Sox were not impressed with their catching depth in the minors and thought this guy has upside (and a better arm?) than Exposito, Wagner, etc.

    • TreyIII 5 years ago

      They view Ibarra as an everyday, offensive-minded C with an excellent release. While they all have their strengths, Expo, Wagner, and Fedex – as of today – project to be backups at the major league level. Expo has the chance to become a full-time starter, but he’s still pretty raw despite his limited success at the AA level. Ibarra, on the other hand, is a LHH with power to all fields, making him a plus bat at Fenway.

      • BoSoXaddict 5 years ago

        So when is Ibarra projected to be a major league ready starting catcher? 2012?

        • TreyIII 5 years ago

          Could be as soon as 2011, obviously depending on his development behind the plate. The Red Sox are choosing to assign him at either A+ Salem or AA Portland.

          His bat is supposedly already major league ready. Like many have mentioned, his release times are extremely advanced for someone with little catching experience, but he probably needs to harness his game calling skills, blocking balls in the dirt, etc.

        • TreyIII 5 years ago

          Could be as soon as 2011, obviously depending on his development behind the plate. The Red Sox are choosing to assign him at either A+ Salem or AA Portland.

          His bat is supposedly already major league ready. Like many have mentioned, his release times are extremely advanced for someone with little catching experience, but he probably needs to harness his game calling skills, blocking balls in the dirt, etc.

  12. Steve_in_MA 5 years ago

    If I’m not mistaken, the BoSox have had only 39 on the 40-man since they DFA’d Ramon A. Ramirez back on April 17th. See: link to I don’t believe a release would be necessary because of signing and adding Ibarra.

    I am a bit shocked at the signing though. He’s only 5’9″, which is not your normal MLB catcher physique. While Exposito is having some struggles early this year at the plate, I think he is still on track for 2012. The point of being in the minors is to have these struggles and adjust … turn the corner … and never look back.

    Thanks to those above who provided links on catcher release times. Very interesting measurement tool.

  13. wolf9309 5 years ago

    per this article on Ibarra it is: link to
    I haven’t seen this number elsewhere, so can’t verify it, but it sounds about right.

  14. Patattack 5 years ago

    I was reading something from a major league scout, and he said that most scouts would consider 1.90 seconds average for a major league catcher. It’s a few questions down. link to

  15. jwredsox 5 years ago

    You were watching Jose Molina. Saw that yesterday. He is so quick behind the plate

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