Red Sox Sign Andres Torres

The Red Sox have signed free agent outfielder Andres Torres to a minor league deal, the club announced (h/t to Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports, via Twitter). Torres, 36, had remained unsigned all offseason and has yet to play in 2014.

Torres, who has seen most of his big league time up the middle, figures to provide Boston with a new potential option to introduce into the team’s center field mix. While it is far too soon to guess as to whether or when he might see time with the Red Sox, the club has received meager output from its current options. Jackie Bradley Jr. owns a 59 wRC+ (.203/.286/.294 through 211 plate appearances), while Grady Sizemore owns a 69 wRC+ (.220/.291/.328) but has rated less favorably on defense.

Of course, Torres is most associated with the Giants, the club with which he launched a second career. After minimal early-career action with the Tigers and Rangers, Torres went three full seasons in the minors before returning to the bigs with San Francisco at age 31. The next year, 2010, was by far his most productive as a professional, as Torres put up a .268/.343/.479 triple-slash with 16 home runs and 26 stolen bases over 570 plate appearances.

All said, Torres has played above replacement level for each of the last five seasons. Though his production (and playing time) petered out over the last three campaigns — he hit .232/.315/.336 in 1,132 plate appearances over that stretch — Torres has remained a quality defender. Defensive Runs Saved views his work in center from 2011-13 as average, while UZR grades it as a positive, even if it is no longer the kind of top-end work he showed in 2009-10.

A switch-hitter, Torres has posted better career marks against lefties (.737 OPS) than righties (.682 OPS). Those splits have actually widened somewhat over his last two seasons. As Brian MacPherson of the Providence Journal notes on Twitter, that could theoretically make him a compliment to Bradley’s left-handed bat in center.


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