The Red Sox have inked a pair of recent big leaguers to minor league deals. Rob Bradford of WEEI reported (on Twitter) that former Tigers corner outfielder/DH Christin Stewart was landing in Boston; meanwhile, Chris Cotillo of MassLive reported this morning (Twitter link) that utilityman Rob Refsnyder was signing with the Sox.
Stewart, 28 next month, appeared in the majors with Detroit each season from 2018-20. The left-handed hitter tallied 587 plate appearances all told (the bulk of them coming in 2019) and hit .225/.300/.376 with 15 home runs. That kind of offensive output wasn’t enough to compensate for Stewart’s lack of defensive value as a below-average left fielder, and Detroit outrighted him off their 40-man roster in April.
To his credit, Stewart bounced back after clearing waivers. He took 343 trips to the plate with the Tigers’ Triple-A affiliate in Toledo, hitting .254/.339/.538 with 21 homers. That’s in line with Stewart’s career-long track record of hitting well in the minors, but it wasn’t enough to earn another big league look in Detroit. He’ll try to play his way back to the majors with the Red Sox next spring.
Refsnyder has appeared in the majors in each of the past six seasons, albeit without ever tallying 200 trips to the plate in a given year. He’s bounced around the league, suiting up for the archrival Yankees, Blue Jays, Rays, Rangers and Twins. His most recent stop was in Minnesota, where he posted a .245/.325/.338 line with a pair of homers over 157 plate appearances.
The 30-year-old’s greatest appeal lies in his defensive versatility. Refsnyder has appeared at every position excepting shortstop and catcher over the course of his big league career, adding center field to his resume while Byron Buxton was on the injured list this past season. He’ll look to earn a big league roster spot with the fourth AL East team of his career come Spring Training.