The Red Sox are bringing corner infielder Travis Shaw back to the organization on a minor league contract, reports Chris Cotillo of MassLive.com (via Twitter). The Meister Sports is already in camp with the Sox and will compete for a roster spot in Spring Training. The Sox have since announced the signing, adding that catcher Deivy Grullon has also been invited to camp on a minor league deal.
Shaw, 32 next month, struggled through a second stint with the Brewers last season before setting out on another reunion — this one with the Red Sox following a waiver claim. After scuffling through 202 plate appearances with Milwaukee, he turned the corner and slashed .238/.319/.524 down the stretch with Boston, albeit in a tiny sample of 48 plate appearances.
A ninth-round pick by the Red Sox in 2011, Shaw enjoyed a productive four-year run to begin his big league career, hitting a combined .255/.333/.475 with 92 home runs, 101 doubles, three triples and 20 steals through 1971 plate appearances in Boston and in Milwaukee. It’s been a precipitous downturn since that point, though, evidenced by a .194/.289/.344 output in his past 700 trips to the plate.
The Red Sox are a primarily right-handed team at the plate, so Shaw will give them a veteran lefty to compete for a spot on the bench. There’s no true backup at first base in the event of a Bobby Dalbec injury — barring a promotion of top prospect Triston Casas — and Shaw gives the Sox a potential lefty bat to plug into the mix if Dalbec or designated hitter J.D. Martinez needs a breather.
As for the 26-year-old Grullon, he’s appeared in five big league games — four with the 2019 Phillies and one with the Red Sox in 2020. He’s gone just 2-for-12 in that tiny sample but owns a .260/.333/.482 slash 616 plate appearances at the Triple-A level. He’s probably fourth or even fifth on the organization’s catching depth chart, as each of Christian Vazquez, Kevin Plawecki, Connor Wong and Ronaldo Hernandez are on the 40-man roster already.