The Red Sox have re-signed a trio of minor-league free agents who spent the 2021 season in the organization, according to MassLive.com’s Chris Cotillo.
Per Cotillo, the Sox have brought back right-handers Michael Gettys, Zack Kelly, and Caleb Simpson on minor-league pacts for the 2022 campaign.
SoxProspects.com executive editor Chris Hatfield adds on to this, noting that both Kelly and Simpson re-signed with Boston before actually becoming free agents, while Gettys signed more recently.
Gettys, a former second-round draft pick of the Padres coming out of high school in 2014, originally joined the Red Sox last November and received an invite to major-league spring training.
An outfielder by trade, Gettys broke camp with Triple-A Worcester, where he slashed .201/.271/.349 with seven doubles, five home runs, 14 RBIs, 24 runs scored, seven stolen bases, 12 walks, and 60 strikeouts in 46 games (166 plate appearances) for the WooSox.
After spending time on the development list throughout the month of August, the 26-year-old was assigned to the Florida Complex League and began making the transition to become a pitcher full-time.
Gettys made his professional pitching debut in Fort Myers on Aug. 31 and proceeded to post a 3.60 ERA and 7.15 FIP to go along with five strikeouts to four walks over five relief appearances spanning exactly five innings of work.
As noted by Hatfield, the Red Sox retaining Gettys means the 6-foot-1, 217 pound hurler is able to stay with the same coaching staff he began the transition process with. On that note, SoxProspects.com projects that Gettys will begin the 2022 minor-league season in the bullpen for High-A Greenville.
Moving on to Simpson, he is someone who originally signed a minor-league deal with the Red Sox in July 2020, shortly before the start of the compressed 2020 season and shortly after getting released by the Cubs.
A former 21st-round selection of the Giants in 2013 amateur draft out Seminole State College (Seminole, Okla.), Simpson spent all of last summer at the Sox’ alternate training site in Pawtucket and was assigned to Worcester coming out of spring training this year.
In 13 relief appearances for the WooSox, the hard-throwing righty pitched to the tune of a 3.86 ERA and 4.58 FIP while recording 21 strikeouts and eight walks across 14 innings pitched. His season ended prematurely when he was placed on the 60-day injured list at the end of July.
Kelly, meanwhile, is undoubtedly the most intriguing pitcher included in this round of transactions since he — like Simpson — can become eligible for this winter’s Rule 5 Draft.
The Red Sox signed Kelly, who turns 27 in March, to a minor-league contract this past January after he spent the previous four seasons in the Athletics, Angels, and Rays organizations.
Undrafted out of Newberry College, the Virginia native began the 2021 campaign at Double-A Portland before earning a mid-season promotion to Worcester in late July.
Out of the WooSox bullpen, Kelly put up a 2.89 ERA, 1.92 FIP, and 40:13 strikeout-to-walk ratio over 15 appearances spanning 18 2/3 innings of relief.
On Thursday, SoxProspects.com’s director of scouting Ian Cundall wrote that Kelly “has a very heavy fastball in the mid-90s and a pair of average-ish secondaries. His has shown the ability to limit hard contact and miss bats, but was also repeating Double-A at the start of the year.”
Because the Red Sox re-signed him earlier in the off-season, Cundall opines that Kelly could be added to the 40-man roster by Friday’s deadline since the club clearly values him to some degree.
Any eligible minor-leaguer who is not added to their respective team’s 40-man roster by Friday can subsequently be picked up by another club in the Rule 5 Draft, which typically takes place during the winter meetings in December.
(Picture of Zack Kelly: Katie Morrison/MassLive)