Red Sox ‘in talks’ with Gold Glove-winning catcher Roberto Pérez, per report

The Red Sox are in talks with free agent catcher Roberto Perez, according to MassLive.com’s Chris Cotillo.

Perez, 34, was limited to just 21 games with the Pirates last year after suffering a season-ending left hamstring injury in May that ultimately required surgery. The right-handed hitter batted .233/.333/.367 with two home runs and eight RBIs across 69 plate appearances before getting injured.

Prior to signing a one-year contract with Pittsburgh last winter, Perez spent the first eight years of his major-league career in Cleveland, where he established himself as one of the top defensive catchers in baseball by being named the Wilson Overall Defensive Player of the Year in 2019 and winning back-to-back Gold Glove Awards in 2019 and 2020.

Offensive has never been Perez’s strong suit, as the native Puerto Rican is a lifetime .207/.298/.360 hitter with 57 doubles, four triples, 55 home runs, 192 RBIs, 165 runs scored, two stolen bases, 190 walks, and 521 strikeouts in 511 games (1,752 plate appearances). He did, however, enjoy a career year in 2019 by clubbing 24 homers in 119 games with Cleveland.

Digging deeper into the defensive numbers, Perez has thrown out 97 of 248 potential base stealers in his career. The 5-foot-11, 220-pounder has accrued 79 Defensive Runs Saved in 4,052 1/3 innings behind the plate. He has also been among the game’s top pitch framers since Statcast first began tracking that data in 2015.

Injuries have limited Perez to just 65 games over the last two years, so there may be some questions surrounding his durability. That being said, Perez did appear in 10 games for the Indios de Mayaguez of the Puerto Rican Winter League earlier this winter, so he appears to be healthy heading into the spring.

Since the start of spring training is now less than a month away, Perez will likely have to settle for a minor-league deal. The Red Sox are not alone in their pursuit of Perez, either, as Cotillo reports that the veteran is “believed to have other suitors” on the open market.

As currently constructed, Reese McGuire and Connor Wong are the only two catchers on Boston’s 40-man roster. Jorge Alfaro, who was signed to a minors pact earlier this month, is expected to compete with Wong for a spot on the Sox’ Opening Day roster as the club’s No. 2 catcher. Caleb Hamilton and Ronaldo Hernandez, who were both outrighted off the 40-man roster, will also be at big-league camp as non-roster invites.

(Picture of Roberto Perez: Justin K. Aller/Getty Images)

Red Sox sign left-hander Skylar Arias to minor-league deal

The Red Sox have signed free agent left-hander Skylar Arias to a minor-league contract for the 2023 season, per the club’s transactions log. Arias has been assigned to Double-A Portland.

Arias, 25, was originally selected by Cleveland in the 24th round of the 2016 amateur draft out of Tallahassee Community College. The Florida native spent parts of seven seasons in the Guardians organization before being released last June.

Shortly after being cut loose by the Guardians, Arias signed a minors pact with the White Sox. The 6-foot-3, 204-pound southpaw pitched across three different levels in 2022, though 24 of his 26 relief appearances were for Chicago’s High-A affiliate in Winston-Salem, N.C. He posted a 3.91 ERA and 3.88 FIP with 37 strikeouts to 17 walks over 23 innings of work for the Dash before becoming a free agent again in November.

Among the 238 pitchers who accrued at least 20 innings in the South Atlantic League last year, Arias ranked 11th in strikeouts per nine innings (14.48), 20th in strikeout rate (35.6 percent), and 18th in batting average against (.171), per FanGraphs. He also walked more than 16 percent of the batters he faced.

Arias, who turns 26 in June, has some experience above the High-A level. He made one appearance for Double-A Birmingham last August, allowing three runs (two earned) in a third of an inning. In 2021, the lefty forged a 6.92 ERA and 5.01 FIP with 53 strikeouts to 35 walks across 36 outings spanning 40 1/3 frames of relief for Double-A Akron.

According to a Baseball America scouting report from December 2021, Arias “deploys a trio of pitches in his low-90s fastball, low-80s slider and low-to-mid-80s changeup. He has an unusual four-seam fastball that’s heavy with side spin, but lacks hop, moving almost like a sinker from a flat vertical approach angle. This allows the pitch to play above his below-average velocity.

“His slider is far and away his go-to swing-and-miss offering, with a whiff rate above 50 percent despite accounting for a quarter of his usage,” it continues. “From a shape perspective his changeup may be his most intriguing pitch. It sits 82 mph with average velocity separation from his fastball. He does an excellent job of killing the lift on the pitch, which gives it plenty of tumble. It also has hellacious run.”

Arias becomes the latest left-hander the Red Sox have signed to a minor-league deal in recent weeks, joining the likes of Matt Dermody and Ryan Sherriff. Unlike Dermody and Sherriff, however, it does not appear as though Arias will receive an invite to major-league spring training.

(Picture of Fenway Park: Adam Glanzman/Getty Images)

Red Sox sign left-hander Matt Dermody to minor-league deal

The Red Sox have signed free agent left-hander Matt Dermody to a minor-league contract for the 2023 season, according to MassLive.com’s Chris Cotillo. The deal includes an invite to major-league spring training.

Dermody, 32, was originally selected by the Blue Jays in the 28th round of the 2013 amateur draft out of the University of Iowa. The former Hawkeye first broke in with Toronto in September 2016 and allowed four earned runs in five appearances (three innings) out of the bullpen.

In 23 relief outings the following year, Dermody pitched to a 4.43 ERA and 6.25 FIP with 15 strikeouts to 15 walks over 22 1/3 innings of work. He was outrighted off the Jays’ 40-man roster ahead of the 2018 campaign and spent the next two seasons with the club’s Triple-A affiliate in Buffalo before electing free agency in November 2019.

While there was no Minor League Baseball in 2020 on account of the COVID-19 pandemic, Dermody did pitch for the Sugar Land Skeeters of the independent Constellation Energy League in Texas. He then had his contract purchased by the Cubs that August and made his return to the big-league return the following Month.

After just one outing with the Cubs, though, Dermody was designated for assignment and subsequently outrighted. He returned to Chicago on a minors pact that winter but was let go before the start of spring training. Dermody then took his talents to Japan and spent the 2021 season with the Saitama Seibu Lions of Nippon Professional Baseball.

Dermody leveraged his performance in Japan into another minor-league deal with the Cubs last February. The lefty posted a 3.74 ERA with 70 strikeouts to 18 walks in 20 appearances (13 starts) spanning 79 1/3 innings pitched for Triple-A Iowa before getting called up in early August. He appeared in one game for Chicago before being granted his release so that he could sign with the NC Dinos of the Korean Baseball Organization.

In eight starts for the Dinos, Dermody forged a 4.54 ERA and 3.92 FIP to go along with 37 strikeouts to 13 walks across 39 2/3 innings. Rather than pursuing other opportunities in South Korea, Dermody has apparently decided to return to affiliated ball in the United States.

Listed at 6-foot-5 and 190 pounds, Dermody possesses a diverse pitch mix. In his lone outing for the Cubs against the Cardinals last summer, the southpaw threw seven four-seam fastballs, seven sliders, six changeups, four sinkers, and two curveballs. He averaged 92.4 mph with his four-seamer and induced three total swings-and-misses, per Baseball Savant.

Dermody, who turns 33 in July, has two minor-league options remaining and can provide the Red Sox with some flexibility in that respect if he makes the team out of spring training. That being said, it remains to be seen if Boston views Dermody as a starter or as a reliever moving forward.

After trading Josh Taylor to the Royals for infielder Adalberto Mondesi earlier Tuesday, the Red Sox currently only have one left-handed reliever with past major-league experience on their 40-man roster in Joely Rodriguez. Beyond that, Boston signed left-hander Ryan Sherriff to a minor-league deal over the weekend that comes with an invite to big-league spring training. Fellow southpaw and non-roster invitee Oddanier Mosqueda is also expected to be in the mix for a bullpen spot once camp begins next month.

(Picture of Matt Dermody: Nuccio DiNuzzo/Getty Images)

Red Sox agree to minor-league deal with left-hander Ryan Sherriff

It appears as though the Red Sox have agreed to terms on a minor-league contract for the 2023 season with Ryan Sherriff, according to the free agent left-hander’s Twitter account.

“Glad to be a part of the [Red Sox organization]!” Sherriff tweeted on Saturday. “Let’s get it.”

Sherriff, 32, is a veteran of four major-league seasons who last appeared in a big-league contest with the Rays in September 2021. The lefty owns a lifetime 3.65 ERA and 3.98 FIP in 44 career relief appearances (44 1/3 innings) between St. Louis and Tampa Bay dating back to the 2017 campaign.

A native of southern California, Sherriff was originally selected by the Cardinals in the 28th round of the 2011 amateur draft out of West Los Angeles College. He first broke in with St. Louis in August 2017 and pitched to a 3.14 ERA (3.93 FIP) across 13 outings spanning 14 1/3 innings of relief.

After making five additional appearances for the Cardinals in 2018, Sherriff suffered an elbow injury that ultimately required him to undergo season-ending Tommy John surgery. He was released by St. Louis shortly thereafter, but he quickly bounced back by signing a minor-league deal with the Rays that November.

Sherriff was limited to just seven innings of rehab work in 2019. He remained with the Rays through the winter and, after spending the first half of the COVID-shortened 2020 season at the club’s alternate training site, made his return to the big-league mound that summer.

In 10 appearances for Tampa Bay down the stretch, Sherriff did not allow a single run while walking two and striking out two over 9 2/3 innings out of the bullpen. He then tossed two more scoreless frames against the Dodgers in the 2020 World Series.

While Sherriff found success in limited action in 2020, the same cannot be said for 2021. He forged a 5.52 ERA — but a much more respectable 3.65 FIP — with 16 strikeouts to nine walks in 16 outings (14 2/3 innings) for the Rays before being designated for assignment at the end of the season.

The Phillies subsequently claimed Sherriff off waivers, but he did not appear in a game for Philadelphia last year and was instead limited to just 14 outings in the minors before being shut down with a shoulder strain in late July. He lost his spot on the club’s 40-man roster in August and spent the rest of the season on the minor-league injured list after being outrighted to Triple-A Lehigh Valley.

Listed at 6-foot-1 and 190 pounds, Sherriff is a three-pitch pitcher who primarily operates with a sinker, a slider, and a changeup. While he does not strike out a ton of hitters (18.7 percent career strikeout rate) or light up the radar gun (averaged 92 mph with his sinker in 2021), Sherriff has proven to be capable of inducing weak contact, as evidenced by his career 56.7 percent groundball rate.

Sherriff, who turns 33 in May, should get a chance to compete for a spot in Boston’s Opening Day bullpen if he is back at full strength once spring training begins next month. As currently constructed, the Red Sox only have two left-handed relievers on their 40-man roster in Joely Rodriguez and Josh Taylor, so Sherriff could prove to be an impactful addition since he still has two minor-league options remaining.

And even if Sherriff does not make the Sox’ Opening Day roster out of spring training, he should still be able to provide the club with experienced bullpen depth at Triple-A Worcester. For his career at the Triple-A level, the southpaw owns a 3.11 ERA with 152 strikeouts to 11 walks over 152 appearances (two starts) spanning 170 2/3 innings of work. That includes a 3.18 ERA in 11 outings (11 1/3 innings) for Lehigh Valley in 2022.

(Picture of Ryan Sherriff: Julio Aguilar/Getty Images)

Red Sox agree to minor-league deal with former Blue Jays outfielder Raimel Tapia

The Red Sox and Raimel Tapia have agreed to terms on a minor-league contract for the 2023 season, as was first reported by the free agent outfielder himself on Instagram. Jon Heyman of the New York Post later confirmed it was a minors pact that presumably comes with an invite to major-league spring training.

Tapia, who turns 29 next month, spent the 2022 season with the Blue Jays. The left-handed hitter batted .265/.292/.380 with 20 doubles, three triples, seven home runs, 52 RBIs, 47 runs scored, eight stolen bases, 16 walks, and 81 strikeouts over 128 games (433 plate appearances) for Toronto. He was projected to earn a $5.2 million salary in his third and final year of arbitration eligibility in 2023, but was instead non-tendered in November.

In six games against the Red Sox at Fenway Park last year, Tapia went 9-for-30 (.300) with one double, one triple, two home runs, and 12 RBIs. He most notably hit an inside-the-park grand slam that center fielder Jarren Duran lost in the lights in the third inning of Boston’s historic 28-5 blowout loss to Toronto on July 22.

A native of the Dominican Republic, Tapia originally signed with the Rockies as an international free agent coming out of San Pedro de Macoris in November 2010. He broke in with Colorado in 2016 and spent the first six years of his big-league career there before being dealt to the Blue Jays in exchange for fellow outfielder Randal Grichuk last March.

So, for his career, Tapia is a lifetime .277/.318/.392 hitter with 91 doubles, 15 triples, 26 homers, 188 runs driven in, 233 runs scored, 53 stolen bases, 103 walks, and 343 strikeouts in 567 games (1,858 plate appearances) between the Rockies and Blue Jays over seven major-league seasons. He stole a career-high 20 stolen bases while with Colorado in 2021.

Defensively, Tapia has prior experience at all three outfield positions. Last year in particular, the 6-foot-3, 175-pounder logged 459 innings in left, 249 2/3 innings in center, and 226 2/3 innings in right. He tallied four outfield assists altogether and ranked in the 83rd percentile in arm strength (averaged 90.1 mph on his throws), per Baseball Savant.

Tapia should have the chance to compete for a spot on Boston’s Opening Day roster as a left-handed hitting bench option once spring training begins next month. The Red Sox already have an outfield mix that includes Masataka Yoshida, Alex Verdugo, Rob Refsnyder, and Jarren Duran. With Enrique Hernandez expected to move back to the middle infield to cover for the injured Trevor Story, the newly-signed Adam Duvall is slated to take over in center field. Add in other non-roster invitees such as Narciso Crook and Greg Allen, and the Sox’ outfield picture suddenly becomes quite crowded.

(Picture of Raimel Tapia: Rob Tringali/SportsChrome/Getty Images)

Red Sox sign infielder Edwin Díaz to minor-league deal

The Red Sox have signed infielder Edwin Diaz to a minor-league contract for the 2023 season, per Melissa Lockard of The Athletic. It is unclear if the deal includes an invite to major-league spring training.

Diaz, 27, is not to be confused with the All-Star closer for the Mets. While they both hail from Puerto Rico, the Diaz the Red Sox are signing has yet to break in at the big-league level.

A native of Vega Alta, Diaz was originally selected by the Athletics in the 15th round of the 2013 amateur draft out of Ladislao Martinez High School. He made his professional debut in the rookie-level Arizona League that July and has since appeared in a total of 717 minor-league games across nine seasons.

After reaching free agency for the first time in his career at the conclusion of the 2021 campaign, Edwin signed a minors pact with the Astros during the lockout that December. The right-handed hitter missed the first two months of the 2022 season with an undisclosed injury. He then batted .168/.254/.376 with two doubles, one triple, nine home runs, 24 RBIs, 20 runs scored, two stolen bases, 17 walks, and 60 strikeouts in 44 games (169 plate appearances) with Double-A Corpus Christi before moving up to Triple-A Sugar Land in late August.

With the Space Cowboys, Diaz slashed .227/.277/.373 with five doubles, one triple, three homers, 17 runs driven in, 12 runs scored, eight walks, and 46 strikeouts over 30 games (120 plate appearances). All told, he is a lifetime .215/.296/.394 hitter in the minor-leagues. That includes a .217/.295/.405 line at Double-A and a .175/.242/.299 line at Triple-A.

On the other side of the ball, Diaz — who is described by Lockard as slick-fielding — has experience at every infield position besides pitcher and catcher. This past season, for instance, the versatile 6-foot-2, 223-pounder logged 18 innings at first base, 191 1/3 innings at second base, 104 innings at third base, and 276 1/3 innings at shortstop between Corpus Christi and Sugar Land.

Diaz, who turns 28 in August, should provide Boston with experienced infield depth regardless of where he starts the 2023 season (Portland or Worcester). If he receives an invite to big-league spring training, he would become the ninth player to get one thus far, joining the likes of Jorge Alfaro, Greg Allen, Narciso Crook, Niko Goodrum, Caleb Hamilton, Ronaldo Hernandez, Oddanier Mosqueda, and Norwith Gudino.

In the meantime, Diaz is coming off a solid offseason in the Puerto Rican Winter League in which he batted .229/375/.418 with eight homers and 29 RBIs over 48 games (192 plate appearances) for the Criollos de Caguas (Alex Cora’s hometown team). Ramon Vazquez served as Diaz’s manager in Caguas before being named Red Sox bench coach back in November.

(Picture of Edwin Diaz: Michael Reaves/Getty Images)

Red Sox agree to minor-league deal with catcher Jorge Alfaro

The Red Sox have agreed to terms on a minor-league contract with catcher Jorge Alfaro, according to MassLive.com’s Chris Cotillo. The deal includes an invite to major-league spring training.

Alfaro, 29, spent the 2022 season with the Padres and batted .246/.285/.383 with 14 doubles, seven home runs, 40 RBIs, 25 runs scored, one stolen base, 11 walks, and 98 strikeouts in 82 games (274 plate appearances) before being non-tendered in November. He also threw out five of 30 possible base stealers while splitting time behind the plate with Austin Nola and Luis Campusano.

A native of Colombia, Alfaro originally signed with the Rangers as a highly-touted international free agent in 2010. Five years later, he was dealt to the Phillies as part of a blockbuster trade that sent Cole Hamels from Philadelphia to Texas.

Alfaro broke in with the Phillies the following September and appeared in a total of 143 games over three seasons with the club before being involved in another significant trade. In February 2019, the Marlins acquired Alfaro and two other players from Philadelphia in exchange for All-Star catcher J.T. Realmuto.

In parts of three seasons with Miami, the right-handed hitting Alfaro slashed .252/.298/.386 with 25 home runs, 103 RBIs, and 78 runs scored across 253 total games (876 plate appearances). The Marlins traded Alfaro to the Padres for cash considerations following the conclusion of the 2021 campaign.

So, for his big-league career, Alfaro is a lifetime .256/.305/.396 hitter with 67 doubles, four triples, 47 homers, 194 runs driven in, 150 runs scored, 18 stolen bases, 70 walks, and 566 strikeouts in 478 games (1,658 plate appearances) between the Phillies, Marlins, and Padres. He has traditionally hit the ball hard (averaged an exit velocity of 89.4 mph last year) but he has done so while posting a career 34.1 percent strikeout rate and measly 4.2 percent walk rate.

Defensively, Alfaro has logged over 3,340 innings at catcher since debuting for Philadelphia in 2016. In that time frame, the 6-foot-3, 230-pound backstop has accrued negative-17 defensive runs saved and has graded poorly in terms of pitch framing. While his arm strength and pop time are well-regarded, his receiving abilities leave much to be desired.

Alfaro, who turns 30 in June, will receive a base salary of $2 million if he makes Boston’s big-league roster. He also has multiple opt-outs in his deal, meaning he can return to free agency if he is not called up by June 1 or July 1 at the latest, per Cotillo.

On paper, Alfaro provides the Red Sox with experienced catching depth. In reality, though, he should have a chance to compete with Reese McGuire and Connor Wong — who also hits from the right side of the plate — for a spot on Boston’s Opening Day roster once spring training begins next month.

As noted by Cotillo, Wong has minor-league options remaining and can therefore be moved freely between Triple-A Worcester and Boston this coming season. Alfaro, on the other hand, can no longer be optioned to the minor-leagues since he already has more than five years of major-league service time under his belt.

All things considered, the addition of Alfaro should make for an even more interesting spring training in Fort Myers. In the meantime, Alfaro has enjoyed a productive offseason playing for the Tigres del Licey of the Dominican Winter League. He came into play Monday slashing .383/.471/.633 with two home runs and 19 RBI in 16 postseason games for the Tigres, who are now just two wins away from clinching the LIDOM title.

(Picture of Jorge Alfaro: Jim McIsaac/Getty Images)

Red Sox agree to minor-league deal with outfielder Greg Allen

The Red Sox and veteran outfielder Greg Allen have agreed to terms on a minor-league contract for the 2023 season, per ESPN’s Kiley McDaniel. The deal comes with an invitation to major-league spring training.

According to MassLive.com’s Chris Cotillo, Allen will earn a base salary of $1.4 million if he reaches the majors with Boston.

Allen, who turns 30 in March, spent the vast majority of the 2022 season with the Pirates. The speedy switch-hitter batted .186/.260/.721 with four doubles, two home runs, eight RBIs, 17 runs scored, eight stolen bases, 10 walks, and 42 strikeouts over 46 games (134 plate appearances) for Pittsburgh before being designated for assignment in late September. He elected free agency after clearing waivers in early October.

A former sixth-round draft pick of the Guardians out of San Diego State University in 2014, Allen first broke in at the big-league level in September 2017. In parts of four seasons with Cleveland, the California native appeared in a total of 220 games and slashed .239/.295/.344 with eight homers, 57 RBIs, 76 runs scored, and 31 stolen bases.

Prior to the 2020 trade deadline, Allen was dealt to the Padres alongside right-hander Mike Clevinger in exchange for a six-player package that included Gabriel Arias, Austin Hedges, Josh Naylor, Owen Miller, and Cal Quantrill. Allen, however, appeared in just one regular season game for San Diego and was designated for assignment that December.

The Yankees acquired Allen from the Padres in a minor trade shortly thereafter. New York outrighted Allen off its 40-man roster in March 2021 before calling him up from Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre in mid-July. In 14 games with the Bronx Bombers, Allen went 10-for-37 (.270) at the plate with four doubles, one triple, two RBIs, nine runs scored, and five stolen bases. He was claimed off waivers by the Pirates that November.

All told, Allen is a lifetime .232/.299/.336 hitter at the major-league level to go along with 30 doubles, seven triples, 10 home runs, 67 runs driven in, 103 runs scored, 45 stolen bases, 45 walks, and 184 strikeouts over 282 total games (800 plate appearances) between the Guardians, Padres, Yankees, and Pirates.

In 172 career games at the Triple-A level, Allen has hit .301/.403/.442 with 37 doubles, four triples, 13 homers, 62 RBIs, 121 runs scored, 48 stolen bases, 65 walks, and 136 punchouts across 710 total trips to the plate.

Defensively, Allen has past experience at all three outfield positions. In 2022, for instance, the 6-foot, 185-pounder logged 140 innings in left field, 92 1/3 innings in center field, and 61 innings in right field. Historically speaking, left field has proven to be Allen’s best position in terms of Defensive Runs Saved (+9) and Outs Above Average (+4), per FanGraphs.

Known for his speed, Allen should provide Boston with some experienced outfield depth at Triple-A Worcester this season if he does not break camp with the big-league club in March. As currently constructed, Masataka Yoshida, Enrique Hernandez, and Alex Verdugo project to be the Red Sox’ primary outfield group in 2023. Hernandez, of course, may be forced to play more infield this year with Trevor Story slated to miss a significant amount of time after undergoing right elbow surgery earlier this week. Behind them, Rob Refsnyder and Jarren Duran — as well as prospects Ceddanne Rafaela, Enmanuel Valdez, Wilyer Abreu — are also on the 40-man roster

Allen, who is out of minor-league options, becomes the seventh player the Red Sox have invited to major-league spring training this winter. He joins the likes of right-hander Norwith Gudino, left-hander Oddanier Mosqueda, catchers Caleb Hamilton and Ronaldo Hernandez, utility man Niko Goodrum, and outfielder Narciso Crook.

(Picture of Greg Allen: Rich Schultz/Getty Images)

Red Sox re-sign Sterling Sharp to minor-league deal

The Red Sox have re-signed right-hander Sterling Sharp to a minor-league contract for the 2023 season, per his MiLB.com transactions log.

Sharp, 27, first signed with Boston as a minor-league free agent last August after spending the first half of the 2022 season in the Nationals organization. The lanky righty made seven starts for Double-A Portland down the stretch and posted a 3.18 ERA (3.59 FIP) with 31 strikeouts to 12 walks over 34 innings of work.

Washington originally selected Sharp in the 22nd round of the 2016 amateur draft out of Drury University (Springfield, Mo). The Michigan native rose through the prospect ranks in the Nationals’ farm system before being taken by the Marlins in the major-league phase of the 2019 Rule 5 Draft.

Sharp made his big-league debut for Miami the following August. He allowed six earned runs in 5 1/3 innings (10.13 ERA) out of the Marlins bullpen before being designated for assignment on Aug. 27. He was ultimately returned to the Nationals for $50,000 after clearing waivers.

Since that time, Sharp has made 34 appearances (27 starts) at the Triple-A level and 10 starts at the Double-A level. For his minor-league career, the 6-foot-3, 182-pound hurler owns a lifetime 3.77 ERA over 167 Double-A innings and a lifetime 5.77 ERA across 137 1/3 Triple-A innings.

Sharp, who turns 28 in May, operates with a three-pitch mix that consists of an 88-90 mph sinker, an 80-81 mph changeup, and a 79-81 mph slider. He has been assigned to Portland. As noted by SoxProspects.com’s Chris Hatfield, though, Sharp provides the Red Sox with upper-minors rotation depth in the event that they include one of their Triple-A starters (like Chris Murphy or Brandon Walter) in trade for a major-league ready player before the season begins.

In short, Sharp could very well wind up pitching for the WooSox at some point in 2023. We will have to wait and see on that.

(Picture of Sterling Sharp: Shawn Patrick Ouellette/Portland Press Herald via Getty Images)

Former Red Sox prospect Pedro Castellanos signs minor-league deal with Padres

Former Red Sox prospect Pedro Castellanos has signed a minor-league contract with the Padres, per the MiLB.com transactions log.

Castellanos, 25, originally signed with the Red Sox as an international free agent coming out of Venezuela in July 2015. The Carora native received a modest $5,000 signing bonus and made his professional debut in the Dominican Summer League the following June.

After earning Red Sox Minor League Latin Program Player of the Year honors in 2016, Castellanos made the jump to the rookie-level Gulf Coast League (now the Florida Complex League) in 2017. From there, the first baseman/outfielder spent the entirety of the 2018 season in Greenville and the entirety of the 2019 season in Salem, where he was named a Carolina League All-Star.

With the COVID-19 pandemic forcing Minor League Baseball to cancel its 2020 campaign, Castellanos was unable to make the jump to Double-A until 2021. In 87 games with the Portland Sea Dogs that season, the right-handed hitter batted .289/.364/.471 with 13 home runs and 44 RBIs over 87 games as he made starts at all three outfield positions.

Castellanos returned to Portland for the start of the 2022 season but got off to a rough start. Coming into play on May 3, he was hitting just .116 (8-for-69) with one homer and eight RBIs through his first 18 games. From that point forward, though, Castellanos turned a corner offensively and proceeded to slash a stout .345/.360/.561 with 16 doubles, seven home runs, 34 RBIs, and 20 runs scored over his next 43 games (178 plate appearances) before earning a promotion to Triple-A Worcester in late June.

In 60 games with the WooSox, Castellanos forged a .269/.307/.397 slash line to go along with 10 doubles, two triples, five homers, 29 runs driven in, 31 runs scored, one stolen base, seven walks, and 47 strikeouts across 241 trips to the plate. The 6-foot-3, 244-pounder put up those numbers while logging 314 1/3 innings at first base, 129 innings in right field, and seven innings in left field.

While he was never truly regarded as one of the top prospects in Boston’s farm system (topped out at No. 27 on Baseball America’s rankings in 2019), Castellanos did prove to be a quality hitter — as evidenced by his career .294 batting average — during his seven years as a member of the Red Sox organization.

Castellanos, who does not turn 26 until December, will now look to break in at the big-league level with the Padres. He has technically been assigned to San Diego’s Double-A Affiliate in San Antonio, but it would not be all that surprising if he began the 2023 season at Triple-A El Paso.

In the meantime, Castellanos has been playing winter ball for the Cardenales de Lara of the Venezuelan Professional Baseball League. He slashed .289/.344/.436 with five home runs and 26 RBI in 46 regular season games for the Cardenales, who are currently in that league’s playoffs.

(Picture of Pedro Castellanos: Kelly O’Connor/sittingstill.smugmug.com)