The Red Sox have signed infielder/outfielder Niko Goodrum to a minor-league contract for the 2023 season, the club announced on Wednesday. The deal, which was first reported by FanSided’s Robert Murray, includes an invite to major-league spring training.
Goodrum, 30, spent the better part of the 2022 season with the Astros after signing a one-year, $2.1 million deal with the club back in March. The switch-hitter went 5-for-43 (.116) with two doubles, one RBI, two runs scored, one stolen base, two walks, and 23 strikeouts in 15 games for Houston before being optioned to Triple-A Sugar Land in mid-May.
With the Space Cowboys, Goodrum batted .310/.500/.524 with three doubles, two home runs, four RBIs, 12 runs scored, two stolen bases, 16 walks, and 12 strikeouts over 12 games (58 plate appearances). He was placed on the seven-day injured list with an undisclosed injury on June 7 and only appeared in one more game for Sugar Land on August 17. In early September, the Astros designated Goodrum for assignment and released him after he cleared waivers.
A native of Georgia, Goodrum was originally selected by the Twins in the second round of the 2010 amateur draft out of Fayette County High School. After seven years in the minor-leagues, he made his major-league debut for Minnesota towards the tail end of the 2017 campaign. He was released by the Twins that November but quickly landed on his feet by inking a minors pact with the Tigers.
Goodrum made Detroit’s Opening Day roster out of spring training in 2018 end enjoyed some moderate success in his first two seasons in the Motor City. From 2018-2019, he slashed .247/.319/.427 (98 wRC+) with 56 doubles, eight triples, 28 homers, 98 runs driven in, 116 runs scored, 24 stolen bases, 88 walks, and 270 strikeouts across 243 total games spanning 964 trips to the plate.
While Goodrum’s first two seasons with the Tigers were productive, his final two were not. From 2020-2021, he compiled a .203/.282/.350 slash line (75 wRC+) to go along with 18 doubles, three triples, 14 home runs, 53 RBIs, 54 runs scored, 21 stolen bases, 47 walks, and 176 strikeouts over 133 total games (504 plate appearances). Detroit non-tendered Goodrum last November, which gave him the opportunity join the Astros.
Although he has struggled at the plate in recent years, Goodrum has proven to be quite the versatile defender over the course of his six-year big-league career. The 6-foot-3, 215-pounder has past experience at every position besides pitcher and catcher. As far as the metrics are concerned, shortstop may be his best position.
Goodrum, who turns 31 in February, should provide the Red Sox with both infield and outfield depth as a utility man at Triple-A Worcester next season. For his career at the Triple-A level, Goodrum is a lifetime .261/.325/.409 hitter with 15 home runs and 73 RBIs in 154 games.
To go along with Goodrum, the Red Sox added five other players to their 2023 spring training roster as non-roster invitees on Wednesday. Right-hander Norwith Gudino and left-gander Oddanier Mosqueda, catchers Caleb Hamilton and Ronaldo Hernandez, and outfielder Narciso Crook were all extended invitations as well.
Gudino, 27, signed a minor-league deal with Boston earlier this month after spending the first eight years of his professional career in the Giants organization.
Mosqueda, 23, was re-signed to a minors pact in November after originally signing with the Red Sox as an international free agent coming out of Venezuela in July 2015.
Hamilton, 27, and Hernandez, 25, were already in the organization but were outrighted off Boston’s 40-man roster after clearing waivers at different points this winter.
Crook, 27, inked a minor-league contract with the Red Sox in late November after making his major-league debut with the Cubs over the summer. He went 2-for-8 (.250) with a double and two RBIs in four games for the North Siders.
The Red Sox will continue to add more invitees to their spring training roster before pitchers and catchers report to Fort Myers in mid-February.
(Picture of Niko Goodrum: Ken Murray/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)