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)