DALLAS -- It hardly qualifies as a blockbuster move, but the Red Sox Wednesday signed free agent Jesse Carlson, a lefty reliever, to a split contract.
Carlson will be invited to spring training with a chance to compete for a spot in the Boston bullpen. A split contract pays a player one salary at the major league level and a lesser salary should he be assigned to the minor leagues.
He was released by the Toronto Blue Jays after the season after missing most of 2011 with a left rotator cuff injury. The Red Sox believe he's now healthy and ready to compete in the spring.
Carlson, who turns 31 later this month, is a former University of Connecticut standout and a native of New Britain, Conn. Drafted by the Detroit Tigers, he was the Toronto Blue Jays Rookie of the Year in 2008, compiling a 7-2 mark with a 2.25 ERA while striking out 55 hitters over 60 innings.
In three years, Carlson is 8-8 with a 3.63 ERA. He's held opposing lefties to a .660 OPS in his major league career.