Sox signees: Who you should pay attention to

Sox signees: Who you should pay attention to
January 3, 2012, 7:30 pm
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You can wade through the release to see the names of the 12 players the Red Sox signed to minor-league contracts (and invited to spring training) on Tuesday, but there are some a bit more interesting than others:
JESSE CARLSON: The ex-Blue Jay, whose signing was reported a week or two ago, could -- if healthy -- provide some left-handed help to the bullpen.
CARLOS SILVA: Remember him? He once went 14-8 for the Twins (granted, it was 2004) and won his first eight decisions for the Cubs in his only season (2010) in Chicago. But he finished that year 10-6, was released at the end of spring training last season, blasted the Cubs on his way out of town, and spent the first half last year in the Yankees' minor-league system before being released again because of what were described as "shoulder problems". If the problems are over, he'd be a classic "depth" signing: Someone who'd stay at Pawtucket until openings arose in Boston.
And if you think those types of players aren't important, think back to who was starting some crucial games during last September's collapse.
BRANDON DUCKWORTH, CHARLIE HAEGER, RICH HILL, TONY PENA JR., NATE SPEARS: They're all coming back after spending at least parts of last season in the Sox' system.