Notes: Sox sign Albers, minor leaguers; trade Patterson

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Notes: Sox sign Albers, minor leaguers; trade Patterson

By Sean McAdam
CSNNE.com

Bobby Jenks wasn't the only transaction for the Red Sox Thursday -- just the biggest name for the biggest money.

The team also announced the signing of one other major-league reliever, completed a deal from earlier this month, and agreed to terms with six minor-league free agents.

Boston signed Matt Albers to a one-year, non-guaranteed deal for 875,000. Albers pitched for Baltimore the last three seasons, appearing in 62 games while compiling a 4.52 ERA. He also pitched for the Orioles in 2008 and 2009, having come over from Houston as part of the trade for Miguel Tejada.

Albers will compete for one of two remaining bullpen spots. Albers is a sinker-slider type who gets lots of ground balls.

The Sox added six minor-league free agents, including four lefties: Rich Hill, Andrew Miller, Randy Williams and Lenny DiNardo.

All but Williams have some previous history with the Sox.

Hill pitched part of last season at Pawtucket, then was promoted to the big-league team in September. Hill actually had a deal in place weeks ago with the Sox, but it wasn't formally announced because the Sox would have had to expose him to the Rule V draft, held last week at the conclusion of the Winter Meetings in Orlando.

Miller was obtained in a trade with Florida last month, but when the two sides couldn't reach agreement on a deal, was non-tendered earlier this month. By signing a minor-league deal, the Sox could potentially have Miller start the season at Pawtucket to work through some of the mechanical and command issues he's battled without exposing him to waivers.

DiNardo pitched for the Red Sox for parts of three seasons from 2004 through 2006.

Williams pitched in 27 games for the Chicago White Sox last season and has pitched for Seattle, San Diego and Colorado in his career.

The Sox also signed Clevelan Santeliz, who spent the last six seasons in the White Sox' minor-league system.

Hill, Miller, Williams and Santeliz were given invitations to spring training.

Finally, the Red Sox signed former outfielder Ryan Harvey to a minor-league deal with the intention of converting him to the mound. Harvey was the No. 6 overall pick of the Chicago Cubs in 2003, but never got above Double A while the Cubs, and more recently, the Colorado Rockies.

The Sox officially closed out the Adrian Gonzalez trade when they sent utilityman Eric Patterson as the player to be named later, joining prospects Casey Kelly, Anthony Rizzo and Reymond Fuentes.

Patterson hit .226 with two homers and seven RBI in 45 games with the Red Sox last season. He was obtained from Oakland on the final weekend of June when the Sox were struck by a rash of injuries.

Sean McAdam can be reached at smcadam@comcastsportsnet.com. Follow Sean on Twitter at http:twitter.comsean_mcadam

Rick Porcello starts, Drew Pomeranz relieves in Red Sox' 5-3 loss to Twins

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Rick Porcello starts, Drew Pomeranz relieves in Red Sox' 5-3 loss to Twins

Rick Porcello and Drew Pomeranz combined to allow all five of the Red Sox' runs in Boston's 5-3 loss to the Minnesota Twins.

Porcello finished his start by fanning four, allowing four hits and earning two runs over four innings. Pomeranz followed in the next four innings with four strikeouts, five hits allowed and three earned runs. Pomeranz allowed ByungHo Park's eighth-inning, two-run homer, which ended up being the game-winner.

Porcello, however, was optimistic after the loss.

"The buildup was good," Porcello told reporters, via RedSox.com. "Today I felt as good as I've felt all spring. At this point, I'm ready to go. I'm looking forward to the start of the season."

While the Sox offense was able to get three runs off Ervin Santana in his 4 2/3 innings, they struggled against the Twins' next five pitchers. Xander Bogaerts (2 of 3) and Pablo Sandoval (1 of 3) managed homers. Hanley (3 of 3) Ramirez had a double, and Dustin Pedroia (2 of 3) had two singles.

Kyle Kendrick will start Thursday in the Sox' final Spring Training series against the Washington Nationals. First pitch is at 1:05 p.m. ET.

Who's on first for Red Sox? It may be not someone you'd expect

Who's on first for Red Sox? It may be not someone you'd expect

Who’s on first? A middle infielder, maybe.

Hanley Ramirez, Josh Rutledge and Mitch Moreland aren't fully healthy. So the 25th man on the Red Sox has become a matter of corner-infield triage.

Rutledge was gearing up to play some first base with Ramirez restricted to DH because of his throwing shoulder. But Rutledge is hurt now too, likely headed to the disabled list with a left hamstring strain, Sox manager John Farrell said Wednesday morning in Florida.

Here’s the easiest way to think about who takes Rutledge's place: Who would the Red Sox like to see less against left handed pitching, third baseman Pablo Sandoval or first baseman Mitch Moreland? 

If it’s Sandoval, then you carry Marco Hernandez, who can play third base.

“He’s a very strong candidate,” manager John Farrell told reporters in Florida on Wednesday. “He’s one of a few that are being considered strongly right now.” 

If it’s Moreland, than you carry Steve Selsky, who has a history playing first base.

“He’s a guy we’re having discussions on,” Farrell said. “Any guy in our camp that we feel is going to make us a more complete or balanced roster, Deven Marrero, they’re all in consideration.”

The additional wrench here is that Moreland has the flu. If he's not available at all for a few days to begin the season, then the Sox probably have to carry Hernandez.

Why? Because Brock Holt can play some first base if Moreland is out. But then, you’d need another back-up middle infielder, and Hernandez gives you that. 

Hernandez is also hitting .379 in 58 at-bats this spring entering Wednesday.

Moreland isn’t the only one who has the flu.

"It’s running through our clubhouse," Sox manager John Farrell told reporters in Florida on Wednesday, including the Providence Journal’s Tim Britton. "Probably be held out for three days for a quarantine.” (LINK:http://www.providencejournal.com/sports/20170329/with-josh-rutledge-and-mitch-moreland-ailing-first-base-depth-compromised-for-red-sox)

That means the Red Sox won't have Moreland for their exhibitions against the Nationals on Friday and Saturday in Washington D.C. and Annapolis, Md. Moreland could still be ready for the regular season, but would likely be at less than full strength.

Having Ramirez available would sure make things a lot simpler for the Sox.

Both Sandoval at third base and Moreland could use right-handed bats to complement them. Or more specifically, they could use people who can hit left-handed pitching to complement them.

Hernandez is a left-handed hitter who might actually be able to hit lefties. But the Sox haven't used him at first base, and there's no indication they will.

“As we look at the upcoming games, there is the potential for two left-handed starters in Detroit,” Farrell said. “So there’s a number of things being factored right now.”

Early in spring training, Farrell was asked what player had started to catch his eye.

The guy he mentioned was Selsky, an outfielder and first baseman the Red Sox feel fortunate to have picked up off waivers because he still has minor league options remaining.

Now Selsky, who has already technically been cut from major league spring training, has a chance at making the opening day roster. He's 27 and hit .356 in 45 Grapefruit League at-bats.

Chris Young isn't going to have an easy time finding at-bats as it stands now, but the Sox aren't considering moving him to first base.