Red Sox sign Dan Wheeler

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Red Sox sign Dan Wheeler

By Sean McAdam
CSNNE.com

The Red Sox' bullpen for 2011 is beginning to take shape, as the team has reached agreement with ex-Tampa Bay reliever (and Warwick, RI) native Dan Wheeler on a one-year contract, plus an option for 2012.

The news was first reported by ESPN Boston and later by WEEI.com.

Wheeler, 33, has pitched for Tampa Bay since 2007. He had a 2-4 record with 3 saves and a 3.35 ERA in 48 13 innings over 64 games for the Rays last season. His WHIP was 1.076, after having been below 1.0 (0.995 in 2008 and 0.867 in 2009) over the two previous years.

Wheeler broke into the majors with the Rays in 1999 and pitched parts of three seasons for them before being released on Dec. 13, 2001. He spent 2002 in the Braves' organization and was released again, then signed with the Mets and spent his first full year in the major leagues in New York in 2003. He was traded to the Astros in August 2004, and then back to Tampa Bay in July 2007.

He earned 3.5 million last season. He will make 3 million in 2011, and the option -- which kicks in if he appears in 65 games -- for 2012 is also worth 3 million. It will rise to 3.25 million if he appears in 75 games in '11.

Since the end of the season, the Red Sox have rebuilt their bullpen with Wheeler, Bobby Jenks and Matt Albers from the right side, and Andrew Miller and Lenny DiNardo from the left. They join returnees Jonathan Papelbon, Daniel Bard, Scott Atchison, Tim Wakefield, Felix Doubront, Michael Bowden and Rich Hill.

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

Biggest Red Sox busts in recent memory

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Farrell angered after Castillo fails to run out grounder

Farrell angered after Castillo fails to run out grounder

The Red Sox signed Cuban outfielder Rusney Castillo to a seven-year, $72.5 million contract bn August 2014. Over parts of three seasons, the 29-year-old has a .679 OPS across 337 plate appearances in the majors and spent the vast majority of the 2016 season at Triple-A Pawtucket.

Castillo had a chance to start things off on the right foot in 2017, but that ship has already sailed. On Thursday against Northeastern at JetBlue Park, Castillo didn’t run out a routine ground ball. He claims he lost track of the outs. Manager John Farrell isn’t happy about the situation. Via Evan Drellich of the Boston Herald:

“Disappointing for a couple of reasons,” Sox manager John Farrell said. “One, he has lost the number of outs. Still, regardless of another of outs, getting down the line is controllable. And for a player in his situation, every little aspect of the game is important. That’s something that was addressed in the moment. He needs to execute the game situation. And for that matter, every player. But that one obviously stood out.”

Everyone always makes far too big a deal about running out grounders. It’s a real nit to pick when it’s February 23 and your team just finished playing an exhibition game that is even more meaningless than the other exhibition games that will be played in the coming month.

That being said, Castillo has to prove himself to merit inclusion on the 25-man roster and that means dotting all his i’s and crossing all his t’s. Even if he went hitless all spring, Castillo could have at least said he couldn’t have done anything else better. But on day one, he already gave his team a reason to count him out.