The Red Sox Wednesday announced the signing of four players to minor-league contracts, and invited 20 non-roster players to spring training.
The Sox also received some disappointing news when veteran infielder Felipe Lopez, whom they'd acquired last September, signed a minor-league contract with the Rays. The disappointment stemmed from the fact that because Lopez signed a minor-league, and not a major-league, deal, the Sox -- who offered salary arbitration to Lopez in the hope of receiving a compensatory draft pick when he signed elsewhere -- will not receive a draft choice for him.
Still, Boston will have four selections -- Nos. 19, 26, 36 and 40 -- in the top 40 of next year's draft. They received the extra picks as compensation for the losses of Type A free agents Victor Martinez and Adrian Beltre.
The minor-league signees were pitcher Matt Fox (acquired by the Sox last September but released in January), pitcher Tony Pena Jr., catcher Paul Hoover and infielder Hector Luna. All have prior major-league experience, though Pena was shifted from the infield to the mound in 2009 and has not yet pitched in the big leagues.
The non-roster invitees to spring training:
Left-handed pitchers Rich Hill, Andrew Miller and Randy Williams; right-handed pitchers Fox, Pena, Jason Bergmann, Brandon Duckworth, Jason Rice, Clevelan Santeliz, Kyle Weiland and Alex Wilson; catchers Hoover, Tim Federowicz and Ryan Lavarnway; infielders Luna, Brent Dlugach, Nate Spears and Drew Sutton, and outfielders Che-Hsuan Lin and Juan Carlos Linares.
The Pablo Sandoval redemption tour is underway as the former World Series MVP tries to revive his career after two disastrous seasons with the Red Sox organization.
In an interview with ESPN Deportes, he admits to being “complacent” during his first two seasons in Boston after signing a five-year, $95 million deal.
"My career had fallen into an abyss because I was so complacent with things that I had already accomplished," Sandoval said. "I did not work hard in order to achieve more and to remain at the level of the player that I am and that I can be."
After dealing Travis Shaw to the Brewers, Sandoval is expected to be the Red Sox primary third baseman in 2017.
"I am not taking anything for granted," he said. "I am here to work hard. I'm not thinking about the position or not. I am starting from scratch, and I am here to show what I can do on the field."
The 30-year-old says he’s following a “really strict routine” this offseason, and it shows. In a recent photo, Sandoval appears noticeably thinner. Sandoval says his wife giving birth to “Baby Panda” has served as inspiration.
"Watching 'Baby Panda' grow up and that he gets the opportunity to see his father play in the majors for seven, eight more years, to get back to the success I had, that's my motivation every day," Sandoval said. "The people that I surround myself with now and my family, they are the key to my success. This has been a life lesson."
Could John Henry sell ownership of the Boston Red Sox anytime soon, or does he want to keep winning? Shaughnessy, Merloni, and Tanguay debate.