With their well-chronicled issues in the outfield seemingly mounting, the Boston Red Sox have elected to bolster their organizational depth by hitting the admittedly weak free agent market. On Wednesday, the Red Sox announced that they have signed veteran outfielder Andres Torres to a minor league contract.
#RedSox announce they have signed 36-year-old OF Andres Torres to a minor league contract, presumably to add depth.
— Scott Lauber (@ScottLauber) June 11, 2014
In the past week or so, Boston has been openly rumored to be on the market for a more high-profile outfielder (including Matt Kemp), but at this point, adding Torres was the play. The 36-year-old Torres hasn’t appeared in a professional game during the 2014 season, and he was last seen as a member of San Francisco Giants last season, when he put up a .302 on-base percentage in 300 plate appearances.
For a brief moment in time, the versatile Torres was one of the better outfielders in the National League, especially during his breakout campaign in 2010. That season, the then 32-year-old exploded for a .268/.343/.479 slash line with 16 home runs and 26 stolen bases, and with that production coupled with high-end defense, he was worth 6.5 WAR according to FanGraphs.
The Torres from the 2010 season is long gone, but with injury problems with Shane Victorino and production issues from their young talent, Boston could use the insurance policy. It is entirely possible that Andres Torres never reaches the Major Leagues again, but the Red Sox certainly could have acquired less productive players for the same money.