According to MLB.com, The Red Sox and centerfielder Rocco Baldelli have agreed to terms on a deal that would have him playing in Boston this year. The deal is expected to be announced at the Boston Baseball Writers Dinner on Thursday night.
And according to the Boston Globe, "The Sox, in search of a fourth outfielder, have done extensive work on Baldelli's health including a previously diagnosed mitochondrial disorder which has been re-diagnosed as a less severe, channelopathy disorder after visits to the Cleveland Clinic and Massachusetts General Hospital earlier this winter..."
After the trade of Coco Crisp to the Royals, the Red Sox have been in need of a fourth outfielder. After the much-publicized "loss" of Teixeira to the Evil Empire, Boston has been trying to find a name that will both be an asset to the team and a "jolt" to the fan base.
This appears to be the first of two expected moves in coming days. The second of which is the possible (even likely) signing of pitcher John Smoltz.
Perhaps these moves will do what the Sox intend, both on and off the field. But these are unusual signings, to say the least.
A Rhode Island native, Baldelli has been embattled with health problems for years and his most recent "re-diagnosis" has the condition controlled by medication.
This is not to say that Baldelli is anything less than a hard-nosed player and a persistent athlete.
The Red Sox have just not been able to come up with the "big name" signing this winter. But everyone knows it is not about the name, it's about the player.
And Theo and the Red Sox front office have proven themselves quite knowledgeable, and sometimes brilliant, in their tenure.
That said, they did sign Julio Lugo as a free agent from the Rays and that hasn't exactly been the Sox's proudest acquisition.
So, to Theo and company, Sox fans say, "We trust you on this one...for now."