Sean Casey has posted an impressive career .302 batting average in just under 5,000 at-bats, so why would Boston pick him up just for a bench spot?
Casey signed with the Sox knowing that the team has a realistic shot at another ring this year. That's something the three-time All-Star has yet to garner. Any clubhouse would benefit from his uplifting presence. His bat, although lacking in power, is a line drive machine.
2006 was a cruel year for veteran, who spent time with three different teams before settling down for a pretty solid 2007 season with the Detroit Tigers.
This is shaping up to be Sean's best year since leaving the Reds in 2005. Despite what will be a drastic decrease in plate appearances, he seems happier than ever.
Theo Epstein has learned that injuries are virtually guaranteed to happen at some point in the season, and that it is invaluable to be able to fill the holes with a quality players who are already on the team.
With Mike Lowell out after suffering a thumb injury on April 9, the BoSox desperately needed Casey to fill one such hole and play first base. He has since batted .346 with an OBP of .414 over sixteen games. Those numbers far exceeded the organization's expectations.
Perhaps no team in baseball has as much talent, from the rotation to the farm system, as the Red Sox have this year. Sean Casey is a part of that normally sheathed secret weapon that is being brandished: the bench.
There are no signs of rust on this blade. In fact, Sean has reached base in 14 of 16 games this season, helping to fuel Boston's offensive efforts in the midst of injury, slumps, flu and fatigue.
The Red Sox seem to be getting more than they bargained for on Feb. 1, when they signed the 33-year-old Casey to a one-year contract worth just $800,000.
The respected infielder was happy to sign a smaller contract (similar to 3B Mike Lowell's situation) in order to play in Boston, where his chances of reaching the postseason are high.
Casey is making this decision at a time in his career when he has already proven himself as a highly talented player and is now determined to win it all on his team of choice.