Boston Sports Desk Publisher
RED SOX SIGN FOUR FREE AGENTS TO MINOR LEAGUE CONTRACTS; ANNOUNCE NON-ROSTER INVITES TO MAJOR LEAGUE SPRING TRAINING CAMP
BOSTON, MA—The Boston Red Sox today announced the signings of four free agents to 2011 minor league contracts, all with invites to Boston’s Major League Spring Training camp as non-roster players. The four free agents are right-handed pitchers Matt Fox and Tony Pena Jr., catcher Paul Hoover and infielder Hector Luna. All of the free agents have been placed on the Triple-A Pawtucket roster.
The club also announced that 20 players overall will attend the team’s Major League Spring Training camp as non-roster invitees.
The announcements were made by Executive Vice President/General Manager Theo Epstein.
Fox, who was designated for assignment by the Red Sox on January 5 and released on January 13, tossed 1.2 innings of relief over three games with Boston last year (2 ER) after being claimed off waivers from Minnesota on September 9. The 28-year-old made his Major League debut with a start for the Twins on September 3 (2 ER/5.2 IP) after appearing in 35 games (21 starts) for Minnesota’s Triple-A Rochester affiliate, going 6-9 with a 3.95 ERA (54 ER/123.0 IP) and 104 strikeouts. A supplemental-round selection by the Twins in the 2004 First-Year Player Draft, Fox has a 35-28 record with three saves and a 3.71 ERA (223 ER/541.0 IP) in 145 career minor league games (80 starts).
Pena, 29, spent his first full season as a pitcher in 2010, splitting the year between San Francisco’s Double-A Richmond and Triple-A Fresno clubs. The right-hander combined to go 3-2 with six saves, a 4.13 ERA (35 ER/76.1 IP), 62 strikeouts and 29 walks over 53 relief appearances, including a 2.53 ERA (13 ER/46.1 IP) in 29 games with Richmond to earn a mid-season promotion to Triple-A. After the season, he pitched in 26 games with Aguilas Cibaenas of the Dominican Winter League, going 2-0 with a 2.78 ERA (7 ER/22.2 IP), and also threw 1.0 scoreless frame with Bravos de Margarita of the Venezuelan Winter League. Originally signed by Atlanta as an international free agent on July 21, 1999, Pena played primarily shortstop before converting to pitcher during the 2009 season. He made his Major League debut with the Braves in 2006 and hit .228 (189-for-829) with 32 doubles, eight triples, four home runs, 66 RBI and 95 runs in 327 career games over parts of four Big League seasons with Atlanta and Kansas City (2007-09). He tossed 1.0 scoreless inning with one strikeout in his only Big League pitching appearance with the Royals in 2008. A native of Santiago, Dominican Republic, Pena’s father Tony is a former Major League catcher who played for the Red Sox from 1990-93 and is currently the bench coach for the New York Yankees.
The 34-year-old Hoover appeared in nine games behind the plate with the Phillies in 2010, including six starts with the team going 5-1 in those contests. A right-handed hitter, he batted .227 (5-for-22) with two doubles, two RBI, six runs and three walks over his two stints with Philadelphia. He also appeared in 77 games with the Phillies Triple-A Lehigh Valley club, hitting .247 (63-for-255) with 13 doubles, three triples, two homers, 21 RBI, 23 runs and 26 walks. Hoover played 67 games at catcher with the IronPigs and eight at first base, throwing out 24 of 81 attempted base stealers while behind the plate (29.6 percent). Selected by Tampa Bay in the 23rd round of the 1997 First-Year Player Draft, Hoover has played 40 Major League games over parts of seven seasons with the Devil Rays (2001-02), Marlins (2006-08) and Phillies (2009-10), batting .250 (25-for-100) with eight RBI. He has made 36 career appearances at catcher (26 starts) and thrown out six base runners in 21 stolen base attempts (28.6).
Luna, who turned 31 yesterday, hit .294 (104-for-354) with 17 doubles, 16 home runs, 71 RBI, 55 runs scored and 42 walks in 97 games with Florida’s Triple-A New Orleans affiliate in 2010, including 83 games at third base and eight at first base. He earned Pacific Coast League mid-season All-Star honors and finished third among all Marlins minor leaguers in RBI and sixth in batting average. Luna also appeared in 27 games with Florida, primarily serving as a pinch-hitter but also making four appearances at third base and one at second base, going 4-for-29 (.138) with two home runs and four RBI overall at the plate. After the season, he batted .349 (60-for-172) with 17 doubles, four home runs, 28 RBI, 34 runs and 31 walks in 47 games with Aguilas Cibaenas of the Dominican Winter League. Born in Monte Cristi, Dominican Republic, Luna was signed by Cleveland as an international free agent on February 2, 1999. In 311 career Major League games over parts of six seasons with St. Louis (2004-06), Cleveland (2006), Toronto (2007-08) and Florida (2010), he has hit .265 (194-for-732) with 39 doubles, six triples, 13 home runs, 86 RBI, 99 runs scored and 23 stolen bases while making appearances at first base, second base, third base, shortstop and all three outfield positions. Luna also appeared in five postseason games with St. Louis in 2004-05 including as a pinch-hitter in Game 4 of the 2004 World Series against Boston (0-for-1).
The complete list of non-roster invitees includes left-handed pitchers Rich Hill, Andrew Miller and Randy Williams; right-handers Jason Bergmann, Brandon Duckworth, Fox, Pena, Jason Rice, Clevelan Santeliz, Kyle Weiland and Alex Wilson; catchers Tim Federowicz, Hoover and Ryan Lavarnway; infielders Brent Dlugach, Luna, Nate Spears and Drew Sutton; and outfielders Che-Hsuan Lin and Juan Carlos Linares.
Eleven of the 20 invitees have Major League experience, including Bergmann, Duckworth, Dlugach, Fox, Hill, Hoover, Luna, Miller, Pena, Sutton and Williams. Fox and Hill both saw action for the Red Sox in 2010.
Pitchers and catchers will participate in their first on-field workout in Fort Myers on Tuesday, February 15. The first full workout of the Red Sox Spring Training camp is on Saturday, February 19.
All workouts take place at Boston’s Player Development Complex, located at 4301 Edison Avenue. The team will move its spring operation to City of Palms Park when the games begin on Saturday, February 26.
2011 NON-ROSTER INVITEES
Pitchers (11) Catchers (3) Infielders (4) Outfielders (2)
Jason Bergmann Tim Federowicz Brent Dlugach Che-Hsuan Lin
Brandon Duckworth Paul Hoover Hector Luna Juan Carlos Linares
Matt Fox Ryan Lavarnway Nate Spears
Rich Hill Drew Sutton
Tony Pena Jr.