BALTIMORE -- Andres Torres, a 36-year-old outfielder whose career came careening to a halt last November when he underwent surgery to remove bone spurs from his left heel, a procedure that required six months of rehabilitation, has signed a minor-league deal with the Red Sox.
Torres, a switch-hitter who was primarily a center-fielder but can play both corner positions, must first demonstrate to the Sox he can run. Speed was very much a part of his game, and his play declined both offensively and defensively in the last three seasons with the San Francisco Giants. That coincided with problems he said he began having early in the 2011 season with his Achilles tendon.
If Torres can play -- and it may be at least a couple of weeks before he joins Pawtucket -- he gives the Sox a couple of obvious options on the big-league roster. They could elect to end the Grady Sizemore experiment, and have Torres, who hits lefties (.265/.340/.397) better than righties (.230/.306/.374), platoon with Jackie Bradley Jr. in center. Or they could decide Bradley could use a return to Pawtucket to regain his batting stroke, and have Torres share center field with Sizemore.
Neither alternative is likely to happen overnight. Torres has not played anywhere this season, working out in his home of Chandler, Ariz.
Torres, who was born in New Jersey, went to high school in Puerto Rico and was drafted in the fourth round by the Tigers out of Miami-Dade College in 1998, broke into the big leagues with the Tigers in 2002. He played briefly for the Texas Rangers, but played four of the last five seasons for the Giants, returning to the Giants in 2013 after he was traded to the Mets the previous year in a deal in which the Giants acquired Angel Pagan.
He posted a slash line of .250/.302/.342/.644 for the Giants in 2013.
Sizemore also is approaching the point in the season where the Sox will have a financial aspect to consider. Sizemore signed for a $750,000 base salary, which was increased to $1 million when he made the Opening Day roster. He already has earned an additional $250,000 for spending 60 days on the roster, and is in line for an additional $250,000 when he hits 90 days at the end of the month.
Additional plate appearances will kick in more bonuses. He is at 196 plate appearances now. He will receive an additional $250,000 when he attains 225 PAs, and an additional $250,000 for every 25 plate appearances thereafter.