Otto Greule Jr
The Boston Red Sox signed one of Australia's World Baseball Classic pitchers today. The team and Ryan Rowland-Smith came to terms on a deal today.
Ryan Rowland-Smith hasn't pitched in the Majors since 2010. However, the Boston Red Sox are banking on him fighting for a spot on the 25-man roster this season. The team and Rowland-Smith have agreed to terms on a deal that will bring him to the Red Sox organization.
Jerry Crasnick of ESPN reported the deal this evening. The terms of the agreement are not yet known, but it's safe to assume the contract is of the minor league variety and Rowland-Smith will be invited to the Major League camp for spring. Rowland-Smith will be able to fight for a spot in either the rotation or the bullpen for the Red Sox.
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Rowland-Smith pitched in the Chicago Cubs' organization last year. He appeared in 30 games for the Cubs' Triple-A affiliate in Iowa. He started eight of those games. Rowland-Smith's last Major League stint came with the Seattle Mariners. He spent 2007-10 on the Mariners' Major League roster. In that time, Rowland-Smith made 115 appearances and started 47 games.
Despite limited Major League experience, Rowland-Smith has pitched 100 or more innings twice in the Majors. In his career, he has a 12-17 record to go along with a 4.57 ERA. Rowland-Smith was signed as an amateur free agent by the Mariners out of Australia. He was picked up by the Minnesota Twins in 2004 during the Rule 5 draft. However, the Twins did not carry Rowland-Smith on their 25-man roster for the entire season, so he returned to Seattle.
The Red Sox will likely utilize Rowland-Smith as an emergency starter or a bullpen plug in case of injury. It will all depend on how he performs this spring. Rowland-Smith is already scheduled to pitch for Australia in the World Baseball Classic.