The Boston Red Sox have agreed to a major league contract with infielder Ryan Roberts, according to a tweet from his agency, Beverly Hills Sports Council. The deal will guarantee Roberts a $1 million base salary and includes $250K in additional incentives, according to WEEI.com's Alex Speier and Jon Heyman of CBSSports.com.
Roberts, 33, recently opted out of his minor league deal with the Cubs once he was notified that he would not make the major league roster, and decided to test the free agent market. Red Sox' third baseman Will Middlebrooks was recently placed on the 15-day disabled list with a calf injury, and may miss significant time in the near future. Instead of utilizing internal options like Brock Holt or Brandon Snyder to fill the void, the Sox opted to sign Roberts to a major league deal--signifying that Middlebrooks' injury may be serious.
In 18 games during spring training with the Cubs, Roberts hit .237 with 1 RBI after signing a minor league deal in late December. He is a veteran of parts of eight major league seasons with the Blue Jays (2006-2007), Rangers (2008), Diamondbacks (2009-2012) and Rays (2012-2013), posting a lifetime .245 average with 46 HR and 169 RBI in 510 games. He has appeared at first base, second base, shortstop, third base, left field and right field throughout his major league career, and will provide the Red Sox with depth for the near future. His best season came with the D-Backs in 2011, when he hit .249 with 19 HR and 65 RBI in 143 games.