Middlebrooks, Kalish & Melancon Highlight Sweet 16 Signed by Red Sox

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The Red Sox roster is now set, at least in terms of having all the players on the 40-man roster under contract.  The Sox announced today that sixteen players were inked to contracts for the 2012 season and highlighting that list are Will Middlebrooks, Ryan Kalish and Mark Melancon.

We know Kalish is the future right fielder for the Red Sox and that transition could come as early as this year when he’s finally healthy enough to assume the role.

Many expect Melancon to challenge Andrew Bailey for the closer role, but regardless, he will be a valuable piece in the bullpen most likely as the setup man.

The one in this group who is turning heads is Will Middlebrooks. The third baseman who has been labelled as ‘the future at the hot corner’ is impressing many among the Red Sox staff this spring.  It has also led to the presumption that his play may be ready for the big leagues as early as later this summer, making Kevin Youkilis expendable.  Check out Earl’s post on why he thinks this very well good happen.

Others who were signed include catchers and potential star Ryan Lavarnway and Luis Exposito along with pitchers Junichi Tazawa, Chris Carpenter, Drake Britton, Felix Doubront, Michael Bowden, Stolmy Pimentel, Clayton Mortenson.

The infield positions were also solidified by inking Lars Anderson, Oscar Tejada who will likely join Middlebrooks in Pawtucket to start the season.

Darnell McDonald and Che-Hsuan Lin signed to round out the outfield.

Bobby Valentine has stated that he will begin to trim the roster in the next day or two, an attempt to get closer to the 25-man roster that will set the Opening Day roster for April 5th.

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