Red Sox sign infielder Esteban Quiroz to minor league deal

ZAPOPAN, MEXICO - MARCH 12: Esteban Quiroz
ZAPOPAN, MEXICO - MARCH 12: Esteban Quiroz /

The Boston Red Sox have signed infielder Esteban Quiroz from the Mexican league to a minor league deal with an invitation to big league camp.

The Boston Red Sox are building their infield depth in preparation for the absence of Dustin Pedroia, who is expected to miss the first two months of next season while recovering from knee surgery.

The latest addition is infielder Esteban Quiroz. The 25-year old has spent the last seven seasons playing in the Mexican League and was on the Team Mexico roster for the most recent World Baseball Classic.

Team Mexico tweeted the news of the Quiroz signing on Tuesday.

The Red Sox have signed Quiroz to a minor-league deal with an invitation to big league camp, according to WEEI’s Rob Bradford.

Quiroz hit .293 with a .916 OPS, 11 home runs, and 23 doubles in 89 games for Leones de Yucatan of the Mexican League this year. He was even better the previous season when he hit .335 with a .971 OPS and 15 home runs for Tigres de Quintana Roo.

While listed as only 5-for-7, 175 pounds, Quiroz packs a surprising amount of pop into his small frame. He showed a glimpse of his power with a deep shot to center field against Venezuela in the WBC.

An under-sized infielder who hits for average and has more power than you would expect? I’m not suggesting that Quiroz is anywhere near the same class as Jose Altuve, yet you can see some parallels between the reigning AL MVP and Boston’s newest prospect.

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Quiroz has played second base, shortstop and third base, with some experience in the outfield a few years ago. If he were to break camp with the big league team next spring he would primarily be a temporary fill-in for Pedroia at second base.

Marco Hernandez is the current front-runner for that role, with Tzu-Wei Lin, Brock Holt and Deven Marrero serving as potential options. The Red Sox are even toying with the idea of trying Blake Swihart at second base in order to squeeze him on the roster. There is a lot of competition in this infield and the battle for a roster spot will only get tighter once Pedroia is deemed healthy enough to reclaim his everyday spot.

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It may seem like Quiroz is a long shot to make the Opening Day roster with several more familiar names in the mix but we can’t rule him out. If he has a strong showing in spring training he could force the Red Sox to give him a shot.