Red Sox sign infielder Ivan De Jesus to minor-league deal

CINCINNATI, OH - AUGUST 03: Ivan De Jesus Jr.
CINCINNATI, OH - AUGUST 03: Ivan De Jesus Jr. /

Infielder Ivan De Jesus is returning to the Boston Red Sox organization on a minor-league deal, adding depth at multiple positions.

The Boston Red Sox have made another move in free agency, although it’s not one that fans have been clamoring for nor one that will necessarily have an impact on the major league team this season.

SB Nation’s Chris Cotillo reports that the Red Sox have agreed to a minor-league deal with infielder Ivan De Jesus.

De Jesus had a cup of coffee in Boston back in 2012. You’ll be forgiven if his stint with the Red Sox has been forgotten. It wasn’t all that memorable, as he went 0-for-8 with six strikeouts over eight games with the team that year.

The 30-year old has also spent time with the Los Angeles Dodgers and Cincinnati Reds. He owns a career .242/.303/.327 slash line with a well below-average 71 OPS+ in 228 career major league games.

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So why do the Red Sox want him? For his versatility. He has experience playing five different positions, making 16+ appearances at first base, second base, shortstop, third base and left field. He doesn’t rate particularly well with the glove at any of those positions but has proven capable of handling each at an average or slightly below-average level.

Most of his experience has come at second base, which is where Boston needs the most support. Dustin Pedroia is expected to be sidelined for at least the first two months of the season while recovering from knee surgery. Eduardo Nunez, who replaced the injured Pedroia for much of the second half of last season, is a free agent. Super-utility man Brock Holt is coming off a season ruined by concussion symptoms and vertigo and Marco Hernandez missed most of the year with a shoulder injury. Both need to prove they have returned to form after lost seasons. That leaves Tzu-Wei Lin and Deven Marrero as the only other infield bench options on the 40-man roster. Both are relatively unproven and have low ceilings.

With so many question marks in the infield, it doesn’t hurt to add a bit of depth.

De Jesus has flashed some offensive upside at the Triple-A level before. Last season he hit .326 with a .837 OPS in the Milwaukee Brewers minor league system.

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That type of production is unlikely to translate to the big leagues but if De Jesus can tap into a portion of that potential then he could be given an opportunity to make his mark on the Red Sox in 2018. There’s not a ton of upside here but it’s a low-risk option worth taking a chance on.