BOSTON (CBS) — In need of some help at the hot corner, the Boston Red Sox have signed veteran third baseman Ryan Roberts.
To make room for Roberts on the 25-man roster, ,infielder Brock Holt was optioned to Triple-A Pawtucket. Boston will be Roberts’ fifth team during his eight-year MLB career, and he’ll be active for Monday night’s game against the Texas Rangers.
The 33-year-old Roberts played for the Tampa Bay Rays the last two seasons after being acquired from the Arizona Diamondbacks in July 2012, and is a career .245 hitting with a .321 OBP. He was designated for assignment last August and had agreed to a minor league deal with the Chicago Cubs in December, but opted out of the deal two weeks ago.
Roberts, whose rather extensive collection of tattoos has led to the nickname “Tat-Man,” had his best season in 2011 while with the Diamondbacks. He hit .249 with a .341 OBP while clubbing 19 homers to go with 18 stolen bases. Where he’ll help Boston the most is against lefties; Roberts hit .305 with four doubles and four home runs in 85 at-bats against left-handed pitching last season.
Roberts has spent most of his career at third base (217 games), but played 48 games at second for Tampa Bay last season. He has also played some outfield in his career, which mostly came during his four years in Arizona.
The Red Sox found themselves in need of a third baseman after placing Will Middlebrooks on the 15-day disabled list on Sunday with a right calf strain.
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