The Red Sox signed Robert Person to a minor-league contract today. The Sox are still thin at starting pitcher. After Pedro and Lowe, they have:
- Tim Wakefield, who the Sox seemed reluctant to move into the rotation for years and even in 2002 when he was pitching well.
- John Burkett, who was subpar in 2002 but will make $5.5 M in 2003.
- Rookie Casey Fossum, who pitched well but only started 12 games in the majors last year.
- Frank Castillo, who had a 5.00+ ERA in 2002 and is now being used out of the bullpen.
- Ryan Rupe, who has not shown much at the major-league level in four years and is set to work out of the bullpen.
- Steve Woodard, another failed starter working out of the pen.
I would expect that by mid-season, the Sox may be willing to eat the underproducing Burkett's remaining contract or may be ready to move Wakefield back to the pen for the umpteenth time.
Person is said to need more healing. By mid-year, he should be all healed and should have a good number of Triple-A starts under his belt. I wouldn't be surprised if he was brought up around the All-Star break to help out. Person probably won't be much better than adequate at best, but that could be an upgrade for one or more of the bottom three spots in the Red Sox rotation.