In a day that saw the Red Sox add another very intriguing, young, good hitting catcher, they may also be saying goodbye to a old friend.
Adalberto Ibarra is a 22-year-old former utility player who recently found his niche as a catcher after playing first, second and third. Although he held a .935 fielding percentage, how can you rely on that when the player in question is a utilityman?
As a catcher, the scouting reports say he needs development defensively, but has a strong arm (the Sox may be able to throw out a baserunner soon!), and has been said to be a on- and off-the-field leader, very vocal and passionate about the game.
The talk on Ibarra is always about the bat. His last season in Cuba had a .341 batting average with eight doubles, three triples and four home runs. His previous season had an average of .363, 25 doubles, one triple and eight home runs. Sox fans should have plenty of opportunity to get excited about this young catcher — reports of this deal is $4.3 million over the course of the next five years, with a $1.5 million signing bonus.
Alan Embree to say goodbye?
In 2004, he was a key cog in the Red Sox’ world championship bullpen, the lefty that Sox fans knew would always be right there when the game was nearing a close, and who was on the mound in that great little moment in Game 7 of the ALCS where the Red Sox came back from the largest deficit in a playoff series ever. After falling out of favor with a horrible 2005 season, Embree was designated for assignment. He then saw time with the Yankees, Padres, A’s and Rockies.
In spring training, the Red Sox had contacted Embree about once again joining the pen. The lefty signed a minor-league deal to start with the understanding, as well as a deadline, on a call-up to the big show. Said deadline was been extended from April 15 to 30 because he was not ready. Now Embree has said no more. The Red Sox have to the end of the week to call Embree up or he will opt out of his current deal. Embree owns a 3.68 ERA but has not let up a run in his passt five outings.