Red Sox sign Brady Clark

The Red Sox have reportedly signed outfielder Brady Clark as a possible veteran fourth outfielder. Clark was released by the Los Angeles Dodgers earlier this year when he hit only .224/.308/.293 in 47 games. Analysts and Red Sox Nation have been clamoring for a better fourth outfielder, one who can play defense, run and preferably hit lefties. Brandon Moss or David Murphy could potentially fit the role, but the Sox want an experienced player, someone like Dave Roberts in 2004.

The 34-year old Clark is a career .277/.356/.386 hitter who has played exclusively in the National League and is known to play solid defense. He has extensive experience playing center field and right field. A right-handed hitter, Clark is patient at the plate and can get on base. He has been pretty balanced at the plate, faring more or less the same versus lefties or righties. Brady is not known as a speedster, but he has stolen his share of bases, and generally knows when to run.

Clark fills the need for a defensive replacement and a pinch runner, but he can’t really replace J.D. Drew in the lineup. I see Clark as a little bit of an offensive risk, since he has not faced American League pitching. I wouldn’t be surprised if he continued to hit at about the rate he has so far this year. Anyway, as a free agent, he will make the Major League minimum, so it’s a low-cost move by the Sox.

A lot of rumors had the Red Sox trying to negotiate with the Oakland Athletics for outfielder Bobby Kielty. I don’t think this move necessarily means that the Sox are done pursuing him, but I think of this move more as insurance in case they can’t get a deal done for him. Kielty might fit the Red Sox a little better, since he would provide a good bat against lefties and a lot more pop off the bench than Clark. One source says that they offered Joel Pineiro straight-up for Kielty, but were rejected. I’m not surprised that Beane would reject such an offer, which would actually increase the A’s salary without providing adequate compensation picks after the season.

This signing strengthens the notion that Wily Mo Pena will not be a Red Sox much longer. I’ve heard several possible trade partners, including the White Sox, the Nationals and the Pirates.


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