The Red Sox are giving 12 free agents a shot to possibly contribute in 2012.
The players signed to minor league contracts on Tuesday include Carlos Silva, Tony Pena Jr., Brandon Duckworth, Charlie Haeger, Will Inman, Doug Mathis, Chorye Spoone — all right-handed pitchers — and lefty hurlers Jesse Carlson, Rich Hill and Justin Thomas. Boston also inked shortstop Pedro Ciriaco and utilityman Nate Spears.
Hill, 31, bolstered Boston's bullpen last season, tossing eight scoreless innings before suffering an elbow injury. But the southpaw underwent season-ending Tommy John surgery on June 9 to address the issue.
Silva provides veteran experience to the roster. In nine years in the majors -– spent with the Twins, Phillies, Mariners and Cubs — the right-hander notched a 70-70 record. He most recently made 21 starts for Chicago in 2010 and went 10-6 with a 4.22 ERA.
A starter in Pawtucket last season, Duckworth will be a familiar face in Fort Myers. The 35-year-old fanned 88 batters in 22 starts en route to tallying an 8-6 record. Duckworth last pitched in the majors in 2008, when he finished 3-3 for the Royals.
By signing minor league contracts, all 12 players will be invited to spring training as non-roster players.