It's the time of the offseason in which Major League Baseball teams add players to their 40-man rosters with Rule 5 draft looming. The Red Sox added a trio of names to their 40-man on Friday.
The Sox announced the additions of Will Middlebrooks, Che-Hsuan Lin and Drake Britton to the 40-man roster, ensuring that they cannot be drafted in next month's Rule 5 draft.
Middlebrooks is considered by some to be the Red Sox' top prospect. He's coming off a season in which he hit .302 with 18 home runs and 80 RBIs in 96 games with Double-A Portland. The 2007 fifth-round pick also played in the Futures Game at this year's All-Star Game.
Britton and Lin come with less fanfare, but they could potentially help Boston down the road. Britton is a strong left-handed pitcher who the Sox are apparently banking on bouncing back after a 2011 season in which he went 1-13 with a 6.91 ERA at Single-A Salem, and he's still just 22. Lin, on the other hand, split time in Pawtucket and Portland last season. He doesn't offer much in terms of offense, but he's considered a very strong defensive outfielder. He was named the organization's top minor league defensive player in 2010.
The Red Sox currently have 38 players on their 40-man roster.