Dave Dombrowski once again turned to Mexico to add some needed depth to the Boston Red Sox roster.
The Red Sox on Friday signed Mexican League second baseman Esteban Quiroz to a minor league contract with an invitation to spring training. Dombrowski confirmed the deal to the Boston Herald.
The Red Sox president of baseball operations told the paper the club considers Quiroz “more depth at this time.”
That being said, it’s possible Quiroz can play his way into the lineup, especially early in the 2018 season as second baseman Dustin Pedroia recovers from knee surgery. Pedroia’s recovery timetable suggests a potential return in late May or thereabouts.
Quiroz, 25, had a fine season with the Yucatan Leones. He hit .293 with 11 home runs and 49 RBIs in 89 games and is a career .293 hitter with an .853 OPS in the Mexican League.
Quiroz represented Mexico in the World Baseball Classic earlier in the spring where he hit this three-run home run off Los Angeles Angels pitcher Yusmeiro Petit in a pool play game against Venezuela:
He also hit a leadoff home run against Italy earlier in the tournament.
Quiroz was Mexico’s best player in three WBC games, going 4-for-6 with the pair of homers and driving in five runs.
The left-handed hitting infielder is similar to Pedroia in size and is actually listed as shorter than the Red Sox second baseman. Quiroz is listed at 5-foot-7 whereas Pedroia goes as 5-foot-9.
This is the second straight offseason the Red Sox have added a Mexican League player. Boston signed right-handed pitcher Hector Velazquez in February, and the 28-year-old made eight appearances with the big league club, posting a 3-1 record with a 2.92 ERA.