Kielty Joins Non-Roster Invitees

The Red Sox agreed to terms Wednesday with free agent outfielder Bobby Kielty on a 2008 contract with Triple-A Pawtucket of the International League. In addition, Kielty has been invited to Boston's major league spring training camp as a non-roster player. According to the Boston Globe, the deal will be worth $800,000 if Kielty makes the Sox.

Kielty, 31, combined for a .218 batting average with one homer and 12 RBI in 33 games with the Athletics and Sox in 2007. Missing most of spring training after tearing cartilage in his left knee, the switch-hitter appeared in just 13 games for the A's with a .200 average and three RBI as he was sidelined from May 1-July 8 with a torn left calf muscle.

Released by the Athletics on July 31, Kielty signed a minor league contract with the Sox on August 6 and hit .237 in nine games at Pawtucket before being promoted to the Red Sox on August 18. He spent the rest of the season in Boston, batting .231 with one homer and nine RBI in 20 games while starting six games in right and five in left. Kielty was 3-for-3 with 3 RBI in the post-season, including a pinch-hit homer in Game 4 of the World Series at Colorado. He hit the homer on the only pitch he saw of the Fall Classic.

Kielty has a career major league average of .254 with 53 homers and 253 RBI in 599 games with the Twins (2001-03), Blue Jays (2003), Athletics (2004-07), and Sox (2007).

Kielty is one of 15 individuals that has been invited to the Red Sox' major league spring training camp as a non-roster player:

PITCHERS (7): RH Michael Bowden, RH Lee Gronkiewicz, LH Hunter Jones, RH Dan Kolb, RH Justin Masterson, LH Jon Switzer, LH Michael Tejera.
CATCHERS (1): Kevin Cash.
INFIELDERS (6): Jeff Bailey, Keith Ginter, Tony Granadillo, Jed Lowrie, Joe Thurston, Gil Velazquez.
OUTFIELDER (1): Bobby Kielty.

Gronkiewicz, Kolb, Switzer. Tejera, Ginter, Thurston, and Velazquez all joined the Sox as minor league free agents this winter. Bailey, Cash, Granadillo, and Kielty re-signed with the Sox as free agents. Bowden, Jones, Masterson, and Lowrie played in Boston's minor league system in 2007.

Pitchers and catchers report to the Sox' major league spring training camp in Fort Myers, FL on Thursday, Feb. 14 and work out for the first time two days later. Position players report on Wednesday, Feb. 20 with the first full workout scheduled for two days later.


Donnelly, Hinske land elsewhere: Two members of the Sox' world championship team reportedly signed minor league deals with new clubs Wednesday.

ESPN.com reported that Brendan Donnelly, who went 2-1 with a 3.05 ERA in 27 games but didn't pitch after June 10 due to a right elbow injury that eventually required Tommy John surgery, has signed a minor league contract with the Indians. Donnelly is expected to miss most or all of next season recovering from the operation he underwent in August, but he told the Boston Herald in December that he hopes to be back by the end of July.

ESPN.com also reported that Eric Hinske, who hit .204 with six homers and 21 RBI as a backup at the infield and outfield corners last year, signed a minor league contract with the Rays that will pay him $800,000 if he makes the club. Hinske could open the season as the Rays' starting third baseman if Tampa Bay sends promising prospect Evan Longoria to the minor leagues.

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