Red Sox confirm Kevin Millwood signing, make seven roster moves

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The Red Sox aren’t acting like a team that has won six in a row.

On Friday, they turned over 12 percent of their major league roster, calling up infielder Drew Sutton, activating Dan Wheeler from the disabled list and activating the newly acquired Franklin Morales.  Going to make room were right-hander Michael Bowden, left-hander Hideki Okajima and shortstop Jose Iglesias.

The team also confirmed the Kevin Millwood signing and bumped both Okajima and outfielder Daniel Nava from the 40-man roster.

The Millwood signing would stink of desperation if the Red Sox weren’t so hot.  Millwood, though, might prove useful in a park that doesn’t yield a lot of homers, and though Fenway is rightfully considered a favorable hitter’s environment, it’s not a home run park.   One can surmise that the Red Sox took note of the fact that Millwood is 4-2 with a 3.62 ERA lifetime at Fenway, a particularly strong line given that Boston was typically running out some of the league’s best lineups during his starts.

The arrival of Morales led to the departure of Okajima.  Okajima had a 4.32 ERA in seven appearances since being recalled from Triple-A, but he wasn’t working his way up the depth chart, as evidenced by the fact that he hadn’t pitched in 10 days.  Morales’ upside was too tantalizing to ignore, and Okajima could always choose to remain with the team if he clears waivers.

Nava, a fun story last year, is also about to go on waivers.  The former indy leaguer, who his a grand slam in his first major league at-bat on June 12, 2010, was batting just .192/.321/.262 with no homers in 156 at-bats for Pawtucket.

Henderson Alvarez signs with Tigres de Quintana Roo

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Free agent right-hander Henderson Alvarez signed a deal with the Tigres de Quintana Roo of the Mexican Baseball League earlier this week, FanRag Sports’ Jon Heyman reported Friday. The righty wasn’t necessarily too fringey a player to hack it in the big leagues, but there were no MLB takers in attendance during his showcase in Venezuela last month and he clearly felt it best to try his luck elsewhere.

The 27-year-old’s last major league gig came with the Phillies, for whom he delivered a 4.30 ERA, 6.8 BB/9 and 3.7 SO/9 over 14 2/3 innings in 2017. While he’s not too far removed from his first and only All-Star bid in 2014, he was besieged by shoulder issues in 2015 and 2016 and underwent season-ending surgeries as a result.

That added injury risk, coupled with the fact that he hasn’t pitched more than 22 innings in a single season since 2014, may have been too much for major league teams to take on this spring. Assuming he steers clear of further injuries, however, a return to the majors may not be entirely out of the question in years to come.