Bobby Abreu worked out for the Red Sox in Venezuela recently, according to Alex Speier of WEEI.com.
Speier also notes that they had Abreu do some reps at first base, where the 38-year-old has never played even an inning in 17 big-league seasons.
Mike Napoli’s three-year, $39 million deal with the Red Sox remains unsigned, but even if that somehow falls apart it’d be a pretty big stretch to think they viewed Abreu as an actual fallback plan there.
As a potential bench bat, though, he still has some value thanks to strong on-base skills. Last season Abreu hit .242 with a .350 on-base percentage in 100 games for the Angels and Dodgers, and he’s posted an OBP above .350 in 15 consecutive seasons.
ESPN’s Jerry Crasnick reports that the Nationals have signed reliever Joaquin Benoit to a contract. Jorge Castillo of the Washington Post adds that it’s a one-year major league deal worth $1 million.
Benoit, 40, spent last season with the Phillies and Pirates. He put up a mediocre 4.65 ERA with a 46/22 K/BB ratio across 50 1/3 innings. Only 8/13 innings came with the Pirates as he dealt with a left knee injury that kept him out of action for much of the final month and a half. He also left the team in mid-September to attend to a family matter in the Dominican Republic.
Given his age and declining performance, as well as the Nationals’ bullpen depth, Benoit doesn’t figure to pitch in many high-leverage spots, but that could change with injuries.