Sox sign eight to Minor League deals

Sox sign eight to Minor League deals

BOSTON -- A veteran catcher and a fan-favorite utilityman are among the eight free agents who signed 2007 contracts with Boston's Triple-A affiliate on Wednesday, with an invitation to Major League camp as non-roster players.

Those signing with Pawtucket are right-handed pitcher Travis Hughes; catcher Alberto Castillo; infielders Jeff Bailey, Luis Jimenez, Joe McEwing, Ed Rogers and Bobby Scales; and outfielder Kerry Robinson.

Castillo, 36, played in the Washington organization in 2006, batting .268 with 30 RBIs in 88 games at Triple-A New Orleans. The veteran has a career .222 average with 11 homers and 98 RBIs in 407 Major League contests with the Mets (1995-98), Cardinals (1999), Blue Jays (2000-01), Yankees (2002), Giants (2003), Royals (2004-05) and A's (2005).

Known for the hustling style and versatility that earned him the nickname "Super Joe" while with the Mets, the 34-year-old McEwing spent 2006 in the Houston organization, batting .315 with ten homers and 46 RBIs in 112 games at Triple-A Round Rock and going hitless in six at-bats over seven games with the Astros. The veteran has played extensively at second and third base and in the outfield in his career. He is a .251 career hitter with 25 homers and 158 RBIs in 754 games with the Cardinals (1998-99), Mets (2000-04), Royals (2005) and Astros (2006).

Hughes, 28, pitched in the Washington organization in 2006, going 2-6 with a 2.32 ERA and four saves in 51 appearances at Triple-A New Orleans, and 0-0, 6.35 in eight games for the Nationals. He is 1-1 with a 6.31 ERA in 24 career Major League appearances with Texas (2004) and Washington (2005-06).

Bailey, 28, returns to the Red Sox organization after batting .275 with team highs of 22 homers and 82 RBIs in 134 games for Pawtucket in 2006. This will be the first baseman's fourth year in the Boston organization. Jimenez, 24, also returns to the Red Sox after producing a .276 average with 17 homers and 70 RBIs in 115 games at Double-A Portland in 2006.

Rogers, 28, joins the organization after nine years in the Baltimore system. In 2006, the shortstop/third baseman hit .298 with five homers and 30 RBIs in 86 games at Triple-A Ottawa and .200 with two RBIs in 17 games with the Orioles. He has a .207 career mark in 30 Major League games.

Scales, 29, spent 2006 in the Philadelphia organization, batting .291 with seven homers and 44 RBIs at Triple-A Scranton-Wilkes Barre. He spent his first seven pro seasons in the San Diego system.

Robinson, 33, was in the Kansas City organization in 2006, hitting .311 with two homers and 40 RBIs in 100 games at Triple-A Omaha and .266 with five RBIs in 18 games with the Royals. The outfielder's career Major League average is .267, with three homers and 56 RBIs, in 463 games with Tampa Bay (1998), Cincinnati (1999), St. Louis (2001-03), San Diego (2004) and Kansas City (2006). He appeared in more than 100 games in three consecutive seasons with the Cardinals.

Mike Petraglia is a contributor to This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.