The Red Sox on Thursday re-acquired Gabbard from the Texas Rangers for cash. Gabbard had been traded -- along with David Murphy and Engel Beltre -- to the Rangers on July 31, 2007, for Eric Gagne, who wound up being a bust down the stretch that season for Boston.
Gabbard had season-ending surgery to remove a bone spur in his left elbow during the All-Star break last season, at which point he was 2-3 with a 4.82 ERA for the Rangers in 12 starts.
The lefty had been pitching at Triple-A Oklahoma City, going 0-1 with a 10.50 ERA.
He will report to Boston's Spring Training facility in Fort Myers, Fla., and presumably move up the Minor League chain after that. Gabbard, 27, was selected by the Red Sox in the 29th round of the 2000 First-Year Player Draft.
In another move, the Red Sox have optioned first baseman/outfielder Chris Carter to Triple-A Pawtucket. Carter, who won the 25th roster spot out of Spring Training, had been used sparingly, going 0-for-5 with four strikeouts.
The Red Sox will make a corresponding roster move to replace Carter before Friday's game against the Yankees.
Ian Browne is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.