BALTIMORE -- Given their limited outfield production this season, any low-risk option looks pretty good to the Red Sox these days. And that's why general manager Ben Cherington signed veteran Andres Torres to a Minor League deal on Wednesday.
A switch-hitter with 650 games of Major League experience, Torres hasn't played since Aug. 21, 2013, when he was shut down with bone spurs in his left heel and wound up having surgery over the winter.
The 36-year-old Torres will start with Boston's short-season Class A affiliate in Lowell on Friday and work his way up the ladder before presumably getting a chance in Boston.
Aside from Brock Holt, who has played infield for his entire career before converting a couple of days ago, the Red Sox haven't had much production from the outfield.
Daniel Nava, Jackie Bradley Jr. and Grady Sizemore have all struggled and Shane Victorino has spent the majority of the season on the disabled list.
"Recognizing there's an injury in which he's coming back from, everything in his workouts right now suggest this is a worthy situation to take a look at," said manager John Farrell. "I think we've looked at all options to complement the majority of our left-handed-hitting outfielders and the strength of Daniel being on the left side. This is one guy that has that track record that fits that criteria. I can't say that it was a specific mold. It was also a case of, the possibilities that could be brought in and potentially provide an option of which to go to."
Torres, a fourth-round selection in the 1998 First-Year Player Draft, has played for Detroit, Texas, San Francisco and the New York Mets. He played 429 of his 650 big league games for the Giants, and he hasn't played in the Minors since 2012.
For Torres, his best season in the Majors was 2010, when he hit .268 with 16 homers and 63 RBIs and had an OPS of .823 for a San Francisco team that went on to win the World Series.
Ian Browne is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, Brownie Points, and follow him on Twitter @IanMBrowne. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.