Red Sox get defensive, sign Punto

by Matthew on December 14, 2011

After trading back up shortstop Jed Lowrie to the Astros earlier in the day, the Boston Red Sox made a move to increase their defensive depth by signing utility infielder free agent Nick Punto to a two-year deal Wednesday night.

The deal is worth $3 million, according to, and carries with it up to $500,000 in incentives.

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Although being known as a better-than-average infielder at three positions –second base, third base and shortstop. The 11-year veteran has not been particularly been overly impressive at the plate.

The 34-year old began his career with the Philadelphia Phillies in 2001, but was traded just two years later to the Minnesota Twins where he played for seven seasons before signing with the world champion Cardinals last offseason, where he hit .278 with a .388 on-base percentage and one homer in 133 at bats.

But that was a good year for a guy that typically seems to come in at .249 and .652.

Still, Punto provides has some value in being able to fill in at those three positions, and provides some much needed insurance at shortstop behind an aging Marco Scutaro (36), and third behind an injury riddled Kevin Youkilis.

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