Victorino OK on moving from center field to right
Giants, Torres agree to deal; Reds finalize Hannahan’s contract.
Hawaiian Shane Victorino was so excited to arrive in Boston in the chill of December he ordered some New England clam chowder at dinner and sent a picture to his Twitter followers.
That’s when he got his first lesson.
“It’s CHOWDA!” Red Sox center fielder Jacoby Ellsbury corrected him.
“That was the first real message from Jacoby for Boston,” Victorino said Thursday at a news conference to announce the $39 million, three-year deal he agreed to at the winter meetings. “I’ve got to learn the lingo.”
Victorino joins Ellsbury in the Red Sox outfield, with the opportunity to replace the 2011 AL MVP runner-up when Ellsbury’s contract expires at the end of next season. In the meantime, Victorino is slotted for right field.
“I always look at it as, ‘I’m going to help this team win,’” Victorino said. “I came in as a right fielder. ... Don’t get me wrong, I love center field, I want to be a center fielder, but I play right. I’m excited for the opportunity. I might wrap myself around that pole, but if I’ve got to go get the ball I’ve got to go get it.”
Red Sox general manager Ben Cherington said adding a “center fieldquality right fielder” was one of his goals for the offseason. It’s also been important to add players who can improve the chemistry of a team that collapsed in September 2011 and never got in position to collapse in 2012.
“He fits perfectly into our short- and long-term plan,” Cherington said.
Nicknamed the Flyin’ Hawaiian, Victorino is a .275 hitter with 90 homers in seven full seasons.
Victorino said his experience with the demanding Phillies fans should also help prepare him for Boston.
“I’m hoping it’s not worse than Philly,” he said. “That was a trying experience.”
Also Thursday, Boston has agreed to terms with right-hander Ryan Dempster on a two-year contract worth $26.5 million, two people familiar with the negotiations said.
Dempster, who was 12-8 with a 3.38 ERA last season with the Chicago Cubs and Texas Rangers, gives the Red Sox a reliable pitcher who has thrown more than 200 innings for four of the past five seasons.
Giants: Andres Torres (.230, three HRs, 35 RBIs with the New York Mets) agreed to a one-year, $2 million contract Thursday with San Francisco. Torres, 34, must pass a physical to finalize the deal, the Giants said.
Reds: Cincinnati and 32-year old free-agent infielder Jack Hannahan (.244, four HRs, 29 RBIs with Cleveland) finalized a two-year, $4 million contract, giving the team added depth at third base.
Twins: Minnesota has finalized a two-year, $10 million contract with right-hander Kevin Correia. The 32-year-old, an All-Star in 2011, went 12-11 with a 4.21 ERA for Pittsburgh last season.