Embree, one of those 25, is back

FORT MYERS, Fla. — Red Sox fans are always happy to get some reminders of 2004, and today they have one. Alan Embree, who you might remember as the man who got the last out in Game 7 of that American League Championship Series against the Yankees, is back on a Minor League contract with a Major League invite.

“He was obviously a very huge part of a very good bullpen for us,” said Red Sox catcher Jason Varitek. “He’s
got deception, he’s got experience, he’s got some power. I don’t know
where he’s at time-wise right now, but he’ll be a very welcomed
addition.”

Obviously Embree, who is 40, could be a a factor on the Major League team this year, or the Red Sox wouldn’t have signed him at this late point in camp. Hideki Okajima is the only other lefty reliever sure to make the team. Brian Shouse, more of a pure situational lefty than Embree, is also in camp, trying to make the team. Shouse is 41. Keep in mind that Embree, because of his late arrival, doesn’t figure to be ready for the start of the season. Then again, the Sox are keeping all their options open.

“Well, Alan is signed to a Minor League contract and today we’ll go out and kind of see where he is,” said Red Sox manager Terry Francona. “He says he’s almost game-ready. That’s encouraging for us. At the same time, we’re not going to go do something like that. We’ll go out and let him do his stretching. Whether that takes him to a bullpen or not is going to kind of depend on how he and John see fit. We’ll try to estimate where he is in his progression and then we’ll try to get him ready to get in games.”

The lefty reliever had his 2009 season with the Rockies end abruptly when his right leg was broken on a line drive.

Embree was acquired by the Sox in June of 2002 and was a key contributor as a setup man through the end of that memorable ’04 season.

In 2005, however, it all fell apart (1-4, 7.65 ERA) for Embree, to the point where he was released shortly after the All-Star  break. He hooked on with the Yankees for the end of that season, but rediscovered his form in San Diego (2006) and Oakland (2007-08). Embree had a 5.84 ERA with the Rockies last year before taking the line drive.

The 40-year-old Embree will try to regain his form for the Red Sox. He is here this morning and will address the media in a bit.

Embree has pitched 882 times in his Major League career, going 39-45 with a 4.59 ERA. In 774 innings, he has 691 strikeouts. Opponents have hit .254 against him in his career. He pitched 211 times for the Red Sox, posting a 4.69 ERA.

He came up big for the Sox in the 2003 and ’04 postseasons. In ’03, he didn’t allow a run in eight outings. If you remember, manager Grady Little was criticized for not bringing on Embree to face Hideki Matsui when Pedro Martinez faltered in that infamous eighth inning. Embree was called on 11 times by manager Terry Francona in the October ’04 run to the title, posting a 2.45 ERA.

“He seemed to have the ability kind of mix a little more his secondary pitches when he was in Oakland — that was the last time we saw him,” said Varitek. “But he was still powerful. I don’t know where he’s at right now, but he’s very welcomed. It’s a nice face to see.”

12 Comments

Might as well sign Timlin and add a couple of wheelchairs to the mix. LOL!!

Arnie…

Great line on the previous thread.

All I can say is OMG. Can Red Sox find another lefty reliever who equals or no worse better than Embree in the system? We have a senior citizen Shouse, why need another senior citizen?

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Yeah, that is baffling. I do wonder if we’re setting up for an Old Timers Reunion Tour…
GO SOX!

You’re right, Brian, when are we signing Timlin? Next week?

Yup, let’s get trade Wake, because he’s too old.

I don’t see a problem with acquiring Embree on a contingency (AAA) basis. Sure, he’s coming off a broken leg. Sure, he’s old. But he might still have the stuff. Leftie relievers are always worth a punt, at the right price — which, although nobody has mentioned it, is probably a good price in this case. Also, Embree is an honorary member of the nation.

What would you rather see — John Smoltz at $5 million?

Speaking of Cameron, where has he been this spring? Haven’t heard much about him.
You make a good point about the age of the Sox, Greg. I think Embree will be an emergency type player. If someone goes down, the Sox have a wily old veteran waiting in the minors. Plus, Theo just bought stock in the Acme Walker & Wheelchair Company.
As long as Mike Cameron is today’s topic, I nominate him for Team Scapegoat. If something goes terribly wrong we can blame Mike. So if JD whiffs with the bases juiced and two out, well, he plays next to Mike in the outfield , it’s not JD’s fault.
Judge, my team is gonna whip your team’s butt!! The Avengers are going to rule!! Haha

I had not realized that Embree was that old. I am very grateful for what Embree contributed to our WS team, and Timlin as well. Speaking only for myself, though, the problem is not Embree himself–it is that we seem to be working hard to consciously get older, not younger. Shouse is an example of it, as was Smoltz last year. It is true of the position players as well, like Cameron.

Great to see Wake had a great day! GO WAKE! GO SOX!

hi IAN happy holidays,,,why is jason over the hill varitek and tim on;ly wants to break all time red sox win record on the team!!!! get rid of them,,and get a good catcher named mike napoli,, all the teams will be stealing on the red sox right now,,,they donot have a proven catcher,,mike napoli hits over 20 homeruns a year,,hits,,260 and catches good,,,WAKE UP THEO EPSTEIN and get mike napoli!!!!

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