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It’s official: Red Sox add Shane Victorino, give him Daisuke Matsuzaka’s number

12.13.12 at 12:16 pm ET
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The Red Sox made the signing of Shane Victorino to a three-year, $39 million deal official on Thursday, introducing the 32-year-old at a Fenway Park press conference. Victorino will be given the No. 18 — formerly worn by Johnny Damon and Daisuke Matsuzaka.

A few other notable highlights from the press release (the full text of which is below):

  • Victorino is the only big leaguer to reach double digits in doubles, triples, homers and steals at least three times since 2009.
  • He’s one of nine players with four seasons of 30-plus steals since 2007.
  • His .996 career fielding percentage is the best of any active outfielder.
  • He won the Branch Rickey award for philanthropic activity that personifies “service above self.”

Here’s the press release:

The Boston Red Sox today signed two-time All-Star and three-time Rawlings Gold Glove Award winner Shane Victorino to a three-year contract through the 2015 season.  The outfielder has been in postseason play five times in his nine-year career, including back to back pennants with Philadelphia in 2008 and 2009 and the World Series Championship against Tampa Bay in 2008.

The former Phillies star, 32, set a career high with 39 stolen bases in 154 games with the Phillies and Dodgers in 2012, his fourth season with least at least 30 steals.  His 39 stolen bases and 86.7 percent success rate (45 attempts) both placed fourth in the National League last year.

After playing 7 ½ seasons with Philadelphia, he was acquired by the Dodgers on July 31 last year and led Los Angeles in stolen bases (15) and tied for the team lead in walks (18) starting August 1.  He hit a combined .255 (152-for-595) with 29 doubles, seven triples, 11 home runs, 55 RBI, 72 runs, and 53 walks in 154 games last year, and was the 10th-hardest hitter in the NL to strike out (8.33 plate appearances per strikeout).

The switch-hitter is the only Major Leaguer to record double digits in double, triples, home runs, and stolen bases three times since 2009.  Since 2007, only eight other Major Leaguers have tallied at least four 30-steal campaigns.

Victorino has twice led the majors in triples, in 2009 (13) and 2011 (tied, 16).  He ranks second among big leaguers with 46 triples starting in 2009, trailing only Dexter Fowler (50), and is tied for 12th among active players with 65 career three-baggers.

A native of Wailuku, Hawaii, he became the first position player and fourth Hawaiian-born player overall to become an All-Star when he was selected in 2009.  He earned the honor again in 2011, when he also won the Mike Schmidt Player of the Year Award from the Philadelphia chapter of the BBWAA.

Victorino earned Rawlings Gold Gloves three straight seasons, 2008-10.  He has primarily played center field in his big league career (762 games), but also has played right (147) and left (111) fields.

He has committed just 10 errors in 2,226 total chances and leads all active outfielders with a .996 fielding percentage.  He has recorded double digits in assists three times, tying for the NL lead with 11 in 2010.  His 59 career assists rank seventh among NL outfielders over the last 10 seasons while his 18 double plays are third and his .881 zone rating is ninth.

In his career, Victorino has hit .275 (1,060-for-3,852) with 195 doubles, 90 home runs, 409 RBI, 616 runs, 334 walks and 201 stolen bases in 1,076 games with the Padres (2003), Phillies (2005-12) and Dodgers (2012).

Originally selected by the Dodgers in the sixth round of the 1999 June Draft, Victorino was twice taken in the Major League phase of the Rule 5 Draft, by San Diego in 2002 and Philadelphia in 2004.

Victorino’s 30 career postseason RBI are second-most in Phillies history and his 13 RBI during Philadelphia’s 2008 World Series Championship run set a then-club record for a single postseason.  He clubbed the first grand slam in Phillies postseason history in Game 2 of the 2008 NLDS vs. Milwaukee off CC Sabathia.  He hit .293 (17-for-58) with nine RBI during the 2009 postseason, when the Phillies lost the Fall Classic to the New York Yankees, four games to two.

The Phillies’ nominee for the Roberto Clemente Award in 2010, he launched The Shane Victorino Foundation that year with his wife, Melissa.  The foundation promotes opportunities for underserved youth and provides children in need with educational, recreational, and wellness programs.  He has hosted an annual All-Star Celebrity Fashion Show in Philadelphia and Celebrity Dinner and Golf Classic in Hawaii to benefit the foundation, and treated nearly 500 children to Phillies games through his Flyin’ Hawaiian All-Stars ticket program.

Victorino was recognized nationally for his philanthropy in 2011 with the Branch Rickey Award, which honors humanitarians in Major League Baseball who personify “service above self.”  He also received the Phillies Community Service Award in 2010.

Victorino will wear No. 18.  With the signing, the Red Sox 40-man roster is now at 39.

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