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Red Sox sign right-hander John Ely, re-sign Miguel Celestino

12.14.13 at 12:48 am ET
John Ely (AP)

John Ely (AP)

The Red Sox announced that they signed right-hander John Ely and re-signed right-hander Miguel Celestino to minor league contracts that include invitations to big league spring training.

Ely, 27, missed all of 2013 after undergoing Tommy John surgery following a trade from the Dodgers to the Astros. In 25 big league appearances between 2010-12, he’s 4-13 with a 5.70 ERA, 7.2 strikeouts and 4.0 walks per nine innings. However, his minor league track record suggests a pitcher whose fastball-changeup combination can be effective enough to make him a big league starting depth option. In 2012, while pitching in one of the most hitter-friendly environments in the minors (Triple-A Albuquerque), he went 14-7 with a 3.20 ERA, 8.8 strikeouts and 1.9 walks en route to winning Pacific Coast League Pitcher of the Year honors.

The Sox also announced the re-signings of Celestino and Brandon Snyder. Snyder, who played in 27 big league games for the Sox last year, had already announced his re-signing about three weeks ago. Celestino, a 24-year-old whom the Sox originally acquired in 2010 as a player to be named later in a trade that sent Casey Kotchman to the Mariners, was a six-year minor league free agent. The 6-foot-6 right-hander, who moved from the rotation to the bullpen last year, may have the best velocity of any pitcher in the Red Sox system, regularly sitting in the high-90s, but he was hit hard as a reliever in Double-A Portland last year, going 1-9 with a 6.12 ERA, 8.8 strikeouts and 4.5 walks per nine innings. Still, the lanky reliever possesses the sort of power arsenal that makes a potential big league future a possibility, even if not a likelihood for a pitcher whose ERA has gotten progressively worse at every stop he’s made in the Red Sox system.

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