Sox sign Phillips to Minor League deal

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BOSTON -- Though the Red Sox are still hopeful that Dustin Pedroia will regain the health of his surgically repaired left knee and be a contributor down the stretch, the club lined up an insurance policy on Wednesday by signing former All-Star second baseman Brandon Phillips to a Minor League contract.

A 16-year veteran, Phillips hasn't played in the Major Leagues or Minors this season, but he had solid numbers for the Braves and Angels in 2017, slashing .285/.319/.416 with 34 doubles, 13 homers and 60 RBIs.

Phillips will report to Boston's Spring Training base in Fort Myers, Fla.

"He is reporting to Florida to get himself in playing shape. Once he has accomplished that, he will join [Triple-A] Pawtucket," president of baseball operations Dave Dombrowski wrote in an e-mail. "We look at him as a potential Major League player who hits from the right-hand side that can play a number of positions. No promises have been attached to the signing."

Though primarily a second baseman throughout his career, Phillips has played 25 games at shortstop and six games at third base.

A three-time All-Star and four-time Rawlings Gold Glove Award winner, Phillips was drafted by the Montreal Expos and was traded to the Indians along with Grady Sizemore and Cliff Lee in a blockbuster trade for Bartolo Colon on June 27, 2002.

Phillips played 135 games over four seasons in Cleveland before being dealt to the Reds for Jeff Stevens in April 2006. It was in Cincinnati where Phillips developed into a star over an 11-year tenure, belting a career-high 30 homers in '07 and driving in 103 in '13.

As for Pedroia, he underwent a cartilage restoration procedure on his left knee last October and played just three games for the Red Sox this season before inflammation forced him back to the disabled list.

Pedroia will meet with his surgeon Dr. Riley Williams when the Red Sox are in New York this weekend to make sure his recovery is progressing as it should.

Eduardo Nunez and Brock Holt have been holding down second base for Boston in Pedroia's absence.

Nunez is off to a disappointing start (.253 average, four homers, .634 OPS) this season offensively. Holt has been solid, hitting .299. Both players have traditionally been at their best moving around to different positions.

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