Sox sign Harris to one-year deal

Red Sox sign Harris to one-year deal

BOSTON -- While the Red Sox continue to hammer the phone lines in search of a starting center fielder, the club has landed a supplementary player for the outfield and second base.

The Red Sox have signed Willie Harris to a one-year, split contract. Harris will go to camp as a non-roster invitee, but he figures to have a strong chance to make the team.

Manny Ramirez and Trot Nixon are the only established outfielders on Boston's current roster.

Harris, who spent the past four seasons with the White Sox, was non-tendered by the World Series champions in December.

The left-handed hitter has a dimension the Red Sox don't have much of -- speed.

Harris stole 10 bases for the White Sox last year in 56 games. In 2004, when he notched a career high of 409 at-bats, Harris stole 19 bases.

In 322 Major League games, the 27-year-old Harris is a .242 hitter with five homers and 52 RBIs. He broke in with the Orioles in 2001 before being traded to the White Sox the next year.

The Rockies also had interest in Harris, but he chose Boston. Versatility is his biggest strength, as Harris has the ability to play all three outfield positions as well as second base, where he started 28 games in 2005. Harris also started two games at shortstop in '05.

"Willie is a player who enjoys Boston and the electricity," said Harris' agent, Daryl Buford. "That environment will be very good for Willie. He thrives in that kind of environment."

Ian Browne is a reporter for This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.