As expected, the Red Sox added catcher Luis Exposito, righthander Stolmy Pimentel and infielder Oscar Tejada to the 40-man roster, which is now at 39.
The Red Sox players available in the Rule 5 draft on Dec. 9 are:
Aaron Bates, Anatanaer Batista, Bubba Bell, Ronald Bermudez, Cesar Cabral, Yeiper Castillo, Chih-Hsien Chiang, Caleb Clay, Bryce Cox, Zach Daeges, Mitch Dening, Kyle Fernandes, Miguel Gonzalez, Jorge Jimenez, Kris Johnson, Ryan Khoury, T.J. Large, Will Latimer, Ryne Lawson, Santo Luis, Leandro Marin, Wilson Matos, Blake Maxwell, Ryne Miller, Adam Mills, Pedro Perez, Kelvin Pichardo, Wilfred Pichardo, Jason Place, Eammon Portice, Ryne Reynoso, Jason Rice, Manny Rivera, Matt Sheely, Nate Spears, Jon Still, Daniel Turpen, and Will Vazquez.
None seem particularly vital to the future of the organization. It wouldn't be a surprise to see a team take a shot with Bell, an outfielder who has a career .817 OPS. Turpen and Rice were in the Arizona Fall League.
Rice being left off the 40 is a bit of a surprise. He was taken in the minor-league phase of the Rule 5 draft last season and pitched well for Class AA Portland, posting a 2.85 ERA over 60 innings while allowing 45 hits and striking out 71.
Rice was sent to the Arizona Fall League and has a 3.86 ERA in nine appearances. Any player selected in the Rule 5 Draft would have to stick with that team for the entire season or be offered back to his original team.
This from the Red Sox release on the players who were protected:
Exposito compiled a .260 average (123-for-473) with 39 doubles, one triple, 11 home runs, 94 RBI, 65 runs scored and 55 walks in a career-high 125 games with Double-A Portland in 2010. The 23-year-old paced the Sea Dogs while finishing among Eastern League leaders in RBI (3rd) and doubles (4th) and caught 30 of 80 attempted base stealers for a league-best 37.5 percent caught stealing rate. Exposito has also played two games with Aguilas Cibaenas of the Dominican Winter League.
A veteran of five professional seasons, Exposito was selected by Boston in the 31st round of the 2005 First-Year Player Draft. He is a .274 (413-for-1,508) hitter with 42 home runs and 244 RBI in 394 career minor league games in the Red Sox organization.
Pimentel, 20, went 9-11 with a 4.06 ERA (58 ER/128.2 IP) in 26 starts for Single-A Salem in 2010, compiling a team-high 102 strikeouts compared to 42 walks. He ranked among Carolina League leaders in ERA (9th) and starts (T-3rd) while finishing fifth among league starters with a .248 opponent average against (120-for-484). Pimentel placed eighth among qualifying Red Sox minor leaguers in ERA and tied for fourth in wins. he right-hander was also selected to participate in the 2010 All-Star Futures Game and retired both batters he faced while pitching for the World Team.
Signed by Boston as an international free agent on July 2, 2006, Pimentel has gone 27-21 with a 3.64 ERA (150 ER/371.1 IP), 326 strikeouts and 110 walks in 77 career minor league games (73 starts) over four seasons (2007-10) in the Red Sox organization. He was named Red Sox Minor League Latin Program Pitcher of the Year with the Dominican Summer League Red Sox in 2007.
The 20-year-old Tejeda spent the 2010 season with Single-A Salem, where he was named to both the Carolina League’s mid-season and post-season All-Star teams. He ranked fourth in the circuit and second among Red Sox farmhands with a .307 average (156-for-508) and tallied 32 doubles, five triples, 11 home runs, 69 RBI and 17 stolen bases in 126 games, including a league-high 119 contests at second base. Tejeda also ranked among Carolina League leaders in sacrifice flies (1st, 10), hits (2nd), at-bats (5th), extra-base hits (7th, 48), runs scored (7th, 76), total bases (7th, 231) and slugging percentage (9th, .455). He has also appeared in nine games for Gigantes del Cibao of the Dominican Winter League.
Originally signed by the Red Sox as an international free agent on July 2, 2006, the infielder has hit .281 (427-for-1,517) with 19 home runs, 190 RBI and 41 stolen bases in 389 career games over four seasons (2007-10) in the Red Sox farm system.