The team announced Monday afternoon that Ryan Roberts has signed a major league contract. Terms of the deal were not disclosed.
The 33-year-old Roberts, an eight year MLB veteran who was released by Theo Epstein's Cubs at the end of spring training, has played most of his career at third base (217 games) but also plays second and some outfield.
It will be interesting to see what happens with current utility infielder Jonathan Herrera and recent callup Brock Holt when Middlebrooks returns. Herrera struggled with a bunt play on Sunday that led to two runs, but made two other sharp plays at third base. Holt was called up from Pawtucket Sunday with the news of Middlebrooks going on the DL with a calf strain. The Red Sox will have to make a roster move before tonight's game against the Rangers and have the option of moving knuckleballer Steven Wright to the 60-day DL.
Last year, Roberts played in 60 games with the Rays and hit .247/.295/.377 with five homers and 17 RBIs.
And if you like your ballplayers with tattoos, you're going to love Roberts, who has more tattoos than any other player in baseball, over 30 and counting, and goes by the nickname "Tatman." Have a look.
"I can't say they shouldn't [ask]," Roberts told Yahoo's Big League Stew. "When I first started getting tattoos, I never expected to get a lot. Over the course of my life, everything started happening for a reason. If people want to know why, I'll definitely explain the reasons behind them. If someone's interested, I'm honored to tell them."
Roberts told Big League Stew that he gets tattoos in order to show what inspires him: his Christian religion, as it relates to family and his other life experiences, including baseball.
The most notable tattoo on Roberts that can't be missed is the Japanese characters for "family" on the left side of his neck.