The Red Sox had a busy Friday.
In addition to agreeing to terms with five players on one-year deals to avoid arbitration (including Mookie Betts), the Red Sox also acquired right-handed relief pitcher Austin Brice from the Miami Marlins for minor league shortstop Angeudis Santos.
In order to make room for Brice on the 40-man roster, the Red Sox designated infielder Marco Hernandez for assignment.
Here are four things to know about the newest Red Sox pitcher:
He’s the first Hong Kong-born player in MLB history.
Brice isn’t of Chinese heritage, but his parents moved around a lot before he was born, Brice told Mark Sheldon of Reds.com in 2017. He said his father worked a construction job that required him to do a lot of international work.
Brice officially made history as the first Hong Kong-born player when he made his Major League debut with the Marlins on Aug. 12, 2016, against the Chicago White Sox.
Brice ended up moving back to the U.S. and grew up in North Carolina.
The Brice family’s time in Hong Kong didn’t last long. In the aforementioned 2017 article, Brice said that his mother put the kibosh on the family’s moving and wanted the family to stay in one spot, which would end up being Pittsboro, North Carolina.
“By the time I got to grade school, my mom put her foot down and said no more moving around,” Brice said.
He turned down an invitation to play for Team China in the 2017 World Baseball Classic
Brice had the opportunity to pitch in baseball’s biggest international tournament in 2017. Team China offered Brice a spot on its roster for the 2017 World Baseball Classic.
He turned down the offer so he could focus on the upcoming major league season.
“It was a lot easier for me to worry about Spring Training than the World Baseball Classic,” Brice said.
Team China went 0-3 in the tournament and was knocked out in the group stage.
Brice has had two stints in Miami and a stop with the Cincinnati Reds in between.
The Marlins selected Brice in the ninth round of the 2010 MLB Draft. Instead of going to Appalachian State (where Brice committed to play college baseball), Brice decided to sign with the Marlins. He eventually made his Major League debut in 2016, when he pitched in 15 games and had a 7.07 ERA.
Miami moved on from Brice after that season when the club included him and two other players in a trade for Dan Straily of the Cincinnati Reds.
Brice spent two seasons in Cincinnati, where he posted a 2-3 record in 55 relief appearances and had a 5.40 ERA.
Brice’s 2019 offseason reflected his early years. He was waived by three teams (the Reds, Los Angeles Angels, and Baltimore Orioles) before he finally found a home again in Miami. He had a career-high 36 relief appearances with the Marlins in 2019, posting a 1-0 record and a 3.43 ERA on the season.
The Marlins designated Brice for assignment Tuesday.