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Report: Red Sox agree to minor-league deal with Cron

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The Boston Red Sox agreed to a minor-league contract with veteran first baseman C.J. Cron, reports MassLive's Chris Cotillo.

If he makes the team, Cron will earn a $2-million base salary in 2024 and could collect another $500,000 in performance bonuses, according to Alex Speier of the Boston Globe. His deal also contains an opt-out clause that can be exercised before Opening Day, Cotillo adds.

Cron hit .248/.295/.434 with 12 home runs and 37 RBIs over 71 games split between the Colorado Rockies and Los Angeles Angels last season. That production was a step back from his consistent power over the previous five seasons. From 2018-22, Cron averaged 23 round-trippers a season, including a career-high 30 in 2018.

The 34-year-old will likely compete for a bench spot on Boston's Opening Day roster, where he'd presumably serve as a right-handed power bat in pinch-hitting options. Because he's limited to first base defensively, Cron could also act as the right-handed half of a designated hitter platoon and as a capable backup for Triston Casas at first.

Cron's primary competition at camp will likely be former top prospect Bobby Dalbec, another right-handed hitting first baseman. Dalbec's bat has declined significantly since his 2021 rookie campaign, but he offers more versatility; he can play multiple infield positions or a corner outfield spot if needed. He also has one minor-league option remaining.

In 10 big-league seasons with five teams, Cron owns a .260/.320/.471 slash line (111 OPS+) with 187 homers and 604 RBIs. He was an All-Star with the Rockies in 2022.

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