FORT MYERS, Fla. — The Red Sox traded catcher Dan Butler to the Washington Nationals in January 2015. They received lefthander Danny Rosenbaum in return.
As players sometimes do in the age of social media, they wished each other well via Twitter then went about their business.
Now Butler and Rosenbaum are teammates with the Sox and could be batterymates at Triple A Pawtucket.
“It’s kind of funny,” Butler said. “Here we both are.”
Butler and Rosenbaum played against each other at several levels of the minor leagues. But they did not meet until October at the base of Camelback Mountain in Phoenix.
“I was taking a hike with a buddy and Danny was with his wife. We happened to run across each other,” said Butler, who lives in Arizona.
Said Rosenbaum: “We were ready to hike up Camelback and I saw him and was like, ‘Is that Dan?’ I walked over to say hello to him and came back to tell my wife that was the guy I was traded for.”
Butler signed a minor league contract with the Sox in January.
“It’s kind of cool I could be pitching to him,” Rosenbaum said. “Funny things happen in baseball.”
That Rosenbaum was traded in the first place was a little strange. He was recovering from Tommy John surgery at the time and wasn’t able to pitch.
“I was extremely surprised. It caught me off guard,” Rosenbaum said. “I was right in the middle of rehab. But it was nice to know the Red Sox wanted me.”
Rosenbaum, 28, was a 22nd-round draft pick by the Nationals in 2009 and quickly rose to Double A. The Colorado Rockies selected him in the Rule 5 draft in 2012 but returned him to the Nationals.
Rosenbaum blew out his elbow in 2014. He was 0-8 with a 5.81 earned run average in 15 starts for Single A Lowell and Double A Portland last season.
“I was fighting through the elbow issues,” Rosenbaum said. “I tried to push through it but I didn’t pitch well.”
Dry needling, a form of acupuncture, relieved the discomfort. Pitching in the Arizona Fall League, Rosenbaum allowed one earned run in 10⅔ innings of relief. He has a low-90s fastball complemented by a changeup, cutter, and sinker.
Manager John Farrell said the Sox see Rosenbaum as a reliever, believing his velocity will play up coming out of the bullpen.
“I’m finally healthy,” Rosenbaum said. “That first year out of surgery was very tentative. I was throwing around the pain. Now everything is fine.”
Price does right
David Price lingered after practice at Field 6, signing autographs and posing for photos with approximately 200 fans.
Some fans leaving for the parking lot saw the commotion, returned, and were rewarded when Price signed for them. He made sure everybody was accommodated before returning to the clubhouse.
It was an all-too-uncommon occurrence at Fenway South.
It’s only a few days into spring training, but Price seems comfortable with the Red Sox.
“There’s always a little bit of disbelief when you’re in a new environment. But it’s definitely wearing off. It feels a lot better now than it did a week ago,” Price said.
David Ortiz, a player Price once feuded with, is expected to arrive in the next few days. Any concern?
“I’m ready to be his teammate and his friend,” Price said. “That’s what I’m looking forward to. I want to be accepted by all my teammates. That’s something you need to have if we want to get to where we need to be.”
Position players do not officially report until Tuesday. Farrell was under the impression that third baseman Pablo Sandoval would arrive on Saturday, but he did not.
“I’m confident he’ll be here,” Farrell said. “He’s going to be fine as far as his report time.”
Man about town
Pedro Martinez, more so than last season, has been a presence in camp. He was in the bullpen for part of the workout and at one point was instructing righthanded reliever Roman Mendez. He also has worked on mechanical tweaks with lefty Eduardo Rodriguez.
“Pedro’s got such a wealth of experience and he wants to help whoever he comes in contact with,” Farrell said. “The thing that we try and make sure of is that there’s a consistent message to the individual pitcher.”
To that end, any instruction Martinez dispenses is relayed to pitching coach Carl Willis.
“Take away what he did as a Hall of Fame pitcher. There’s such intelligence there and he sees things very differently than others,” Farrell said.
Boggs to take part
Hall of Famer Wade Boggs, who will have his number retired by the Red Sox in May, will take part in spring training this year . . . Farrell is in the process of having one-on-one meetings with all 56 players in camp. The sit-downs start at 7:30 a.m. and resume after practice.