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Danny Santana mans third base for the Worcester Red Sox on Wednesday night.

On Friday one of the more under-the-radar free agency signings made by the Red Sox this offseason will make his debut. Danny Santana was added to the 40-man roster and recalled before Friday’s game against the Phillies, and will make his 2021 debut hitting leadoff and playing first base.

Santana signed a minor-league deal with the Red Sox back in March. He’s coming off a down year – he hit just .145 in 15 games with the Rangers in 2020 and needed elbow surgery once the season ended. However he had a career-year the season before, hitting .283 with 28 home runs while playing seven different positions in 130 games.

Originally, Santana had an opt-out in his contract if he was not recalled by the end of April. Due to a foot infection he picked up in spring training that put him in the hospital, that timeline was pushed back.

Over the last few weeks Santana has been rehabbing in the minors, and hitting the ball incredibly well. In eight games between High-A and Triple-AAA, the 30-year-old batted .433 with three home runs in 30 at-bats.

Although he’s playing first base in his debut, the expectation is Santana will primarily be placed in the outfield. His addition should allow the Red Sox to spell the struggling Franchy Cordero, and give other outfielders the day off without J.D. Martinez having to play the field.

In order to make room for Santana on the active and 40-man rosters, the Red Sox designated relief pitcher Austin Brice for assignment. The righty had pitched in 12 games for Boston so far this year, posting a 6.94 ERA in 11.2 innings.

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Alex Barth is a writer and digital producer for 985TheSportsHub.com. Any opinions expressed do not necessarily reflect those of 98.5 The Sports Hub, Beasley Media Group, or any subsidiaries. Thoughts? Comments? Questions? Looking for a podcast guest? Let him know on Twitter @RealAlexBarth or via email at abarth@985TheSportsHub.com.