According to sources familiar with the negotiations, the Red Sox have agreed to a deal to bring free agent reliever Dan Wheeler to Boston. The deal -- which became final when Wheeler passed his physical on Saturday -- is for one-year with a team option for the 2012 season that would vest if Wheeler makes 65 appearances (he pitched in 64 games in 2010, and has averaged 70 appearances per year since 2005).
Wheeler will make $3 million in 2011, with a team/vesting option for $3 million in 2012. The vesting option would increase to $3.25 million if Wheeler appears in 75 games next season.
Wheeler, 33, who was drafted out of Pilgrim High School in Warwick (R.I.), has been with the Tampa Bay Rays since the middle of the 2007 season, when he was acquired from the Astros in a trade for Ty Wigginton. Wheeler had a 3.35 ERA in 48 1/3 innings in 2010, and he struck out 8.6 batters per nine innings. However, his innings total was the lowest of his professional career, and he has seen his workload go down in each of the last three years. Over his last three full seasons with the Rays, he has a 3.24 ERA while striking out 7.5 batters per nine innings, while walking 2.5 batters per nine.