Originally posted on Ted's Army  |  Last updated 1/10/12

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The Red Sox' search for starting-pitching depth reached into Korea Monday, as they reportedly signed ex-major league hurler Justin Germano.

Germano, 29, has a career ERA of 5.02 over a six-season career with the Padres, Reds and Indians. He pitched in nine games for Cleveland last year (0-1, 5.68) before finishing the season with the Samsung Lions of the Korean Baseball Organization. Heyman reported that, in signing with the Sox, Germano turned down a $1 million offer to stay in South Korea.

CSNNE | Report: Sox sign Germano to minor-league deal

I confess: I've never heard of Justin Germano. So let's look him up.

Hard to tell much from his stats, really. His most substantial (and best) year was 2007 with the Padres, where he made 23 starts. An ERA of 4.46, a WHIP close to 1.30, and a pretty low strikeout rate...and this was at Petco.

He's entering his age 29 season, so any kind of drastic improvement would be unexpected. (The steroid era is over, after all.) But Cherington must see something in him to bother yanking him out of Korea, and he must be hungry for the opportunity since he turned down some guaranteed money. Maybe that motivation will help. 

Yesterday's Aaron Cook story is definitely a bigger deal. While Cook isn't going to challenge for the Cy Young, he is a viable starter despite recent struggles. And with the Cubs snagging Paul Maholm yesterday (and let me complain -- why are they bothering? what good is Paul Maholm possibly going to do on a rebuilding team?), the quantity of remaining viable starters is dwindling.

The rotation is at least starting to take place: Beckett, Lester, Buchholz as guarantees, with Aceves, Bard, Cook, Silva, Doubront, and maybe even Michael Bowden as potential starters. Tim Wakefield still sits out there. And then there are all the minor-league Germano types as well. We don't have any locks in those last two spots, but we have some reasonable options.

Herald | Cook deal adds starter to mix | Bloody easy decision | World Series winners to get White House honor | Globe | Cook gets deal in minors | ESPNBoston | Report: Red Sox add righty Germano | MLB.com | Niemann leaves Mets for job with Boston |  [Image credit]

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