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While the baseball world waits for Japanese starting pitcher Masahiro Tanaka to find a home, minor-league signings make up most of January's roster moves. Monday was no different. Below, we report minor moves of, well, minor significance, duh.
Reds sign LHP Francis, OF Neal
The Reds signed left-handed pitcher Jeff Francis to a minor-league deal with an invitation to spring training, and outfielder Thomas Neal to the same.
MLB.com's Mark Sheldon writes about Francis, who spent some time in the Reds' system in 2012:
"Francis, 33, has spent most of his career with the Rockies but had a previous stop in the Reds organization in 2012. After not earning a job in camp while on Minor League deal, he went 3-6 with a 3.72 ERA in 12 starts for Triple-A Louisville. ...
"Francis was 3-5 with a 6.27 ERA in 23 games, including 12 starts, for Colorado in 2013. Over 70 2/3 innings, he gave up 89 hits and 24 walks with 63 strikes."
Neal, 26, has only 15 big-league games on his resume, with the Indians, Yankees, and Cubs. He has seven hits in 41 plate appearances. He owns a career .307/.368/.401 slash line in 142 games in Triple-A. He's coming off a dislocated right throwing shoulder, which ended his 2013 season with the Cubs.
Orioles sign OF/DH Delmon Young, will look at OF/DH Jack Cust
The Orioles signed outfielder/designated hitter Delmon Young to a minor-league deal with an invitation to spring training. Young can earn almost $2 million with Baltimore if he makes the club. Read more about his signing here.
The Orioles also have their sights on soon-to-be 35-year-old outfielder/designated hitter Jack Cust, who hasn't played in the majors since 2011.
Cust has a career .813 OPS in 670 games over 10 years. He didn't play at all in 2013 ,after spending 2012 in Triple-A.
Padres sign C Eddy Rodriguez
Catcher Eddy Rodriguez is going from California to Florida:
Rodriguez played two games for the Padres in 2012. The 28-year-old had a .645 OPS in 82 games in the minors last year.
Brewers sign OF Greg Golson
The Brewers signed outfielder Greg Golson to a minor-league deal, the club announced. Golson, 28, hasn't played in the majors since 2011, with the Yankees. He has a .458 OPS in 40 big-league games. He's a .265/.312/.391 hitter in 515 career games in Triple-A.
Astros sign INF Cesar Izturis
The Astros got into the mix as well:
Izturis will be 34 in February and has 13 years of major-league experience, and a career .614 OPS. He wasn't inked for his bat -- he's an above-average defender, and has been throughout his career. His defense was three runs above average at second base last year, and four runs above average at short.
Phillies sign INF Ronny Cedeno
The Phillies reportedly signed Ronny Cedeno to a minor-league deal with a spring training invite, tweeted Fox Sports' Ken Rosenthal.
Cedeno will be 31 on February 2, and spent last year with the Padres and Astros, posting a .617 OPS in 89 games. He has a career .644 OPS in 868 games over nine years. He played below-average defense in 2013, according to Defensive Runs Saved.
Giants sign a few
The Giants made a number of minor-league signings, and CSNBayArea.com's Andrew Baggarly has us covered:
The club re-signed [Dan] Runzler to a minor league contract, though. They also agreed to minor league deals with right-hander Kameron Loe, a nine-year major league veteran, and right-hander Rafael Dolis, who saw scant action with the Chicago Cubs over each of the past three seasons.
The club also signed a minor league deal with infielder Brandon Hicks, who last played in the majors with the A’s in 2012.
The Giants also inked J.C. Gutierrez and Sandy Rosario to minor-league deals.