Rays sign two to minor-league deals
The Rays have signed infielder Andy Cannizaro and outfielder John Rodriguez to minor-league contracts with invitations to major league spring training.
Cannizaro will come to camp and compete for the Rays utility infilelder position, and he could have a decent shot at making the team given the fact that he's a solid defender at three infield positions with good range and a solid arm. He entered last year's spring training vying for a roster spot with the Yankees, but a back injury held him out until June and he never reached the major league level last year.
He hit .295 with two homers and 20 RBIs for the Yankees Triple-A team in Scranton/Wilkes-Barre, playing in 52 games at second, shortstop and third. He owns a career .274 average in seven minor-league seasons and his .250 during a 13-game stint with the Yankees in Sept. 2006.
Rodriguez, a 30-year-old who has played 11 seasons in the Yankees, Indians and Cardinals, hit .263 with eight homers and 22 RBIs, a .375 on-base percentage with St. Louis' Triple-A team in Memphis last year until he was sidelined with a knee injury. Over 158 games in the majors with St. Louis between 2005-'06, Rodriguez hit .298 with 7 home runs, 43 RBI, 18 doubles and a .378 OBP and was on the Cardinals playoff rosters in 2005 and 2006. He will add another left-handed bat to the outfield mix.