Rangers sign five non-roster players
The Rangers have agreed to terms with the following five players on minor league contracts with invitations to major league spring training: C Juan Apodaca, OF Jim Adduci, LHP Neal Cotts, OF Aaron Cunningham, and RHP Yonata Ortega.
Apodaca, 26, has a career .251 average over 8 minor league seasons in the Los Angeles-NL, Boston, Cleveland, and Chicago-NL farm systems. The Venezuela native combined to hit .291 with 2 homers and 29 RBI in 83 games with Tennessee (AA) and Iowa (AAA) in the Cubs organization in 2012.
Adduci, 27, is a career .282 hitter over 9 minor league campaigns with Florida and Chicago-NL. He combined to hit .298 with 7 homers and 44 RBI in 126 games last year with Tennessee (AA) and Iowa (AAA). Born in British Columbia, he graduated from high school in suburban Chicago and was selected by Florida in the 42nd round of the 2004 June draft, where he was signed by current Rangers scout Scot Engler.
Cotts, 32, returns to the Texas organization after originally joining the club on a minor league contract on February 20, 2012. He pitched professionally for the first time since 2009, going 2-1 with 3 saves and a 4.55 ERA (16 ER/31.2 IP) in 25 relief appearances for Triple-A Round Rock. He suffered a strained left latissimus dorsi muscle near the end of spring training and spent the year in the Pacific Coast League. In his major league career, Cotts is 10-12 with a 4.63 ERA (132 ER/256.1 IP) in 284 games/5 starts with Chicago-AL (2003-06) and Chicago-NL (2007-09). He had a career year with the White Sox during that club’s 2005 World Championship run, going 4-0 with a career-low 1.94 ERA (13 ER/60.1 IP) in 69 games. He appeared in all 4 World Series games for the Sox in 2005, earning the win in Game 2.
Cunningham, 26, played in 72 games with Cleveland in 2012, batting .175 with one homer and 7 RBI. He was designed for assignment on July 25 and outrighted to the minors on July 28. He spent the balance of the year at Triple-A Columbus, batting .203 in 22 games. Born in Alaska, Cunningham has played in the major leagues each of the past 5 seasons, compiling a career .219 average with Oakland (2008-09), San Diego (2010-11) and Cleveland (2012). He was originally selected by Chicago-AL in the 6th round of the 2005 June draft.
Ortega, who turned 26 yesterday, has spent his entire professional career in the Arizona farm system since being signed as a non-drafted free agent in 2004. The Dominican native made 42 relief appearances with Double-A Mobile in 2012, going 2-2 with a 6.88 ERA (40 ER/52.1 IP).