Rays sign five to Minor League contracts
Betemit, Christian, Moore, Rodriguez and Sandoval offered spring invites
ST. PETERSBURG -- The Rays have signed five players to Minor League contracts, each with an invitation to Major League Spring Training: infielder Wilson Betemit, outfielders Justin Christian and Jeremy Moore, catcher Eddy Rodriguez and right-handed pitcher Juan Sandoval.
Tampa Bay has now invited 64 players to spring camp.
Betemit, 32, has spent parts of 11 seasons in the Major Leagues and is a career .267 hitter. The switch-hitting third baseman owns a career .279 average against right-handed pitching, compared to .228 against left-handers. He played just six games with the Orioles in 2013 after suffering a torn PCL in his right knee in late March. In addition to the O's, Betemit has played at the Major League level for the Braves, Dodgers, Yankees, White Sox, Royals and Tigers.
Christian, 33, has spent parts of three seasons in the Major Leagues with the Yankees and Giants, appearing in 76 games. He hit .270 in 107 games last season with Triple-A Memphis (Cardinals), where he ranked as the Pacific Coast League's fifth-toughest player to strike out, averaging one strikeout every 9.3 plate appearances. In 11 Minor League seasons, the right-handed-hitting Christian has played all three outfield positions and owns a career .295 batting average with a .360 on-base percentage. He has also been successful on 85.5 percent of his stolen-base attempts.
Moore, 26, who appeared in eight games for the Angels in 2011, spent the 2013 season in the Dodgers' organization, combining to hit .211 while playing at three levels. The left-handed-hitting Moore has hit .270 with 82 home runs, 129 stolen bases and a .325 on-base percentage in eight Minor League seasons.
Rodriguez, 28, played in two games for the Padres in 2012. He split the 2013 season between Double-A San Antonio and Triple-A Tucson in San Diego's organization, hitting .231 in 83 games.
Sandoval, 33, returns to the Rays after splitting the 2013 season between Double-A Montgomery and Triple-A Durham, where he combined to go 6-4 with a 3.21 ERA and 19 saves over 58 appearances. He played the previous two seasons in the Mexican League before signing with Tampa Bay as a Minor League free agent prior to the 2013 season. The Dominican native originally signed with Seattle in 2002 and has spent time in the Mariners', Brewers' and Phillies' organizations.
Bill Chastain is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.