(via Tampa Bay Rays Communications) - The Tampa Bay 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. The Rays have now invited 64 players to major league spring training.
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 vs. right-handed pitching compared to .228 vs. lefthanders. He was limited to six games with the Baltimore Orioles in 2013 after suffering a torn PCL in his right knee in late March. He has played at the major league level for seven teams: the Atlanta Braves (2001, 2004-06), Los Angeles Dodgers (2006-07), New York Yankees (2007-08), Chicago White Sox (2009), Kansas City Royals (2010-11), Detroit Tigers (2011) and Baltimore Orioles (2012-13).
Christian, 33, has spent parts of three seasons in the major leagues with the New York Yankees (2008) and San Francisco Giants (2011-12), appearing in 76 games. He hit .270 (101-for-374) in 107 games with Triple-A Memphis (St. Louis Cardinals) in 2013, including .291 (71-for-244) vs. right-handed pitching. He ranked as the Pacific Coast League’s fifth-toughest player to strike out, averaging one strikeout every 9.3 plate appearances. The right-handed hitter owns a career .289 batting average and .354 on-base percentage over 10 minor league seasons while starting at all three outfield positions (354-LF, 320-CF, 60-RF). He has also been successful on 85.1 percent (322-of-378) of his stolen base attempts.
Moore, 26, appeared in eight games for the Los Angeles Angels in 2011. He spent the 2013 season with the Los Angeles Dodgers organization and split the year between Double-A Chattanooga and Triple-A Albuquerque while playing in three games with the Rookie-level Arizona League Dodgers. He hit a combined .211 (53-for-251) between the three levels. Over eight career minor league seasons, the left-handed hitter has hit .270 with 82 home runs, 129 stolen bases and a .325 on-base percentage.
Rodriguez, 28, played in two games for the San Diego Padres in 2012. He split the 2013 season between Double-A San Antonio and Triple-A Tucson in the Padres organization and hit .231 (65-for-281) in 83 games. He resides in Naples, Fla., and was selected by the Cincinnati Reds in the 20th round of the 2006 June Draft out of the University of Miami.
Sandoval, 33, split the 2013 season between Double-A Montgomery and Triple-A Durham and combined to go 6-4 with a 3.21 ERA (81.1-IP, 29-ER) and 19 saves over 58 appearances. He played the previous two seasons in the Mexican League before signing with the Rays 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 (2002-07), Brewers (2008-09) and Phillies (2010) organizations.