Add veteran lefty Scott Kazmir to the list of new signees with an invitation to a major league spring training camp. Kazmir will be with Cleveland after spending last summer in the Atlantic League with the Sugar Land (TX) Skeeters.
Arizona signed free agent Nelson Figueroa (Long Island, NY, Atlantic) and while we have not seen that this veteran right-hander has received a major league invitation he surely will get some consideration for a job.
An Independent original, strikeout artist Mike Benacka, has been signed to a minor league contract by Toronto after a summer of relieving in the American Association (Laredo, TX) and a brief time with York, PA (Atlantic League). Benacka, 30, started his professional journey with River City (O'Fallon, MO, Frontier League) in 2007-08 before having his contract sold to Oakland. He was in the Athletics' system for four seasons, climbing as high at Triple-A. The right-hander has an exceptional set of career stats with a 22-13 win-loss log, 56 saves and 431 strikeouts in a mere 315.1 innings. The strikeout figures were eye-popping in 43 appearances for Laredo with 92 K's in 52.
Another well-traveled player, infielder Gabe Suarez, has been signed by Texas (Double-A contract). Suarez has played for Long Island, Camden and Newark, NJ and the traveling Road Warriors in the Atlantic League along with Kansas City, KS (American Association), Lincoln, NE (before it moved from the Northern League to the American Association) and Florence, KY of the Frontier League.
SUBSCRIBE TO THE INDEPENDENT BASEBALL INSIDER FOR 2013. 40 issues for only $48 through December, 2013. Renewals: $42 (if ordered by January 15, 2013); Scouts: $32
Get the independent minor league baseball trivia question of the day by clicking this link: Independent Minor League Baseball Trivia Questions