San Diego gave outfielder-turned-pitcher Jason Lane a new contract. Lane is an interesting case since the southpaw, who turns 37 December 22, had his contract purchased by the Padres after he had won eight of 12 decisions for Sugar Land, TX last season. He was a decent 2-2 with a 5.24 earned run average in 11 appearances (six starts) for Triple-A Tucson, then was allowed to walk in order that he could play for the Skeeters in their quest for an Atlantic League title. (They lost in the first round of the playoffs.) Now, not unexpectedly, San Diego is going to give the California lefty one more look as he tries to complete the unusual position change for a 30-something and still get back to the major leagues.
More surprising to this corner was San Diego’s signing of infielder-outfielder Gabe Suarez, who turns 29 next week, to a minor league deal. Suarez had a busy ’13 as he played for Spain in the World Baseball Classic, then was in 29 games in the Atlantic League (Long Island, NY) and 72 in the American Association (El Paso, TX). He hit .261 for El Paso and only .221 for the Ducks, and still has only a handful of games above Class A except for some brief stints in the Mexican League.
Suarez has played for eight Independent teams (some of them more than once) since ’05, appearing in more than 500 games. He has been with Lincoln, NE, the Atlantic League’s traveling Road Warriors, Camden and Newark, NJ, Florence, KY and Kansas City, KS in addition to Long Island and El Paso.
SEATTLE BUMPS SHACKLEFORD UP TO TRIPLE-A
One can only believe he signed for five figures less than the reported deal for Robinson Cano, but at least right-hander Stephen Shackleford has a new contract with Seattle. At 24, Shackleford is on the Triple-A Tacoma, WA roster one year after posting a combined 3-4, 2.71 record for 47 appearances between Classes A and AA in the Mariners’ chain. He worked very briefly for Florence, KY in the Frontier League in 2012, and has averaged nearly a strikeout per inning for his professional career.
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