Melhuse Signs With A's; Moreno Inks With O's

With the arbitration-deadline approaching, the Oakland A's crossed one player off of their list, inking back-up catcher Adam Melhuse to a one-year deal. Victor Moreno, meanwhile, inked a minor league deal with the Baltimore Orioles.

Melhuse Signs With Oakland

Oakland A's back-up catcher Adam Melhuse re-signed with Oakland on Friday for $815,000, avoiding arbitration. He made $700,000 last season. Melhuse, who has been the A's back-up catcher since mid-season 2003, hit .219 with four homers in 49 games (128 at-bats) in 2006. He is a career .241 hitter. The switch-hitter will turn 35 on March 27.

After appearing in 69 games in 2004, Melhuse's playing time has steadily decreased with the A's addition of catching workhorse Jason Kendall. Melhuse appeared in only 39 games in 2005 and 49 games in 2006, only 24 of those coming behind the plate. He also appeared in 10 games as a pinch-hitter and five games as the starting designated hitter. He made three appearances at third and two at first.

The A's have a number of players who are arbitration-eligible that they will need to sign, including Milton Bradley, Justin Duchscherer, Kiko Calero, Joe Kennedy, Hiram Bocachica, Antonio Perez, Marco Scutaro, Kirk Saarloos and Bobby Kielty.

Moreno Inks With Baltimore

Minor league reliever Victor Moreno, who spent the last two seasons with the Triple-A Sacramento River Cats, has signed a minor league contract with the Baltimore Orioles. Moreno, who was a six-year minor league free agent, went 5-4 with a 5.38 ERA in 34 appearances (14 starts) for the River Cats in 2004. He appeared in 49 games, all in relief, for the River Cats in 2005.

He was originally acquired by Oakland as a minor league Rule 5 pick before the 2005 season and was re-signed to a minor league deal at the start of last year. Moreno is currently pitching in the Venezuelan Winter Leagues, where he went 6-3 with a 3.95 ERA during the regular season.

Hudgens Earns Promotion From Indians

Former A's hitting coach Dave Hudgens earned a promotion in the Cleveland chain on Friday. Hudgens, who served as the Indians' organizational hitting instructor in 2006, was promoted to field instructor for the 2007 season. Hudgens was a coach in the A's system from 1999-2005, during which time he served as the A's Major League Hitting Coach, as an Assistant Director of Player Development and as the Minor League Hitting Coordinator. Hudgens played for the A's from 1981-1984.

Ports Team-Up With Youth Organization

From the Stockton Ports Press Office

The Stockton Ports and Telesco Baseball have announced the creation of the Banner Island Youth Baseball Series; a youth baseball tournament which will take place during four separate months beginning in February at Banner Island Ballpark.

The Banner Island Youth Baseball Series will bring a total of four youth baseball tournaments through the ballpark. Each tournament will cater to different age groups. The first tournament will take place February 9-11, and will be for ages 14 and under. The second will take place April 13-15 and will include ages 13 and under. The third will take place May 25-27 and include ages 14 and under, and the final tournament will take place July 13-15 for ages 15 and under.

Team registration for each of these tournaments will cost $900 with a guarantee of playing three games at Banner Island Ballpark. There are a maximum of eight teams allowed per tournament.

"We're pleased we have the opportunity to share our facilities and our resources with Telesco Baseball," said Ports president Pat Filippone. "As a professional baseball organization, the Ports are committed to being involved in the game on a grassroots level, and these tournaments are the perfect opportunity to do that."

Telesco Baseball is a Fresno-based organization that facilitates youth baseball tournaments in Northern California . This will be the first time Telesco has put on a tournament in Stockton.

"Having run these tournaments for many years in Fresno , we're thrilled to be expanding to the Stockton area," said Anthony Telesco, president of Telesco Baseball. "We're so pleased to be working with the Stockton Ports, and the use of Banner Island Ballpark will definitely add an exciting new dimension to these tournaments."

For more details regarding the Banner Island Youth Baseball Series, contact Scott Bush at (209) 644-1900. To register your team for the tournament, visit

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