ST. PETERSBURG, FL—The Tampa Bay Rays have signed four players to minor league contracts, each with an invitation to major league spring training: infielder Matt Mangini, first baseman Juan Miranda and right-handed pitchers Jhonny Nunez and Ricky Orta.
Mangini, who turns 26 on December 21, spent the 2011 season at Tacoma (AAA) in the Seattle Mariners organization and batted .336 (78-for-232) with two home runs and 41 RBI in 58 games. The Springfield, Mass., native was drafted by the Mariners in the supplemental first round (52nd overall) of the 2007 June Draft and has a career .280 batting average over five minor league seasons, all in the Mariners system.
Miranda, 28, has played five professional seasons including four stints at the major league level with the New York Yankees (2008-10) and Arizona Diamondbacks (2011). In 65 games with the Diamondbacks last season, the left-handed-hitting first baseman hit .213 (37-for-174) with seven home runs and 23 RBI. He has a career .226 (58-for-257) batting average and 11 home runs over 111 games in the majors. The Cuban native was signed by the Yankees as an amateur free agent in 2006 and has hit 67 homers over five seasons in the minor leagues.
Nunez, 26, combined to go 4-4 with a 4.73 ERA (51.1-IP, 27-ER) at Bristol (Rookie) and Charlotte (AAA) in the Chicago White Sox organization last season. The righty has played six professional seasons including a seven-game stint with the White Sox in 2009. He was signed by the Los Angeles Dodgers as an amateur free agent in 2003 out of the Dominican Republic and has spent time in the Dodgers (2006), Washington Nationals (2007-08), Yankees (2008) and White Sox (2009-11) organizations. He has a 3.77 ERA and 475 strikeouts over 489.1 career innings pitched in the minors.
Orta, 27, re-signed with the Rays after posting a 1.12 ERA (8.0-IP, 1-ER) in four games with the Gulf Coast League Rays (Rookie) as he recovered from an elbow surgery performed in April 2010. He signed with the Rays on May 14, 2010 and attended major league camp last spring. The former Miami Hurricane was originally drafted by the Mariners in the fourth round of the 2006 June Draft.