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Pirates reach deals with seven Minor Leaguers

Pirates reach deals with seven Minor Leaguers

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Pirates reach deals with seven Minor Leaguers
The Pirates on Friday came to agreements with seven Minor League free agents, five of whom also received invitations to Spring Training.

Three of the players are new to the organization: infielder Jared Goedert, right-hander Ryan Reid and outfielder Darren Ford.

The Bucs re-signed four others who played in the team's system last season prior to becoming six-year free agents: infielders Stefan Welch, Jeff Larish and Anderson Hernandez; and left-hander Kris Johnson.

Ford, Hernandez and Larish -- all of whom have prior Major League experience -- have been invited to Spring Training to compete for jobs as non-roster players. Also invited to Bradenton were Johnson and Goedert.

Most experienced in that group is Hernandez, who appeared in 240 games with four teams from 2005-10. The 30-year-old native of the Dominican Republic most recently appeared in the big leagues in 2010 with the Astros.

Hernandez signed with the Pirates as a Minor League free agent last December and spent the entire 2012 season in Triple-A Indianapolis, hitting .268 in 105 games. He saw extensive action at every infield position except first base.

Ford saw sparse duty with the Giants from 2010 to '11, stealing nine bases in a total of 33 games. Larish is a career .224 hitter in 101 games from 2008-10 with Detroit and Oakland.

Tom Singer is a reporter for MLB.com and writes an MLBlog Change for a Nickel. He can also be found on Twitter @Tom_Singer. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

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