Cardinals sign catcher Fryer, righty Gonzalez
Minor League deals include invitation to Spring Training
The Cardinals agreed to Minor League deals on Thursday with catcher Eric Fryer and right-hander Juan Gonzalez. Both will be invited to Major League Spring Training.
Fryer, 30, has played 65 games over parts of five Major League seasons with the Pirates and Twins, putting together a combined .243/.329/.336 batting line with two home runs and 11 RBIs.
Fryer spent last year in the Twins' organization. He hit .293 with a .727 OPS in 67 games for Triple-A Rochester and played 15 games at the big league level. He is a native of manager Mike Matheny's hometown of Reynoldsburg, Ohio.
Gonzalez, 25, went 2-1 with a 2.18 ERA and 12 saves in 31 appearances for Triple-A Oklahoma City last season. Gonzalez began the year with Double-A Tulsa, where he put together a 0.53 ERA over 13 relief outings.
The 6-foot-2 native of Venezuela was named to the World Team roster for the 2015 All-Star Futures Game in Cincinnati. He saw a dramatic uptick in his strikeout numbers this year, fanning 51 batters in 50 innings -- or 9.2 strikeouts per nine innings. His previous career-best rate was 6.9 strikeouts per nine innings.
In his nine-year Minor League career, Gonzalez has posted a 30-52 record and 4.46 ERA in 652 innings over 242 appearances.