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Pirates Agree to Terms with Seven Minor League Free Agents; Five Invited to Major League Spring Training

The Pittsburgh Pirates have agreed to terms with right-handed pitcher Ryan Reid, outfielder Darren Ford and infielder/outfielder Jared Goedert on minor league contracts. The club also re-signed infielders Stefan Welch, Anderson Hernandez and Jeff Larish, along with left-handed pitcher Kris Johnson, to minor league deals. Ford, Goedert, Hernandez, Johnson and Reid have received invitations to spring training as non-roster players.

Reid, 27, spent the entire 2012 season in the Tampa Bay organization with Triple-A Durham and went 6-3 with one save and a 3.52 ERA (79.1ip/31er) in 46 appearances (three starts). He was originally selected by Tampa Bay in the seventh round of the 2066 First-Year Player Draft.

The 27-year-old Ford played with Tacoma (Mariners’ AAA) in 2012 and hit .273 (83-for-304) with four home runs, 33 RBI and 26 stolen bases in 70 games. In his eight minor league seasons (2005-2012), Ford has stolen a total of 332 bases. He also went 4-for-14 with nine stolen bases in 33 Major League games with San Francisco in 2010-11.

Goedert, 27, spent each of his first seven professional seasons in the Cleveland farm system. He split the 2012 campaign between Double-A Akron and Triple-A Columbus and hit .311 (140-for-450) with 27 doubles, 19 home runs and 77 RBI in 121 games. He made 47 appearances at third base, 26 in left field, 15 in right field and 12 at first base with the two clubs.

Hernandez, 30, was signed by the Pirates as a minor league free agent on 12/21/11 and spent the entire 2012 season with Triple-A Indianapolis, where he hit .268 (99-for-369) with 39 RBI in 105 games. He made 72 appearances at second base, 15 at third base, 12 at shortstop and two in left field for the Indians.

The 28-year-old Johnson split the 2012 season between Altoona and Indianapolis and went 8-4 with a 3.19 ERA (101.ip/36er) in 35 games (13 starts). He was Boston’s first-round selection (40th pick overall) in the 2006 First-Year Player Draft and was signed by the Pirates as a minor league free agent on 12/14/11.

Larish played in 61 games with Indianapolis in 2012 after being acquired from Boston on May 12. In the season finale on September 3, Larish played eight positions (everywhere but catcher) in the victory at Louisville. Selected by Detroit in the fifth round of the 2005 First-Year Player Draft, the 30-year-old Larish made his Major League debut with the Tigers in 2008 and has produced a .224 average, eight homers and 32 RBI in 101 big league games with Detroit and Oakland.

The 24-year-old Welch hit .266 (117-for-502) with 23 doubles, 13 home runs and 64 RBI in 128 games between Class-A Bradenton and Double-A Altoona in 2012, ranking third among Bucco farmhands in games played. The Australian native was signed by Pittsburgh as a minor league free agent on 11/17/11 after spending his first five pro seasons in the New York Mets system. He played for Team Australia in the 2009 World Baseball Classic and was a 2010 Florida State League All Star.

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