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Rays ink Fontenot, five more to Minor League deals

ST. PETERSBURG -- The Rays have signed six players to Minor League contracts that include an invitation to Spring Training: infielders Mike Fontenot, Nick Weglarz and Shawn O'Malley; right-handers Matt Buschmann and Will Inman; and outfielder Rich Thompson.

The 32-year-old Fontenot -- a seven-year Major League veteran who mostly played second base for the Cubs (2005-10), Giants (2010-11) and Phillies -- hit .289 in 105 at-bats with Philadelphia and .308 in 58 at-bats at the Triple-A level this past season. He is a career .265 hitter in 582 big league games.

Thompson, 33, joined the Rays in May via a trade that sent Minor Leaguer Kyle Hudson to the Phillies. Used primarily as a pinch-runner, the speedy Thompson hit .091 with five stolen bases in 23 games. He played in six games for the Royals in 2004.

A third-round pick of the Indians in the 2005 First-Year Player Draft, Weglarz, 24, hit .239 with 14 home runs, 58 RBIs and 58 walks in 109 games with Double-A Akron in 2012.

Buschmann, 28, spent last season in the Rays organization, going 7-8 with a 3.98 ERA in 26 appearances (24 starts) between Double-A Montgomery and Triple-A Durham.

The 24-year-old O'Malley, selected by the Rays in the fifth round of the 2006 Draft, hit .240 with 18 stolen bases at Montgomery and Durham. He has accumulated 147 stolen bases throughout his Minor League career.

Inman, 25, has pitched at the Triple-A level in each of the last four seasons and went 1-3 with a 2.23 ERA across 48 1/3 innings (35 appearances) for Triple-A Pawtucket of Boston's farm system this past year. He has also spent time with the Padres (2007-11) and Brewers ('05-07) organizations.

Tampa Bay Rays, Mike Fontenot