Barry Zito, Bruce Chen, Reed Johnson sign minor league deals

Barry Zito is finally back in Oakland. Well, the Oakland system. The 36 year old veteran LHP reportedly signed a deal with the Oakland Athletics worth $1 million if he makes the roster, according to Susan Slusser of the San Francisco Chronicle. The deal comes with a big-league camp invitation. Zito last pitched in the majors in 2013, with the San Francisco Giants. He went 5-11 with a 5.74 ERA over 133 and 1/3 innings pitched, posting a 5.8 K/9 rate. Over his career, Zito has pitched exclusively in the Bay Area with Oakland and the San Francisco Giants. He has gone 165-143 with a 4.02 ERA over 2569 IP. Zito will provide a cushion if any Athletics starters end up being injured or struggle, or provide long relief in the bullpen.

Bruce Chen, another veteran left hander, has reportedly agreed to a minor league deal with the Cleveland Indians, according to Jon Heyman of CBS Sports. The 37 year old journeyman has pitched all across the league, a career spanning 16 years with ten different teams. The deal is worth $1m. Last season with Kansas City, he had the roughest season of his career, going 2-4 with a 7.45 ERA over 48.1 IP. Over his career, he has gone 82-80 with a 4.58 ERA over 1525.2 IP. He walks the line between reliever and starter, but will either provide long relief or backup in the rotation in case of injury.

Reed Johnson also waited until the last day before the official beginning of Spring Training, although after all the wait, he stayed where he was. The Miami Marlins announced that they had signed the 12-year veteran to a minor-league deal. With Miami last season, he batted .235/.266/.348 with 2 home runs and 25 RBI over 201 plate appearances in 113 games. He has been invited to the big league camp, so he could presumably fill a bench role or back up for an injury later in the season. Over his career, Johnson has hit .280/.336/.406 with 65 home runs and 405 RBI.

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