Pirates sign Jose Contreras to minor league contract

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From the organization’s official Twitter feed comes word that the Pirates have reached agreement on a minor league contract with righty Jose Contreras.

The deal carries an invitation to spring training, but Contreras is still rehabbing from a torn UCL in his right elbow and a flexor pronator tear, and might not be ready for the start of the 2013 regular season.

Contreras surrendered 13 hits and 10 runs (eight earned) in 13 2/3 innings of relief last season with the Phillies. The 41-year-old native of Cuba owns a 4.55 career major league ERA and a 1.36 career WHIP.

Watch: Shohei Ohtani strikes out his first spring training batter

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Sure, spring training games don’t count toward anything “real,” but that doesn’t mean we can’t enjoy Angels’ star pitcher/hitter Shohei Ohtani mowing down his first big league competitors.

On Saturday, Ohtani took the mound against the Brewers for his first official outing in an Angels uniform. After allowing a leadoff double to Jonathan Villar, the 23-year-old righty settled down and issued a three-pitch strikeout to Nate Orf, his first of the spring.

It wasn’t the cleanest inning for the right-hander: the Brewers plated their first run on a walk, wild pitch and subsequent throwing error by catcher Martin Maldonado. Ohtani didn’t let things unravel further, however, and induced a pop-up for the second out before catching Brett Phillips looking on a called strike three to end the inning.

While the two-way phenom only lasted another two batters (a Keon Broxton dinger finished him off in the second), he’s already started to look like a formidable presence on the mound. Time will tell whether he can deliver at the plate as well — rumor has it he could feature in the Angels’ lineup as soon as Monday.