Brewers sign infielder Cesar Izturis to minor-league contract

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Milwaukee replaced Yuniesky Betancourt with Alex Gonzalez at shortstop and the Brewers have added some more middle infield depth by signing Cesar Izturis to a minor-league deal, according to Jon Morosi of FOXSports.com.

Izturis lost his starting job when the Orioles traded for J.J. Hardy last offseason and missed all but 18 games with injuries in 2011.

Even when healthy Izturis has always been among the worst hitters in baseball and at age 32 his defense may no longer be great enough to make up for the poor bat, but he certainly makes plenty of sense as a no-risk, low-cost pickup.

Justin Masterson is retired and doing missionary work

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Fancred’s Jon Heyman reports that pitcher Justin Masterson is retired from baseball and currently doing missionary work, according to his agent Randy Rowley.

Masterson, 33, hadn’t pitched in the majors since 2015, though he had been trying to find work going into the past season but never latched on with a team. He spent 2016 in the Pirates’ minor league system and 2017 at the Dodgers’ Triple-A affiliate.

Masterson spent parts of eight seasons in the majors with the Red Sox, Indians, and Cardinals. Across 258 appearances, 184 of which were starts, the right-hander compiled a 4.31 ERA with 1,004 strikeouts and 498 walks in 1,201 innings of work.