Twins sign catcher Eric Fryer to minor league deal

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From MLB.com’s Rhett Bollinger comes word that the Twins have signed catcher Eric Fryer to a minor league contract. It’s possible that the deal will carry an invitation to spring training, but the 27-year-old backstop won’t stand much of a chance of cracking the Opening Day roster with Joe Mauer and Drew Butera already locked in for the 2013 campaign.

Fryer made only five plate appearance with the Pirates this past season, netting one single. He batted .204/.257/.247 with no home runs, 10 RBI and seven total extra-base hits in 65 games at Triple-A Indianapolis.

The Twins have also agreed to a minor league contract with right-handed reliever Tim Wood.

The Mets expect Tim Tebow to come back next year

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Mets assistant general manager John Ricco told Newsday today that he expects minor league outfielder Tim Tebow to return for a third season in professional baseball.

Tebow, 31, broke the hamate bone in his right hand while swinging a bat in late July, ending his season. It was a fairly successful season for him all things considered. After being promoted to Double-A Binghamton to start the year he hit .273/.336/.399 with six home runs, a stolen base and a .734 OPS in 298 plate appearances and made the Double-A All-Star team. That’s not the stuff of a top prospect — he strikes out far too much and the power numbers aren’t fantastic given that power would figure to be his strongest tool — but it’s pretty respectable for a guy his age and with his relative lack of baseball experience. As I said back in July, you can believe the Mets’ interest in Tebow is more marketing than baseball, but that does not preclude you from giving the guy a deserved tip of the cap for working hard and sticking it out in the bush leagues.

Assuming he does come back, the Mets are likely to start him at Triple-A Syracuse in the hopes that he’d eventually get to the bigs as a late season callup if the Mets aren’t in contention. Indeed, many believed that was the plan for him this year had he not been injured.