From Matt Eddy of Baseball America comes word that the Phillies have signed infielder Matt Tolbert to a minor league contract. The deal does not carry an invitation to major league camp, so Tolbert will not be in the running for a spot on the Opening Day roster.
The 30-year-old former 16th-round pick of the Twins spent the entire 2012 season with the Cubs’ Triple-A affiliate in Iowa, hitting .240/.313/.304 with one home run, nine SBs and 13 RBI in 375 plate appearances.
He hit .198/.252/.266 with no homers, three stolen bases and 13 RBI over 226 plate appearances with Minnesota in 2011.
Ken Rosenthal of The Athletic reports that the Rays and infielder Brandon Lowe have agreed on a six-year, $24 million contract extension. Lowe has just 58 days of service time, so this will cover his three years of pre-arbitration as well as three arbitration years.
Lowe, 24, earned a promotion to the majors in early August last year, playing mostly at second base but also logging time in both outfield corners. Through the end of the season, he hit .233/.324/.450 with six home runs and 25 RBI in 148 plate appearances. Lowe also performed well this spring, batting .359/.405/.692 with a pair of homers and 14 RBI in 39 at-bats.
MLB Pipeline rates lowe as the No. 10 prospect in the Rays’ system. He is in line to see regular starts at second base, but the Rays will certainly be keen to utilize his versatility throughout the year.