As first reported by Jeff Hem, the play-by-play announcer for the Triple-A Nashville Sounds, the Athletics have signed veteran infielder Ryan Roberts to a minor league contract. He is starting at third base and batting fifth for Nashville on Sunday afternoon.
Roberts was released by the Royals near the end of spring training after struggling in the Cactus League. The 34-year-old hasn’t been an effective major league player since 2011, when he hit .249/.341/.427 with 19 home runs and 18 stolen bases across 143 games for the Diamondbacks. It was by far his best season.
Roberts went 2-for-19 (.105) in eight games last summer with the Red Sox.
The Athletic’s Jayson Stark reports that the Giants have signed 1B/OF Darin Ruf to a minor league contract.
Ruf, 33, played parts of five seasons in the majors with the Phillies from 2012-16, enjoying occasional offensive success. He spent the last three seasons in the KBO League in South Korea with the Samsung Lions, reigniting his career. Ruf hit an aggregate .313/.404/.564 with 86 home runs and 350 RBI over 1,756 plate appearances.
Ruf joins an ever-increasing list of players whose major league careers fizzled out, then found new life overseas — Eric Thames and Miles Mikolas are a couple of examples. Ruf will hope to prove himself as a big leaguer once more in spring training with the Giants.