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Pirates designate Willy Garcia for assignment

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Per the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette’s Bill Brink, the Pirates cleared a roster spot for the newly re-signed Ivan Nova on Saturday, designating outfielder and top prospect Willy Garcia for assignment.

Garcia, 24, was ranked 15th-best in the Pirates’ system during MLB.com’s 2016 midseason rankings. He slashed .245/.293/.366 with six home runs in his first full season with Triple-A Indianapolis. The power potential that kept Garcia on the cusp of his first major league assignment seemed to fade from 2015 to 2016, however, though his strong arm in right field could garner interest from another club before the offseason is up.

Giants sign Darin Ruf to minor league contract

Darin Ruf
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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.