The Arizona Diamondbacks have signed pitcher Scott Rice to a Minor League deal.
The Arizona Diamondbacks have made several lower profile signings during the month of December. Of course, the D-backs made the biggest signing splash of all by signing Zack Greinke to the highest average annual contract in baseball history. These other signings provide organizational depth that each Major League club seeks. One of the bigger ones among these acquisitions is agreeing with left-handed reliever Scott Rice on a Minor League contract, per Jeff Passan at Yahoo.
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The 34-year old Rice was taken with the 44th pick in the 1999 Draft by the Baltimore Orioles. He bounced around six different organizations before finally making his Major League debut with the New York Mets in April of 2013. Rice became of the most important members of the New York bullpen that year with 73 appearances, compiling an ERA of 3.71. He was a lefty specialist, hence he pitched a total of only 51 innings. 2014 was not kind to the well-traveled veteran as ineffectiveness forced the Mets to demote him to Triple A Las Vegas toward the end of June. He allowed 15 hits and 12 walks in only 13 2/3 innings. The Amazins released him at the end of the season but resigned him before 2015 began.
Rice spent all of 2015 with Vegas but regained some confidence with a solid, but unspectacular campaign. He pitched to the tune of a 1.82 ERA in 56 games in the hitter-driven Pacific Coast League. All was not that well with the lefty as he walked an astounding 28 batters in only 39 2/3 innings. New York cut him for good at the conclusion of the season.
Rice and infielder Joaquin Arias, whom Arizona signed earlier this week, were two of the big “names” added to the club. Another was outfielder Jason Bourgeois. The soon-to-be-34-year old Bourgois has played part of eight seasons in the Majors; in 2011, he stole 31 bases for the Houston Astros. The D-backs also signed Anthony Cheky, another outfielder. Cheky, age 23, graduated from Michigan State in May 2015 and played independent ball after undergoing back surgery. As a Junior, he set the Spartans single-season stolen base record with 29 thefts, best in the Big Ten.
Two pitchers were inked by the Snakes earlier this month. 23-year old right-hander Taylor Wright was signed out of Houston Baptist University. He went 8-6 with a 2.99 ERA in 14 starts for the Huskies and led his club to an NCAA Regional appearance. Juan Torres is also a 23-year old righty that spent that last four seasons as part of the Philadelphia Phillies’ rookie squad in the Dominican Republic. All but one of his 46 appearances were in relief as he registered a 3.30 ERA.