Astros Sign Dopirak, Gervacio

The Astros announced that they have signed first baseman Brian Dopirak and right-hander Sammy Gervacio. Both players receive minor league contracts and invitations to big league Spring Training.

Dopirak is a former second round pick who has spent nine seasons sluggling his way through the minor leagues. Baseball America ranked him 21st among all MLB prospects before the 2005 season, but the first baseman has yet to appear in the majors. He has 156 minor league homers to his name and hit .274/.309/.454 for the Blue Jays' Triple-A affiliate in 2010. He'll provide the Astros with insurance in case another former Blue Jays farmhand, Brett Wallace, needs time to develop.

The Astros non-tendered Gervacio earlier in the month. He encountered shoulder problems and didn't pitch much in 2010, but he showed promise in a 21 inning cameo in 2009, when he struck out 25 batters.

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