Minor Moves: Baxter, Blanco, Orioles, Michaels

We'll track today's minor moves here…

  • The Mets signed outfielder Mike Baxter to a minor league contract, according to the team's official Twitter feed.  The deal includes an invitation to the Major League spring training camp.  Baxter, 27, was born in Queens and appeared in 22 games with the Mets last season.
  • The Nationals signed Andres Blanco to a minor league deal, tweets MLB.com's Bill Ladson. In 82 plate appearances for the Rangers in 2011, the versatile 27-year-old posted a .224/.263/.342 line and played four positions.
  • The Orioles agreed to sign outfielders Antoan Richardson and Lee Cruz to minor league deals, tweets ESPN.com's Jerry Crasnick. Richardson, who briefly played for the Braves in 2011, is one of six players in MLB history from the Bahamas, Crasnick tweets.
  • The Nationals signed outfielder Jason Michaels to a minor league deal, according to Matt Eddy of Baseball America (on Twitter). Michaels spent the 2011 season with the Astros and posted a .199/.256/.295 line in 169 plate appearances. The 11-year veteran has a career line of .263/.335/.407 and experience at all three outfield positions.
  • The Rockies signed catcher Wilkin Castillo and right-handed relievers Mike Ekstrom and Zach Simons to minor league deals, according to Matt Eddy of Baseball America (on Twitter). Castillo spent the 2011 season at Triple-A, where he hit .262/.285/.366 in 291 plate appearances. Ekstrom, who appeared in one game for the Rays in 2011, posted a 4.35 ERA with 8.6 K/9 and 3.8 BB/9 for Tampa Bay's top affiliate. The 26-year-old Simons posted a 5.46 ERA with 6.8 K/9 and 5.3 BB/9 in 61 innings in the Tigers' and Marlins' systems in 2011.

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