The Diamondbacks have signed Mike Hampton to a minor-league contract, according to a team press release. Hampton will be assigned to Arizona's Triple-A franchise in Reno.
When last we heard from Hampton, he was set to miss the entire 2010 season after undergoing surgery on his left rotator cuff. It was just the latest in a series of health setbacks for Hampton, who made just 25 total starts between 2005 and 2008 due to a variety of injuries, including Tommy John surgery. Hampton is a two-time All-Star, but the southpaw is best known for the eight-year, $121MM deal he signed with Colorado before the 2001 season that is often included in "worst contract ever" discussions.
According to Jack Magruder of FOXSportsArizona.com (Twitter link), Hampton will start for Reno on Monday but pitch just the first inning, as Hampton is being converted to relief pitching. Hampton threw a 60-pitch bullpen session for the Snakes on Wednesday and D'Backs GM Jerry Dipoto told Magruder that Hampton will be a "positive influence" on his younger teammates (both Twitter links).