Rays sign three to Minor League deals

Rays sign three to Minor League deals

ST. PETERSBURG -- The Rays addressed their pitching and catching depth on Friday by signing left-hander Brian Anderson, right-hander Scott Munter and catcher Josh Paul to Minor League contracts with invites to Spring Training.

Anderson, 35, has been recovering the past two seasons from ulnar collateral ligament Tommy John surgery on his left elbow. The 13-year Major League veteran last pitched for the Royals in 2005, when he made six starts before an elbow injury ended his season.

Anderson owns a career record of 82-83 with a 4.74 ERA, having pitched for the Angels (1993-95), Indians (1996-97, 2003), D-backs (1998-2002), and Royals (2003-05). He won a World Series with Arizona in 2001 and also reached the postseason in 1997 and '99, compiling a 2.43 ERA, 2-1 record and one save in 11 playoff appearances.

Drafted third overall by the Angels in 1993, Anderon made his Major League debut later that year. He ranks 10th among active left-handers with 245 career starts and 11th with 1,547 innings. Arizona selected him from Cleveland with its first pick in the 1997 Expansion Draft, immediately after the Rays drafted Tony Saunders first overall.

Munter, 27, pitched for the Giants in September after spending most of 2007 at Triple-A Fresno, where he led the Grizzlies' bullpen with 48 appearances. He went 1-6 with one save and a 4.17 ERA in 58 1/3 innings at Fresno before going 1-1 with a 4.22 ERA over 10 1/3 innings with the Giants. He also pitched for Scottsdale in the Arizona Fall League, where he went 1-0 with a 2.00 ERA in 10 games.

Munter made his Major League debut with the Giants in 2005, logging a 2-0 record and a 2.56 ERA in 45 relief appearances. Over parts of three seasons with San Francisco, he went 3-2 with a 4.75 ERA in 84 appearances and yielded just two home runs in 72 innings.

Hot Stove

Paul, 32, played 35 games for the Rays in 2007, hitting .190 (20-for-105) with a home run and nine RBIs. He threw out nine of 22 potential base stealers (40.1 percent). A left elbow strain, sustained in a May 19 collision with former Marlins catcher Miguel Olivo cost Paul more than two months of the season. In 2006, he hit .260 for the Rays and set career highs with 58 appearances and 146 at-bats.

The Rays originally acquired Paul via a trade with the Angels on Dec. 19, 2005. Over parts of nine Major League seasons with the White Sox (1999-2003), Cubs (2003), Angels (2004-05) and Rays (2006-07), he has a career average of .244 with 10 homers, 73 RBIs and 35 doubles.

Before signing Paul, the Rays had just five catchers (two non-roster invitees) scheduled to participate in Spring Training.

Bill Chastain is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.