Jays sign 4 players to minor-league contracts

The Toronto Blue Jays announced four minor-league contract signings on Tuesday, among them catcher Michael Barrett and pitcher Mike Maroth.

The Toronto Blue Jays announced four minor-league contract signings on Tuesday.

Catchers Michael Barrett and Raul Chavez, infielder Randy Ruiz and pitcher Mike Maroth have signed with the club and have also been invited to spring training.

Barrett's deal includes a 2010 club option. The catcher played 30 games last season with the San Diego Padres, averaging .202 at the plate and hitting three doubles and two homers with nine runs batted in. 

The 32-year-old hit .276 with the Chicago Cubs in 2005. He had 32 doubles, 16 homers and 61 runs batter in and was given the National League's Silver Slugger award as the best offensive player at his position.

The Blue Jays will be Barrett's fourth major-league club. In 11 years in the majors, he has played with the former Montreal Expos (1998-2003), the Cubs (2004-2007) and the Padres (2007-2008).

Chavez played 42 games with the Pittsburgh Pirates last season, hitting .259 with four doubles, a homer and 10 RBIs.

The 35-year-old catcher started his major-league career in 1996, playing four games with the Expos. He has averaged .223 at the plate in 212 career games with 19 doubles, five homers and 50 RBIs.

Maroth did not play in the majors last year after having shoulder surgery. He went 0-2 with the triple-A Omaha Royals, an affiliate of Kansas City, before the injury and was released in May.

The 31-year-old lefty has a career major-league record of 50-67 with a 5.05 ERA. He played six years with Detroit before going to St. Louis in 2007.

Ruiz played 22 games with Minnesota last season, his first year in the majors. He averaged .274 with a homer and seven RBIs.

The 31-year-old played 111 games last season with the triple-A Rochester Red Wings, a farm team of the Minnesota Twins, where he topped the International League with a .320 average and 33 doubles, 17 homers and 68 RBIs.

With files from the Associated Press