NEW BRITAIN - Even with their first spring training game just a few days away, the New Britain Bees have continued to add to their roster.
The Bees signed outfielder Alejandro De Aza and pitcher Giovanni Soto, two former Major Leaguers, the team announced on Tuesday.
“As we begin spring training, we’re excited to bring on two players of this caliber,” Bees general manager Brad Smith said in a statement. “Alejandro brings a wealth of Major League experience to the club, while adding a middle of the order bat to the lineup and versatility to our outfield. Giovanni is a polished lefthander that will add depth to the pitching staff as he has experience in both the starting rotation and bullpen.”
This will be De Aza’s first season in the Atlantic League. The 35-year-old spent parts of 10 seasons in the big leagues from 2007 to 2017 with the Florida Marlins, Chicago White Sox, Baltimore Orioles, Boston Red Sox, San Francisco Giants, New York Mets and Washington Nationals. De Aza appeared in over 100 games a season during five of those years, including 130 with the Mets in 2016.
In 838 career Major League games, the outfielder has a .260 career batting average with 51 home runs, 367 runs scored, 258 RBI and 91 stolen bases. De Aza’s most productive season came in 2012 with the White Sox when he hit 17 home runs and drove in 62 RBI in 153 games.
Last year, De Aza split time between Triple-A Syracuse and the Gulf Coast League Nationals. In 41 combined games, he posted a .296 batting average with 20 RBI and a .405 on-base percentage.
Soto joins the Bees for his second season in the Atlantic League. The 27-year-old spent last year with the Road Warriors, starting nine games and posting a 4.95 ERA with 40 strikeouts in 43.2 innings pitched.
The lefthander made his MLB debut in 2015 with the Cleveland Indians and appeared in six games that season without giving up a run. Following his stint in the big leagues, he spent time with the Triple-A affiliates of the Chicago Cubs and Chicago White Sox.
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