By Dan Connolly
The Baltimore Sun
10:05 PM EST, December 16, 2011
The Orioles have agreed to minor league deals with right-handed pitchers Kyler Newby and Jon Link and outfielders Antoan Richardson and Lee Cruz.
A former 50th round draft pick, Newby, 26, spent the past seven seasons in the Arizona Diamondbacks organization. Last season, he was 8-2 with a 3.87 ERA in 25 games (nine starts) at Double-A Mobile and then 2-3 with a 5.03 ERA in 13 games (seven starts) for Triple-A Reno in the hitter-friendly Pacific Coast League.
The 6-foot-4, 225-pound righty has struck out 477 batters and walked 161 in his career.
Link, 27, pitched in nine games as a reliever with the Los Angeles Dodgers in 2010, posting a 4.15 ERA. He spent all last season with Triple-A Albuquerque in the PCL. He was 2-2 with a 4.24 ERA in 54 games (one start). He saved 11 games in 2011 and 82 in a seven-season, minor-league career.
A 26th rounder in the 2005 draft by the San Diego Padres, Link has also been with the Chicago White Sox organization and was dealt to the Dodgers in 2009 as part of the Juan Pierre trade.
A native of the Bahamas, Richardson, 28, had two hits in four at-bats for the Atlanta Braves in 2011 – his only time in the majors. He appeared in nine games with the Braves, mainly as a pinch-runner. He batted .283 with a .430 on-base percentage and 17 steals for Double-A Mississippi in 2011.
The Orioles twice drafted Richardson in the 27th round, but could not sign him in either 2001 or 2002. The San Francisco Giants selected him in the 35th round in 2005, when he signed.
Cruz is a 28-year-old outfielder who did not play affiliated baseball in 2011. A career .281 minor league hitter, he has played one game above Double A -- for the Houston Astros' Triple-A franchise in 2010.
A 6-foot-2 right-handed hitter, Cruz was selected in the 10th round of the 2006 draft by the White Sox.
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