|Thursday, February 3
Padres sign 3B Sprague to minor league contract
SAN DIEGO (Ticker) -- Free agent third baseman Ed Sprague, who was named to his first All-Star Game in 1999 as a member of the Pittsburgh Pirates, today signed a minor league deal with the San Diego Padres.
Financial terms were not disclosed for the 32-year-old, who was paid $1 million last season.
A native of Stockton, California, Sprague also was given an invitation to spring training, where he likely will get a chance to compete for at least a platoon role.
The two-time World Series winner with Toronto hit a career-high .267 with 22 home runs and 81 RBI last season. He was picked for the All-Star Game by Padres manager Bruce Bochy after batting .300 with 16 homers and 53 RBI in the first half.
He missed the final two weeks of the 1999 season with a broken pinky.
Sprague is a lifetime .246 hitter with 138 homers and 506 RBI in nine seasons with Pittsburgh, Oakland and Toronto. He spent parts of his first eight years with the Blue Jays, belting the winning two-run homer in Game Two of the 1992 World Series.
A gold medalist with the United States Olympic team in 1988, Sprague had his best season in 1996, when he hit .247 with 36 homers and 101 RBI.