The list includes several organizational returnees, but does not include outfielder Michael Restovich, who's taken a better offer to play in Japan.
The Fukuoka Softbank Hawks have signed Restovich, who played for the Washington Nationals last season and four other major league teams before that. Restovich hit .239 and six homers in his career in the majors, which includes time with the Twins, Pirates, Rockies and Cubs.
The official list of signings, which was released Friday, does not include toolsy outfielder Brandon Watson. Several sources, including Baseball America, mentioned Watson and Restovich on a list of November signings, but the omission from this latest release seems odd. Perhaps they’re saving him for when they announce the list of spring invitees. Watson seemed like a nice young player, so I’ll keep an eye on it.
Friday's list is comprised of five pitchers, three infielders, three outfielders and two catchers: right-handers Jason Anderson, Matt Childers, Justin Pope and Kris Wilson and lefthander R.J. Swindle; infielders Gookie Dawkins, Joey Hammond and Juan Tejeda; outfielders Jake Blalock, Branden Florence and Mike Spidale; catchers Orlando Guevara and John Suomi.
Pope is the only new player we haven’t discussed (Wilson was part of an earlier list). A first-round selection of the Cardinals in 2001 (28th overall), Pope, 28, spent parts of the last five seasons in the Yankees' Minor League system and has a 3.41 ERA in 225 Minor League games.