Pirates sign two minor league free agents
This story originally published on PiratesDugout.com
Cody Eppley
Cody Eppley

Posted Nov 27, 2013

The Pittsburgh Pirates have signed catcher Nevin Ashley and right-handed pitcher Cody Eppley to minor league contracts, which include invitations to Major League spring training as non-roster players.

The 29-year-old Ashley spent the entire 2013 season in the Cincinnati farm system, where he hit .235 (56-for-238) with six homers and 28 RBI in 80 games with Triple-A Louisville. He threw out 26 percent of the baserunners attempting to steal against him (16-of-61) and committed just one error in 74 games behind the plate.

Originally selected by Tampa Bay in the sixth round of the 2006 First-Year Player Draft, Ashley spent seven seasons in the Rays organization (2006-2012) before signing a minor league deal with the Reds on 11/19/12. He was tabbed by Baseball America as the Best Defensive catcher in the Tampa Bay system in 2009 and 2010.

Eppley, 28, posted a 4-2 record, three saves and a 6.49 ERA (43.0ip/31er) in 41 combined games between Scranton/Wilkes-Barre (Yankees’ AAA) and Rochester (Twins’ AAA) last season. He began the season with the Yankees, where he made two appearances (1.2ip/4er) before being sent to Triple-A.

Eppley also made six appearances (4.1ip/1er) with Lancaster in the Independent Atlantic League during the 2013 campaign. Eppley was originally selected by Texas in the 43rd round of the 2008 First-Year Player Draft and spent four years in the Rangers farm system before being claimed off waivers by the Yankees on 4/5/12. He made his Major League debut with Texas on 4/23/11 and has gone 2-3 with a 4.61 ERA (56.2ip/29er) in 71 big league games with the Rangers (2011) and Yankees (2012-2013). Eppley also made four scoreless appearances (3.2ip) with New York during the 2012 American League Championship Series against Detroit.

The Pirates have now invited five non-roster players to big league camp.

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