Santos signs, heads to spring training
Chad Santos signed a minor-league contract with the San Francisco Giants on Dec. 15 and received an invitation to the Giants' major league spring training camp.
The left-hand-hitting first baseman became a six-year free agent Oct. 17 after seven seasons in the Kansas City Royals farm system.
A player is eligible for free agency if he has played all or part of seven seasons in the major or minor leagues and is not placed on a major-league 40-man roster as of Oct. 15.
The Royals did not include Santos on their 40-man roster, but were still interested in resigning the Saint Louis grad.
"The Royals made me an offer, but the Giants' offer was a little better, so I went with them," said Santos who also was contacted by the Boston Red Sox and the Philadelphia Phillies.
"I was focusing on the Giants. They said they wanted a permanent left-hand bat at first base," said Santos.
The Giants platooned veteran left-handed hitter J.T. Snow and rookie right-handed hitter Lance Niekro last year but declined to offer arbitration to Snow earlier this month, making him a free agent.
Santos, who will be attending spring training with a big league team for the first time, hit .259 with 28 doubles, 16 home runs and 64 runs batted in with the Omaha Royals of the Pacific Coast League last summer.
His teammate, Damien graduate and free agent Chris Truby, signed a minor league contract with the Los Angeles Dodgers on Tuesday. The 13-year veteran had a .242 batting average with 18 doubles, three triples, 20 homers and 66 RBIs for Omaha.
Truby was originally signed by the Houston Astros as a nondrafted free agent in 1992. Santos was a 22nd round selection by the Royals in 1999.
Dusty Bergman has signed with the New York Yankees after also weighing offers from Kansas City and the St. Louis Cardinals. He has been invited to the Yankees' spring training camp.
"The offers were basically the same. I went with the Yankees because they are the Yankees," said the former Hawaii Rainbow lefty.
The New York Mets declined to offer right-hander Tyler Yates a 2006 contract yesterday, making him a free agent. Yates (Kauai, Hawaii-Hilo), who missed last season after shoulder surgery, expects the Mets to re-sign him to a minor league contract.
Shane Komine had his contract purchased by the Oakland Athletics from the Midland Rockhounds of the Texas League last month. The right-handed pitcher is on Oakland's 40-man roster and will go to spring training with Oakland.
Komine (Kalani, Nebraska) did not pitch until halfway through the 2005 season after recovering from Tommy John surgery. He finished strong at Midland with a 3.16 earned-run average while striking out 33 and walking just seven.
He also pitched effectively in the Arizona Fall League for the Phoenix Desert Dogs. In 23 2/3 innings, Komine fanned 18, walked three and fashioned a 1.14 ERA.
His teammate, catcher Kurt Suzuki (Baldwin, Cal State Fullerton) had a .342 batting average. He also is in the Oakland organization and should move up to the Class AA level next year.
Bronson Sardinha played for the Grand Canyon Rafters in the AFL. The Kamehameha graduate and New York Yankees farmhand hit .344 in 25 games with three homers and 15 RBIs.