De Aza, Soto Signed by Bees
(New Britain, Conn.) - The New Britain Bees today announced the signings of outfielder Alejandro De Aza and pitcher Giovanni Soto.
"As we begin spring training, we're excited to bring on two players of this caliber," says Bees General Manager Brad Smith. "Alejandro brings a wealth of Major League experience to the club, while adding a middle of the order bat to the lineup and versatility to our outfield. Giovanni is a polished lefthander that will add depth to the pitching staff as he has experience in both the starting rotation and bullpen."
Alejandro De Aza joins the Bees for his first season in the Atlantic League and 17th of professional baseball. Last year, the former big leaguer split time between Triple-A Syracuse and the Gulf Coast League Nationals of the Washington Nationals organization. In 41 combined games, he posted a .296 batting average with eight doubles, 19 runs scored, and 20 RBI.
The 35-year-old began his professional career with the Los Angeles Dodgers in 2002 after being signed as an amateur free agent. He would head to the Florida Marlins three years later, and after two impressive campaigns in the Marlins farm system, De Aza made his Major League debut in 2007 at the age of 23. He spent 10 seasons in the big leagues from 2007 to 2017 with the Marlins, Chicago White Sox, Baltimore Orioles, Boston Red Sox, San Francisco Giants, New York Mets, and Washington Nationals and appeared in over 100 games during five of those years. In 838 career Major League games, the slugger owns a .260 batting average with 131 doubles, 51 home runs, 367 runs scored, 258 RBI, and 91 stolen bases.
Over the course of 774 career minor league games, Alejandro has comprised a .286 batting average with 167 doubles, 42 home runs, 305 RBI, 473 runs scored, and 176 stolen bases.
Giovanni Soto heads to New Britain for his 11th year of professional baseball and second in the Atlantic League. The former Major Leaguer spent last year with the Road Warriors, starting nine games and posting a 4.95 ERA with 40 strikeouts in 43.2 innings pitched.
The 27-year-old was originally drafted by the Detroit Tigers in the 21st round of the 2009 MLB amateur draft. After two seasons in the Tigers organization, he was traded to the Cleveland Indians in exchange for Jhonny Peralta. After five impressive campaigns in the Indians farm system, the lefthander would make his Major League debut in 2015, appearing in six games for Cleveland and not allowing a run over 3.1 innings of work. Following his stint in the big leagues, he would also spend time with the Triple-A affiliates of the Chicago Cubs and Chicago White Sox.
Over the course of 225 career minor league appearances (73 starts), Giovanni has recorded 27 wins with a 3.50 ERA and 550 strikeouts in 583.0 innings pitched.
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