Brazelton invited to Spring Training

Brazelton invited to Spring Training

LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. -- Former first-round draft choice Dewon Brazelton and veteran left-hander Wayne Franklin are among seven non-roster players the Royals invited to Spring Training on Tuesday. The club also signed 14 other players to Minor League contracts.

Brazelton, 26, spent the entire 2006 season in the San Diego organization, going 0-2 with a 12.00 ERA in nine appearances (including two starts) for the Padres. Tampa Bay's first-round pick (third overall) in 2001, the right-handed Brazelton owns an 8-25 career record with a 6.38 ERA in 63 games in the Majors, including 43 starts.

Franklin, 32, split the 2006 season between the Atlanta Braves and Triple-A Richmond. He made 11 relief appearances for the Braves, with no record and a 7.04 ERA. Franklin was 2-3 with four saves and a 2.36 ERA in 35 games for Richmond. Franklin has a 14-16 career record in 143 Major League games for Houston, Milwaukee, San Francisco, the Yankees and Atlanta.

The other non-roster invitees are catcher Jared Price and Damaso Espino, right-handers Roberto Giron and Matt Wright and first baseman Graham Koonce.

Espino, 23, hit .242 with 18 RBIs in 54 games for Double-A Wichita this past season and is in his fifth year in the Kansas City organization. Price, 24, batted .158 with four homers and 12 RBIs in 42 games at Triple-A Omaha in 2006.

Wright, 24, spent the 2006 season with the Atlanta organization, splitting time between Double-A Mississippi and Richmond and compiling a 10-8 record and 3.47 ERA in 25 games. Giron, 30, went 2-5 with 13 saves and a 4.78 ERA in 47 games for Triple-A Round Rock in the Houston organization last season.

Koonce, 31, is a left-handed hitter who spent last year at Triple-A Nashville in the Milwaukee chain. He batted .256 with 19 homers, 16 doubles and 52 RBIs in 88 games. A former 60th-round draft choice (Detroit, 1993), Koonce has spent time in the Detroit, San Diego, Oakland and Pittsburgh organizations.

The 14 players signed to Minor League contracts but not invited to Major League Spring Training include right-handed pitchers Barry Armitage and Cody Smith; left-hander Ed Yarnall; and infielders Luis Castillo, Justin Gemoll, Omar Pena and Mike Stodolka, all of whom were re-signed after finishing the 2006 season in the Kansas City organization.

The other seven joining the organization after signing Minor League contracts are right-handers Leoncio Estrella, Arthur Santos and Martin Vargas; left-hander Jason Cromer; catcher Cody Clark and outfielders Adam Greenberg and Onil Joseph.

Jim Molony is a writer for reporters contributed to this report. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.