Pirates Sign Six Minor League Free Agents; Invite Three to Spring Training

The Pittsburgh Pirates today signed the six following players as minor league free agents:

Brandon Boggs (OF) - Spent majority of 2011 season with Nashville (Brewers’ AAA), where he hit .241 with nine home runs, 38 RBI and a .381 OBP in 94 games...Made 56 appearances in left field and 22 in right field with the Sounds...Also went 3-for-19 with two home runs in 16 games with Milwaukee in 2011...The 28-year-old switch-hitter was a fourth-round selection by Texas in the fourth round of the 2004 First-Year Player Draft and made his Major League debut with the Rangers in 2008...Boggs has received a non-roster invite to spring training.

Kyle Cofield (RHP) - Posted a 3.30 ERA (30.0ip/11er) in 17 minor league games between Birmingham (15 games) and Charlotte (two games) in the Chicago White Sox farm system in 2011; also missed some action with a right shoulder strain...The 24-year-old was originally selected by Atlanta in the eighth round of the 2005 First-Year Player Draft...Was acquired by Chicago on 12/3/10 in deal for pitcher Scott Linebrink.

Jose Diaz (RHP) - Recorded 27 saves and posted a 2.62 ERA (44.2ip/13er) in 48 combined games with Bowie (Orioles’ AA) and Norfolk (Orioles’ AAA) in 2011...Ranked third among Baltimore farmhands in saves in 2011...The 27-year-old Dominican native was signed by Baltimore as a minor league free agent on 12/24/09...Spent first seven seasons in LA system.

Jake Fox (C) - Split 2011 season between Triple-A Norfolk and Baltimore, where he made 10 appearances behind the plate, six at first base and five in left field while hitting .246 in 27 total games...The 29-year-old right-handed hitter was originally selected by the Chicago Cubs in the third round of the 2003 First-Year Player Draft and made his big league debut with the Cubs in 2007...Appeared in a Major League career-high 82 games with the Cubs in 2009, a season in which he also batted .409 (67-for-164) with 17 homers and 53 RBI in 45 games with Triple-A Iowa...Also saw big league action with Oakland and Baltimore in 2010...Fox has received a non-roster invite to spring training.

Shairon Martis (RHP) - Went 8-6 with a 3.05 ERA in 23 starts with Harrisburg (Nationals’ AA) in 2011...Ranked third in Washington farm system in strikeouts (146) and fourth in ERA in 2011...The 24-year-old native of Curacao originally signed with San Francisco as a non-drafted free agent on 2/10/04...Was acquired by Washington in exchange for LHP Mike Stanton on 7/28/06...Made Major League debut with the Nationals in 2008 and went 1-3 with a 5.66 ERA in five big league games (four starts) that season...Began 2009 campaign with Washington and went 5-3 with a 5.25 ERA in 15 starts thru the month of June...Martis has received a non-roster invite to spring training.

Stefan Welch (INF) - Spent entire 2011 season with the St. Lucie Mets and hit .271 with 19 doubles, 16 home runs, 53 RBI and a .361 OBP in 129 games...Made all 124 defensive appearances at first base...The 23-year-old left-handed hitter led St. Lucie in home runs in 2011 and ranked second with 191 total bases...Australian native was named to the 2010 Florida State League All-Star team after spending entire season with St. Lucie...Represented Australia in the 2009 World Baseball Classic and played for Team Australia in the 2009 World Cup...Signed by Mets as a non-drafted free agent on 1/19/05.