Pirates sign minor league free agent Jose Morales

The Pittsburgh Pirates today announced the signing of minor league free agent catcher Jose Morales, which includes an invitation to Spring Training.

The 28-year-old Morales was limited to 22 games with Colorado in 2011 after suffering a fractured right thumb on June 15. Prior to the season-ending injury, the switch-hitting Morales hit .267 (16-for-60) with three doubles and seven RBI. He also hit safely in 11 of his 17 starts behind the plate, and threw out 4-of-13 (30.8 percent) of the baserunners attempting to steal against him.

Morales spent his first 10 professional seasons in the Twins organization after being selected by Minnesota in the third round of the 2001 First-Year Player Draft. He made his Major League debut in 2007 and has a lifetime batting average of .289 (63-for-218) with 12 doubles, 21 RBI and 25 runs scored in 96 games in the big leagues with Minnesota (2007, 2009-10) and Colorado (2011).