Pirates sign LHP Doug Slaten to a minor league contract

The Pittsburgh Pirates today announced the signing of left-handed pitcher Doug Slaten to a minor league contract, which includes an invitation to spring training.

Slaten, who will be 32 years old on February 4, posted a 2.19 ERA (12.1ip/3er) in 22 games with Washington last year through June 3. He then missed nearly three months of the season with left elbow ulnar neuritis before returning to the active roster in September. In 31 total games with the Nationals in 2011, Slaten went 0-2 with a 4.41 ERA (16.1ip/8er).

The 6'5" lefthander was originally selected by Arizona in the 17th round of the 2000 First-Year Player Draft and made his big league debut with the Diamondbacks in 2006. He spent 10 years in the Arizona organization before being claimed off waivers by Washington on November 4, 2009.

In 206 Major League appearances, Slaten has posted a 3.60 ERA (137.2ip/55er) and has held left-handed batters to a .241 batting average. He made a career-high 61 appearances with Arizona in 2007 during his first full season in the big leagues and posted a 2.72 ERA for the N.L. West Division Champions that season.

The Pirates have now invited a total of 18 players to Major League spring training camp, which begins at noon on February 19, with the first workout for pitchers and catchers at Pirate City in Bradenton, Florida.