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Mike Benacka signs with Blue Jays, Skeeters’ Scott Kazmir to Indians, Adam Greenberg to Orioles

Relief pitcher Mike Benacka, who ended the 2012 season with the Revolution, has been signed by the Toronto Blue Jays to a minor league contract.  Benacka joined York on September 11 for the rest of the regular season and playoffs after his season concluded with the Laredo Lemurs of the American Association.  Benacka, 30, pitched in 43 games for Laredo last season, notching 12 saves.  He picked up a save in one of the five regular season games he appeared in with York.

Meanwhile, after starting 13 games for the Sugar Land Skeeters last season,  Scott Kazmir has inked a minor league deal with the Cleveland Indians, which includes an invite to Major League spring training.  Kazmir of course pitched in eight MLB seasons with the (Devil) Rays and Angels between 2004 and 2011, making 179 big league starts.  If Kazmir can at least make the Triple-A club in Columbus, hopefully Cleveland is the ultimate destination for his comeback, and the Atlantic League will be able to boast another alumnus in the Majors.  Kazmir, who had to be one of the more notable names on an Atlantic League roster in the circuit’s first 15 seasons, ended up not even being the biggest name on his own team after Roger Clemens made two starts in Sugar Land in August and September.  Clemens also took one road trip with the Skeeters…anyone remember where?

These two transactions came on the heels of the news that media darling and former Bridgeport Bluefish outfielder Adam Greenberg has signed a minor league deal with the Baltimore Orioles.  The contract does not include an invite to MLB spring training, so it will be an uphill climb for Greenberg to make the club at either Double-A Bowie or Triple-A Norfolk.  But at least he’s been able to parlay the attention he got last year with his one at-bat with the Marlins into an opportunity.  Greenberg was one of the trickier players to keep in check while with Bridgeport, a real headache for opposing pitchers on the basepaths.

-Paul Braverman


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