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Published: Tuesday, 1/8/2008

Tigers sign 11 to 'minor' pacts

The Detroit Tigers signed 11 players to minor-league contracts yesterday, with that group including six players who saw action for the Mud Hens last season.

The signees include right-handed pitchers Francis Beltran, Jeremy Johnson, Anastacio Martinez and Marcelo Perez; left-handers Jon Connolly and Ian Ostlund; catchers Dane Sardinha and Max St-Pierre; infielders Caonabo Cosme and Henry Mateo, and outfielder Jackson Melian.

Connolly, Johnson, Martinez and Ostlund all pitched for Toledo last season. Sardinha and Mateo also were regulars on the team that claimed a third consecutive International League West Division title.

Connolly was 1-1 with a 3.91 ERA in four starts for the Hens. Overall, including Double-A Erie, he was 8-8 with a 4.47 ERA. Johnson was 3-3 with a 3.44 ERA with the Mud Hens and added a pair of wins with Erie.

Martinez, who began the season with Columbus, was 4-4 with a 4.24 ERA after joining Toledo, while Ostlund was 2-1 with a 3.26 ERA in time split between Toledo and Erie.

Sardinha spent last season as the Mud Hens' regular catcher, hitting .202 with 10 home runs 47 RBIs in 117 games, while Mateo hit .257 with three homers, 20 RBIs and 24 stolen bases in 96 games with Toledo.

St-Pierre is a former Mud Hen who saw limited action with Double-A Huntsville in the Southern League, hitting .156 in 10 games with the Stars. He spent 10 years in the Tigers organization, batting .202 with three homers and 31 RBis in 78 contests with Toledo in 2006.

Melian also has experience in Detroit's minor-league organization, having spent the past three years with Tiger clubs. Melian, who played in five Toledo contests in 2006, was a mid-season Eastern League all-star at Erie a year ago, where he hit .310 with 14 home runs and 65 RBIs in 88 games.

Beltran pitched in 47 games for Norfolk in 2007, earning eight saves while posting a 2-7 record and a 4.70 ERA. He has pitched in the major leagues with the Chicago Cubs and Montreal.

Perez saw action in 47 games for Double-A Binghamton in the Eastern League a year ago, going 1-5 with a 5.53 ERA.

Last season Cosme played in 92 games with Double-A Chattanooga in the Southern League, hitting .276 with 12 home runs and 53 RBIs.

- John Wagner

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