D-backs sign utility man Kristopher Negron to minor league contract

HAVE A SEAT, KRIS

The Arizona Diamondbacks signed utility man Kristopher Negron to a minor league contract with an invite to Major League camp, announced Monday. Negron, 30, was assigned to Reno, but ultimately receives a chance to make Arizona’s 25-man roster out of Spring Training.

A seventh-round pick of the Boston Red Sox in 2006, Negron reached as high as Double-A in the Red Sox system before being traded to the Cincinnati Reds on August 14, 2009, in exchange for infielder Alex Gonzalez. He then spent the 2010–15 seasons in the Reds’ organization, spending a majority of his time at Triple-A Louisville with brief Major League stints in 2012, ’14 and ‘15.

His first Major League home run — in 2014 — came off a fairly notable left-handed pitcher.

Negron entered free agency last offseason and signed a minor league deal with the Chicago Cubs. At Triple-A Iowa, he appeared in 117 games (106 starts) and batted .256 (96-for-375) with 9 homers, 4 triples, 20 doubles and 46 RBI. He also swiped 23 bases in 29 attempts.

He started 46 games at shortstop, 23 at third base, 19 at second, 6 at first and 6 in left field. With Jack Reinheimer and Ildemaro Vargas as likely returners up the middle for Reno, Negron could serve as the Aces’ starting third baseman while spelling numerous positions when the aforementioned players, or an outfielder, needs a day off.

If Negron does indeed come to Reno for the 2017 season, it won’t be his first look at Greater Nevada Field. The California native played for the I-Cubs in all four games in Reno this past May, going 4-for-17 with a double, triple and home run against the Aces.

So long as he brings this sort of hustle to the field every day, he’ll quickly become a fan favorite.

FORMER ACES ON THE MOVE

Jeremy Hellickson accepted his qualifying offer from the Philadelphia Phillies, a one-year contract worth $17.2 million. Another former Ace, Mark Trumbo, declined the same offer from the Baltimore Orioles, thus making him a free agent.

Last week, former Aces left-hander Vidal Nuño was traded for a third time in his career. He’s been shipped from the Yankees to Arizona, from Arizona to Seattle, and now Seattle to the Dodgers. The Mariners received backup catcher Carlos Ruiz from L.A. in return.

Vicente Campos, 24, was claimed off waivers by the Los Angeles Angels recently. Campos started the third-to-last game for the Aces in 2016, a Labor Day Weekend start at Tacoma. He recorded five outs before exiting early with a right arm fracture.

Josh Collmenter and Blake Lalli signed one-year contracts with the Atlanta Braves, the latter being a minor league deal. Collmenter’s one-year contract was worth $1.2 million.

Patrick Schuster, a left-handed reliever, signed a minor league contract with the Dodgers. He will serve as left-handed depth, with Triple-A Oklahoma City as his likely 2017 Opening Day destination.