The Phillies have signed a deal with career minor leaguer Jim Negrych. The 28-year-old lefty second baseman has played as high as Triple-A (but not until he was 25), while traveling through various towns housing franchise affiliates of the Pirates, Marlins, Nationals, and Blue Jays.
Negrych's career numbers, 296/.374/.401, are fine, but it's his want for power and lack of solid defense that have kept him out of the Majors. He has spent limited time at third base and in left field. His dedication has been cited as one of his intangibles, often showing up at the stadium six hours before games.
In 2010, Negrych was considered an All-Star in the Pirates' organization before being traded to the Marlins. Last season, playing for Toronto affiliate Buffalo Bison, he hit for the International League's first 2013 cycle in a 27-9 victory (a game in which 19 mph winds helped the teams combined for 43 hits and seven home runs). That year, he started at second base in the Triple-A All-Star Game, after hitting .429 in April and not sinking below .400 until May 17.
His deal with the Phillies is a minor league contract. Negrych is presumably intended to provide further padding to the Phillies' infield depth, likely filling out a minor league roster with Major Leaguers like Ronny Cedeno and Reid Brignac competing for a spot on the Phillies' bench.