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Yankees sign free agent infielder Luis Cruz


The New York Yankees today announced they have signed free agent infielder Luis Cruz.

Cruz, 29, appeared in 45 games this season with the Los Angeles Dodgers before being designated for assignment on June 28, batting .127 (15-for-118) with two doubles, one home run and six RBI. He made 30 starts (20 at third base, and 10 at shortstop), committing just three errors in 136 total chances in all games.

A right-handed batter, Cruz is a career .240 (133-for-555) hitter with 26 doubles, one triple, seven home runs and 52 RBI in 179 games over parts of five seasons with Pittsburgh (2008-09), Milwaukee (2010) and Los Angeles-NL (2012-13). In 2012, he set career highs in batting average (.297), runs (26), at-bats (283), hits (84), doubles (20), home runs (six), RBI (40), on-base percentage (.322) and slugging percentage (.431).

Cruz has appeared at five different positions during his Major League career, including 81 games (68 starts) at shortstop, 79 (68) at third base, nine (eight) at second base and one game apiece as a defensive replacement in left field and at first base. He has made just 10 errors in 600 chances over 1,318.2 career innings in the field.

A native of Navojoa, Sonora, Mexico, he was named the MVP of the 2011 Mexican Winter League, batting .340 with 17 home runs and 47 RBI in 62 games with Tomateros de Culiacan. He also appeared in the 2013 and 2006 World Baseball Classics with Team Mexico.

Originally signed by Boston as a non-drafted free agent on August 23, 2000, Cruz was acquired by San Diego on December 16, 2002 in exchange for infielder Cesar Crespo. Cruz played five seasons in the Padres' minor league system from 2003-07.

In a corresponding move to make room on the 25-man active roster, INF Jayson Nix was placed on the 15-day disabled list (retroactive to July 2) with a right hamstring strain. The Yankees' 40-man roster now stands at 40.

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