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The Insider: Stingers announce four signings

The Willmar Stingers announced that Bradley Bailey (University of North Alabama), Jonny Ortiz (Nova Southeastern University), Nikolay Uherek (Georgia Gwinnett College) and Corey Binger (University of Nebraska-Omaha) are the second group of player...

The Willmar Stingers announced that Bradley Bailey (University of North Alabama), Jonny Ortiz (Nova Southeastern University), Nikolay Uherek (Georgia Gwinnett College) and Corey Binger (University of Nebraska-Omaha) are the second group of players set to return to Willmar for the 2016 season, the Stingers seventh in the Northwoods League.

Now with seven returning pitchers (Lydon, Hanson, Kehner previously announced), the Stingers pitching staff could be among the top staffs in the Northwoods League. Last season, the entire pitching staff had the lowest batting average against (.232), hits allowed (565) and walks (219).

Bailey was the Stingers team leader in innings pitched (57.2) and starts (11). With a 5-1 overall record, Bailey compiled 27 strikeouts and a 4.52 ERA. Back on June 13, Bailey had arguably his best start of the season going 7.0 innings, one hit allowed and not giving a single earned run in a 4-3 Stingers win over the St. Cloud Rox.

With North Alabama, Bailey has been used solely out of the bullpen in his two seasons with the Lions program. Appearing in 26 career games, he has a 2-1 record in 39.2 IP and 33 strikeouts. As a freshman in 2014, Bailey appeared 19 games with opponents hitting .283 against him.

Ortiz, prior to transferring to Nova Southeastern, came to the Stingers from Daytona State Community College where he was teammates with former Stingers pitcher Phoenix Sanders. Last season with the Stingers Ortiz was 2-1 with a 3.54 ERA in nine total games (six starts) and 21 strikeouts. Over the course of the summer Ortiz accumulated 40.2 IP, which was seventh most on the team, even though he missed some time due to soreness in his pitching arm.

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In two seasons with Daytona State, Ortiz was used as a starter for the Falcons. While his career record was a modest 2-7, Ortiz threw 119 innings with 80 strikeouts. Ortiz garnered FCSAA Region 8 Pitcher of the Week honors for his performance in February of this season against

CCBC-Cantonsville where he allowed just three hits and twelve strikeouts in a seven-inning game.

Uherek joined the Stingers towards the end of June to help bolster a pitching staff that had a few injuries halfway through the summer. Uherek was used as a bullpen arm pitching 12.2 innings over seven games. On August 3rd against the Mankato MoonDogs, Uherek had his longest outing of the year going 4.1 innings in relief and only allowing one run.

Binger, who is from Victoria, Minn., joined the Stingers as a late season addition as well prior to the start of the playoffs. In only three appearances, Binger proved enough to the coaching staff to warrant a return trip to Willmar for the 2016 season. Binger was credited with a win in a

9-8 Stingers victory over the Duluth Huskies on August 7th where he went three innings in relief while just allowing a single run.

Pirates sign Jaso

The Pittsburgh Pirates reached agreement with free agent John Jaso on an $8 million, two-year contract on Wednesday.

Jaso has played primarily as a catcher with some experience in the outfield, but the Pirates plan to use him at first base.

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The left-handed-hitting Jaso basically replaced Pedro Alvarez, who became a free agent when Pittsburgh declined to offer a 2016 contract.

Jaso will earn $4 million for each of the next two years, and he will make $1 million more in performance bonuses. Jaso hit .286 with five homers with the Tampa Bay Rays in 2015.

Indians make moves

The Cleveland Indians made two significant moves, agreeing with left-handed pitcher Ross Detwiler on a minor-league contract and releasing infielder Chris Johnson.

The deal with Detwiler will allow him to earn $1 million if he makes the 25-man roster out of spring training and remains on the team throughout the 2016 season.

Braves sign Ogando

The Atlanta Braves signed right-hander Alexi Ogando to a minor league contract with an invitation to spring training.

Ogando posted a 3-1 record with a 3.99 ERA over 65 1/3 innings in 64 games for the Boston Red Sox last season. He gave up 12 home runs.

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