The Winnipeg Goldeyes hope they’ve made a steal of a deal.
The Goldeyes have signed outfielder/infielder Josh Mazzola, a versatile player that Goldeyes manager Rick Forney believes will steal some bases and drive in some runs in the 2012 American Association baseball season.
The Goldeyes have also traded outfielder Justin Justice to the Toyama Thunderbirds of the Baseball Challenge League of Japan for future considerations.
Mazzola, 26, played last season in the San Francisco Giants organization at Single-A Augusta in the South Atlantic League. In 104 games, he hit .259 with 13 home runs and 50 RBI.
"He falls into the category of being a multidimensional player," Forney said in a release. "He has the ability to run as well. We feel if we green-light him a little bit he can steal 10 to 15 bases."
Forney said Mazzola could play "both corner outfield positions and both corner infield positions."
Mazzola, who missed nearly all of the 2010 season with an injury, hit 16 home runs and posted 96 RBI in 130 games in 2009 with Augusta. He was named the South Atlantic League’s all-star first baseman for his efforts.
Mazzola was signed as an non-drafted free agent by San Francisco out of Missouri State in 2008.
The Goldeyes now have 23 players signed for the 2012 season, including 10 pitchers and 13 position players.