Updated: December 15th, 2011 10:59pm
Twins sign Steve Pearce, J.R. Towles to minor league deals

Twins sign Steve Pearce, J.R. Towles to minor league deals

by Phil Mackey
1500ESPN.com
Email | Twitter
SportsWire Daily

Get the 1500 ESPN SportsWire delivered to your inbox daily, and keep up with all the news in Twin Cities Sports

Signup!

The Minnesota Twins already agreed to terms with former top prospect Sean Burroughs on a minor league deal, and now they are taking flyers on a couple more underachievers.

The team agreed to minor league deals on Thursday with first baseman and outfielder Steve Pearce and catcher J.R. Towles -- both of whom were once projected as quality major league bats.

Pearce, 28, owns a dismal .232/.302/.366 major league batting line with nine home runs in 521 plate appearances for the Pirates, but he once rated as one of Baseball America's top-100 prospects in 2008, coming off a season in which he hit .333/.394/.622 with 31 home runs in 551 plate appearances between three levels. Pearce never has been able to carry that power over to the big leagues.

Towles, a former Astro who turns 28 in February, has fared even worse in the big leagues -- .187/.267/.315 with 11 home runs in 484 trips, but like Pearce he also cracked Baseball America's top-100 list in 2008. Towles owns a career Triple-A batting line of .286/.389/.443 with 14 home runs in 556 plate appearances.

The Twins also brought back catcher Rene Rivera on a minor league deal, as well as right-hander P.J. Walters. The Star Tribune reported left-hander Aaron Thompson also signed a minor league deal.

Phil Mackey is a columnist for 1500ESPN.com. He co-hosts "Mackey & Judd" from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. weekdays on 1500 ESPN Twin Cities.
Email Phil | @PhilMackey | Mackey & Judd
In this story: Rene Rivera
3704