Rangers sign lefty Niese to minor deal with spring invite

ARLINGTON, Texas (AP) Left-hander Jon Niese has signed a minor league contract and will go to spring training with the Texas Rangers after not pitching in the regular season last year.

The 31-year-old Niese had left knee surgery at the end of the 2016 season. He made six relief appearances in spring training for the New York Yankees last year but didn’t pitch during the regular season at any level.

The agreement with the Rangers announced Tuesday includes an invitation to major league spring training.

Niese has a 69-68 record with a 4.07 ERA in 211 games in nine major league seasons. He made at least 20 starts seven consecutive seasons, for the New York Mets from 2010-15 and the Pittsburgh Pirates in 2016. He made four relief appearances for the Mets in the 2015 World Series.

Rangers pitchers and catchers report Feb. 14 to spring training in Arizona.

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