Around The AL: Bears Banking On 41-Year-Old

The Newark Bears have signed 41-year-old Major League veteran pitcher Willie Banks to a contract.  Additionally, the team has traded the rights to pitcher Ramiro Mendoza to the Long Island Ducks for outfielder Lew Ford and reliever Julio Manon.

Banks made 17 appearances for Newark last season (1-0, 6.43) after not having pitched since 2005, also with the Bears.  He’s made 181 big league appearances for the Twins, Cubs, Dodgers, Marlins, Yankees, Diamondbacks and Red Sox.

Mendoza made 17 appearances for the Bears last season as well, including 15 starts.  The Panama-born former Yankee was 4-4 with a 3.83 ERA, and held the Patriots to no runs on just two hits through seven innings in a masterful playoff start in Bridgewater.

Ford raked during his tenure with the Ducks last year, as the former Minnesota Twins outfielder hit .330 with 10 home runs and 55 RBI in 93 games before getting picked up by the Cincinnati Reds and assigned to Triple-A Louisville, where he finished the season.

Manon has big league experience with the Expos and Orioles, and spent all of 2009 with the Ducks after finishing his 2008 campaign with them.  He went 9-6 with a 4.13 ERA in 143.2 innings of work, striking out 108 batters along the way.


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