NEW BRITAIN - The New Britain Bees are bringing in three more former MLB players for the start of the 2019 season.
The team announced the signings of outfielder Darren Ford, infielder Ozzie Martinez and pitcher Sam Gervacio Tuesday afternoon.
“The addition of three former big leaguers will help out our team tremendously,” Bees general manager Brad Smith said in a statement. “Darren and Ozzie are both professional hitters that bring a defensive prowess to the field, while Sam has been a consistent and reliable arm in the bullpen.”
Ford returns to the Bees for his third season in the Atlantic League. Last year with New Britain, the former big leaguer appeared in 122 games and posted a .276 batting average with 22 doubles, seven home runs, 74 runs scored, 38 RBI and 36 stolen bases.
The 33-year-old began his professional career with the Milwaukee Brewers after being selected in the 18th round of the 2004 amateur draft. He spent four seasons with the Brewers organization before being traded to the San Francisco Giants as part of a deal for Ray Durham. After two campaigns in the minors with San Francisco, Ford made his Major League debut in 2010. He played in the big leagues with San Francisco the following season.
Ford appeared in a combined 33 games during his big league career, collecting a .286 batting average with nine stolen bases.
Martinez comes to the Bees for his second season in the Atlantic League. Last year, the former Major Leaguer appeared in 105 games with the Road Warriors, and posted a .256 batting average with 15 doubles, seven home runs and 27 RBI.
The 30-year-old began his professional career with the Florida Marlins after being selected in the 11th round of the 2006 amateur draft. Martinez made his Major League debut in 2010 at the age of 22. Following his stint with the Marlins, he spent time with the Chicago White Sox, Los Angeles Dodgers, Atlanta Braves, Baltimore Orioles, and Chicago Cubs organizations. The infielder appeared in a combined 34 games during his big league career.
Gervacio returns to New Britain for his fourth season in the Atlantic League. Last year with the Bees, the former big leaguer made 51 appearances, finishing with a 2.52 ERA, two saves and 77 strikeouts in 64.1 innings.
The 34-year-old began his professional career after he signed with the Houston Astros as a free agent in 2005 and made his MLB debut in 2009. In two seasons with the Astros, Gervacio appeared in 35 games and went 1-2 with a 3.65 ERA and 28 strikeouts in 24.2 innings of work.