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Astros sign reliever Valentine
01/11/2006 7:16 PM ET By Alyson Footer / MLB.com

HOUSTON -- The Astros announced on Wednesday that they signed right-handed pitcher Joe Valentine to a Minor League contract with an invitation to Major League Spring Training. Valentine, 26, was 0-1 with an 8.16 ERA over 16 games for the Cincinnati Reds in 2005. In 42 career big league appearances between 2003 and 2005 with the Reds, Valentine was 2-4 with a 6.70 ERA and four saves.

In 49 appearances for Triple-A Louisville in 2005, Valentine was 0-7 with a 5.70 ERA and three saves.

Valentine is the eighth player to sign a Minor League contract and garner an invite to big league camp. The list also includes left-hander Carlos Hernandez, right-handers Dave Borkowski and Steve Sparks, and infielders Danny Klassen, Eric Munson and Kevin Orie and catcher Alan Zinter.

Jared Gothreaux, already in the Astros' Minor League system, was also invited to big league camp.

Astros pitchers and catchers report to Kissimmee, Fla., on Feb. 17 and work out on Feb. 18. Position players report Feb. 23 and the first full-squad workout is scheduled for Feb. 24.