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Dodgers sign Josh Bell to minor league deal with spring training invite

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Bell, 27, was drafted by the Dodgers eight years ago.

USA TODAY Sports

LOS ANGELES -- The Dodgers on Monday announced the signing of infielder Josh Bell to a minor league contract with an invitation to big league camp in spring training. Bell was originally drafted by the Dodgers in the fourth round of the 2005 draft, and was dealt to the Orioles in the July 2009 trade for left-handed reliever George Sherrill.

Relief pitcher Sam Demel, who was signed to a minor league contract over the weekend, also was invited to spring training, bringing the total number of NRIs in camp to six.

Bell hit .226/.324/.356 with five home runs in 56 games in Triple-A in 2013, split between Charlotte (White Sox system) and Scranton/Wilkes-Barre (Yankees). The 27-year-old switch-hitting third baseman has spent most of the last four seasons in Triple-A, hitting .267/.335/.451 with 50 home runs in 328 games during that span.

In parts of three major league seasons - 2010-2011 with the Orioles and 2012 with the Diamondbacks - Bell hit .195/.223/.265 with four home runs and seven doubles in 100 games. In 282 major league plate appearances Bell has a whopping 92 strikeouts and 10 walks.

Bell was ranked the Dodgers' No. 8 prospect by Baseball America heading into the 2009 season (one spot ahead of Dee Gordon), then hit .296/.386/.497 with 11 home runs in 94 games in Double-A Chattanooga before he was sent with pitcher Steve Johnson to Baltimore for Sherrill.