The Arizona Diamondbacks have signed left-handed pitcher Ryan Rowland-Smith to a minor league deal with an invite to spring training, according to ESPN.com's Jerry Crasnick. A source tells MLB Daily Dish that Rowland-Smith had two additional offers before signing with Arizona.
Rowland-Smith, who turns 31 in January, was 7-0 with a 1.55 ERA in 37 appearances for Triple-A Pawtucket in the Red Sox system last season.
He was on the verge of a callup in late June when his appendix suddenly burst, causing him to miss out on his major league opportunity with Boston.
He had a rolling opt-out clause throughout the rest of the season that would have allowed him to leave the Red Sox if a team was willing to add him to their 25-man roster, but instead stayed with Pawtucket for the entire year.
In four major league seasons with the Mariners from 2007 to 2010, Rowland-Smith pitched to a 12-17 record and 4.57 ERA in 115 appearances (47 starts). He has bounced around the Astros, Cubs and Red Sox organizations in the last three years, and heads to the Diamondbacks in hopes of landing a bullpen spot out of spring training.
Rowland-Smith, who is one of the most successful Australian-born players in major league history, will have the rare chance to play in his home country if he makes the D-Backs at the start of the season. Arizona will open their season with a two-game set against the Dodgers in Sydney, Australia in the first major league series to be played in the country.