Texas signs Merkin Valdez, two amateurs

ARLINGTON, Texas -- The Rangers have signed right-handed pitcher Merkin Valdez to a minor-league contract and assigned him to Triple-A Round Rock.

The 29-year-old was released by the Dodgers on Monday after spending the season with Triple-A Albuquerque, going 4-2 with four saves and a 3.58 ERA in 38 relief appearances.

Texas also signed Venezuelan left-hander Yohander Mendez, a 16-year-old, to a 2012 contract. He's a 6-foot-5, 175-pound left-hander who was with Magallanes in the Venezuelan Winter League (Elvis Andrus' winter club) this past offseason.

Outfielder Eduard Pinto, 16, also signed a 2012 contract. He is 5-foot-10, 155 pounds and hits left-handed. He also played for Magallanes in the Venezuelan Winter League last season.