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(EVANSVILLE, Indiana) – The Evansville Otters added four new players to their roster this weekend with a trade and a few signings.

Evansville added infielder Frank Martinez in a trade on Friday with the Kansas City T-Bones. The Otters also signed pitcher Alfredo Venegas, shortstop Jon Karcich, and catcher Steven “Bubba” Garcia as well.

Martinez has played seven seasons of minor league baseball, reaching as high as Double-A Midland with the Oakland Athletics organization.  He hit .305 last season for the Normal CornBelters of the Frontier League.

“Frank had a great year in Normal last year,” said Otters manager Andy McCauley. “He will be a middle of the lineup hitter for us, and we hope he continues that success in Evansville.”

After hitting 14 home runs a season ago, Martinez will be reunited with former coach “Boots” Day who will be the Evansville Otters hitting coach this season.

"Frank did very well last year in the league,” said Kevin Cope, the Director of Media Relations for the Otters. “He hits for average as well as being a power threat.”

Evansville also signed right-handed pitcher Alfredo Venegas on Friday. Venegas is a former Seattle Mariners minor-leaguer who reached AAA Tacoma in 2008. The Ecuador native has a history of striking out a lot of batters and walking very few, having a 2.6 strikeout/walk ratio.

"Alfredo did a nice job with the Mariners of keeping the ball in the zone and not walking guys,” added Cope. “We are looking for him to come in here and be a starter for us."

Venegas has previously started 70 of his 91 games in the minors, posting a 23-22 win-loss record.

“He was highly recommended to us from the Ecuador National team and the Seattle Mariners,” said McCauley. “Alfredo should be a front line starter for us. His velocity has been improving nicely.”

The Otters also signed shortstop Jon Karcich from Belmont, California. The infielder was a 7th round draft pick of the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim reaching as high as AAA Salt Lake last year. Karcich has played 225 games in the minors and has seen time at seven different defensive positions.

"We are looking for Jon to come in and play at shortstop,” Kevin Cope said. “With the Angels he showed good range in the field and also has some power in his bat."

2010 was arguably Jon’s best season when he hit .273 with six home runs for the Cedar Rapids Kernels of the Midwest League.

“He should be a middle of the order guy,” said manager Andy McCauley. “He is a very capable shortstop who has played everywhere on the field.”

In the last transaction of the weekend, Evansville signed catcher Steven “Bubba” Garcia on Friday afternoon.

Garcia was drafted by the Atlanta Braves in the 9th round of the 2005 MLB Draft. He played three seasons in the Braves’ minor league system before moving on to the Frontier League in 2008. As a member of the Chillicothe Paints, "Bubba" played in 40 games and then relocated to the Golden League (Yuma and Tijuana).

“Garcia is an experienced catcher that we hope can strengthen the pitching staff,” McCauley said. “He is a very good catch and throw catcher that should contribute with the loss of Billy Killian to the Twins organization.”

"Bubba" played for Maui Na Koa Ikaika in the North American League in 2011 and will be joining the Otters this May.

Tickets are now on sale for the 8th annual exhibition game benefitting Jacob’s Village. The game will be played on Friday, May 11 at Historic Bosse Field with first pitch scheduled for 6:35 pm. General admission price is $4.00 as reserved seats will be selling for $6.00

Opening Day for the Otters at historic Bosse Field is Friday, May 18, 2012, when Evansville hosts the Washington Wild Things. First pitch is scheduled for 6:35 p.m. CDT, and season tickets are on sale now.

Be sure to follow the Evansville Otters on twitter and like us on Facebook.

For more information on the Evansville Otters, please log on to the team’s website at . The team can also be reached by calling the front office at (812) 435-8686.

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