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02/10/10 5:05 PM ET

Giants add Wellemeyer as long reliever

Veteran righty could get occasional chances to start

SAN FRANCISCO -- The Giants acquired the experienced long reliever they sought by signing free agent right-hander Todd Wellemeyer to a Minor League contract Wednesday that includes a non-roster invitation to big league Spring Training.

Wellemeyer, 31, has spent most of the past two seasons as a starter with the St. Louis Cardinals. But Giants vice president of baseball operations Bobby Evans said, "We're looking at him right now more as a long man" -- a reliever capable of pitching multiple innings. Evans acknowledged that Wellemeyer could receive occasional chances to start, but indicated that rookie left-hander Madison Bumgarner, the Giants' top pitching prospect, and right-handers Joe Martinez and Kevin Pucetas are the top contenders for the No. 5 spot in the starting rotation.

"We want to give our internal options every opportunity as well," Evans said.

Wellemeyer enjoyed his best season with St. Louis in 2008, when he finished 13-9 with a 3.71 ERA in 32 starts. He slumped to 7-10, 5.89 in 28 appearances (21 starts) last season. The 6-foot-3, 225-pounder owns a 29-29 career record with a 4.74 ERA in 195 appearances, including 64 starts, with the Cubs, Marlins, Royals and Cardinals.

Arizona, Colorado, Philadelphia and the New York Mets were reportedly among the other teams interested in Wellemeyer.

Chris Haft is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.