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Cubs invite Lillibridge to camp, sign Valbuena

The

Chicago Cubs

have invited 16 non-roster players to

spring training

major league camp in Mesa, Ariz., including former

White Sox

infielder

Brent Lillibridge

.

The Cubs also announced Thursday that third baseman

Luis Valbuena

avoided salary arbitration by agreeing to a contract.

Lillibridge had a breakhthrough season with the Sox in 2011, hitting 13 homers and driving in 29 runs in 97 games while playing the infield and outfield. But he played little last season and was traded to Boston at the end of July in the deal that brought third baseman

Kevin Youkilis

.

The

Red Sox

subsequently traded Lillibridge to the Indians for a minor league pitcher and then was granted his release after the season.

Lillibridge could become a valuable backup for the Cubs, who had

Jeff Baker

in that role last season. Lillibridge has played all infield positions, including first base, and all three outfield positions.

In addition to Lillibridge, the Cubs also signed the following to minor league contracts that include an invitation to camp: outfielder

Brian Bogusevic

, catcher J.C. Boscan, right-handers Andrew Carpenter and

Jaye Chapman

, outfielder

Johermyn Chavez

, right-hander Dayan Diaz, infielder

Alberto Gonzalez

, right-hander Jensen Lewis, infielder Edwin Maysonet, outfielder

Darnell McDonald

, first baseman/outfielder Brad Nelson, right-handers Blake Parker and Zack Putnam, left-hander

Hisanori Takahashi

and right-hander

Cory Wade

.

Lillibridge, a proficient user of social media, tweeted: “Love Chicago way to (sic) much to leave!!! Excited for the chance, and confident in what I have to offer. I’ve put in the work, ready to play!”

Twitter @davandyck

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