Jason Marquis is interested in helping the Nats

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Even if Jason Marquis isn’t a great pitcher, he’s definitely a great pitchman.  When the Mets had some interest in him he went all-in on his “I’m a New York guy” spiel. Now that the Mets’ interest has cooled, he has launched straight into “I can help the Nats” mode:

Marquis said he can be one person who can help Washington’s young
pitching staff, which includes John Lannan and Garrett Mock. Marquis
indicated that he can teach the young kids what he learned from
veterans like Tom Glavine, Greg Maddux, Chris Carpenter and Matt
Morris . . . “Learning from those veterans, learning how to win and
recognizing situations, I felt I brought that to the table in Colorado
and I really helped … De La Rosa and Jimenez, who were trying to get
over that hump,” said Marquis. “I feel I could bring that [kind of
leadership] to a team.”

I’m dubious that his hanging around guys like Maddux, Glavine, Carpenter and Morris will help Washington’s young pitchers too much, because it’s really not all that apparent that it has helped Marquis. For all of his available mentors, he’s more or less the same pitcher he’s always been — inconsistent — and there aren’t a lot of examples of that kind of osmosis working with many guys. If it did, Horacio Ramirez would be better.

But Marquis would be a useful addition in Washington. Partially because what he brings — a lot of average/occasionally above-average innings — is something Washington could definitely use.  And while the mentorship thing may not work the way Marquis suggests it does, having a guy who actually wants to pitch in Washington and wants to help the young pitchers would be a definite plus for the Nationals.

Angels sign Eric Young, Jr. to a minor league contract

ATLANTA, GA - APRIL 11:  Eric Young Jr. #4 of the Atlanta Braves slides safely into third base on a RBI triple in the fifth inning against the New York Mets during the Braves opening series at Turner Field on April 11, 2015 in Atlanta, Georgia.  Andrelton Simmons #19 scored on the triple.  (Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)
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Mike DiGiovanna of the Los Angeles Times reports that the Angels have inked outfielder Eric Young, Jr. to a minor league contract with an invitation to spring training.

Young, 31, played in just six games and logged one plate appearance in the majors this past season with the Yankees. He last played regularly in 2014. While Young doesn’t do much with the bat, he could provide value as a pinch-runner. He also offers versatility, having played all three outfield positions along with second base.

The Angels have Ben Revere as their fourth outfielder and Jefry Marte behind him, so Young would need to have a very impressive showing in spring training to find a spot on the Angels’ roster.

Report: Blue Jays close to a deal with Jarrod Saltalamacchia

TORONTO, CANADA - JULY 9: Jarrod Saltalamacchia #39 of the Detroit Tigers hits an RBI single in the fourth inning during MLB game action against the Toronto Blue Jays on July 9, 2016 at Rogers Centre in Toronto, Ontario, Canada. (Photo by Tom Szczerbowski/Getty Images)
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Update (5:20 PM EST): It’s a minor league contract, per Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports. If he makes the major league roster, Saltalamacchia will earn $1.25 million with an additional $250,000 available through incentives.

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The Blue Jays are close to a deal with free agent catcher Jarrod Saltalamacchia, Shi Davidi of Sportsnet is reporting.

Saltalamacchia, 31, hit a meager .171/.284/.346 with 12 home runs and 38 RBI in 292 plate appearances with the Tigers this past season. With Russell Martin getting regular playing time behind the plate, Saltalamacchia will serve as his understudy, pushing A.J. Jimenez and Juan Graterol down on the depth chart.

The veteran catcher isn’t far removed from being a productive backstop. He had an .805 OPS in 70 games with the Diamondbacks in 2015 and also helped the Red Sox win the World Series in 2013 with an .804 OPS in 121 games.