After shopping around, Gomes re-signs with Reds

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Jonny Gomes spent the weekend searching for a better offer, but ultimately couldn’t land a major-league deal elsewhere and has decided to settle for re-signing with the Reds.
Jerry Crasnick of ESPN.com and John Fay of the Cincinnati Enquirer say Gomes’ last-minute shopping coaxed the Reds’ into giving him a major-league deal, while Mark Sheldon of MLB.com says general manager Walt Jocketty told him it was a minor-league pact. And they’re all reporting from the same clubhouse!
Whatever the case, Gomes is essentially certain to be on the Opening Day roster regardless of the contract type and coming back to Cincinnati represents his best chance for semi-regular playing time. He’ll likely platoon with the left-handed-hitting Chris Dickerson in left field and should get 300 or so trips to the plate.
He ranked second on the Reds in OPS last season, batting .267/.338/.541 with 20 homers in 314 plate appearances, but was non-tendered in December and the market for right-handed platoon bats with limited defensive ability was extremely lacking this offseason. Jermaine Dye is still looking for work and the Gomes-like Marcus Thames managed only a minor-league deal from the Yankees.
UPDATE: Sheldon had it wrong. Gomes gets a big-league deal and a spot on the 40-man roster.

Anibal Sanchez accepts optional assignment to Triple-A

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The Tigers announced on Monday that pitcher Anibal Sanchez has accepted an optional assignment to Triple-A Toledo. Pitcher Warwick Saupold was recalled from Toledo to take Sanchez’s roster spot.

Sanchez, 33, continued to struggle this season pitching out of the bullpen. He gave up 26 runs (21 earned) on 34 hits and nine walks with 22 strikeouts in 21 innings. Nine of those 34 hits were home runs. Sanchez finished the 2015 season with a 4.99 ERA and last season with a 5.87 ERA, so he’s had a rough go of it in recent years.

The decision to go to Triple-A was Sanchez’s, Anthony Fenech of the Free Press reports. Sanchez wants to be stretched out as a starting pitcher again.

Braves release James Loney

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Just a few days after inking him to a minor league deal, the Braves have released first baseman James Loney, the team announced on Monday. Loney became expendable when the Braves acquired Matt Adams from the Cardinals on Saturday as a replacement for the injured Freddie Freeman.

Loney, 33, appeared in two games at Triple-A Gwinnett. He had one hit, a single, and one walk in eight plate appearances.

Loney will likely have to wait for another team to deal with an injured first baseman or DH before he can secure another contract.