This according to John Fay of the Cincy Enquirer.
I understand the impulse — Oh noes! We only scored one run in three games! Halp! Get us some offense! — but Gary Matthews Jr. is no more the solution to that problem than high winds and tinder are to a brush fire. He’s not the solution to any of the Reds’ problems, really. That is unless “the son of a friend of Dusty Baker got released a couple of weeks ago and needs a job” is one of the Reds’ problems.
The kicker here is that the deal, which was initially reported as done, is not quite done yet, and will likely take a couple of days. I’m going to assume the time is needed to accommodate a series of complex demands on Matthews’ part. After all, he is a veteran who knows how to play the game the right way so you can’t rush him or anything.
Joel Sherman of the New York Post reports that the Yankees have signed pitcher Jon Niese to a minor league contract, pending a physical. Assuming the deal is finalized, Sherman notes that the Yankees will have Niese work as both a starter and a reliever in big league camp this spring.
According to Sherman, the Yankees were interested in lefty relievers Jerry Blevins and Boone Logan, but didn’t want to commit at their asking prices. They are looking for a lefty set-up man along with Tommy Lane.
Niese, 30, pitched for the Pirates and Mets last season, finishing with a 5.50 ERA and an 88/47 K/BB ratio over 121 innings.
Veteran Omar Infante has spent the overwhelming majority of his career as an infielder, but the Tigers plan to give him some playing time in center field this spring. The Tigers’ center field situation is still murky and adding more versatility would increase Infante’s odds of making the roster.
Infante, 35, signed a minor league deal with the Tigers in December. He played 39 games for the Royals last season, batting .239/.279/.321 in 149 plate appearances while playing second base exclusively. Infante last played in the outfield in 2010 with the Braves, and last played center field specifically in ’09 with the Braves.
The Tigers currently have Mikie Mahtook, Tyler Collins, and JaCoby Jones at the top of their center field depth chart. It is not what one would call “optimal.”