According to the team’s official Twitter feed the White Sox have re-signed Omar Vizquel to a one-year contract and Scott Merkin of MLB.com reports that the deal is worth $1.75 million after the 43-year-old Vizquel earned $1.375 million this season from a one-year deal signed last November.
After getting a career-low 195 plate appearances as Elvis Andrus’ backup in Texas last season Vizquel logged 391 plate appearances this season for his most playing time since 2007.
He backed up Alexei Ramirez at shortstop, but also started 62 times at third base and 18 times at second base while hitting .276/.341/.331 to nearly duplicate his .273/.338/.354 career line.
Chicago will no doubt plan for Vizquel to have a lesser role in 2011, but as far as utility infielders go he combines a good clubhouse presence with strong defense and decent on-base skills, so $1.75 million isn’t a bad price.
Confirming a report from Tuesday, the Diamondbacks officially signed right-hander Fernando Rodney to a one-year, $2.75 million contract on Friday. The 39-year-old stands to receive up to $4 million in incentives, per Jack MacGruder of FanRag Sports, with $250,000 kicking in when the veteran reaches 40, 50 and 60 appearances and $500,000 if he reaches 70.
Rodney came three games shy of the 70-appearance mark in 2016 during back-to-back stints with the Padres and Marlins. He put up a cumulative 3.44 ERA on the year, which effectively disguised the extreme split during his performances in San Diego and Miami. The Diamondbacks aren’t anywhere close to contending in 2017, but Rodney should stabilize the back end of their bullpen while providing Arizona GM Mike Hazen with a potential trade chip during next year’s deadline.
Hazen issued a statement following the signing:
With Fernando, we’re getting an established Major League closer and a veteran presence in the bullpen. It is helpful to have someone with his experience on the back end to slow the game down and get the final three outs.
The Cardinals have officially signed outfielder Dexter Fowler to a five-year, $82.5 million contract. Fowler will also get a full no-trade clause.
The Cardinals gave Fowler a bigger deal than many speculated he’d get, as some reports predicted he’d get something in the $52-72 million range. His skills, however — he’s a fantastic leadoff hitter who plays a premium defensive position — definitely earned him some major dough. Fowler hit .276/.393/.447 with 13 homers, 48 RBI and 13 steals over 125 games in 2016 for the World Series champion Cubs.
For the Cardinals, this will allow Matt Carpenter to move down to the middle of the batting order and will shift Randal Grichuk to left field. It also takes a prime piece from the Cardinals’ biggest rival. For their part, earlier this offseason the Cubs signed former Cardinal center fielder Jon Jay. So that’s fun.