The Braves claim Joe Mather off waivers from St. Louis

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This is not exactly how I envisioned Atlanta fixing its outfield problem: the Braves claimed OF Joe Mather off waivers from the Cardinals. He hit a lusty.217 with three RBI in 60 at-bats with the Cardinals last year.

OK, I’m just being grumpy. I know that the Braves don’t think of him as a starter. If he even makes the team it will be as a utility guy, what with his ability to play first, third and all three outfield positions. Kind of a more flexible Eric Hinske or something.

One thing I didn’t need to hear out of all of this is Derrick Goold’s tweet a few minutes ago about how the Braves once tried to trade for Mather before, offering up — wait for it — Rafael Soriano for him.  I mean, we saw just how little the Braves would take for Soriano last winter when he was traded for belly button lint, but I’d prefer not to be reminded just how little they valued the guy, ya know?

Twins sign Michael Pineda to a two-year deal

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The Twins just announced that they have signed pitcher Michael Pineda to a two-year contract.

Pineda, 28, has a 4.05 career ERA and has struck out 9.1 batters per nine innings over 680 career major league innings.

Pineda underwent Tommy John surgery this past July, so the Twins are buying a 2018 filled mostly with rehab and a pitcher for 2019. As such, the deal is probably not too taxing financially, but could pay off pretty well for them if Pineda comes back strong.