Miguel Olivo

Mariners and Miguel Olivo agree to two-year, $7 million deal

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Seattle has signed catcher Miguel Olivo to a two-year, $7 million contract with a team option for 2013, according to Jon Paul Morosi of FOXSports.com.

Last month the Blue Jays acquired Olivo from the Rockies for a player to be named later, declined his $2.6 million option for 2011, and then offered him arbitration, which means Toronto will receive a compensatory draft pick for losing a Type B free agent who never actually played for them.

Pretty nifty move from general manager Alex Anthopoulos, who saw the value in holding Olivo’s rights even when the Rockies didn’t. Seattle handing $7 million to Olivo is also intriguing, because Jack Zduriencik is viewed as a stat-friendly general manager who places a premium on getting on base and Olivo has consistently posted one of the worst on-base percentages in baseball.

Olivo got on base at a .315 clip this year, which is both significantly below the MLB average and by far the best mark of his career. In fact, it’s only time his OBP has cracked .300. He brings plenty of power to the table, smacking 14 homers in 427 at-bats this year and 20 homers per 550 at-bats for his career, and Olivo also does a good job controlling the running game, but it’s still an odd fit.

MLB may introduce “tacky” baseballs in 2018

ST. LOUIS, MO - APRIL 25: Baseballs sit in the St. Louis Cardinals dugout prior to a game between the Pittsburgh Pirates and the St. Louis Cardinals at Busch Stadium on April 25, 2014 in St. Louis, Missouri. (Photo by David Welker/Getty Images)
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Jeff Passan of Yahoo has an interesting report today. MLB and Rawlings are developing a new baseball. It will have a tacky surface on the leather, allowing pitchers to get a better grip without having to resort to sunscreen and rosin and pine tar and stuff. Substances which, in theory, are for grip but which are really used by pitchers to doctor the ball, with MLB and opposing hitters mostly looking the other way.

They tested the new balls in the Arizona Fall League last year and Passan talks to a couple of the pitchers who used the ball. More testing would be required, though, so we’re not likely to see the new balls until at least 2018.

As you know, baseball players love change, so I’m sure we won’t hear another thing about the ball and its introduction will go off seamlessly.

Wait. It’ll still have seams. You know what I mean.

Here we go: Tim Tebow reports to Mets camp

PORT ST. LUCIE, FL - SEPTEMBER 20: Tim Tebow #15 of the New York Mets speaks at a press conference after a work out at an instructional league day at Tradition Field on September 20, 2016 in Port St. Lucie, Florida. (Photo by Rob Foldy/Getty Images)
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The first few days of spring training have been pretty quiet. Guys are going about their business and games are being played, but we haven’t had any news or controversy or silliness or anything fun like that. That’s about to change, however, as Tim Tebow has arrived at Mets camp.

Tebow, a non-roster invite, arrived at the Mets facility in Port St. Lucie, Florida this morning and, unlike every other non-roster invite, had a press conference. You may be surprised to learn that he’s in great shape, is excited to get going and wants to improve steadily each day.

The plan for Tebow is to be a part of the minor league camp, not the major league one, so he’s not going to be as visible at workouts as you might expect. He will be playing in some major league spring training games, however, at least until we get deeper into spring training, after which you’d assume that veterans and players with a real shot of making the big club will play longer.

In the meantime, you can buy Tebow shirts. But not Curtis Granderson ones, it seems: