Brian Fuentes has been linked to nearly a dozen teams this offseason while reportedly holding out for an opportunity to close and according to Ken Davidoff of New York Newsday the Blue Jays “rank among the most serious suitors for” the 35-year-old left-hander.
Toronto signed Octavio Dotel to a one-year, $3.5 million deal last week and the assumption was that he’d fill the closer role for the Blue Jays, but Davidoff writes that general manager Alex Antopoulos “will continue to explore the relief market” and Fuentes could fill the southpaw void created by Scott Downs leaving as a free agent.
Fuentes averaged 30 saves per season from 2005-2010, including a league-leading 48 for the Angels in 2009, and posted a 2.81 ERA with a 47/20 K/BB ratio in 48 innings last season.
The Diamondbacks announced on Monday that the club signed catcher Jeff Mathis to a two-year, $4 million contract.
Mathis, 33, isn’t much with the stick as he owns a career .197/.254/.308 triple-slash line over parts of 12 seasons in the majors. The veteran, though, is well-regarded for his ability to play defense, call games, handle a pitching staff, and get along with his teammates in the clubhouse. As Craig mentioned last year, Mathis is often talked about as a future manager.
The D-Backs non-tendered Welington Castillo on Friday, so Chris Herrmann and Mathis are the team’s two catchers as presently constructed.
ESPN’s Buster Olney reports that free agent shortstop Jimmy Rollins wants to continue playing in 2017.
Rollins, 38, signed a minor league deal with the White Sox for the 2016 season but hit a disappointing .221/.295/.329 over 166 plate appearances. The club released Rollins in the middle of June and he did not sign with a new team. He did join TBS as part of their playoff coverage.
Rollins is almost certainly looking at another minor league contract and will have to earn his way onto a major league roster by performing well in spring training.