Mets sign Tim Byrdak to a minor league contract

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Mike Silva of New York Baseball Digest had this one last night.  Adam Rubin of ESPN New York confirmed it this morning.

The Mets have signed left-handed reliever Tim Byrdak to a minor league contract and, presumably, have invited him to spring training.

There’s a real chance that Byrdak will be able to climb his way into a lefty specialist role before spring training and open the year in the majors.  Taylor Tankersley, a fellow southpaw who will also be in camp on a minor league contract, is the only guy who might stand in his way.

Byrdak, 37, held left-handed batters to a cool .213/.271/.373 batting line last year and posted a 3.49 overall ERA.  When used correctly, he can be a valuable bullpen piece.

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.