UPDATE: Roch Kubatko of MASNSports.com reports that Alfredo Simon could be released as early as Wednesday. According to Phil Isaac of the Para Sports Group, one of Simon’s agents, a ballistics test proved that the bullet that killed Michael Esteban Castillo Almonte didn’t come from the gun Simon turned into authorities. Simon could be released after his attorneys file another appeal on Wednesday.
9:20 AM: Orioles’ reliever Alfredo Simon has been in a Dominican jail for a long time now, suspected but not yet charged in the shooting death of Michael Castillo on New Year’s Eve. The Orioles have placed him on the restricted list, likely figuring that it would be a long, long time — if ever — before they see him again.
Now that has changed, with Brittany Ghiroli reporting that authorities have moved on to a different suspect and that Simon may be released from custody in a week to ten days. His agent said “we fully expect him to be back up — and pitching very soon.”
As Ghiroli notes, even if he’s released Simon is a longshot to make the Orioles Opening Day roster. Still, good news for Simon if this is borne out. I mean, no one who has been in the bigs wants to pitch in Norfolk, but it sure as hell beats a jail cell.
(thanks to reader Random Digits for the heads up)
Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports reports that the Rangers have signed outfielder Carlos Gomez to a one-year deal. Joel Sherman of the New York Post reports that Gomez will earn $11.5 million next season.
Gomez, 31, struggled with the Astros to a .594 OPS before the club released him in mid-August. The Rangers signed him shortly thereafter and were immediately rewarded. Gomez hit .284/.362/.543 with eight home runs and 24 RBI in 130 plate appearances through the end of the regular season.
As presently constructed, Gomez would likely take over in center field with Nomar Mazara handling left and Shin-Soo Choo in right.
Jon Heyman of FanRag Sports reports that the Diamondbacks are close to signing free agent reliever Fernando Rodney.
Rodney, 39, has been inconsistent over the past two seasons. This past season, he was lights-out with the Padres, posting a 0.31 ERA in 28 appearances. After the Marlins acquired him at the end of June, he struggled to a 5.89 ERA in 39 appearances.
Brad Ziegler, who closed for the Diamondbacks in the first half last season, went to the Red Sox in a midseason trade and is now a free agent. The Diamondbacks had six other relievers register a save, but only Daniel Hudson and Jake Barrett recorded more than one. Adding Rodney will give the club some stability in the ninth inning.