Brewers general manager Doug Melvin told reporters that Ryan Braun signing a five-year, $105 million extension yesterday won’t impact impending free agent Prince Fielder’s status with the team, calling them “different situations.”
Milwaukee also signed Rickie Weeks to a four-year, $50 million extension during spring training, but Adam McCalvy of MLB.com writes that Fielder rejected a five-year, $100 million extension offer from the Brewers early last year, which was to be expected given that his agent is Scott Boras.
Handing one star player $105 million to keep him with the team through 2020 while another star player is seven months from becoming a free agent may seem connected, but realistically it wasn’t a one-or-the-other situation for the Brewers. Fielder turned down their offer and is determined to hit the open market as a free agent, so even if they hadn’t extended Braun the odds were already stacked against Milwaukee being able to re-sign Fielder once it turns into a bidding war.
Mike DiGiovanna of the Los Angeles Times reports that the Angels have inked outfielder Eric Young, Jr. to a minor league contract with an invitation to spring training.
Young, 31, played in just six games and logged one plate appearance in the majors this past season with the Yankees. He last played regularly in 2014. While Young doesn’t do much with the bat, he could provide value as a pinch-runner. He also offers versatility, having played all three outfield positions along with second base.
The Angels have Ben Revere as their fourth outfielder and Jefry Marte behind him, so Young would need to have a very impressive showing in spring training to find a spot on the Angels’ roster.
Update (5:20 PM EST): It’s a minor league contract, per Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports. If he makes the major league roster, Saltalamacchia will earn $1.25 million with an additional $250,000 available through incentives.
The Blue Jays are close to a deal with free agent catcher Jarrod Saltalamacchia, Shi Davidi of Sportsnet is reporting.
Saltalamacchia, 31, hit a meager .171/.284/.346 with 12 home runs and 38 RBI in 292 plate appearances with the Tigers this past season. With Russell Martin getting regular playing time behind the plate, Saltalamacchia will serve as his understudy, pushing A.J. Jimenez and Juan Graterol down on the depth chart.
The veteran catcher isn’t far removed from being a productive backstop. He had an .805 OPS in 70 games with the Diamondbacks in 2015 and also helped the Red Sox win the World Series in 2013 with an .804 OPS in 121 games.