Mariners get Chance Ruffin from Tigers to complete Doug Fister trade

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Chance Ruffin couldn’t technically be traded until now because the 2010 supplemental first-round pick hadn’t been under contract for a year, but reports pegged him as the player to be named later in the Doug Fister trade last month and today the Tigers and Mariners made it official.

The full deal: Detroit gets Fister and reliever David Pauley. Seattle gets Ruffin, Charlie Furbush, Casper Wells, and Francisco Martinez.

And the Mariners wasted no time calling up Ruffin, adding the 22-year-old reliever to the bullpen for tonight’s game. Ruffin previously had a brief stint with the Tigers and the former University of Texas star was dominant in the minors with a 2.03 ERA and 60 strikeouts in 49 innings between Double-A and Triple-A. He projects as a late-inning bullpen option and potential closer.

Hideki Matsui thinks Shohei Otani should pitch and hit in MLB

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Yankees’ special advisor and former outfielder Hideki Matsui expects to help the club “convince or recruit” Japanese two-way star Shohei Otani, according to a report from MLB.com’s Deesha Thosar. The Yankees are currently viewed as the favorites to sign Otani, though there still figures to be plenty of competition for his services when he finally becomes eligible to enter Major League Baseball.

Matsui also told Thosar that while he hasn’t seen a player find success as a hybrid pitcher/slugger in the majors, he’s taken notice of Otani’s success in both areas. “He’s done well in Japan, so as a baseball fan I’m looking forward to how he’s going to do here in the Majors and in the U.S.,” Matsui said, later adding, “If [pitching and hitting is] something he wants to do, and the team wants it, then why not?”

Neither the Yankees nor any other suitor should be too concerned with Otani’s ability to translate his .332 batting average and 3.20 ERA to MLB — at least, not just yet. There are still a few roadblocks in his path to the major leagues, most notably the lack of approval from the Players Association. Per FanRag Sports’ Jon Heyman, the union doesn’t want to sign off on an agreement that would give the Nippon Ham Fighters a $20 million posting fee in exchange for Otani’s services. According to the posting system rules, Otani himself would be eligible to receive no more than a $4 million signing bonus.

The good news in all of this? The union agreed to reach a final decision by Monday, November 21, so there’s still a chance Major League Baseball will see the talented two-way player bring his unique skillset to the field in 2018.