Francisco Cordero’s contract has a $12 million team option or $1 million buyout for next season and general manager Walt Jocketty admitted yesterday that the Reds “are trying to determine” what their best course of action will be.
Cordero has said he’d be open to renegotiating the deal and Jocketty told John Fay of the Cincinnati Enquirer that the Reds “have discussed it quite a bit” and an extension is a “possibility.”
Jocketty added that “hopefully we’ll address it before the end of the season,” so if a Cordero extension is going to happen it may take place very soon.
Aroldis Chapman would the obvious choice to replace Cordero as closer, but the Reds have indicated that they want to give him an opportunity to be a starter in 2012. Cordero has been very effective this season, converting 32 of 37 save chances with a 2.30 ERA in 63 innings, but at age 36 his strikeout rate has plummeted to a career-low 5.7 per nine innings and the idea of guaranteeing him big money for multiple seasons might be even less appealing than simply paying him $12 million in 2012.
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.