Cardinals nearing one-year deal with lefty J.C. Romero

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From FOXSports.com’s Ken Rosenthal comes word that the Cardinals are nearing a one-year contract agreement with left-hander J.C. Romero.

Romero posted a pedestrian 4.01 ERA and 19/15 K/BB ratio in 24 2/3 innings this year between the Phillies and Rockies. But he was effective against left-handed batters, holding them to a .231/.318/.231 slash line, and could be a nice addition to the St. Louis bullpen in 2012 if utilized correctly.

No word yet on the financial terms of the deal. Romero, a 13-year veteran of Major League Baseball, will turn 36 years old in June.

Tigers sign Edwin Espinal to minor league deal

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Free agent first baseman Edwin Espinal has signed a minor league deal with the Tigers, the infielder announced Saturday. The move has yet to be confirmed by the team.

Espinal, 23, capped a seven-year run with the Pirates’ minor league affiliates in 2017. He split his season between Double-A Altoona and Triple-A Indianapolis, batting a cumulative .294/.327/.447 with 15 home runs and 31 doubles in 532 plate appearances. While he’s raked at nearly every level so far, he also profiles well on defense, and rounded off his 2017 performance with a perfect fielding percentage, 208 putouts and a Gold Glove award.

Espinal is untested at the major league level and it’s not yet clear if he’ll make the jump in 2018. He showed some positional versatility during his time in the minors, however, and could take reps at third base or DH if necessary. The Tigers are reportedly on the lookout for pitching depth and left-handed bats — two bills the right-handed Espinal doesn’t fit — and presumably have a lot of moves left to make this winter.