UPDATE: It’s a done deal.
TUESDAY, 11:56 PM: Marc Topkin of the St. Petersburg Times hears that while a deal is not done yet, something is definitely in the works. It could be made official in the next day or two.
TUESDAY, 11:30 PM: Not sure how everyone missed this given how we’ve been dying for any baseball news lately, but Fernando Rodney told the Associated Press last week (link in Spanish) that he has agreed to a one-year contract with the Rays.
Rodney said that the deal is worth around $2 million and that he’ll get a chance to compete for the closer role. Given that he posted a 4.50 ERA and a 26/28 K/BB ratio (!) over 32 innings with the Angels last season, it’s pretty hard to believe the Rays would guarantee him that salary. No official confirmation from the club yet, so we’ll have to wait and see.
Rodney, who turns 35 in March, has a 4.29 ERA and 87 career saves over parts of nine seasons in the majors. His career walk rate of 4.9 BB/9 is ninth-highest among all pitchers (with at least 400 innings pitched) since he made his major-league debut with the Tigers in 2002.
It was first reported that the Blue Jays and Jose Bautista were close to a deal last night. Now Ken Rosenthal reports that the deal is near completion. It will likely a two-year contract in the $35-40 million range.
Bautista had a tough 2016, hitting .234/.366/.452 with 22 home runs and 69 RBI, and some clubs likely considered a long-term deal for the 36-year-old too risky, this leading to the relative lack of reported interest in Bautista by other clubs. But back-to-back ALCS appearances by the Jays and the success and popularity Bautista has experienced in Toronto make his re-signing there a pretty sensible move for all involved.
The Jays, who already lost Edwin Encarnacion to free agency, get their slugger back on a short term deal. Unlike anyone else, they don’t have to give up the draft pick attached to him via the qualifying offer. Bautista, in turn, will make, on average, more than he would’ve made on the qualifying offer if he would’ve accepted it and a raise over the $14 million he made in 2016.
The Padres have signed Trevor Cahill to a one-year, $1.75 million contract.
As recently as the middle of the 2015 season it looked like Cahill’s career would meet a premature end, but after being released by the Braves and signing with the Cubs in August of that season he has been a remarkably effective reliever. He has posted a 2.61 ERA in 61 games in Chicago and has posted a strikeout rate far above his career norms.
He’s not someone you necessarily want taking the hill when the leverage is high, but in San Diego the leverage won’t be all that high all that often.