Cardinals sign catcher Koyie Hill to minor-league contract

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Koyie Hill was non-tendered by the Cubs in December after batting .194 with two homers and .545 OPS over 153 plate appearances in 2011, but Jon Paul Morosi of FOXSports.com reports that the has latched on with the division-rival Cardinals on a minor-league deal.

Hill, who turns 33 in March, has a .211/.275/.298 batting line over 927 plate appearances in the majors. He has thrown out 28 percent of attempted basestealers.

Gerald Laird returned to the Tigers this offseason on a one-year, $1 million contract, so Hill gives the Cardinals one more option as a potential backup for Yadier Molina. Tony Cruz and Bryan Anderson are also expected to be in the mix.

The Tigers decline Anibal Sanchez’s 2018 option

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From the “this does not surprise us in the very least” department, Tigers GM Al Avila announced today that the club is declining its $16 million option on right-hander Anibal Sanchez.

Sanchez had a terrible year in 2017, going 3-7 with a 6.41 ERA in 2017. That’s a long slide down from his 2013 season, in which he won the AL ERA title, going 14-8 and posting an ERA of 2.57 in the first year of his five-year, $80 million deal. Since then he’s gone 28-35 with a 5.15 ERA. He never started 30 games or more over the course of the contract.

The declination of the option does come with a nice parting gift for Sanchez: a $5 million buyout. Which is pretty dang high for a buyout, but that’s how the Tigers rolled three or four years ago.