Cleveland has added some bullpen depth by signing right-hander Chris Ray to a minor-league deal with an invitation to spring training.
Ray saved 33 games for the Orioles as a 24-year-old rookie in 2004, but injuries soon derailed his career and he’s bounced around a lot since then, pitching for the Orioles, Rangers, Giants, and Mariners during the past three seasons.
He’s still just 30 years old, but Ray hasn’t been effective in the majors since undergoing Tommy John elbow surgery in 2007. He has a 5.13 ERA and 92/60 K/BB ratio in 132 post-surgery innings, but there’s no risk involved in a minor-league deal and Ray still averaged an impressive 94 miles per hour with his fastball last season.
If nothing else he should raise the level of beer quality in Cleveland if he makes the team.
Buster Olney of ESPN reports that the Blue Jays have signed Steve Pearce to a two-year deal worth $12.5 million.
Pearce, 33 had some health issues in 2016, but he hit .288/.374/.492 across 302 plate appearances when he was on the field and he mashes lefties in particular. Pearce is versatile as well, logging time at first base, second base, right field, left field, and DH in 2016 while splitting time between the Rays and Orioles.
Last week Pirates infielder Jung Ho Kang was arrested in South Korea for driving under the influence of alcohol and leaving the scene of an accident. That’s bad, but it turns out that it’s nothing new. The Yonhapnews Agency reports that Kang has been arrested for DUI three times since 2009:
Gangnam Police Station in southern Seoul confirmed that it was Kang’s third DUI arrest, with the three strikes law resulting in the immediate revocation of his license. According to police, Kang had also been arrested for a DUI in August 2009 and May 2011. No personal injuries were reported in either case, though he’d caused property damage in the latter incident.
The report also notes that a companion of Kang initially claimed that he, and not Kang, was behind the wheel at the time of the accident which led to Kang’s arrest last week. It was later revealed by the car’s black box, however, that Kang was driving. So add in some obstruction of justice, whether it is charged or not, to the scene. Police are investigating that.
Between all of this and the fact that Kang is under investigation for an alleged sexual assault in Chicago this past season, a pretty ugly portrait of the Pirates’ infielder is beginning to reveal itself.