Forget about the Red Sox and Padres.
According to MLB.com’s Jason Beck, the Twins have signed reliever Joel Zumaya to a one-year contract that could be worth anywhere between $800,000 and $1.7 million, depending on the right-hander’s ability to hit certain performance incentives.
Zumaya missed all of the 2011 season due to elbow surgery and has topped the 40-inning plateau just once in his career, but he’s also been highly effective when healthy and touched the mid-90s with his fastball during a showcase workout last month for 20 MLB teams. If he can manage to avoid the disabled list, the deal could easily pay off for the Twins.
Zumaya, 27, had a 3.05 ERA in 209 2/3 innings with the Tigers before hitting the open market this winter.
Thursday is September 1, which means rosters expand. As a result, the Nationals plan to promote pitcher Mat Latos to the major league roster, Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports reports. Latos had an opt-out clause for Monday, but after discussing the matter with the team, he agreed to stay at Triple-A Syracuse until Thursday.
Latos, 28, put up a 4.62 ERA over 11 starts with the White Sox before being released in mid-June. Nearly two weeks later, he signed a minor league contract with the Nationals.
In the Nationals’ minor league system, Latos has made three starts for the club’s Gulf Coast League team as well as three for Syracuse. In aggregate, the right-hander has yielded six runs (four earned) on 20 hits and 10 walks with 28 strikeouts in 28 innings.
Latos will likely pitch out of a long relief role for the Nationals and can be used as starting rotation insurance as well.
Mark Buehrle hasn’t officially retired, but he hasn’t thrown a pitch in professional baseball since last October. Still, the Blue Jays wouldn’t mind having some insurance, so manager John Gibbons recently texted Buehrle, “You know, rosters expand in September,” Sportsnet’s Ben Nicholson-Smith reports.
Buehrle’s response? He texted back a picture of a lake. Sounds like he’s not interested in making a return, at least this year.
Last year, at the age of 36, Buehrle went 15-8 with a 3.81 ERA with a 91/33 K/BB ratio in 198 2/3 innings while leading the league with four complete games. He fell 1 1/3 innings shy of a 15th consecutive 200-inning season. There are many worse ways to end a career.