Cubs re-sign Rodrigo Lopez to minor-league contract

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Rodrigo Lopez did a decent job in 98 innings for the Cubs last season, posting a 4.42 ERA in 16 starts and 10 relief outings, and he’ll return to Chicago on a minor-league contract.

His deal includes an invitation to spring training, but the 36-year-old right-hander will likely be competing for a long-relief role at most considering the Cubs’ rotation is all but set.

Lopez threw 200 innings for the Rockies in 2010, but that came with a 5.00 ERA and league-high 37 homers allowed. He also served up 18 homers in 98 innings last season, which along with sub par strikeout rates and mediocre control makes him a pretty marginal big leaguer at this point.

Royals sign Clay Buchholz to minor league deal

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Bob Nightengale of USA TODAY Sports reports that the Royals have signed pitcher Clay Buchholz to a minor league deal. Buchholz will earn a $1.5 million salary if he makes the club’s major league roster and can earn an additional $250,000 through incentives. Buchholz has an opt-out date set for May 1, which means if he isn’t on the Royals’ 25-man roster by then, he can request his release.

Buchholz, 33, was acquired by the Phillies from the Red Sox in December 2016, but he made only two starts before an MRI revealed he had a partial tear of his right flexor pronator mass. He underwent surgery in April and missed the rest of the season.

The Royals recently lost Jesse Hahn, who was diagnosed with a sprained right UCL. Buchholz would likely be in consideration for a rotation spot if another starter were to suffer an injury. Presently, the Royals’ rotation appears set with Danny Duffy, Ian Kennedy, Jason Hammel, Jake Junis, and Nate Karns.