Nick Masset signs two-year deal with Reds, avoids arbitration

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Cincinnati has bought out Nick Masset’s remaining arbitration eligibility, signing the right-hander to a two-year contract that MLB Trade Rumors reports is worth $5.5 million.

Masset made $1.725 million last season and submitted a $2.9 million figure for arbitration after throwing 70 innings with a 3.71 ERA and 62/31 K/BB ratio. Cincinnati countered at $2.1 million.

When the Reds acquired Masset from the White Sox in the mid-2008 deal for Ken Griffey Jr. he looked like little more than a fifth starter or long reliever, but he’s proven to be much more than that with a 3.07 ERA and 228 strikeouts in 240 innings for Cincinnati while adding velocity and emerging as a quality setup man.

Masset, who was already under team control for two more seasons, remains on track to become a free agent following 2013.

Henderson Alvarez signs with Tigres de Quintana Roo

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Free agent right-hander Henderson Alvarez signed a deal with the Tigres de Quintana Roo of the Mexican Baseball League earlier this week, FanRag Sports’ Jon Heyman reported Friday. The righty wasn’t necessarily too fringey a player to hack it in the big leagues, but there were no MLB takers in attendance during his showcase in Venezuela last month and he clearly felt it best to try his luck elsewhere.

The 27-year-old’s last major league gig came with the Phillies, for whom he delivered a 4.30 ERA, 6.8 BB/9 and 3.7 SO/9 over 14 2/3 innings in 2017. While he’s not too far removed from his first and only All-Star bid in 2014, he was besieged by shoulder issues in 2015 and 2016 and underwent season-ending surgeries as a result.

That added injury risk, coupled with the fact that he hasn’t pitched more than 22 innings in a single season since 2014, may have been too much for major league teams to take on this spring. Assuming he steers clear of further injuries, however, a return to the majors may not be entirely out of the question in years to come.