Michael Wuertz held a tryout for teams in mid-March, but the consensus at the time was that the right-hander wasn’t fully healthy yet after missing much of last season with a thumb injury.
Two months later he finally found a taker, as Darren Wolfson of 1500-ESPN reports that the Reds have signed Wuertz to a minor-league deal after other teams, including his hometown Twins, passed.
When healthy Wuertz has been one of the league’s best right-handed setup men, posting a 3.45 ERA and 412 strikeouts in 381 innings from 2004-2010, so he’s certainly a worthwhile flier for the Reds considering the lack of risk.
Fellow second basemen Javier Baez of the Cubs and D.J. LeMahieu of the Rockies got into a disagreement in the top of the third inning of Sunday’s game at Coors Field over sign-stealing.
LeMahieu reached on a fielder’s choice ground out, then advanced to second base on Charlie Blackmon‘s single. While Nolan Arenado and Trevor Story were batting, Baez was concerned that LeMahieu was relaying the Cubs’ signs to his teammates. Baez decided to stand in front of LeMahieu to block any information he might have been giving to Arenado and Story. LeMahieu got irritated and the two jawed at each other for a bit. Umpires Vic Carapazza and Greg Gibson had to intervene to tell Baez to knock it off.
There has always been a back-and-forth with alleged sign-stealing. As long as teams aren’t using technology to steal signs, it’s fair game for players to relay information to their teammates about the opposing team’s signs. Last year, MLB determined the Red Sox went against the rules and used technology — an Apple watch in this case — to steal signs from the Yankees. Other teams in the past have been accused of using binoculars from the bullpen to steal signs. In this particular case with Baez and LeMahieu, there was no foul play going on, just Baez trying to make the Rockies cede what he perceived to be their slight competitive advantage.
The Cubs went on to beat the Rockies 9-7 on Sunday.