According to Joe Christensen of the Minneapolis Star-Tribune, the Twins announced today that Nick Blackburn had arthroscopic surgery last Thursday to remove a bone chip from his right elbow. It was a minor procedure and he’s expected to be 100 percent for spring training.
Blackburn posted an ugly 7.39 ERA over 19 starts with the Twins this past season and was removed from the team’s 40-man roster in August. He has a 5.56 ERA since the start of 2010, which is the worst among all pitchers with at least 60 starts.
Blackburn will need to have a fantastic spring to earn his way back on the 40-man roster and in the starting rotation, but he’s still owed $5.5 million next season in the final guaranteed year of a four-year, $14 million contract.
Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports reports that the Rangers have signed outfielder Carlos Gomez to a one-year deal. Joel Sherman of the New York Post reports that Gomez will earn $11.5 million next season.
Gomez, 31, struggled with the Astros to a .594 OPS before the club released him in mid-August. The Rangers signed him shortly thereafter and were immediately rewarded. Gomez hit .284/.362/.543 with eight home runs and 24 RBI in 130 plate appearances through the end of the regular season.
As presently constructed, Gomez would likely take over in center field with Nomar Mazara handling left and Shin-Soo Choo in right.
Jon Heyman of FanRag Sports reports that the Diamondbacks are close to signing free agent reliever Fernando Rodney.
Rodney, 39, has been inconsistent over the past two seasons. This past season, he was lights-out with the Padres, posting a 0.31 ERA in 28 appearances. After the Marlins acquired him at the end of June, he struggled to a 5.89 ERA in 39 appearances.
Brad Ziegler, who closed for the Diamondbacks in the first half last season, went to the Red Sox in a midseason trade and is now a free agent. The Diamondbacks had six other relievers register a save, but only Daniel Hudson and Jake Barrett recorded more than one. Adding Rodney will give the club some stability in the ninth inning.