Ken Rosenthal says:
Count the Milwaukee Brewers among the teams interested in free-agent right-hander Ryan Dempster, particularly now that the Los Angeles Dodgers are showing greater interest in other pitchers.
If you stop and just let your mind drift for a minute, you can almost picture Ryan Dempster in a Brewers jersey already. Not envisioning a future in which he pitches in Milwaukee, but an actual past — 2001? 2005? — in which he was in the Brewers rotation.
I know he never played for them, but it seems like he should have for some reason. Like, can we just erase those two years he pitched for the Reds — which I bet most of you had totally forgotten about anyway — and just agree that he spent those years with Milwaukee?
There are a lot of players like that, actually. Guys who never pitched for Team A but for whom it takes almost no effort at all to imagine that they did.
Mike DiGiovanna of the Los Angeles Times reports that the Angels have inked outfielder Eric Young, Jr. to a minor league contract with an invitation to spring training.
Young, 31, played in just six games and logged one plate appearance in the majors this past season with the Yankees. He last played regularly in 2014. While Young doesn’t do much with the bat, he could provide value as a pinch-runner. He also offers versatility, having played all three outfield positions along with second base.
The Angels have Ben Revere as their fourth outfielder and Jefry Marte behind him, so Young would need to have a very impressive showing in spring training to find a spot on the Angels’ roster.
Update (5:20 PM EST): It’s a minor league contract, per Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports. If he makes the major league roster, Saltalamacchia will earn $1.25 million with an additional $250,000 available through incentives.
The Blue Jays are close to a deal with free agent catcher Jarrod Saltalamacchia, Shi Davidi of Sportsnet is reporting.
Saltalamacchia, 31, hit a meager .171/.284/.346 with 12 home runs and 38 RBI in 292 plate appearances with the Tigers this past season. With Russell Martin getting regular playing time behind the plate, Saltalamacchia will serve as his understudy, pushing A.J. Jimenez and Juan Graterol down on the depth chart.
The veteran catcher isn’t far removed from being a productive backstop. He had an .805 OPS in 70 games with the Diamondbacks in 2015 and also helped the Red Sox win the World Series in 2013 with an .804 OPS in 121 games.