From Jim Salisbury of CSNPhilly.com comes word that the Phillies have signed catcher Humberto Quintero to a minor league contract. The agreement also comes with an invitation to spring training.
To many, the move probably seems like a reaction to the 25-game amphetamine suspension handed down this afternoon to starting catcher Carlos Ruiz. And it does work well as one. But the deal was actually finalized before news of that punishment spread.
Quintero batted .232/.257/.341 with one home run and 19 RBI in 144 plate appearances this past season for the Royals before being designated for assignment near the end of June. The 33-year-old then signed on with the Brewers but spent the rest of the summer with their Triple-A affiliate in Nashville, Tennessee.
Quintero will presumably team with Eric Kratz on starting catching duties for the first month of 2013.
Last Thursday, we learned that the MLBPA was challenging the Nippon Professional Baseball posting system, delaying Japanese superstar Shohei Ohtani’s move to Major League Baseball. The latest collective bargaining agreement removed a lot of the incentive for players to come to the U.S. by capping pay. Ohtani, for example, can only receive a signing bonus between $300,000 and $3.53 million while his team — the Nippon Ham Fighters — would receive $20 million for posting him.
Jon Morosi reports that the deadline for this issue to be resolved is 8 PM ET on Monday evening. He notes that key NPB officials have worked through the night in Japan to try to reach a resolution. It is possible that even if no agreement is reached, the deadline could be pushed further back.
Ohtani, 23, has become a heralded hitter and pitcher in Japan. At the plate over his five-year career, he has compiled a .286/.358/.500 triple-slash line with 48 home runs and 166 RBI in 1,170 plate appearances. On the mound, he has a 2.52 ERA with a 624/200 K/BB ratio across 543 innings.