Orioles, Nolan Reimold avoid arbitration with one-year deal

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The Orioles announced this evening that they have avoided arbitration with Nolan Reimold by agreeing to a one-year contract. Dan Connolly of the Baltimore Sun reports that he’ll make $1 million in 2013.

Reimold was arbitration-eligible for the first time this winter. The 29-year-old got off to a hot start last season, hitting .313 (21-for-67) with five home runs and a .960 OPS over his first 16 games, but he didn’t play another game after April 30 due to a herniated disk in his neck. He ultimately opted for season-ending surgery in June after multiple epidural injections failed to do the job, but he’s expected to be ready for spring training.

Reimold owns a .261/.338/.455 batting line and .794 OPS over first four seasons in the majors, but he hasn’t played more than 89 games in a season since 2009. If all goes according to plan, he’ll get at-bats between left field, first base and the DH spot in 2013.

Diamondbacks return Rule 5 pick Tyler Jones to Yankees

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Diamondbacks’ right-hander Tyler Jones is headed back to the Yankees, the teams announced on Friday. The Diamondbacks had previously selected Jones in the Rule 5 draft last December, but elected to leave the 27-year-old off of their 40-man roster heading into the 2017 season. Rule 5 draft rules stipulate that when a player is not kept on the receiving team’s roster, the player must be offered back to his original team.

Jones signed a minor league contract with the Yankees prior to the 2016 season. He pitched to an impressive 2.17 ERA, 2.2 BB/9 and 13.2 SO/9 over 45 2/3 innings with Double-A Trenton, but was unable to make the leap to Triple-A or beyond during his stay with the organization.

Jones’ outlook with the Diamondbacks appeared slightly more promising. GM Mike Hazen described the righty as a power arm with a “good fastball and power curveball” after selecting him in the Rule 5 draft, and early reports indicated that Jones would be in the mix for a bullpen spot. A rough spring performance — underscored by his lack of experience at the Triple-A and major league levels — undid most of that confidence, however, and the Diamondbacks weren’t willing to keep him on the active roster throughout the entire 2017 season in order to acquire his control rights.

Jones is set to open the season with Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre, per a report from the Yankees.

Derek Norris signing with the Rays

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Yahoo Sports’ Tim Brown reports that Derek Norris is signing with the Tampa Bay Rays.

Norris was released by the Nationals nine days ago, made redundant by the Nats’ signing of Matt Wieters and by everyone sliding down a notch on the depth chart below him. Norris hit only .186/.255/.328 with 14 home runs and a .528 OPS for the Padres in 2016.

Still, there always seems to be a place for a backup catcher. For Norris that place is Tampa Bay.