According to CBS Sports’ Jon Heyman, the Mariners have signed catcher Ronny Paulino to a minor league contract. This confirms a report by Alexander Azuaje from earlier this week.
Paulino, who turns 32 in April, batted .254 (16-for-63) with three doubles, five RBI and a .567 OPS in 20 games with the Orioles last season. He has a .700 OPS over eight seasons in the majors, including an .844 OPS against southpaws.
The Mariners traded John Jaso to the Athletics last week in the three-team Michael Morse deal, so Jesus Montero currently projects to get the majority of the playing time behind the plate. Paulino could serve as the backup, though the Mariners will likely continue to look for depth in the days ahead.
The Rays have traded right-hander Jake Odorizzi to the Twins, per team announcements on Saturday evening. The Twins will receive minor league shortstop Jermaine Palacios in the deal. Despite previous speculation, recently-DFA’d outfielder Corey Dickerson was not included in the trade.
With Odorizzi, the Twins finally have the front-end starter they’ve been seeking all winter. It’s a bargain deal as well, as the 27-year-old righty is under contract through 2019 and didn’t require the club to part with any of their top-shelf prospects in the trade. Odorizzi will be looking to stage a comeback in 2018 after a dismal performance with the Rays last year, during which he eked out a career-worst 4.14 ERA, 3.8 BB/9 and 8.0 SO/9 through 143 1/3 innings.
Palacios, 21, ranked no. 27 in the Twins’ system last season. He split his year between Single-A Cedar Rapids and High-A Fort Myers, raking a combined .296/.333/.454 with 13 home runs and 20 stolen bases in 539 plate appearances. He’s expected to continue developing at shortstop, though he’s also seen limited time at second and third base during his four-year career in the minors.