UPDATE: Troy Renck of the Denver Post reports that Torrealba has received a minor league contract with a spring training invite. The Rockies are looking at him as insurance and depth with Ramon Hernandez slated to play for his native Venezuela in the upcoming World Baseball Classic.
11:15 PM: According to Jon Heyman of CBS Sports, the Rockies have signed catcher Yorvit Torrealba. It’s not clear whether he has received a major league deal or not, but Thomas Harding of MLB.com reported earlier this week that the Rockies had offered him a minor league contract.
This is a homecoming of sorts for Torrealba, who previously played with the club from 2006-2009 and enjoyed his best seasons there. The 34-year-old backstop batted just .227/.293/.330 with four home runs, 14 RBI and a .623 OPS in 218 plate appearances last season between the Rangers, Blue Jays and Brewers.
The Rockies already have Wilin Rosario and Ramon Hernandez as their projected catching tandem, so it’s unlikely there will be a place for Torrealba on the Opening Day roster unless there’s an injury. It’s worth noting that Hernandez had left hamstring surgery in September, so perhaps the Rockies just wanted some veteran insurance.
ESPN’s Jerry Crasnick reported on Monday that the Angels have received inquiries from multiple teams concerning starter Hector Santiago. He adds that the club is willing to listen to offers. Jon Morosi of FOX Sports and MLB Network reports that the Marlins are among the teams that have inquired.
Santiago, 28, has pitched to a 4.32 ERA with 96 strikeouts and 47 walks in 110 1/3 innings. Sabermetric statistics such as FIP, xFIP, and SIERA think the lefty has pitched even worse than his ERA indicates however, pitting 2016 as his worst performance to date.
Santiago is earning $5 million this season and will enter his third and final year of arbitration eligibility going into 2017.
We also learned earlier that, in an effort to bolster their starting rotation, the Marlins have also shown interest in Wade Miley of the Mariners and Jeremy Hellickson of the Phillies.
The Rangers placed DH Prince Fielder on the disabled list last week due to more neck discomfort. On Friday, Fielder met with Dr. Drew Dossett, who performed spinal fusion surgery on Fielder in 2014 for a herniated disk in his neck. Dossett has recommended another procedure, so Fielder will undergo season-ending surgery this week, Jeff Wilson of the Fort-Worth Star Telegram reports.
Fielder was having a rough season, batting .212/.292/.334 with eight home runs and 44 RBI in 370 plate appearances. He played in only 42 games in 2014, but returned in 2015 looking more like his old self. Unfortunately, neck and back issues are notoriously difficult to fix. Hopefully, this upcoming procedure does the trick for Fielder.
Fielder is owed $24 million per season through 2020, with the Tigers paying $6 million of it per season.