Alfredo Figaro gets release from Japanese team, signs with Brewers


Back in December the Brewers signed right-hander Alfredo Figaro to a minor-league deal, except it turned out he was still under contract with the Orix Buffaloes in Japan.

So they put things on hold and his agent negotiated a release from Orix, which finally happened officially today as the Brewers announced the signing.

Figaro, who pitched briefly in the majors for the Tigers in 2009 and 2010, gets an invitation to spring training as part of the minor-league deal. In two seasons with Orix the 28-year-old right-hander threw 188 innings with a 3.31 ERA and 127/55 K/BB ratio.

Rangers claim Tommy Joseph off waivers from Philly

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The Texas Rangers claimed first baseman Tommy Joseph off waivers from the Phillies. Philadelphia designated Joseph for assignment last week to make room for Jake Arrieta.

Joseph hit 22 home runs and knocked in 69 in 142 games last season, but he did not get on base — or hit for power, for that matter — at the clip a first baseman needs to in order to be an asset, posting a line of .240/.289/.432. He had a better 2016, so it’s not that he’s without promise, but the Phillies have obviously decided to head in a different direction.

Joseph doesn’t really have a spot in Texas either with Joey Gallo handling first base and Shin-Soo Choo at DH, but he has an option left and could serve as depth for the Rangers, plying his trade at Round Rock until he’s needed.