Geoff Baker of the Seattle Times reports that the Mariners have signed right-hander Jon Garland to a minor league contract with a spring training invite. This confirms a report by ESPN’s Jason Churchill.
Garland is set to take a physical next week at the team’s complex in Peoria, Arizona. That’s a formality most of the time, but it’s worth mentioning in his case, as the Indians canceled a minor league deal with Garland last spring after he didn’t take his physical. The 33-year-old right-hander didn’t end up pitching at all last year.
Garland had a 4.33 ERA over nine starts with the Dodgers in 2011 prior to undergoing rotator cuff surgery. He’s probably a long shot candidate to contribute with the Mariners this season, but you can’t go wrong on a minor league deal.
Rangers reliever Jake Diekman will have surgery on January 25 to help alleviate ulcerative colitis, an inflammatory bowel disease. As a result, the lefty will miss at least half of the 2017 regular season, Jeff Wilson of the Fort Worth Star-Telegram reports. Diekman was diagnosed with the illness when he was 11 years old. He has brought awareness to the Crohn’s and Colitis Foundation of America with a “Gut It Out” campaign.
Diekman, who turns 30 years old on Saturday, finished the 2016 campaign with a 3.40 ERA and a 59/26 K/BB ratio in 53 innings. He came to the Rangers from the Phillies in the Cole Hamels trade on July 31, 2015.
The Rangers and Diekman avoided arbitration last Friday, agreeing to a $2.55 million salary for the 2017 season.
It’s been on the verge of happening for a few days now, but now it’s official: the Toronto Blue Jays and Jose Bautista have reached a one-year deal with a mutual option. The deal is pending physical. An announcement making the deal official is expected later in week.
The exact financial figures have not been disclosed, but Jon Heyman reports that it will be in excess of the $17.2 million Bautista turned down when he turned down the Jays’ qualifying offer.
Bautista had a tough 2016, hitting .234/.366/.452 with 22 home runs and 69 RBI, and some clubs likely considered a long-term deal for the 36-year-old too risky, this leading to the relative lack of reported interest in Bautista by other clubs. But back-to-back ALCS appearances by the Jays and the success and popularity Bautista has experienced in Toronto make his re-signing there a pretty sensible move for all involved.