Jason Hammel had the most effective season of his career after being traded to Baltimore, posting a 3.43 ERA in 20 starts, and the Orioles announced that he’ll get the Opening Day start this season.
Hammel missed nearly the entire second half with a knee injury, but he’s healthy now and was a pretty easy choice for the Game 1 assignment.
Last year’s Opening Day starter was Jake Arrieta, who ended up going 3-9 with a 6.20 ERA. So if nothing else Hammel doesn’t exactly have big shoes to fill.
The Arizona Diamondbacks have signed outfielder Gregor Blanco to a minor league contract with an invitation to spring training.
Blanco hit a mere .224/.309/.311 in 106 games with the Giants in 2006. It was his worst campaign in his big league career, not counting a 24-game stint with the Braves in 2009. Blanco suffered at least one concussion in 2015 and was on the DL for concussion issues twice that season. There’s no telling if that had anything to do with his subpar year, however.
He’ll fight for a backup job for Arizona, who already has A.J. Pollock, David Peralta and Yasmany Tomas in the outfield.
The Braves have signed reliever Blaine Boyer to a minor league contract with an invitation to spring training, MLB.com’s Mark Bowman reports. Bowman adds that the right-hander has a “good chance” to make the Braves’ bullpen out of spring training.
Boyer, 35, spent the past season with the Brewers, finishing with a 3.95 ERA and a 26/17 K/BB ratio in 66 innings.
Boyer, of course, started his professional baseball career with the Braves as they selected him in the third round of the 2000 draft. Since the Braves traded him in 2009, Boyer has pitched for the Cardinals, Diamondbacks, Mets, Padres, and Twins along with the Brewers.