Dan Straily

Oakland’s Dan Straily strikes out 11, wins and then gets demoted

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Dan Straily knew he was only a member of Oakland’s rotation because Bartolo Colon had a handful of games left on his 2012 PED suspension. So, it didn’t come as any surprise when he was optioned to Triple-A after striking out 11 Astros and picking up his third big-league victory Friday.

Casey Pratt of CSNBayArea.com has the story.

Straily allowed two runs in 6 2/3 innings in the victory. He became the third straight starter to reach double figures in strikeouts against the Astros after the Rangers’ Yu Darvish and Alexi Ogando did on Tuesday and Wednesday. Poor Matt Harrison managed only nine strikeouts against them on Sunday.

The 24-year-old Straily moved to 3-1 with a 3.72 ERA in eight big-league starts. However, he wasn’t able to beat out A.J. Griffin for the fifth spot in Oakland’s rotation this spring, meaning he was one-and-done this week.

Fortunately for Straily, these are the A’s. It’d be a minor miracle if they made it through the month of April without losing a starter due to injury. Straily is the clear No. 6 on the depth chart, and he’ll be recalled next time the A’s need a replacement. In the meantime, the team will go with Brett Anderson, Colon, Tommy Milone, Jarrod Parker and Griffin in the rotation.

Angels sign Eric Young, Jr. to a minor league contract

ATLANTA, GA - APRIL 11:  Eric Young Jr. #4 of the Atlanta Braves slides safely into third base on a RBI triple in the fifth inning against the New York Mets during the Braves opening series at Turner Field on April 11, 2015 in Atlanta, Georgia.  Andrelton Simmons #19 scored on the triple.  (Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)
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Mike DiGiovanna of the Los Angeles Times reports that the Angels have inked outfielder Eric Young, Jr. to a minor league contract with an invitation to spring training.

Young, 31, played in just six games and logged one plate appearance in the majors this past season with the Yankees. He last played regularly in 2014. While Young doesn’t do much with the bat, he could provide value as a pinch-runner. He also offers versatility, having played all three outfield positions along with second base.

The Angels have Ben Revere as their fourth outfielder and Jefry Marte behind him, so Young would need to have a very impressive showing in spring training to find a spot on the Angels’ roster.

Report: Blue Jays close to a deal with Jarrod Saltalamacchia

TORONTO, CANADA - JULY 9: Jarrod Saltalamacchia #39 of the Detroit Tigers hits an RBI single in the fourth inning during MLB game action against the Toronto Blue Jays on July 9, 2016 at Rogers Centre in Toronto, Ontario, Canada. (Photo by Tom Szczerbowski/Getty Images)
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Update (5:20 PM EST): It’s a minor league contract, per Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports. If he makes the major league roster, Saltalamacchia will earn $1.25 million with an additional $250,000 available through incentives.

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The Blue Jays are close to a deal with free agent catcher Jarrod Saltalamacchia, Shi Davidi of Sportsnet is reporting.

Saltalamacchia, 31, hit a meager .171/.284/.346 with 12 home runs and 38 RBI in 292 plate appearances with the Tigers this past season. With Russell Martin getting regular playing time behind the plate, Saltalamacchia will serve as his understudy, pushing A.J. Jimenez and Juan Graterol down on the depth chart.

The veteran catcher isn’t far removed from being a productive backstop. He had an .805 OPS in 70 games with the Diamondbacks in 2015 and also helped the Red Sox win the World Series in 2013 with an .804 OPS in 121 games.