Francisco Rodriguez has secured a work visa and will report to the Brewers’ High-A affiliate in Brevard County next week, reports Adam McCalvy of MLB.com.
Rodriguez signed a minor league deal with the Brewers last month and has been pitching in extended spring training while awaiting his visa. He’s expected to spend about 3-5 days in High-A before testing himself against Triple-A hitters. The Brewers have until mid-May to decide whether to call him up or offer him his release.
Rodriguez, 31, posted a 4.38 ERA and 72/31 K/BB ratio in 72 innings last season with Milwaukee. If added to the major league bullpen, he would earn a prorated portion of a salary around $2 million.
Free agent middle infielder Danny Espinosa signed a minor-league deal with the Blue Jays, the team announced Saturday. The deal includes an invite to spring training, where Espinosa is scheduled for his first split-squad game against the Orioles this afternoon.
Espinosa, 30, was inked to another minor-league deal with the Yankees in January. The veteran infielder was competing for an infield job until the team picked up second baseman Neil Walker on a one-year, $4 million deal last Monday. Prior to his release, he slashed .160/.276/.320 with one home run through his first 12 games with the Yankees this spring. He didn’t fare much better in the majors last year, either, batting a cumulative .173/.245/.278 with six home runs and a .523 OPS in 295 PA for the Mariners and Rays.
Blue Jays starting shortstop Troy Tulowitzki is still dealing with a bone spur in his heel and has officially been ruled out for Opening Day, which could clear a path for Espinosa to claim a starting role in Toronto. Of course, he won’t be the only candidate under consideration — Yangervis Solarte and Aledmys Diaz are still in the mix as well, though no final decision appears to be made just yet.