Jose Contreras has successfully come back from Tommy John surgery at age 41.
Contreras blew out his elbow pitching for the Phillies last season, but decided not to call it quits and signed a minor-league deal with the Pirates. And after six appearances in the minors Pittsburgh has called him up while demoting Jared Hughes to Triple-A.
Hughes was very effective for the Pirates last season as a 26-year-old rookie, throwing 76 innings with a 2.85 ERA, but his secondary numbers were much less impressive and he struggled in 14 innings this year.
It’s hard to guess what Contreras has left in the tank at this point, but before the elbow surgery he was a solid setup man for the Phillies and posted a 3.74 ERA with 85 strikeouts in 85 innings from 2010-2012 while missing time with various injuries.
According to FanRag Sports’ Jon Heyman, free agent reliever Joba Chamberlain has a deal with the Brewers. No confirmation or terms of the contract have been confirmed by the team yet.
Chamberlain, 31, had a promising resurgence in the Indians’ bullpen during 2016. He shaved his ERA down to a modest 2.25 mark over 20 innings with Cleveland, paired with an 8.1 SO/9 and less-than-stellar 5.0 BB/9 rate. Over a decade in the major leagues, the right-hander holds a career 3.81 ERA, 8.8 SO/9 and 3.7 BB/9 rate.
The veteran righty was released by the Indians in July after refusing re-assignment. He’s expected to compete for a major league role this spring.
After letting rumors of the deal percolate for the last week, the Athletics officially announced their two-year, $11 million contract with right-hander Santiago Casilla on Friday (and threw a little bit of shade at the Giants, too). As previously reported, the contract includes an extra $3 million in performance bonuses.
Casilla, 36, got his major league start with Oakland back in 2004, racking up a 5.11 ERA and four saves over six seasons in the A’s bullpen. After picking up a minor league deal with the Giants in 2010, the righty flitted in and out of the closing role with varying degrees of success. Notwithstanding a slight downturn in his production rate during the 2016 season, he earned 123 saves and a 2.42 ERA during the past seven years in San Francisco. Securing another closing role might be a little tougher across the Bay, however, with a bullpen that includes fellow closers Ryan Madson, Ryan Dull and Sean Doolittle.