The guy isn’t even eligible yet, but people are already digging in on the next Hall of Fame war:
No reason to mention that in the context of his hiring as the Tigers first base coach, of course. Just some early scouting before the troops actually get to the battlefield. The pro-Vizquel crowd doesn’t want to be caught snoozing like they were with Jack Morris. Gotta come out of the gates strong to head off the Internet hordes.
My guess is that Vizquel, by virtue of his longevity and defensive excellence — and because he was nice and there’s a lot of “he’s our generation’s Luis Aparicio” stuff — will get into the Hall of Fame eventually. It won’t be the best induction ever. But in keeping with what I said about Jack Morris last week, it’s probably a battle best not fought too furiously.
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.
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.
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.