Matt Thornton, whose $6 million option for 2014 was declined by the Red Sox, has signed a two-year, $7 million deal with the Yankees according to Jack Curry of YES Network.
After a five-year run as one of the best left-handed relievers in baseball Thornton showed some signs of slipping this year, particularly with his strikeout rate and velocity, but he still posted a 3.74 ERA in 43 innings.
However, the Red Sox didn’t think he was worth trusting in the playoffs and at age 37 a two-year commitment is risky for the Yankees. Of course, $3.5 million per season is below the going rate for southpaw relievers at this point and the guy Thornton is replacing in the Yankees’ bullpen, Boone Logan, got a three-year, $15 million deal from the Rockies.
The Rockies have signed free agent outfielder/infielder Ian Desmond for five years and $70 million.
Desmond, 31, played his first season as a full-time outfielder with the Rangers in 2016. Before that he was the Nationals shortstop. He’ll almost certainly be an outfielder in Colorado, as the Rockies have Trevor Story at short.
Despond hit .285/.335/.446 with 22 home runs, 86 RBI, 107 runs scored, and 21 stolen bases in 677 plate appearances. The Rangers had placed a qualifying offer on him which he rejected, so the Rockies will have to give up their first round pick in the 2017 draft, which is 11th overall. That’s the highest pick a team can surrender under the qualifying offer system, as the first ten picks in the draft are protected.
Ken Rosenthal reports that the Marlins have signed lefty Jeff Locke. Terms have yet to be disclosed.
Locke was non-tendered by the Pirates last week after putting up a 5.44 ERA over 127.3 innings in 2016. He’s just 29 and, even if he’s never been super great or anything, he has pitched better in the past, posting a career 4.16 ERA before last season.