Chris Cotillo of MLB Daily Dish reports that Andruw Jones has re-signed with the Rakuten Golden Eagles of Japan’s Pacific League after drawing offseason interest from at least two major league teams.
The assumption here is that those MLB clubs were only willing to offer Jones a non-guaranteed minor league contract with a spring training invite. He can pull in much more money in Nippon Professional Baseball, where he batted .243/.391/.454 with 26 home runs and 94 RBI in 143 games last season for Rakuten, helping them to the Japan League title.
The Golden Eagles paid him $3.6 million on a one-year deal for the 2013 season.
The financial terms of his new contract have not been made available.
The Rangers will not sign free agent reliever Seung-hwan Oh after all. Reports from MLB.com’s TR Sullivan indicate that negotiations were brought to a halt after a physical issue was found with the pitcher. While the specifics have yet to be released, Evan Grant of the Dallas Morning News says the issue was revealed on an MRI of the right-hander’s arm.
Oh was thought to be in talks with the Rangers last week, though a deal was never officially announced by the club. The 35-year-old righty is fresh off of a two-year run with the Cardinals, during which he posted a cumulative 39 saves, 2.85 ERA, 2.1 BB/9 and 10.2 SO/9 in 139 innings. He struggled with consistency in his sophomore season, however, and finished 2017 with a disappointing 4.10 ERA and 4.44 FIP in 62 appearances for the team.
While Oh hasn’t experienced any setbacks with his arm in the majors so far, he does have a history of prior injuries during his time in KBO. He sustained a shoulder injury in 2009 and underwent surgery to remove bone spurs from his elbow in 2010. It’s possible that the Rangers saw an entirely different problem on the MRI, but clearly it was enough to give them strong reservations about inking the righty to a $2.75+ million deal. It’s still possible that another of Oh’s suitors will offer him a contract prior to Opening Day; the Giants were rumored to be interested in the veteran reliever, among other teams, though their recent acquisition of lefty reliever Tony Watson will likely take them out of the running now.