Indians ink Nyjer Morgan to minor league contract

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Jerry Crasnick of ESPN reports that the Indians have reached agreement on a minor league contract with free agent outfielder Nyjer Morgan. He will be a non-roster invitee to major league camp this spring.

Morgan spent the entire 2013 season playing for the Yokohoma Bay Stars of Nippon Professional Baseball and posted a promising .294/.361/.434 batting line with 11 home runs and 50 RBI in 108 games. He hit just .239/.302/.308 with three homers and 16 RBI in 122 games for the Brewers in 2012.

The 33-year-old will be battling for a bench job with the Tribe.

If he makes the Opening Day roster, Morgan can earn more than $1 million.

Report: Rangers’ deal with Seung-hwan Oh is off

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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.