Orioles sign Alfredo Aceves

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Alfredo Aceves is staying in the American League East–or at trying to–by signing a minor-league contract with the Orioles, according to Ken Rosenthal of FOXSports.com.

Aceves spent most of last season at Triple-A, appearing in just 11 games for the Red Sox at age 30, and posted a combined 5.21 ERA in 121 innings for Boston between 2012 and 2013.

He’ll try to win a bullpen job and Bob Nightengale of USA Today says Aceves’ deal would be worth $1.2 million in upfront money if he makes the Opening Day roster out of spring training.

Perhaps most importantly: There is a very real possibility that Alfredo Aceves and Delmon Young will be teammates this season, either on the Orioles or at Triple-A. Imagine the possibilities.

Kyle Schwarber is “probably, arguably” in The Best Shape of His Life

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Joe Maddon just held his annual media availability here at the Winter Meetings. During the scrum he said that Kyle Schwarber “looked great the other day” at a Cubs community event and that . . . wait for it . . . “he’s in, probably, arguably in the best shape of his life.” Maddon went on to say that, if Schwarber looks good in spring training, he might even be the Cubs leadoff hitter in 2018.

Schwarber is only 24, but the former catcher turned outfielder is going to spend most of his career as a DH, with another team obviously, unless he shows the Cubs that he can be a regular defender. The Cubs would love to see him in better shape whether they keep him or shop him, and if it’s the latter, they’ll want to show potential trade partners that he can play defense so as not to limit his market. It’s in everyone’s interests for him to be lean, mean and a bit more flexible once spring training starts.

To that end, according to a recent report, Schwarber “has been on a mission this offseason to transform his body.” And now Maddon is playing up the BSOHL angle. Whether that’s salesmanship or not, all eyes are going to be on Schwarber come February.