Reds sign Chris Nelson


Chris Nelson, who bounced around with three different teams last season, has agreed to a minor-league contract with the Reds.

Nelson hit .301 with nine homers and an .810 OPS in 111 games for the Rockies in 2012, which was his first full season at age 26, but he took a big step backward last season while hitting just .227 with a .600 OPS for the Rockies, Yankees, and Angels.

Without Coors Field on his side Nelson is never going to be an impact hitter, but he can play third base, second base, and even shortstop in a pinch and the former first-round pick wouldn’t be a bad bench option for Cincinnati.

Henderson Alvarez signs with Tigres de Quintana Roo

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Free agent right-hander Henderson Alvarez signed a deal with the Tigres de Quintana Roo of the Mexican Baseball League earlier this week, FanRag Sports’ Jon Heyman reported Friday. The righty wasn’t necessarily too fringey a player to hack it in the big leagues, but there were no MLB takers in attendance during his showcase in Venezuela last month and he clearly felt it best to try his luck elsewhere.

The 27-year-old’s last major league gig came with the Phillies, for whom he delivered a 4.30 ERA, 6.8 BB/9 and 3.7 SO/9 over 14 2/3 innings in 2017. While he’s not too far removed from his first and only All-Star bid in 2014, he was besieged by shoulder issues in 2015 and 2016 and underwent season-ending surgeries as a result.

That added injury risk, coupled with the fact that he hasn’t pitched more than 22 innings in a single season since 2014, may have been too much for major league teams to take on this spring. Assuming he steers clear of further injuries, however, a return to the majors may not be entirely out of the question in years to come.