David Aardsma declines to exercise opt-out clause with Cardinals

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The Cardinals signed reliever David Aardsma to a minor league contract near the end of March. Aardsma, who had spent spring training with the Indians, was given an opt-out date of May 15 in the deal. MLB.com’s Jenifer Langosch reports that Aardsma has chosen to stay with the Cardinals with their Triple-A affiliate in Memphis.

Aardsma, 32, has enjoyed good results in the minor leagues thus far, owning a 1.59 ERA along with a 15/8 K/BB ratio in 17 innings. That Aardsma has chosen not to exercise the opt-out clause could indicate that he’s confident he’ll get a chance to contribute out of the Cardinals’ bullpen sooner rather than later. That could mean the roster spots belonging to Seth Maness or Eric Fornataro could be vulnerable.

Reds sign outfielders Mason Williams and Rosell Herrera to minor league deals

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The Reds picked up outfielders Mason Williams and Rosell Herrera on minor league deals, MLB.com’s Mark Sheldon reports. Both Williams and Herrera will receive invites to spring training and could compete for backup outfield roles behind Adam Duvall, Billy Hamilton and Scott Schebler.

Williams, 26, completed a three-year track with the Yankees in 2017. He has yet to see a full season of playing time, however, and went 4-for-17 with two stolen bases during a five-game span with the club in 2017. While not a power hitter, his speed and steady contact rate produced a .263/.309/.318 batting line over 437 plate appearances in Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre, including two home runs, three triples and 19 stolen bases.

Herrera, 25, has yet to make his big league debut. After seven years in the Rockies’ system, he finally reached Triple-A Albuquerque in 2017 and slashed .278/.351/.394 with three home runs and 20 stolen bases in 363 PA. He looks most comfortable in the left field corner, but has some experience at shortstop and third base and should give the Reds a nice utility option come spring.