Jesus Montero has been a bust for the Mariners since they acquired him as a top prospect from the Yankees for Michael Pineda, but he’s hit reasonably well at Triple-A this season and now he’s on his way back to the majors.
Bob Dutton of the Tacoma News Tribune reports that the Mariners are expected to call up Montero to provide reinforcements to a lineup that just lost Justin Smoak and Michael Saunders to the disabled list and was already without Corey Hart.
Here’s the thing, though: Montero hitting .270 with eight homers and an .800 OPS in 59 games at Triple-A looks pretty solid on the surface, but in the hitter-friendly Pacific Coast League an .800 OPS is nothing special. In fact, the PCL as a whole has a .765 OPS this season. He might help, but that probably says more about the Mariners’ other options than about Montero at this point.
Mike DiGiovanna of the Los Angeles Times reports that the Angels have inked outfielder Eric Young, Jr. to a minor league contract with an invitation to spring training.
Young, 31, played in just six games and logged one plate appearance in the majors this past season with the Yankees. He last played regularly in 2014. While Young doesn’t do much with the bat, he could provide value as a pinch-runner. He also offers versatility, having played all three outfield positions along with second base.
The Angels have Ben Revere as their fourth outfielder and Jefry Marte behind him, so Young would need to have a very impressive showing in spring training to find a spot on the Angels’ roster.
Update (5:20 PM EST): It’s a minor league contract, per Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports. If he makes the major league roster, Saltalamacchia will earn $1.25 million with an additional $250,000 available through incentives.
The Blue Jays are close to a deal with free agent catcher Jarrod Saltalamacchia, Shi Davidi of Sportsnet is reporting.
Saltalamacchia, 31, hit a meager .171/.284/.346 with 12 home runs and 38 RBI in 292 plate appearances with the Tigers this past season. With Russell Martin getting regular playing time behind the plate, Saltalamacchia will serve as his understudy, pushing A.J. Jimenez and Juan Graterol down on the depth chart.
The veteran catcher isn’t far removed from being a productive backstop. He had an .805 OPS in 70 games with the Diamondbacks in 2015 and also helped the Red Sox win the World Series in 2013 with an .804 OPS in 121 games.