Tampa Bay is always looking for cheap bullpen options with upside and their latest scrap-heap pickup is Ernesto Frieri, signing the former Angels closer to a one-year deal worth $800,000 in guaranteed money and another $2.35 million in potential incentives.
Frieri was a mess this season, getting traded by the Angels and then released by the Pirates on the way to posting a 7.34 ERA in 42 innings.
However, his 48/14 K/BB ratio remained strong and from 2010-2013 he threw 229 innings with a 2.79 ERA and 12.3 strikeouts per nine innings. It’s possible that Frieri went from top-notch reliever to totally washed up in one year, but for $800,000 it certainly makes sense for the Rays to find out if the pre-2014 version can be resurrected.
The Reds lost their first arbitration case of the offseason, per a report from Jon Heyman of FanRag Sports. Second baseman Scooter Gennett was awarded the $5.7 million salary figure he was seeking from the team, a $600,000 bump over the $5.1 million they countered with last month.
Gennett, 27, is coming off of a career-best performance in 2017. After getting claimed off of waivers by the Reds last March, he broke out with an impressive .295/.342/.531 batting line, 27 home runs and 2.4 fWAR in 497 plate appearances. By season’s end, he ranked among the top five most productive second basemen in the National League (and 12th overall). He’s currently set to remain under team control through 2019.
Gennett was only the second Reds player to go to an arbitration hearing this winter. Fellow infielder Eugenio Suarez was defeated in arbitration last week and stands to make just $3.75 million compared to the $4.2 million he filed for in January. All 22 arbitration cases have now been resolved. Twelve were decided in favor of the players.