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Elvis Araujo to play for Chunichi Dragons in 2017

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The Marlins finalized their two-year, $16 million deal with right-hander Brad Ziegler on Friday, designating left-hander Elvis Araujo for assignment in the process. According to Clark Spencer of the Miami Herald, Araujo will play for the Chunichi Dragons of Nippon Professional Baseball in 2017.

The 25-year-old southpaw operated out of the Phillies’ bullpen in 2015 and 2016, posting a 5.60 ERA, 9.5 SO/9 and 5.6 BB/9 in 27 1/3 innings with Philadelphia last season. The Marlins claimed him off waivers in November when they were looking for an additional lefty to complement rookie left-hander Hunter Cervenka‘s efforts in the ‘pen. Now, however, it appears the club has changed their tune. Per Tim Healey of the Sun Sentinel, president of baseball operations Michael Hill isn’t looking for a set number of right- and left-handed relievers when it comes to the composition of his relief corps, telling reporters, “Handedness didn’t come into play as much as finding the highest quality [reliever].”

No contract details were given regarding Araujo’s deal with the Chunichi Dragons, but he is currently the only former major leaguer slated for the 2017 roster following the release of middle infielder Anderson Hernandez, right-hander Juan Jaime and left-hander Leyson Septimo.

Video: Albert Almora, Jr. lays out to make a great catch in deep right-center field

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Cubs center fielder Albert Almora, Jr. robbed Giants first baseman Brandon Belt of at least a double in the top of the first inning of Monday’s game at Wrigley Field. Almora completely left his feet to catch the ball before landing just shy of the warning track.

The Giants took the early lead two batters prior to Belt’s at-bat as Joe Panik hit a solo home run to center field.

Anibal Sanchez accepts optional assignment to Triple-A

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The Tigers announced on Monday that pitcher Anibal Sanchez has accepted an optional assignment to Triple-A Toledo. Pitcher Warwick Saupold was recalled from Toledo to take Sanchez’s roster spot.

Sanchez, 33, continued to struggle this season pitching out of the bullpen. He gave up 26 runs (21 earned) on 34 hits and nine walks with 22 strikeouts in 21 innings. Nine of those 34 hits were home runs. Sanchez finished the 2015 season with a 4.99 ERA and last season with a 5.87 ERA, so he’s had a rough go of it in recent years.

The decision to go to Triple-A was Sanchez’s, Anthony Fenech of the Free Press reports. Sanchez wants to be stretched out as a starting pitcher again.