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Ross Ohlendorf signs with the Tokyo Yakult Swallows

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Jerry Crasnick of ESPN reports that pitcher Ross Ohlendorf has signed with the Tokyo Yakult Swallows of Japan’s Central League. He’ll make $1.6 million and could earn an additional $400,000 in incentives.

Not a bad deal for Ohlendorf who, after being released by the Royals in spring training, posted a 4.64 ERA and 68/32 K/BB ratio over 65.2 innings with the Cincinnati Reds in 2016. He probably would’ve had to sign a minor league deal if he wanted to pitch in the United States this year and, even if he made a team, would probably have gotten less than a $1 million deal. He made $800,000 in 2016.

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.