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Orioles sign Jesus Montero to a minor league deal

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Jon Heyman of FanRag Sports reports that the Orioles have signed 1B/DH Jesus Montero to a minor league contract.

Montero, 27, was handed a 50-game suspension in late September last year after testing positive for dimethylbutylamine, a banned substance. He’ll begin serving that suspension when the 2017 season begins.

In 518 plate appearances with the Blue Jays’ Triple-A affiliate in Buffalo last season, Montero hit .317/.349/.438 with 11 home runs and 60 RBI.

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.