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Diamondbacks sign Tom Wilhelmsen to minor league deal

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The Diamondbacks have signed free agent right-handed reliever Tom Wilhelmsen to a minor league deal, per a team announcement on Friday. The contract comes with an invitation to spring training.

Wilhelmsen was released by the Mariners in November. The 33-year-old split his 2016 run between the Rangers and Mariners, pitching to a combined 6.80 ERA, 3.7 BB/9 and 5.4 SO/9 that reflected a tough stretch in Texas during the first half of the season. His career stats should give the Diamondbacks some reassurance, however, as the righty carries a 3.46 ERA, 4.0 BB/9 and 8.1 SO/9 through six years in the majors. He peaked in Seattle during the 2012 season, putting up a career-best 1.6 fWAR for the club after ousting fellow right-hander Brandon League from the closer’s spot.

Wilhelmsen figures to be in the mix for another major league gig this spring. Many of the Diamondback’s bullpen spots appear to be up for grabs behind right-handers Jake Barrett and Randall Delgado and closer Fernando Rodney, though the team has no shortage of short-term options to consider.

Javier Baez, D.J. LeMahieu have disagreement about sign-stealing

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Fellow second basemen Javier Baez of the Cubs and D.J. LeMahieu of the Rockies got into a disagreement in the top of the third inning of Sunday’s game at Coors Field over sign-stealing.

LeMahieu reached on a fielder’s choice ground out, then advanced to second base on Charlie Blackmon‘s single. While Nolan Arenado and Trevor Story were batting, Baez was concerned that LeMahieu was relaying the Cubs’ signs to his teammates. Baez decided to stand in front of LeMahieu to block any information he might have been giving to Arenado and Story. LeMahieu got irritated and the two jawed at each other for a bit. Umpires Vic Carapazza and Greg Gibson had to intervene to tell Baez to knock it off.

There has always been a back-and-forth with alleged sign-stealing. As long as teams aren’t using technology to steal signs, it’s fair game for players to relay information to their teammates about the opposing team’s signs. Last year, MLB determined the Red Sox went against the rules and used technology — an Apple watch in this case — to steal signs from the Yankees. Other teams in the past have been accused of using binoculars from the bullpen to steal signs. In this particular case with Baez and LeMahieu, there was no foul play going on, just Baez trying to make the Rockies cede what he perceived to be their slight competitive advantage.

The Cubs went on to beat the Rockies 9-7 on Sunday.