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Anthony Bass set to make MLB return with Rangers

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Free agent right-handed reliever Anthony Bass is headed back to the majors, according to SB Nation’s Chris Cotillo. Bass reportedly signed a minor league deal with the Rangers on Friday night, though the team has yet to confirm the contract. He was rumored to be in talks with the Orioles and Tigers this offseason, among several other unidentified clubs.

Bass, 29, last set foot on a major league mound in 2015, when he tossed one season out of the Rangers’ bullpen. He signed with the Mariners prior to the 2016 season, but was released in early January to pursue an overseas opportunity with the Hokkaido Nippon Ham Fighters of Nippon Professional Baseball.

During his lone season with the Ham Fighters, Bass took on a dual role in the rotation and bullpen and delivered a 3.65 ERA, 4.1 BB/9 and 6.2 SO/9 over 103 2/3 innings. It’s pretty close to the career line he developed in five years at the major league level: a 4.40 ERA, 3.5 BB/9 and 6.0 SO/9 through multiple stints with the Padres, Astros and Rangers. As he heads back to Texas, Bass could seek another opportunity in the starting rotation, writes MLB.com’s Jason Beck, though he’ll need to get a leg up on right-handed candidates Andrew Cashner, Tyson Ross, A.J. Griffin, Dillon Gee, Tyler Wagner and Nick Martinez first.

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.