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Report: Cubs sign Brian Duensing to two-year, $7 million deal

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Jon Heyman of FanRag Sports reports that the Cubs have signed pitcher Brian Duensing to a two-year, $7 million contract.

Duensing, 34, spent last season with the Cubs and pitched effectively. He posted a 2.74 ERA with a 61/18 K/BB ratio across 62 1/3 innings. His 23.7 percent strikeout rate marked a career high and he didn’t sacrifice much in the way of control to do so.

According to Heyman, Duensing had offers for “significantly more money” from other teams, but chose to return to the Cubs because he enjoyed his time there in 2017. The lefty will fill the same role as last season, operating as a lefty specialist out of the bullpen.

Report: J.D. Martinez signing delayed by medical issue

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The Red Sox reportedly inked free agent outfielder J.D. Martinez to a five-year, $110 million contract last Monday, but there appears to be a slight hitch in the process. According to a report from Evan Drellich of NBC Sports Boston, the team is sorting through a medical issue that has delayed the signing. The specific nature of the issue has yet to be revealed, though Drellich adds that both the team and agent Scott Boras have involved additional medical experts in the process.

For what it’s worth, Martinez remained fairly healthy during his 2017 run with the Tigers and Diamondbacks. The 30-year-old outfielder spent six weeks on the disabled list after suffering a right foot sprain during camp, but managed to make a full recovery by mid-May and didn’t relapse once throughout the rest of the year. Of course, the medical issue holding up his new contract could be of an entirely different nature.

While spring training is already underway for the rest of the Red Sox, club manager Alex Cora doesn’t appear too concerned by Martinez’s absence — yet. “The thing I can do is my thing,” he told MLB.com’s Ian Browne. “My job here is to show up every day and get ’em ready.”