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Cubs sign Michael Roth to minor league deal

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Chris Cotillo of SB Nation reports that the Cubs have signed free agent left-hander Michael Roth to a minor league deal. Roth elected free agency from the Rays last November and projects as left-handed bullpen depth for the Cubs’ system.

The 27-year-old is two years removed from his last major league gig, when he pitched just 3.2 innings in a blowout 12-5 loss for the Rangers. Despite a few cups of coffee with the Angels in 2013 and 2014, he’s never been able to stick for long at the big league level, though that hasn’t stopped him from putting up solid numbers in the minors. In 2017, he split his time between the Giants’ and Rays’ farm systems, producing a cumulative 4.84 ERA, 2.3 BB/9 and 6.4 SO/9 in 111 2/3 innings at Triple-A Sacramento and Triple-A Durham.

The Cubs, meanwhile, still have their sights set on a big-name acquisition before the offseason officially draws to a close next month. Recent reports continue to pair them with free agent right-handers Yu Darvish, Jake Arrieta and Alex Cobb, all of whom are expected to face stiff competition for their services as Opening Day draws near.

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.”