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Report: Phillies sign Francisco Rodriguez to a minor league deal

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The Phillies signed free agent reliever Francisco Rodriguez to a minor league deal on Saturday, FanRag Sports’ Jon Heyman reports. The deal includes an invitation to spring training and could pay up to $3.75 million with incentives if he reaches the majors. The club has yet to confirm the signing.

Rodriguez, 36, was released by the Tigers halfway through the 2017 season. He eked out just 25 1/3 innings with the club, posting a 7.82 ERA, 3.9 BB/9, 8.2 SO/9 and career-worst -0.7 fWAR in that span. Part of his issues stemmed from a lack of velocity; only a handful of his pitches were clocked above 90 m.p.h. and he struggled to stay effective in a limited-time gig with the Nationals, who saw him in five total appearances for Double-A Harrisburg, High-A Potomac and Single-A Hagerstown before releasing him in July.

More recently, however, the veteran right-hander has made a concerted attempt to revive both his velocity and what remains of his major league career. He can check at least one of those items off his list: he reached 93 m.p.h. in a bullpen session earlier this month and may yet break camp with the Phillies, provided he can find a way to stand out in a group that includes newly-signed veteran righties Pat Neshek and Tommy Hunter.

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.”