Eric Young Jr., who was non-tendered by the Mets in December, has agreed to a minor-league deal with the Braves that includes an invitation to spring training.
Young is very fast and offers some defensive versatility, but realistically he’s ill-suited for any position other than an outfield corner and a career .653 OPS doesn’t really fit there very well.
Young is a switch-hitter, so the Braves could look to platoon him with the right-handed-hitting Jonny Gomes in left field. Or they could keep him in a true bench role, for pinch-hitting and pinch-running.
Right-hander Addison Reed and the Diamondbacks have avoided arbitration with a one-year, $4.875 million deal. He requested $5.6 million and the team countered at $4.7 million.
Reed was acquired by Arizona’s previous front office regime, which overvalued his save totals in Chicago. He had a rough first season with the Diamondbacks, going 1-7 with six blown saves and a 4.25 ERA while allowing 11 homers in 59 innings.
Reed throws hard and has racked up 207 strikeouts in 197 innings (along with 101 saves) through age 25, but his career ERA is 4.20.
Josh Donaldson, who was acquired from the A’s in November, lost his arbitration hearing against the Blue Jays and will make $4.3 million this season instead of $5.75 million.
Teams often try to avoid going through arbitration hearings with star players because they involve arguing for why the players don’t deserve higher salaries, so going through with a hearing before Donaldson even plays a game for the Blue Jays was probably rough for both sides.
Last season he hit .255 with 29 homers and a .798 OPS in 158 games after being a top-five MVP finisher in 2013.
Houston has signed left-hander Joe Thatcher to a minor-league deal with an invitation to spring training.
Thatcher struggled for the Angels at the end of last season, but was previously very effective for the Padres and Diamondbacks. He has a 3.40 ERA in 238 career innings while holding lefties to a .230 batting average and he’s also been effective enough versus righties to avoid being strictly a southpaw specialist.
Thatcher will make $1 million in guaranteed money if he cracks the Opening Day bullpen.
David Phelps, whom the Marlins acquired from the Yankees in December, has lost an arbitration hearing with his new team.
That means Phelps will be paid $1.4 million instead of $1.85 million following a season in which he missed time on the disabled list and threw 113 innings with a 4.38 ERA.
He’ll try to win a full-time spot in the Marlins’ rotation, but may end up being used in the same swingman role he’s filled previously.