Author: Aaron Gleeman

Andy Dirks

Blue Jays sign Andy Dirks


Ken Rosenthal of reports that the Blue Jays have agreed to a minor-league contract with veteran outfielder Andy Dirks, whom they claimed off waivers from the Tigers on October 31 only to non-tender him last month.

By non-tendering Dirks and then re-signing him to a minor-league deal the Blue Jays avoid paying him any guaranteed money. Instead he gets an invitation to spring training, where he’ll compete for a part-time role.

Dirks had a rough 2013 for Detroit and then missed all of 2014 following back surgery, but he’s a 27-year-old career .276 hitter with a .745 OPS in 297 games as a big leaguer.

Indians sign Anthony Swarzak

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Non-tendered by the Twins last month, right-hander Anthony Swarzak has agreed to a minor-league contract with the Indians that includes an invitation to spring training.

Swarzak’s durability was an asset to the Twins in a long relief and occasional spot starter role, but they were deathly afraid of using him in anything resembling a close game and his miniscule strikeout rate limits his upside beyond low-leverage work.

Swarzak has a 4.48 ERA and .280 opponents’ batting average in 440 career innings as a big leaguer through age 28.

Cardinals sign Lance Lynn to three-year, $22 million deal

Lance Lynn Getty

Lance Lynn, who was arbitration eligible this offseason for the first time, has agreed to a three-year contract with the Cardinals that covers the entirety of his arbitration eligibility. Jon Heyman says it’s worth $22 million.

Lynn joined St. Louis’ rotation full-time as a 25-year-old in 2012 and has gone 48-26 with a 3.48 ERA in 97 starts while proving to be very durable. This past season he logged a career-high 204 innings with a career-best 2.74 ERA, striking out 181 batters and allowing just 13 home runs.

Now the 2008 first-round draft pick is signed through age 30, although the contract does not change the length of the Cardinals’ pre-free agency team control. If he continues to perform at his 2012-2014 levels Lynn will be a tremendous bargain to the Cardinals in 2016 and 2017, but in the meantime he gets enough money to be set for life and guard against injury.

Cubs, Felix Doubront avoid arbitration for $1.925 million

Los Angeles Dodgers v Boston Red Sox

Left-hander Felix Doubront and the Cubs have avoided arbitration, with Jon Heyman of reporting that they agreed to a one-year, $1.925 million deal.

Acquired from the Red Sox at the trade deadline, Doubront made just four starts for the Cubs and also spent some time in the minors.

He has a 4.78 ERA in 438 career innings as a big leaguer, often struggling to consistently throw strikes. Chicago’s rotation may be full, meaning Doubront could slot into a bullpen role at age 27, but he’s actually fared much worse as a reliever during his career.