Ken Rosenthal of FOXSports.com 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.
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.
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.
Left-hander Felix Doubront and the Cubs have avoided arbitration, with Jon Heyman of CBSSports.com 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.