Author: Aaron Gleeman

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Takashi Toritani is staying in Japan

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Takashi Toritani has decided to remain in Japan, re-signing with the Hanshin Tigers after reportedly “mulling offers” from multiple MLB teams as an unrestricted free agent.

Toritani, a 33-year-old infielder with more than 1,400 consecutive games played in Japan, hit .313 with modest power and good plate discipline in Japan last season and was viewed by some MLB teams as a potential starting shortstop or second baseman.

White Sox designate Jordan Danks for assignment

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To make room on the 40-man roster for Emilio Bonifacio the White Sox designated for assignment outfielder Jordan Danks, whose brother John Danks remains in Chicago’s starting rotation.

Danks debuted for the White Sox in 2012 and has logged 386 plate appearances in the majors since then, hitting just .227 with eight homers and a .629 OPS.

He’s also spent a ton of time at Triple-A, totaling 463 games for Charlotte during parts of five seasons, but Danks’ numbers there suggest he’s probably best suited for a backup outfielder gig.

Orioles sign J.P. Arencibia

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Veteran catcher/first baseman J.P. Arencibia has agreed to a minor-league deal with the Orioles, according to Dan Connolly of the Baltimore Sun.

Matt Wieters’ uncertain health status has the Orioles in search of catching depth and they were unable to re-sign free agent Nick Hundley, who went to the Rockies on a two-year deal.

Arencibia is catching depth, but his defense behind the plate is pretty awful and aside from 20-homer power his hitting is perhaps even worse. He’s a career .207 hitter with a .658 OPS and ghastly 462/84 K/BB ratio in 443 games.

Nationals hire Rick Ankiel as “life skills coordinator”

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Rick Ankiel’s weird career has taken another interesting turn, as the retired pitcher-turned-outfielder has been hired by the Nationals as a “life skills coordinator” as part of their minor-league coaching staff.

According to the team’s press release the 35-year-old Ankiel “will draw on his vast experience as a player to help mentor Nationals farmhands.”

Few players showed as much promise as Ankiel back when he was a young starting pitcher, few players went through a darker period than when he ceased being able to throw the ball over the plate, and few players totally changed the direction of their career like when he became a major league outfielder.

So who knows exactly what the job of a “life skills coordinator” entails, but if nothing else Ankiel is a very interesting pick for the gig.

Josh Johnson’s new deal with the Padres is loaded with incentives

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Josh Johnson and the Padres have finally made their one-year deal official more than two weeks after it was reported as done.

Johnson re-signed with San Diego after giving the Padres zero value on a one-year, $8 million last season, so this time around the team committed just $1 million in guaranteed money and filled the contract with incentives.

Johnson would earn $500,000 for his fifth start, $1 million for his 10th, $500,000 for his 15th, $1 million for his 20th and $250,000 for every start from Nos. 21-33.

If he somehow stayed healthy enough to make 33 starts–Johnson did that once, in 2009, and has started more than 25 games in a season just three times–he’d earn a total of $8.25 million in 2015.