Manny Machado’s recovery from knee surgery is going well enough that the Orioles seem confident he’ll be ready for Opening Day, but there’s apparently more uncertainty surrounding Matt Wieters’ recovery from Tommy John elbow surgery.
While serving as the keynote speaker at an event in Baltimore, manager Buck Showalter said (via Rich Dubroff of CSNBaltimore.com):
With both of these guys, it will be when and not if. I think if you held a gun up to my head, I think Manny makes the start of the year, and I think Matt is very close thereafter, but we won’t put either one of these guys on the field until it’s time to go, and try to keep the finish line in mind.
Wieters underwent elbow surgery in June and the recovery timetable is typically much shorter for position players than it is for pitchers, but catchers need their elbows a lot more than typical position players.
Hideki Okajima had expressed an interest in returning to America after spending this past season in Japan, but the 39-year-old left-hander has decided to stay in Japan for another season.
Okajima, who pitched six years in the majors for the Red Sox and briefly the A’s, has signed with the Yokohama Bay Stars.
He had a 3.09 ERA in 250 innings in MLB, but given his age, injuries, and lack of recent success in America odds are Okajima would have had to accept a minor-league deal.
He pitched well in Japan this year with a 2.11 ERA and 34/16 K/BB ratio in 43 innings for the Fukuoka Softbank Hawks.
Toronto has signed outfielder Ryan Kalish to a minor-league contract with an invitation to spring training.
Kalish came up through the Red Sox’s farm system and then signed with the Cubs last offseason, hitting .248 with zero homers and a .642 OPS in 57 games for Chicago.
He didn’t hit particularly well at Triple-A this year either, but Kalish can play all three outfield spots and is still just 27 years old.
After testing the open market as a free agent Sergio Romo has re-signed with the Giants for two years and $15 million, according to Ken Rosenthal of FOXSports.com.
Romo lost the closer job this year and his overall numbers slipped, but he finished the season by allowing just two runs in his final 23 appearances along with a 23/3 K/BB ratio.
At age 31 his durability is a big question mark, but he’s been one of the best relievers in baseball for basically his entire career and the Giants obviously know what they have in Romo after seven seasons together.