Aaron Gleeman

ALCS - Detroit Tigers v Boston Red Sox - Game One

Daniel Nava avoids arbitration with the Red Sox

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Outfielder Daniel Nava and the Red Sox have agreed to a one-year, $1.85 million deal, avoiding arbitration.

Nava requested $2.25 million and the Red Sox countered at $1.3 million, so the two sides are settling slightly above the midpoint.

Nava was arbitration eligible for the first time following a season in which he rebounded from a bad first half by hitting .297 with a .765 OPS after the All-Star break. He’s slated for a part-time role this season.

Ramon Santiago signs with the Blue Jays

Ramon Santiago
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Veteran utility infielder Ramon Santiago has signed a minor-league deal with the Blue Jays.

Santiago spent last season with the Reds, hitting .246 with a .667 OPS in 75 games, and was previously the Tigers’ utility man (and occasional regular) for most of the past decade.

At age 35 he’s strictly a bench player and may have to prove that he still has enough range to cover shortstop defensively to snag a job. He’ll compete for a roster spot on a spring training invite.

Blue Jays sign Ronald Belisario

Ronald Belisario
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Right-hander Ronald Belisario and the Blue Jays have agreed to a minor-league contract with an invitation to spring training, with Shi Davidi of Toronto Sportsnet reporting that it’ll be worth $1.7 million if he makes the team.

Belisario was awful for the White Sox last season, allowing 46 runs in 66 innings, but he posted a 3.24 ERA in 139 innings for the Dodgers during the previous two seasons.

Toronto has clearly been looking for veteran bullpen help after losing Casey Janssen to free agency and the 32-year-old Belisario has a good chance to claim a middle relief role.

Omar Minaya is joining the MLB Players Association

Omar Minaya
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Omar Minaya, the former Mets general manager who spent the past few seasons with the Padres as a senior vice president, is leaving that job to join the MLB Players Association.

According to the Associated Press he’ll join the MLBPA as a “special adviser” to union chief Tony Clark.

Just a few months ago there was some speculation that Minaya might return to New York in a front office role with the Yankees, but instead of signing and trading players now he’ll be representing them.

Reds are planning to run Devin Mesoraco into the ground

Devin Mesoraco, Marlon Byrd
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Cincinnati just signed catcher Devin Mesoraco to a four-year, $28 million contract and now apparently the Reds are going to run him into the ground.

Reds manager Bryan Price told Hal McCoy of the Dayton Daily News that he wants Mesoraco behind the plate for nearly every game:

I see him as a Yadier Moilina-type guy who is going to catch 145 games a year, more so than I see him catching 110 a year and playing 20 or 30 at first base. … I anticipate Mesoraco catching a lot more games this year, especially if he stays healthy.

Mesoraco started a career-high 104 games at catcher last season.

In terms of Price’s quote/plan, it should be noted that Yadier Molina has never actually started 145 games at catcher in a season. Or even 140. He’s only started more than 135 games once, in 2009. It should also be noted that Salvador Perez, Jason Kendall, and Russell Martin are the only catchers in the past decade to start 145 or more games in a season.

And there’s a reason why so few catchers do so: They either can’t handle that big of a workload physically, breaking down before they can start that many games. Or their teams recognize what would probably happen if they asked them to start 145 games and decide against it.

Good luck, Devin.