Author: Aaron Gleeman

Devin Mesoraco, Marlon Byrd

Reds are planning to run Devin Mesoraco into the ground


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.

Blue Jays are on the hunt for veteran relievers

Francisco Rodriguez AP

Their potential interest in a trade for Phillies closer Jonathan Papelbon appears to be on hold, at least or now, but the Blue Jays are definitely in the market for veteran bullpen help.

Jon Morosi of reports that they’re “making a strong push” to sign right-hander Ronald Belisario and have been “in contact” with right-handers Francisco Rodriguez, Rafael Soriano, and Burke Badenhop.

Toronto’s closer for most of the past three seasons, Casey Janssen, signed a one-year deal with Washington yesterday.

Belisario would likely be a middle relief option given his 5.56 ERA for the White Sox last season and 3.75 career mark, whereas Rodriguez and Soriano would likely be late-inning options and possibly even closers.

Angels, David Freese avoid arbitration

David Freese AP

Third baseman David Freese and the Angels have avoided arbitration with a one-year, $6.425 million contract.

Freese requested $7.6 million and the Angels countered at $5.25 million, so they’ve settled at the exact midpoint.

Acquired from the Cardinals last offseason, Freese got off to a poor start with the Angels before turning things around and ended up hitting .260 with 10 homers and a .704 OPS in 134 games overall.