Toronto has re-signed Munenori Kawasaki after dropping him from the 40-man roster in October, bringing the 33-year-old utility man back on a minor-league contract with an invitation to spring training.
Kawasaki has a lowly .235 batting average and a grand total of one home run in 239 career games, but he draws enough walks to post a decent on-base percentage and can play all over the field defensively.
Which is why he’s topped 250 plate appearances in each of the past two seasons and figures to make it back to the Blue Jays as a bench player at some point in 2015.
David Price will get $19.75 million in his final season before free agency, avoiding arbitration by agreeing to a one-year deal with the Tigers that represents the highest one-year arbitration-based salary of all time.
Price, who was traded from Tampa Bay to Detroit on July 31, earned $14 million last season while throwing a league-leading 248 innings with a 3.26 ERA and league-high 271 strikeouts.
Price is 30 healthy starts away from getting $150 million or more (and maybe a lot more) on the open market as a free agent.
San Francisco got a first-hand look at Norichika Aoki while beating Kansas City in the World Series and now the Giants have signed the 33-year-old outfielder.
John Shea of the San Francisco Chronicle reports that it’s a one-year deal worth $4 million and includes a 2016 team option with a $700,000 buyout. Seems like a bargain.
Aoki has his flaws, chief among them sometimes looking like a mess defensively with poor routes, but his defensive numbers have actually been pretty good and he’s a career .287 hitter with a .353 on-base percentage and as many walks as strikeouts during three seasons in America.
Aoki will take over in left field, where the Giants used Michael Morse for most of the regular season and then turned to journeyman first baseman Travis Ishikawa in the playoffs.