Jon Heyman of FanRag Sports reports that the Orioles have signed 1B/DH Jesus Montero to a minor league contract.
Montero, 27, was handed a 50-game suspension in late September last year after testing positive for dimethylbutylamine, a banned substance. He’ll begin serving that suspension when the 2017 season begins.
In 518 plate appearances with the Blue Jays’ Triple-A affiliate in Buffalo last season, Montero hit .317/.349/.438 with 11 home runs and 60 RBI.
MLB.com’s Mark Sheldon reports that the Reds have signed reliever Drew Storen to a one-year major league contract. The deal is worth $3 million with an additional $1.5 million available in incentives, according to Joel Sherman of the New York Post.
Storen, 29, started the season with the Blue Jays but struggled to a 6.21 ERA over 33 1/3 innings. The club traded him in late July to the Mariners in exchange for Joaquin Benoit. After joining Seattle, Storen put up an improved 3.44 ERA with a 16/3 K/BB ratio in 18 1/3 innings.
Reds manager Bryan Price had been planning on using a three-headed giant in the closer’s role with Raisel Iglesias, Tony Cingrani, and Michael Lorenzen. Given Storen’s recent inconsistency and injury issues, he’s not likely to jump back into the closer’s role immediately. The most likely scenario figures to be Storen setting up for Iglesias.
Pirates third baseman Jung Ho Kang was arrested last month after driving under the influence, crashing his car, and fleeing the scene. It was his third such DUI since 2009, which results in immediate revocation of his driver’s license in South Korea.
That hasn’t been the only trouble Kang has gotten into recently. He was investigated him after a sexual assault allegation in July. Needless to say, he doesn’t have the best track record heading into the upcoming World Baseball Classic.
Kim In-sik, the manager of South Korea’s WBC team, is considering removing Kang from his team’s roster due to “the worsening public opinion” of Kang, Yonhap News Agency is reporting. “Kang Jung-ho is a great player, but I’ve started to wonder if it’s worth the trouble taking him to the WBC. Personally, I am leaning toward taking Kang off the roster,” Kim said.
If Kang is indeed removed from the roster, Cardinals reliever Seung-hwan Oh would likely take his spot. Yonhap News Agency notes that Oh was fined in January 2016 by a South Korean court for illegal overseas gambling and would face a 72-game suspension if he were to return to the Korean Baseball Organization. Kim did not add Oh to South Korea’s roster due to public backlash over the right-hander’s gambling issues.