Bill Baer

MIAMI, FL - SEPTEMBER 07: Andres Blanco #4 of the Philadelphia Phillies looks on during a game against the Miami Marlins at Marlins Park on September 7, 2016 in Miami, Florida.  (Photo by Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images)
Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images

Phillies sign Andres Blanco for one year, $3 million


Jim Salisbury of CSN Philly reports that the Phillies have signed utility infielder Andres Blanco to a one-year, $3 million deal.

Blanco, 32, has been a valuable utility player for the Phillies over the past three seasons. He had a career year in 2015, putting up an .863 OPS in 261 plate appearances playing first, second, and third base as well as shortstop.

This past season, Blanco added left field to his repertoire and still put up a solid .721 OPS. He missed a month and a half during the second half of the season due to a broken index finger.

Orioles sign catcher Welington Castillo to a one-year deal

WASHINGTON, DC - SEPTEMBER 27: Welington Castillo #7 of the Arizona Diamondbacks hits an RBI double in the third inning against the Washington Nationals at Nationals Park on September 27, 2016 in Washington, DC. (Photo by Matt Hazlett/Getty Images)
Matt Hazlett/Getty Images

Jon Heyman of FanRag Sports reports that the Orioles have signed catcher Welington Castillo to a one-year contract. He’ll earn $6 million for the 2017 season and has a player option for 2018 worth $7 million.

The Diamondbacks non-tendered Castillo earlier this month rather than take him through the arbitration process. This past season, Castillo hit .264/.322/.423 with 14 home runs and 68 RBI in 457 plate appearances in Arizona. Defensively, Castillo has some good marks and some bad marks. He’s average at throwing out runners but doesn’t have great pitch framing numbers.

With Castillo in Baltimore, this all but ends any chance of Matt Wieters sticking around.

Yankees minor leaguer Alexander Figueredo killed in Venezuela

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The New York Daily News reports that Yankees minor league pitcher Alexander Figueredo was fatally shot in Venezuela last month. The 20-year-old was at a party in Guacara in the early hours of November 27 when the incident occurred, as reported by Notitarde in Venezuela.

The Yankees signed Figueredo to a minor league contract in July 2013. He didn’t pitch this past season, but did play in the Dominican Summer League in 2015. He made 11 starts and one relief appearance, compiling a 1.89 ERA with a 52/22 K/BB ratio in 57 innings.

We at NBC send our condolences to friends and family of Figueredo.

Twins minor league pitcher Yorman Landa was recently killed in a car accident in Venezuela.