UPDATE: The deal is official.
10:44 a.m. ET: The Padres have apparently secured some extra bullpen depth, as Corey Brock of MLB.com reports that veteran reliever Casey Janssen has a locker in the clubhouse. Nothing is official, but Brock writes that he likely received a minor league contract with an invitation to spring training.
Janssen missed the early part of last season due to a shoulder issue and ended up with a 4.95 ERA and 27/8 K/BB ratio over 40 innings. The 34-year-old became a free agent in November after the Nationals declined a $7 million option on him for 2016.
The Padres traded Craig Kimbrel and Joaquin Benoit over the winter, so there’s opportunity in the late innings for San Diego. Fernando Rodney currently projects to be the team’s closer.
While we’re still a ways off from this being a legitimate concern, Adam Berry of MLB.com reports that Pirates ace Gerrit Cole will be at least temporarily behind schedule in the early part of camp as he deals with some inflammation in his right rib.
Cole said he suffered the injury during his “normal training” in mid-January. The Pirates are understandably taking it easy with him for now, but he’s scheduled to throw from the slope of the mound on Monday and the hope is that he’ll catch up with the rest of the pitchers pretty quickly after that.
Cole, 25, is coming off a dominant season where he posted a 2.60 ERA and 202/44 K/BB ratio over 208 innings. He finished fourth in the National League Cy Young balloting behind Jake Arrieta, Zack Greinke, and Clayton Kershaw.
Some unpleasant news on the first day of Rangers camp on Friday, as Jeff Wilson of the Fort Worth Star-Telegram reports that third base coach Tony Beasley was recently diagnosed with rectal cancer. Fortunately, it has been described as treatable and the belief is that it was caught in the early stages.
Beasley plans to report to Rangers camp on Saturday and remain with the team during his fight. He will begin chemotherapy while in Arizona for spring training.
The diagnosis obviously hit the Rangers family hard and that’s especially the case for manager Jeff Banister, who has a long history with Beasley. But it also goes beyond that, as Banister battled bone cancer as a teenager.
“I consider Tony as much a family member as anything else,” Banister said. “This one has been a challenge for me.”
Below is a video featuring some of the reaction at Rangers camp yesterday:
Our thoughts are with Tony for his fight.