CBS Sports’ Jon Heyman reports that the Orioles have agreed to a deal with Cuban left-hander Ariel Miranda, pending a physical. No word yet on the terms involved.
Miranda threw for teams last month at a showcase last month at the University of Miami alongside Andy Ibanez, Ariel Miranda, and Gelkis Jimenez, per Jesse Sanchez of MLB.com. Ibanez, an infielder, has been the most highly-regarded name in that group.
Miranda pitched in Cuba’s Serie Nacional from 2007-2013 and posted a 3.78 ERA over 64 starts and 16 relief appearances. The 25-year-old averaged 6.4 K/9 and 3.5 BB/9 during his time there.
Back in late March, it was reported that the Dodgers had agreed to a six-year, $62.5 million contract with Cuban infielder Hector Olivera and an $8 million minor league contract with right-hander Pablo Fernandez. But because the two are Cuban defectors, it took a little while for all of the parties involved to sort out the necessary paperwork.
The wait finally ended on Tuesday afternoon, per the Dodgers’ official Twitter account …
Eury de la Rosa, a 25-year-old left-hander, was designated for assignment to clear a 40-man roster spot for Olivera, who will head to extended spring training for a couple of weeks but could join the Dodgers at some point in early-to-mid June. It’s not clear at this point how he’s going to fit on the Los Angeles depth chart, but these things tend to sort themselves out over time. Olivera, 30, was a 323/.407/.505 hitter in 10 seasons with Asvispas de Santiago of Cuba’s Serie Nacional. He can play all around the infield defensively.
Fernandez, a 25-year-old with a well-developed arsenal of pitches, will also head to extended spring training in Arizona before joining one of the Dodgers’ minor league affiliates. He worked primarily as a relief pitcher in his native Cuba, but the Dodgers are expected to try him as a starter first. Fernandez posted a promising 2.83 ERA with 36 strikeouts in 57 1/3 innings during the 2013-2014 season in Serie Nacional.
Eric Thames, formerly of the Blue Jays, Mariners, and Orioles, has been playing in the Korean Baseball Organization with the NC Dinos since the start of the 2014 season. He’s been enjoying his time there thus far, it appears, as he posted a 1.111 OPS with 37 home runs and 121 RBI in 514 plate appearances last year, and has a 1.185 OPS with 11 home runs and 33 RBI in 145 PA this season.
One of those home runs was this monster, which Thames posted to Twitter himself:
(A tip of the ballcap to Ian Hunter on Twitter for the video.)
Luke Scott, last seen in the majors with the Rays in 2013, has agreed to a minor-league deal with the Blue Jays according to Chris Cotillo of SBNation.
Scott slugged 20-plus homers in three straight seasons for the Orioles from 2008-2010, but now he’s 37 years old and spent last season playing in Korea. He did well there, posting a .900 OPS with power, but got kicked off the team for having an altercation with a coach.
Scott had been playing in the Mexican League before signing with the Blue Jays. He’d probably be limited to platooning at designated hitter, but Scott might have a little gas left in the tank. More likely is that he’ll simply help beef up the Triple-A lineup.
The Red Sox became the seventh team in 100 years to receive a pair of two-homer games on Opening Day in beating the Phillies on Monday.
Dustin Pedroia and Hanley Ramirez pulled off the feat, with Ramirez hitting a grand slam in the ninth to punctuate the 8-0 victory. Clay Buchholz pitched seven scoreless innings, allowing just three hits, in his new role as Boston’s nominal ace.
The Red Sox also got a homer from Mookie Betts. Cole Hamels gave up four of the five bombs, with Hanley’s slam coming off Jake Diekman.
The 2009 Diamondbacks were the last two to have two players homer on Opening Day, with Felipe Lopez and Tony Clark going deep against the Rockies. In 2000, two teams did it: the Rangers with Gabe Kapler and Ivan Rodriguez and the Blue Jays with Shannon Stewart and Tony Batista.
Pedroia now has four Opening Day homers, tied for the most of any active player. Others with four include David Ortiz and Albert Pujols. Adam Dunn, Ken Griffey Jr. and Frank Robinson have the most ever Opening Day homers with eight.