Joel Sherman of the New York Post reports that the Yankees have signed pitcher Jon Niese to a minor league contract, pending a physical. Assuming the deal is finalized, Sherman notes that the Yankees will have Niese work as both a starter and a reliever in big league camp this spring.
According to Sherman, the Yankees were interested in lefty relievers Jerry Blevins and Boone Logan, but didn’t want to commit at their asking prices. They are looking for a lefty set-up man along with Tommy Lane.
Niese, 30, pitched for the Pirates and Mets last season, finishing with a 5.50 ERA and an 88/47 K/BB ratio over 121 innings.
Veteran infielder/outfielder Ryan Raburn has a minor league contract with the Reds, the club announced on Sunday. The deal was reported last week, but had been pending a physical. It includes an invitation to spring training, where Raburn is expected to compete against Desmond Jennings for a major league utility role. According to the Cincinnati Enquirer’s C. Trent Rosecrans, there’s a $900,000 base salary waiting for him if he makes the big league roster by Opening Day.
Raburn, 35, is coming off of a down year with the Rockies in 2016. He slashed .220/.309/.404 for the team last season, clubbing nine home runs as he struggled to stay above the Mendoza line. Raburn was stationed in left field for much of the season, but also saw some time at DH, first base and right field toward the end of the year. Assuming he can turn out a production rate that skews closer to the .301 average and .936 OPS he put up with the Indians in 2015, however, the Reds should have little trouble finding a place for him off the bench or as a platoon option with Scott Schebler in right field.
The Rockies have had purple elements in their livery since the team began play in 1993, first as a mere accent color and then more prominently. Now they frequently wear a solid purple alternate jersey. During spring training they wear it pretty constantly.
Except it hasn’t really been truly purple. There has been an element of blue or maybe violet to it. Less Prince circa 1984 and more, I dunno, Samuel L. Jackson in “Unbreakable.” It was darker and, under the lights of a night game, looked darker still.
But not anymore. The Rockies have gone to a truer, lighter purple this season:
Patrick Saunders of the Denver Post talks to Rockies players and coaches for their opinion on the new color. It’s decidedly mixed, though no one who doesn’t like can really put their finger on what they don’t like about. Just a lot of “Well . . . it’s certainly purple.”
They’ll get used to it. As will we.