Diamondbacks “closing in on a deal” for Henry Blanco

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Nick Piecoro of the Arizona Republic reports that the Diamondbacks “are closing in on a deal to sign” Henry Blanco, with the veteran catcher expected to receive a one-year contract.

It makes sense for the Diamondbacks to find a right-handed-hitting backup for the left-handed-hitting Miguel Montero, who’s entrenched as the starter behind the plate.

Blanco brings very little to the table offensively, but even at age 39 he’s capable of shutting down the opponents’ running game, throwing out 45 percent of steal attempts during the past three seasons.

Arizona would be Blanco’s eighth team in 14 seasons. He played this year with the Mets, hitting .215/.271/.300 in 144 plate appearances.

Giants sign Darin Ruf to minor league contract

Darin Ruf
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The Athletic’s Jayson Stark reports that the Giants have signed 1B/OF Darin Ruf to a minor league contract.

Ruf, 33, played parts of five seasons in the majors with the Phillies from 2012-16, enjoying occasional offensive success. He spent the last three seasons in the KBO League in South Korea with the Samsung Lions, reigniting his career. Ruf hit an aggregate .313/.404/.564 with 86 home runs and 350 RBI over 1,756 plate appearances.

Ruf joins an ever-increasing list of players whose major league careers fizzled out, then found new life overseas — Eric Thames and Miles Mikolas are a couple of examples. Ruf will hope to prove himself as a big leaguer once more in spring training with the Giants.