Joe Saunders’ deal with Mariners worth $6.5 million

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UPDATE: FOX Sports’ Ken Rosenthal reports that Saunders will make $6.5 million and could earn an additional $1 million with incentives. The deal includes a mutual option for 2014.

4:49 PM: It’s not official yet, but Joe Saunders has agreed to a one-year deal with the Mariners and Jon Heyman of CBSSports.com says it’ll be worth “around $7 million” in guaranteed money.

That’s basically the same contract Brett Myers got from the Indians and a step above one-year deals secured by guys like Shaun Marcum, John Lannan, Jeff Karstens, Mike Pelfrey, Scott Baker, and Jason Marquis this offseason.

Saunders had his sights set on a multi-year deal after throwing 175 innings with a 4.07 ERA for the Diamondbacks and Orioles last season and the 32-year-old left-hander was linked to a fair number of teams, but ultimately none made him a priority.

Saunders will basically replace Jason Vargas in the rotation after the Mariners traded him to the Angels for Kendrys Morales.

Reds sign Nicholas Castellanos to a four-year deal

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The Cincinnati Reds have signed outfielder Nicholas Castellanos to a four-year deal worth $64 million. The contract includes opt-outs after both 2020 and 2021, which is certainly good for Castellanos, allowing him to go back out on the market if he has a big year. Odd that the Reds would agree to that, but on an annual basis it’s kind of a bargain for them so you figure that has something to do with it.

With Castellanos in the fold the Reds are going to have a lot of outfielders when they hit Goodyear, Arizona in a couple of weeks, with newcomer Shogo Akiyama, Jesse Winkler, Nick Senzel, Aristides Aquino, Travis Jankowski, Scott Schebler, and Rule 5 draftee Mark Payton already on the roster. Senzel was an infielder before last year, of course, so he could move back to the dirt, perhaps taking over short from Freddy Galvis, who could be dealt. Alternatively, the Reds could trade from their newfound outfield surplus.

Castellanos, however, will have left field to himself. While he’s shaky at best with the glove, he had a breakout year at the plate in 2019, hitting .289/.337/.525 overall (OPS+ 121), but slugging at a blistering .321/.356/.646 pace (OPS+ 151) after being traded from the Tigers to the Cubs. In Chicago — rescued from cavernous Comerica Park — his big doubles power turned into big homer power.

Now that he’ll be playing in hitter-friendly Great American Ballpark one can only imagine the damage he’d do.