Brad Lincoln is back where it all started, signing a minor-league deal with the Pirates nearly a decade after they made him the No. 4 overall pick.
Lincoln proved to be a bust as a starter prospect, but resurrected his career as a reliever and had a few nice years for the Pirates and Blue Jays. Traded to the Phillies last December, he spent nearly all of this season pitching at Triple-A as a starter and struggled.
Lincoln is 30 years old and getting knocked around by Triple-A hitters isn’t a good sign regardless of the role he was in, but he does have a 3.74 career ERA as a reliever and the price for the Pirates was certainly right.
The Rangers have signed catcher Jeff Mathis to a two-year contract, per Ken Rosenthal of The Athletic. The deal is pending a physical.
Mathis turns 36 years old at the end of March and has a career .564 OPS across 14 seasons, but he is well-regarded for his defense and ability to handle a pitching staff.
The arrival of Mathis could mean the Rangers are moving on from Robinson Chirinos behind the plate, as he is now a free agent. The Rangers could go after another catcher to complement Mathis or just have Isiah Kiner-Falefa back up Mathis. Though Kiner-Falefa mostly played elsewhere, including three spots across the infield, he did rack up over 300 defensive innings behind the plate in 2018.