Indians sign Scott Downs

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The Indians announced this afternoon that they signed left-handed reliever Scott Downs to a minor league contract with an invitation to spring training. According to Paul Hoynes of the Cleveland Plain Dealer, Downs will receive a base salary of $800,000 if he makes the team out of spring training.

Downs landed a one-year, $4.25 million contract with the White Sox last offseason, but he posted an ugly 6.08 ERA over 38 appearances with the club before being released in early July. He latched on with the Royals from there, but was limited to just 17 appearances due to a neck injury and put up a 3.14 ERA and 3/5 K/BB ratio over 14 1/3 innings. Kansas City did not include him on their postseason roster.

Downs turns 39 in March and saw a sharp drop in velocity last season, so he might be done as an effective late-inning pitcher in the majors, but it’s worth a shot for the Indians to still see if he has something left in the tank.

Bryce Harper is on paternity leave

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Several years ago, Bryce Harper made news when it was revealed that he thought the word “meme” was pronounced “may-may.” That may be my favorite Bryce Harper moment ever.

As it was announced by the Phillies a little while ago that Harper has been placed on paternity leave, I’m wondering if he pronounces the word “baby” “bébé.”

I wouldn’t think less of him if he did, actually. One of my favorite people in the world does that.

Anyway, congratulations to Bryce Harper on becoming a dad. And it’s good news not just for him but for the Phillies and their fans as well. Why? Because as Bill noted earlier this week, Harper seems to hit better when he’s being taunted and mocked. For now that’s not very important, as the child won’t be talking for some time. As a father of teenagers, I can tell you that eventually the little monsters live to disrespect their dear old dads. If Harper’s current motivational patterns hold, by the time that kid is ten Harper will be winning the dang Triple Crown every year.

But again, congratulations to the Harpers.