This hot stove is already heating up.
Bob Dutton of the Tacoma News Tribune reports that the Mariners are nearing a contract agreement with free agent catcher Chris Iannetta. The club has also been tied this week to Jarrod Saltalamacchia.
Iannetta carries a poor reputation defensively and he batted just .188/.293/.335 for the Angels in 2015, but the 32-year-old has mashed left-handed pitching in the past and would give Seattle an alternative to former top prospect Mike Zunino, who has struggled to find his footing in the major leagues.
The big fish in this year’s free agent market for catchers is Matt Wieters, but the lower-tier guys are not waiting for that domino to fall. A.J. Pierzynski just re-upped with the Braves on a one-year deal and Saltalamacchia appears close to finding a new home. John Ryan Murphy was traded from the Yankees to the Twins on Monday in exchange for outfielder Aaron Hicks.
ATLANTA — An apparent roster snafu forced the Toronto Blue Jays to change their pitching plans for Thursday night’s game at the Atlanta Braves.
After Nate Pearson gave up three runs in five innings, manager Charlie Montoyo brought in right-hander Jacob Waguespack to open the sixth.
As Waguespack walked to the mound, he was greeted by home plate umpire Alan Porter, who apparently delivered some bad news: The right-hander wasn’t on the 28-man active roster for the game.
The Blue Jays optioned Waguespack and infielder Santiago Espinal to the team’s alternate training site on Thursday to reach the 28-man roster limit.
Montoyo told reporters before the game Waguespack had been recalled when right-hander Trent Thornton was placed on the 10-day injured list with right elbow inflammation. That move apparently was not processed, leaving Waguespack off the active roster.
Waguespack walked to the dugout and Montoyo brought in Rafael Dolis as the official replacement for Pearson.