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Tigers sign Jarrod Saltalamacchia to a one-year deal

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The Tigers signed catcher Jarrod Saltalamacchia to a one-year deal for close to the major league minimum, per MLB.com’s Jason Beck. He’ll compete for a job as the Tigers’ backup catcher, according to GM Al Avila.

Saltalamacchia, 30, hit a solid .225/.310/.435 with nine home runs and 24 RBI in 227 plate appearances last season between the Marlins and Diamondbacks.

The Tigers also have Bryan Holaday on their 40-man roster but will likely add another candidate or two heading into spring training to compete for the right to back up starter James McCann.

The Marlins will pay Saltalamacchia $8 million as that was part of what remained on his contract when they designated him for assignment at the end of April.

Royals, Alex Gordon close to contract agreement

Alex Gordon
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MLB.com’s Jeffrey Flanagan reports that the Royals and outfielder Alex Gordon are “getting close” to an agreement on a one-year contract. Terms of the deal aren’t yet known, but the Royals could make it official within the next few days.

Gordon, who turns 36 years old next month, hit .266/.345/.396 with 13 home runs and 76 RBI over 633 plate appearances with the Royals this past season. His offense has waned, owning an adjusted OPS of 84 since 2016 (100 is average), but he still plays decent defense.

Gordon has spent all 13 years of his major league career with the Royals. With the club in a rebuilding phase, he will serve as the clubhouse leader and be a mentor to younger players on the roster.