MLB.com’s William Ladson reports that the Nationals have signed reliever Matt Belisle to a minor league contract with an invitation to spring training.
Belisle, 35, racked up only 33 2/3 innings with the Cardinals last season as he dealt with elbow injuries. He underwent arthroscopic surgery back in October. Belisle was effective in his 34 appearances, though, compiling a 2.67 ERA with a 25/15 K/BB ratio.
As he hit his mid-thirties, Belisle’s strikeout rate dropped and his walk rate increased, so he is certainly no longer the high-leverage arm that became a staple of the Rockies’ bullpen back in 2010. If he is able to impress in spring training, he would most likely contribute in a mop-up or low-leverage role for the Nationals.
Robert Murray reports that Brewers infielder Luis Urías underwent surgery to repair a fractured left hamate bone, suffered during a game in the Mexican Pacific Winter League. The club expects him to miss six to eight weeks, which likely means he will not start the regular season on time.
The Brewers acquired Urías from the Padres along with pitcher Eric Lauer in late November in exchange for pitcher Zach Davies and outfielder Trent Grisham.
Last season with the Padres, Urías hit .223/.329/.326 across 249 plate appearances. While his offense isn’t anything to write home about, he does play above-average defense with the ability to play several positions.
Urías was slated to be the regular shortstop, so his late start likely means Orlando Arcia will get another chance to prove himself. Arcia has failed to live up to expectations across four seasons in the big leagues thus far.