Ross Ohlendorf signs with the Tokyo Yakult Swallows

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Jerry Crasnick of ESPN reports that pitcher Ross Ohlendorf has signed with the Tokyo Yakult Swallows of Japan’s Central League. He’ll make $1.6 million and could earn an additional $400,000 in incentives.

Not a bad deal for Ohlendorf who, after being released by the Royals in spring training, posted a 4.64 ERA and 68/32 K/BB ratio over 65.2 innings with the Cincinnati Reds in 2016. He probably would’ve had to sign a minor league deal if he wanted to pitch in the United States this year and, even if he made a team, would probably have gotten less than a $1 million deal. He made $800,000 in 2016.

Report: Guardians, 1B Josh Bell reach 2-year, $33M deal

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SAN DIEGO — The Cleveland Guardians and slugging first baseman Josh Bell have agreed to a two-year, $33 million contract, according to a person familiar with the negotiations.

The person spoke to The Associated Press on condition of anonymity because the deal was pending a review of medical records.

Bell played for Washington and San Diego last season, batting .266 with 17 homers and 71 RBIs in 156 games.

Cleveland is coming off a surprising 2022 season, going 92-70 and winning the AL Central for the first time since 2018. The addition of Bell gives the Guardians more power for their lineup after they hit just 127 homers this year – the second-lowest total in the majors.

The 30-year-old Bell is a .262 hitter with 130 homers and 468 RBIs over seven seasons with three big league teams. He had his best year with Pittsburgh in 2019, making the NL All-Star team while batting .277 with 37 homers and 116 RBIs in 143 games.

The switch-hitting Bell also is expected to benefit from restrictions on defensive positioning coming to the game next year.