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Josh Lindblom likely to return to MLB

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Ken Rosenthal of The Athletic reported on Tuesday that pitcher Josh Lindblom is drawing interest from the Blue Jays. The report has since been confirmed by Jon Morosi of Fox Sports and Sportsnet’s Ben Nicholson-Smith. Lindblom is hoping to sign with a team by the end of the Winter Meetings on December 12.

Lindblom, 32, last pitched in the majors for the Pirates in 2017. It was brief, making four appearances between May 7-19. He has spent parts of the last five years in the KBO League in South Korea, pitching for the Lotte Giants from 2015-17 and the Doosan Bears the last two seasons. Lindblom found success with the Bears, amassing an aggregate 35-7 record with a 2.68 ERA and a 346/67 K/BB ratio across 363 1/3 innings.

We have seen a handful of players in recent years flame out in the majors, rediscover themselves playing overseas, and then come back to Major League Baseball. Eric Thames and Miles Mikolas are a couple of examples. Lindblom is hoping to join the list.

Reds sign Nicholas Castellanos to a four-year deal

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The Cincinnati Reds have signed outfielder Nicholas Castellanos to a multi-year deal. That’s the report from C. Trent Rosecrans and Ken Rosenthal of The Athletic. Jon Morosi of MLB.com was the first to report the Reds as frontrunners. The deal is pending a physical. UPDATE: The deal is four years. Financial terms have yet to be reported.

With Castellanos in the fold the Reds are going to have a lot of outfielders when they hit Goodyear, Arizona in a couple of weeks, with newcomer Shogo Akiyama, Jesse Winkler, Nick Senzel, Aristides Aquino, Travis Jankowski, Scott Schebler, and Rule 5 draftee Mark Payton already on the roster. Senzel was an infielder before last year, of course, so he could move back to the dirt, perhaps taking over short from Freddy Galvis, who could be dealt. Alternatively, the Reds could trade from their newfound outfield surplus.

Castellanos, however, will have left field to himself. While he’s shaky at best with the glove, he had a breakout year at the plate in 2019, hitting .289/.337/.525 overall (OPS+ 121), but slugging at a blistering .321/.356/.646 pace (OPS+ 151) after being traded from the Tigers to the Cubs. In Chicago — rescued from cavernous Comerica Park — his big doubles power turned into big homer power.

Now that he’ll be playing in hitter-friendly Great American Ballpark one can only imagine the damage he’d do.