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José Iglesias signs with the Orioles

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Mark Feinsand of MLB.com reports that shortstop José Iglesias has agreed to a one-year, $3 million deal with the Orioles. the deal includes a 2021 club option that would make the deal worth $6 million over two years.

Iglesias spent last season with the Cincinnati Reds where he was, basically, José Iglesias. He, as usual, played solid-to-darn good defense while hitting .288/.318/.407, for an OPS+ of 85. His career OPS+ is 84. He had 11 homers, which was a career high, but lots of guys have had career highs in the oh-so-juiced ball era of the past couple of years.

All that being said: pretty good pickup for the Orioles. They’re not going to be good, but when you’re rebuilding and running young pitchers out there, one of the more demoralizing things that can happen is when they make a great pitch only to have some defender up the middle not make a play a defender up the middle is supposed to make. Iglesias will make those plays and a good deal more, and that’s not nothin’ for a team like the Orioles.

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.