There are still hundreds of jobless players around the league, but a few free agents came off the board Monday. Here’s a rundown of some of the more notable moves:
Diamondbacks sign Fernando Salas, Michael Blazek
Arizona already made two bullpen moves in adding Brad Boxberger and Yoshihisa Hirano, but they added depth Monday by agreeing to minor-league deals with righties Fernando Salas and Michael Blazek, per sources.
Salas, 32, appeared in 61 major-league games in 2017, spending time with both the Mets and Angels. He worked to a 5.22 ERA and 8.6 K/9 in that span, being released by New York in mid-August before signing with the Angels four days later. Salas got a one-year, $3 million deal from the Mets last winter but had to settle for a non-guaranteed pact this time around.
Blazek, 28, posted a solid 3.71 ERA in 85 innings for the Brewers’ Triple-A team this year but posted an 8.31 ERA in 8.2 major-league innings. He owns a career 4.39 ERA in parts of four major-league seasons with Milwaukee and St. Louis.
Both Blazek and Salas will compete for bullpen spots during spring training, with Salas the more likely of the two to make the team.
Padres sign Allen Craig
Ex-Cardinals and Red Sox first baseman/outfielder Allen Craig signed a minor-league pact with San Diego, per source. He’ll try to get his career back on track after two years of no major-league action.
Craig, 33, was a solid contributor and All-Star for St. Louis from 2010 to 2013 before being shipped to Boston in a trade that sent John Lackey to the Cards. He hit just .139/.236/.197 in 65 games with Boston, being demoted to Triple-A and ultimately outrighted off the 40-man roster while being paid $27.8 million in that span.
Craig hit .253/.325/.316 with one homer in 47 games for Pawtucket in 2017. He’s a low-risk bounceback candidate for a Padres club that could still add Eric Hosmer at first base.
Cubs sign Chris Gimenez
Catcher Chris Gimenez is headed to the Cubs on a minor-league deal, a source confirmed. He’ll compete for a backup role behind Willson Conteras, with Victor Caratini serving as his primary competition.
Gimenez, 35, appeared in 74 games for the Twins in 2017, hitting .220 with seven homers in that span. Notably, he was Yu Darvish’s personal catcher in Texas and has been in contact with him this winter. It’s unclear if Gimenez’s signing with Chicago could be a precursor to a deal between the Cubs and Darvish, who are reportedly in active talks.
Some other moves from Monday include the Mets bringing back infielder Ty Kelly, the Brewers adding veteran reliever Ernesto Frieri, the Indians bringing in Adam Wilk, the Pirates signing former Red Sox catcher Ryan Lavarnway and the Giants signing former Braves first-rounder Matt Lipka.