Diamondbacks' A.J. Pollock: Agrees on two-year contract with Arizona
A.J. Pollock agreed to a two-year, $10.25 million contract with the Arizona Diamondbacks on Monday to avoid arbitration, Buster Olney of ESPN reports.
Pollock is coming off arguably the best season of his four-year career after compiling 192 hits, 20 home runs, 76 RBI, and 111 runs on 157 games in 2015. Those numbers make the 28-year-old a viable option to be taken within the first two rounds of standard leagues in 2016, especially since he averaged .315 at the plate last season and tends to bat ahead of Paul Goldschmidt.
Blue Jays' Josh Donaldson: Inks two-year deal with Blue Jays
Josh Donaldson agreed to a two-year, $29 million contract with the Toronto Blue Jays on Monday to avoid arbitration, Shi Davidi of Sportsnet reports.
Donaldson will have a tough task duplicating his numbers from the 2015 season after posting 41 home runs, 123 RBI, and 122 runs in what was easily the best statistical campaign of his five-year career. Nevertheless, he'll be touted as a first-round power hitter under most formats who's played in 158 games during each of his last three seasons.
Padres' Skip Schumaker: Signs minor league contract with Padres
The San Diego Padres signed Skip Schumaker to a minor league contract Monday, Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports reports.
Schumaker spent last season serving in a situational role, which translated to a .242/.306/.336 slash line, one homer, and two stolen bases in 244 at-bats across 131 games. After turning 36 years old last week, he's clearly in the twilight of his career, but the opportunity afforded by the Padres could result in an outfield depth role at the major league level at some point in 2016.
Padres' Yangervis Solarte: Remains on track to start 2016 at third
Yangervis Solarte is in line to enter the 2016 season as the San Diego Padres ' everyday third basemen, Corey Brock of MLB.com reports.
After a 2015 season where he made 85 starts at the position, it looks like the hot corner is where the 28-year-old will end up entering 2016. The Venezuela native also made 25 starts at first base and 14 starts at second last year, but after playing over half the year at third and posting a solid .967 fielding percentage, he will likely remain there. Cory Spangenberg, another third base option, is on tap to start the season at second given his 67 starts at the position for the Padres last year. Another potential option is Brett Wallace, but his meager five starts at third last season will likely keep him as a reserve for third base, not the starter.
Diamondbacks' Brad Ziegler: Will remain D-backs closer
Manager Dave Stewart announced Monday that Brad Ziegler will begin the season as the Arizona Diamondbacks ' closer, Jody Jackson of FOX Sports Arizona reports.
Bringing Tyler Clippard into the fold could have been taken as a challenge to Ziegler's gig, but the incumbent will remain in the closing role once Opening Day rolls around. In 2015, Ziegler replaced Addison Reed in May and proceeded to complete 30 saves, which he supplemented with a crisp 1.85 ERA and 0.956 WHIP. However, Ziegler's lack of heat doesn't equate to many strikeouts, as evidenced by 4.76 K/9 last season.
Tigers' J.D. Martinez: Agrees to two-year contract
Martinez backed up his breakout in 2014 with 38 homers and 102 RBI last season en route to a final slash line of .282/.344/.535. As he enters his age-29 season, he's been afforded some security with the aim of truly cashing in once this new deal is complete.
Orioles' Ozzie Martinez: Receives non-roster invitation to Orioles' spring training
Ozzie Martinez will attend Baltimore Orioles ' spring training as a non-roster invitee, Eduardo A. Encina of The Baltimore Sun reports.
The 27-year-old Puerto Rican has played 942 games at the minor league level but only 34 in the big leagues. In 2015 with Double-A Bowie, he hit .252 with 48 runs and 30 RBI in 477 plate appearances. The journeyman will have a difficult time finding playing time given his limited production in the MLB, even if he receives a roster spot.
Orioles' Trey Mancini: Receives spring training invitation
Trey Mancini has received an invitation to Baltimore's spring training, Eduardo A. Encina of The Baltimore Sun reports.
Mancini is one of the Baltimore Orioles ' top prospects heading into 2016 after batting .359/.395/.586 in 84 games with Double-A Bowie last season. He will likely begin the season in Triple-A Norfolk and could earn a promotion to the big leagues if he develops better plate discipline (5.8 percent walk rate) and continues to rake.
Orioles' Steve Tolleson: Receives non-roster invitation to Orioles' spring training
Steve Tolleson will attend Baltimore Orioles ' spring training as a non-roster invitee, Eduardo A. Encina of The Baltimore Sun reports.
The 32-year-old second basemen has made four separate appearances in the MLB with the Athletics in 2010, Orioles in 2012, and Blue Jays in 2014 and 2015. During that time span, he made 331 plate appearances and accumulated a .245 batting average and .299 OBP. Given his relatively modest stats and limited experience at the big-league level, it will be hard for him to find playing time even if he receives a roster spot with the Orioles.
Orioles' Chance Sisco: Receives spring training invitation
Chance Sisco has received an invitation to Baltimore's spring training, Eduardo A. Encina of The Baltimore Sun reports.
Sisco will likely begin the 2016 season in Double-A Bowie but has a chance to be a mid-season addition for the Baltimore Orioles . Despite other teams' interest in Sisco's hitting ability at the trade deadline, he remained in Baltimore and has a chance to display his talents during spring training. Even though Sisco hasn't shown the ability to hit for power, he is regarded as one of the best hitting catchers in the minors.