Mariners' Jesus Sucre: Avoids arbitration
by RotoWire Staff | Special to
(12/5/2016) Sucre signed a one-year, $630,000 contract with the Mariners on Monday, avoiding arbitration, Bob Dutton of the Tacoma New Tribune reports

Sucre has served as catching depth for the Mariners for the past several seasons. He will likely be slated for a similar role in 2017 as Mike Zunino and Carlos Ruiz will handle a majority of the catching duties. The deal will pay Sucre $300,000 if he is sent to the minors.

Bryan Holaday: Non-tendered by Red Sox
by RotoWire Staff | Special to
(12/2/2016) Holaday was non-tendered by the Red Sox on Friday and is now a free agent.

Sandy Leon and Christian Vazquez are the clear top two catchers for the Red Sox, and Blake Swihart still lingers as a potential wild card, so there was no reason for Boston to pay Holaday in arbitration or allow him to occupy a 40-man roster spot. He has a career 69 wRC+ and all of his value is tied up in his defense. Look for him to catch on with another team, perhaps on a minor league deal, to serve as organizational catching depth.

Indians' Erik Kratz: Heading to Cleveland on NRI deal
by RotoWire Staff | Special to
(12/1/2016) Kratz signed a minor league contract with the Indians on Thursday that includes an invitation to spring training, Jordan Bastian of reports.

Kratz bounced around the majors and minors last season, spending time with the Astros, Angels, Pirates, and Blue Jays. However, he failed to produce virtually anything at the plate anywhere, as his .094 batting average in the majors and sub-.200 average in the minors prove. Between this lack of productivity and his age (currently 36 years old) will likely keep him in an organizational depth role as the Indians' other catching prospects come through the pipeline.

Athletics' Ryan Lavarnway: Signs NRI deal with A's
by RotoWire Staff | Special to
(11/30/2016) Lavarnway agreed to a minor league contract with the A's on Wednesday that includes an invite to spring training, Jane Lee of reports.

The 29-year-old will get to make his case for a roster spot in camp, but Lavarnway will likely end up serving as minor league depth in 2017, as he did this past season for the Blue Jays and Braves. He's hit just .198/.258/.316 in parts of five seasons in the majors (407 plate appearances).

Blue Jays' Michael Ohlman: Inks deal with Blue Jays
by RotoWire Staff | Special to
(11/29/2016) Ohlman signed a minor league contract with Toronto on Monday, Shi Davidi of Sportsnet reports.

The 25-year-old catcher also received an invite to join the Jays for spring training. Ohlman hit .287 with seven homers and 44 RBI between two of St. Louis' minor league affiliates in 2016.

White Sox's Roberto Pena: Signs with White Sox
by RotoWire Staff | Special to
(11/28/2016) Pena signed a minor league contract with the White Sox on Monday,'s Brian McTaggart reports.

He was drafted in 2010 by the Astros and reached Triple-A last season for the first time in his career. Omar Narvaez, Kevan Smith and Alfredo Gonzalez are all likely ahead of Pena on the organizational depth chart, but it is a very weak position for the White Sox, so playing time could become available. That said, he has never posted a wRC+ above 90 in seven minor league seasons, so the offensive upside is very limited.

Twins' Jason Castro: Agrees to deal with Minnesota
by RotoWire Staff | Special to
(11/22/2016) Castro agreed to a three-year contract with the Twins, Ken Rosenthal of Fox Sports reports.

Since putting up a .276 batting average in 2013, Castro's hitting has regressed for three consecutive seasons, having bottomed out at .210 in 2016. However, the Twins deemed Castro's defensive performance to be rather valued, especially his pitch-framing ability, as his contract is slated to be worth upward of $24 million.

Matt Wieters: Cuts left forearm in household accident
by RotoWire Staff | Special to
(11/21/2016) Wieters cut his left forearm earlier in the offseason and received stitches on the wound, but the issue is not expected to affect his ability to play next season, Dan Connolly of reports.

Thankfully, the free agent incurred the minor laceration on his non-throwing arm, which should help him maintain his stock as one of the top catchers on the market this offseason. Wieters is expected to resume baseball activities in January and be 100 percent by the time spring training rolls around.

Chris Gimenez: Elects to become free agent
by RotoWire Staff | Special to
(11/20/2016) Gimenez opted to become a free agent after being outrighted off Cleveland's 40-man roster, Jordan Bastian of reports.

Gimenez didn't produce much at the plate in 2016 as he hit just .216/.272/.331 over 68 games. Due to his subpar hitting, Gimenez will likely provide depth behind the plate, rather than take on a starting role regardless of where he ends up.

Indians' Francisco Mejia: Added to 40-man roster
by RotoWire Staff | Special to
(11/18/2016) Mejia was added to the Indians' 40-man roster Friday, Paul Hoynes of the Cleveland Plain Dealer reports.

The Indians weren't going to let Mejia get away in the Rule 5 draft -- he's one of the top catching prospects in the game (one of the top hitting catchers in the minor leagues, anyway). He posted a combined .342/.382/.514 line between Low-A and High-A in 2016, at one point hitting safely in 50 straight games. The 21-year-old figures to advance to Double-A next season.

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