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On The Move: Trades & Transactions

Davis to reunite with Tribe on Minors deal

MLB.com

Veteran outfielder Rajai Davis is returning to the Indians. Davis is close to agreeing to a Minor League deal with Cleveland, according to MLB.com's Jordan Bastian, with an invite to Spring Training

Davis batted .249/.306/.388 with 12 homers and 48 RBIs while stealing an American League-leading 43 bases in 134 games for the Indians during their World Series run in 2016.

Veteran outfielder Rajai Davis is returning to the Indians. Davis is close to agreeing to a Minor League deal with Cleveland, according to MLB.com's Jordan Bastian, with an invite to Spring Training

Davis batted .249/.306/.388 with 12 homers and 48 RBIs while stealing an American League-leading 43 bases in 134 games for the Indians during their World Series run in 2016.

The 37-year-old left Cleveland in free agency following one of the most memorable home runs in Indians postseason history, a game-tying eighth-inning shot off Cubs closer Aroldis Chapman in Game 7 of the Fall Classic.

Davis hit .235/.293/.348 with five homers and 20 RBIs while swiping 29 bases in 117 games split between the Athletics and Red Sox in 2017.

Infielder Lonnie Chisenhall told Bastian: "We're getting the band back together."

Cleveland Indians, Rajai Davis

Phils, Abad agree to Minor League deal

MLB.com

Free-agent left-hander Fernando Abad and the Phillies have agreed on a Minor League contract, a source told MLB.com's Jesse Sanchez. MLB Network insider Jon Heyman was first to report the agreement.

Sanchez reported that the deal includes a mutual option for 2019.

Free-agent left-hander Fernando Abad and the Phillies have agreed on a Minor League contract, a source told MLB.com's Jesse Sanchez. MLB Network insider Jon Heyman was first to report the agreement.

Sanchez reported that the deal includes a mutual option for 2019.

Abad went 2-1 with a 3.30 ERA in 43 2/3 innings for the Red Sox in 2017. He has a 3.65 career ERA in 317 2/3 frames over eight big league seasons.

The 32-year-old will compete for a spot in Philadelphia's bullpen as a non-roster invitee to Major League Spring Training. He has until March 22 to be added to the Phillies' roster or he will become a free agent.

Philadelphia Phillies, Fernando Abad

Giants reportedly reach deal with lefty Watson

MLB.com

The Giants have been looking to upgrade their bullpen, and it appears the club has done so.

San Francisco has reportedly agreed to terms with veteran free-agent reliever Tony Watson, according to MLB Network insider Jon Heyman. It is believed to be a multiyear deal, per Heyman. The club has not confirmed an agreement.

The Giants have been looking to upgrade their bullpen, and it appears the club has done so.

San Francisco has reportedly agreed to terms with veteran free-agent reliever Tony Watson, according to MLB Network insider Jon Heyman. It is believed to be a multiyear deal, per Heyman. The club has not confirmed an agreement.

Hot Stove Tracker

Watson, a left-hander, appeared in 71 games with the Pirates and Dodgers, who acquired him at the non-waiver Trade Deadline. Overall, he had 53 strikeouts against 20 walks in 66 2/3 innings, allowing 72 hits and posting a 3.38 ERA. He made 11 postseason appearances out of the Dodgers' bullpen, including five straight in Games 2-6 of the World Series.

Watson, 32, has made 474 regular-season relief appearances during seven seasons in the Majors, primarily with the Pirates. He was an All-Star with the Bucs in 2014, and he finished that season with 78 appearances, the most in the National League. Watson has 30 career saves, all with Pittsburgh.

For his career, Watson has held left-handed batters to a .216 average and .574 OPS, compared to a .226 average and .661 OPS by right-handed batters.

Austin Laymance is a reporter for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter at @JALaymance.

San Francisco Giants, Tony Watson

Volquez inks 2-year Minors deal with Texas

MLB.com

SURPRISE, Ariz. -- Free agent Edinson Volquez, who pitched for the Rangers from 2005-07, is returning to the club on a two-year Minor League contract while he recovers from Tommy John elbow reconstruction surgery.

Volquez was with the Marlins in 2017 and last pitched on July 5 against the Cardinals. He then started having the elbow issues that resulted in the reconstruction surgery on Aug. 4.

SURPRISE, Ariz. -- Free agent Edinson Volquez, who pitched for the Rangers from 2005-07, is returning to the club on a two-year Minor League contract while he recovers from Tommy John elbow reconstruction surgery.

Volquez was with the Marlins in 2017 and last pitched on July 5 against the Cardinals. He then started having the elbow issues that resulted in the reconstruction surgery on Aug. 4.

Volquez joins the Rangers with an invitation to big league camp and will remain in Arizona to continue his rehab program. The 34-year-old is not expected to pitch at all this season but could be an option in 2019.

"It's a deal for 2019," Rangers general manager Jon Daniels said. "Similar thought process with Shawn Tolleson. Invest some time and energy in the rehab and hopefully reap the benefits of healthy pitchers next year."

Resilient Tolleson returns to Rangers

Daniels said the Rangers tried to sign Volquez to a one-year contract last year, but he took a two-year deal with the Marlins. He was 4-8 with a 4.19 ERA in 17 starts for Miami -- including a no-hitter against the D-backs on June 3 -- before coming down with the elbow injury.

The Rangers originally signed Volquez in 2001 out of the Dominican Republic. He was part of a trio of highly-regarded pitching prospects, along with John Danks and Thomas Diamond.

Volquez pitched in 17 games for the Rangers over parts of three seasons before being traded to the Reds on Dec. 21, 2007, along with pitcher Danny Herrera, for outfielder Josh Hamilton.

Texas Rangers, Edinson Volquez

Reliever Simmons, Cubs agree to contract

MLB.com

Free-agent righty reliever Shae Simmons has agreed to a Major League split contract with the Cubs, the club announced on Friday.

Simmons, 27, has a career 3.50 ERA in 36 innings over three seasons, but has missed significant time due to injuries. He only pitched in nine games in 2017 with the Mariners due to a right elbow strain and missed the '15 season after undergoing Tommy John surgery.

Free-agent righty reliever Shae Simmons has agreed to a Major League split contract with the Cubs, the club announced on Friday.

Simmons, 27, has a career 3.50 ERA in 36 innings over three seasons, but has missed significant time due to injuries. He only pitched in nine games in 2017 with the Mariners due to a right elbow strain and missed the '15 season after undergoing Tommy John surgery.

While the terms of the deal were not disclosed, Major League split contracts work differently than Major League or Minor League deals. Simmons would earn one salary for time spent in the Majors and a lower salary for time spent in Minors. The salary is prorated for each day spent on the Major League roster.

Should he stay healthy, Simmons could be an intriguing bullpen piece. His fastball sits in the upper 90s, and since he has just over three years of service time, the Cubs will have team control of him beyond 2018.

:: Spring Training coverage presented by Camping World ::

"We just have to get him out there healthy on a consistent basis," manager Joe Maddon said of Simmons. "He really reads in an interesting way on paper. I think if we get him out there, good things will happen. He's got good stuff."

To make room on their 40-man roster, the Cubs placed left-hander Drew Smyly on the 60-day disabled list.

Ben Weinrib is a reporter for MLB.com based in Cleveland. Follow him on Twitter at @benweinrib.

Chicago Cubs, Shae Simmons

D-backs agree to Minors deal with De La Rosa

MLB.com

SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. -- Jorge De La Rosa surprised D-backs players when he strolled into the clubhouse just after 8 a.m. MT on Friday.

"Did we re-sign you?" he was asked.

SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. -- Jorge De La Rosa surprised D-backs players when he strolled into the clubhouse just after 8 a.m. MT on Friday.

"Did we re-sign you?" he was asked.

D-backs Spring Training: Info | Tickets | Schedule

The news that, yes, De La Rosa had agreed to terms on a Minor League contract to return to the D-backs, brought cheers and hugs in the Arizona clubhouse as players welcomed him back.

De La Rosa, who will turn 37 just after Opening Day, was signed just after camp opened last year to a Minor League deal and wound up winning a spot on the roster. In 65 games, the left-hander went 3-1 with a 4.21 ERA and anERA+ of 114.

:: Spring Training coverage presented by Camping World ::

"He had a tremendous year for us last year," D-backs manager Torey Lovullo said. "To get him back is pretty exciting for all of us. The room when they saw him walk in got very excited, and that represents the hard work and dedication that he showed us last year. He showed us what he meant to the group last year."

De La Rosa will once again be competing for a spot in the bullpen, and he gives the D-backs another option against lefties.

Last year, De La Rosa held lefties to a .194 batting average, and he allowed just one earned run in 7 1/3 innings over his final 13 games.

"He got on a really nice roll," Lovullo said. "Down the stretch, he got some huge outs against some quality left-handed batters, and we're excited to have him back. We're not sure what role he'll have. He's got to enter into this competition and see where that takes him."

Getting to know you

D-backs pitchers and catchers took part in a unique drill on Friday, which was a day off of throwing for most of them, designed by pitching coach Mike Butcher.

The pitchers took turns sharing how they like to approach hitters and how they like their catchers to set up. The rest of the group sat in folding chairs listening.

"Developing relationships was, for me, one of the key things for the pitchers and catchers that was working for us last year, and I wanted that to start again this year," Lovullo said. "It was just a session to get familiar with one another. It was nothing that I've ever really seen before, but it was very productive. I think the catchers got a chance to get familiar with what some of these pitchers do and some of their tendencies and preferences, and it was a good old-fashioned session between a pitcher and a catcher without anybody really distracting them."

Delgado and Sherfy throw

Relievers Randall Delgado and Jimmie Sherfy threw their first bullpens of the spring on Friday. The pair are taking things a little slower after injuries last year.

While Sherfy simply had some triceps tightness in September, Delgado missed half the year with a strained flexor tendon. He received a platelet-rich plasma injection toward the end of the season and has not experienced any discomfort while getting ready for the spring.

"My arm is feeling good," Delgado said. "It's really loose. I've been working hard. No pain, nothing right now. It feels normal."

Up next

The D-backs will work out Saturday morning, with stretching beginning a little after 9 a.m. MT. Pitchers will throw bullpen sessions and go through pitchers fielding practice. The team's annual FanFest will be held at Salt River Fields following the workout.

Steve Gilbert has covered the D-backs for MLB.com since 2001. Follow him on Twitter @SteveGilbertMLB.

Arizona Diamondbacks, Jorge De La Rosa

Sources: Mets ink lefty Vargas to 2-year deal

Veteran, who pitched briefly for New York in 2007, expected to provide rotation insurance
MLB.com

PORT ST. LUCIE, Fla. -- Until Friday, the Mets' offseason efforts, while wide-ranging, seemed incomplete. The team spent much of this winter fortifying its most obvious areas of need -- the bullpen and infield. It ignored a rotation rife with issues, with general manager Sandy Alderson going as far as to say, "I'm not convinced we need more pitching."

In the end, however, the Mets relented, deferring to the adage that a team can never have enough. New York iced its offseason with a rotation signing on Friday, inking left-hander Jason Vargas to a two-year, $16 million deal, according to multiple sources. The contract includes an $8 million club option for 2020 and up to $3 million in innings incentives, bringing its total potential value to $27 million over three seasons.

PORT ST. LUCIE, Fla. -- Until Friday, the Mets' offseason efforts, while wide-ranging, seemed incomplete. The team spent much of this winter fortifying its most obvious areas of need -- the bullpen and infield. It ignored a rotation rife with issues, with general manager Sandy Alderson going as far as to say, "I'm not convinced we need more pitching."

In the end, however, the Mets relented, deferring to the adage that a team can never have enough. New York iced its offseason with a rotation signing on Friday, inking left-hander Jason Vargas to a two-year, $16 million deal, according to multiple sources. The contract includes an $8 million club option for 2020 and up to $3 million in innings incentives, bringing its total potential value to $27 million over three seasons.

The Mets have not confirmed the move, which is pending a physical, but they could finalize it as early as Sunday.

Video: Callaway on Vargas, possible six-man rotation

"I don't think you can have too much pitching," Mets manager Mickey Callaway said. "It can't ever [hurt] to have good, quality arms."

Over the past dozen years, Vargas has established himself as one such arm, posting a 4.17 ERA for five teams. Now 35 years old, the left-hander went 18-11 with a 4.16 ERA last year for the Royals after missing most of the previous two seasons recovering from Tommy John surgery. Discounting those injury-shortened campaigns, Vargas has averaged 188 innings per year since 2010.

As such, he offers the Mets rotation insurance in the event that Matt Harvey, Steven Matz and Zack Wheeler -- all of whom have struggled to stay healthy throughout their careers -- are unable to remain on the mound this season. Vargas will join a rotation that should include some combination of those three, Noah Syndergaard and Jacob deGrom. Robert Gsellman and Seth Lugo are also vying for spots this spring, creating perhaps the most compelling job hunt in baseball.

"I don't think we're penciling anybody in," Callaway said. "Everything's a competition."

It is possible that one of Wheeler, Gsellman or Lugo winds up in the bullpen, though for now, the Mets appear willing to classify all of them as starters.

Video: DET@KC: Vargas hurls six innings of one-run ball

"I'll just go out there and do what I normally do," Wheeler said, offering only clipped answers to questions after learning of the signing. "I'm just here to be a starting pitcher. That's what I've always been, and that's what I'm going to be. When I'm healthy, I know I'm just as good as anybody out there."

Yet health has been enough of an issue for Wheeler and others that the Mets kept an eye on pitching options all winter. An abnormally quiet free-agent market also kept them engaged -- particularly in a class of arms that included Vargas, Andrew Cashner and Jaime Garcia. Waiting for a "pressure point" in that market, the Mets signed Vargas one day after the other two agreed to terms elsewhere.

The Mets never harbored serious interest in Lance Lynn or Alex Cobb, who have Draft-pick compensation tied to them. The Vargas signing pushes their projected Opening Day payroll over $150 million, just a hair shy of last year's $155 million total.

On some levels, the Mets are already familiar with Vargas. He pitched briefly for them in 2007, after then-general manager Omar Minaya -- now a Mets special assistant -- traded for the left-hander. Vargas also spent four years working under Mets pitching coach Dave Eiland in Kansas City, and his agency, CAA, has strong ties with the Mets' front office. In recent years, the two parties have worked out deals for Yoenis Cespedes, Todd Frazier and Tim Tebow.

A person familiar with the situation said Eiland played an instrumental role in convincing the Mets to add Vargas to that list.

"He can pitch," said Callaway, who opposed Vargas the past four years as Cleveland's pitching coach. "He's a guy that goes out there and does his job. Tremendous teammate. He gave us some fits when we were facing him."

Anthony DiComo has covered the Mets for MLB.com since 2007. Follow him on Twitter @AnthonyDiComo, Instagram and Facebook.

New York Mets, Jason Vargas

Lefty Holland joins SF on Minors pact

MLB.com

Free-agent left-hander Derek Holland has agreed to a Minor League contract with the Giants.

Holland, 31, held a 6.20 ERA in 135 innings for the White Sox last year and struggled in part due to a career-high walk rate (5.00 walks per nine innings) and home run rate (2.07 home runs per nine innings).

Free-agent left-hander Derek Holland has agreed to a Minor League contract with the Giants.

Holland, 31, held a 6.20 ERA in 135 innings for the White Sox last year and struggled in part due to a career-high walk rate (5.00 walks per nine innings) and home run rate (2.07 home runs per nine innings).

Holland could provide experience and rotation depth, as the Giants have two possible openings in their rotation. Chris Stratton and Ty Blach are also expected to be in competition with top pitching prospect Tyler Beede and Andrew Suarez.

Ben Weinrib is a reporter for MLB.com based in Cleveland. Follow him on Twitter at @benweinrib.

San Francisco Giants, Derek Holland

Blue Jays sign lefty Garcia to 1-year deal

MLB.com

DUNEDIN, Fla. -- The Blue Jays added the final piece to their starting rotation Thursday evening by signing veteran left-hander Jaime Garcia to a one-year deal worth $8 million, with a club option for 2019.

Terms of the option year were not disclosed, but according to a source, the second season is valued at $10 million and can be bought out for $2 million. The deal also includes $2 million per season in incentives, based on innings pitched.

DUNEDIN, Fla. -- The Blue Jays added the final piece to their starting rotation Thursday evening by signing veteran left-hander Jaime Garcia to a one-year deal worth $8 million, with a club option for 2019.

Terms of the option year were not disclosed, but according to a source, the second season is valued at $10 million and can be bought out for $2 million. The deal also includes $2 million per season in incentives, based on innings pitched.

The signing of Garcia means right-hander Joe Biagini will either be moved to the bullpen or open the year as a starter in the Minor Leagues. Biagini will be disappointed by the latest development, but the deal hardly comes as a surprise because general manager Ross Atkins had been open about his search for another starter.

"Jaime obviously has had a very successful Major League career," Atkins said shortly after the deal was announced. "We're excited about everything we've learned about him. ... He's a consummate professional. He's extremely committed to his craft. He has stabilized rotations before, and will certainly be a part of ours."

Video: NYY@TOR: Garcia fans Hernandez to end the 2nd

Garcia is coming off a season in which he went 5-10 with a 4.41 ERA over 157 innings with the Braves, Twins and Yankees. He started the year in Atlanta, but he was traded twice in less than a week prior to the non-waiver Trade Deadline. After making one start with Minnesota, Garcia was traded to New York, where he posted a 4.82 ERA over eight starts.

Garcia, 31, will likely open the season as Toronto's No. 5 starter behind Marcus Stroman, J.A. Happ, Aaron Sanchez and Marco Estrada. He owns a 3.69 career ERA and is best known for his work with the Cardinals. Garcia went 62-45 with a 3.57 ERA and 7.3 strikeouts per nine innings over eight seasons in St. Louis.

Atkins said the Blue Jays touched base with Garcia early in the offseason, and the talks recently began to pick up some steam. The key for Toronto was getting the added flexibility of a club option, as opposed to just a one-year deal or being locked into a long-term deal. By comparison, Andrew Cashner signed a two-year deal worth $16 million with the Orioles on Thursday.

Video: MIN@NYY: Garcia strikes out nine in impressive outing

Garcia's velocity has remained fairly consistent over the years. He typically throws 90-91 mph, with a changeup, slider and curveball also in his repertoire. Atkins spoke glowingly about Garcia's cut fastball and his unique ability to create separation between that pitch and his slider.

"Jaime has such a good feel for those three or four pitches," Atkins said. "Whether it's a left-handed hitter, right-handed hitter, subtle difference between two right-handed hitters, the shape of his fastball -- which sometimes has cut action -- the shape of his slider, the shape of his curve, the feel for his changeup, he has the ability to adapt and adjust those pitches for different types of hitters in a unique way."

Toronto will continue to search for more depth, but the signing of Garcia likely marks the final major addition the team makes before the start of the season. The rotation is set, as is the lineup, but another minor tweak or two in the bullpen is still possible.

According to Cot's Baseball Contracts, Toronto's payroll currently sits at approximately $160 million, which is $6 million less than the estimated total of the 40-man roster from the 2017 season. Blue Jays president Mark Shapiro said earlier this offseason that his payroll was expected to remain about the same as last year. That would leave at least $5 million left to spend, but it doesn't take into account some of the incentives that have been added to Garcia's deal and Minor League contracts for players such as John Axford and Craig Breslow.

"We do have remaining resources," Atkins said without getting into specifics. "I think we're mostly focused on pitching. We'll not limit ourselves, but mostly focused on pitching at this point."

Gregor Chisholm has covered the Blue Jays for MLB.com since 2011. Follow him on Twitter @gregorMLB and Facebook, and listen to his podcast.

Toronto Blue Jays, Jaime Garcia

Hanigan inks Minors deal with Tribe

MLB.com

GOODYEAR, Ariz. -- Ryan Hanigan sat at his locker inside the Indians' clubhouse on Thursday morning, trying on a set of shin guards. The veteran had completed the physical that finalized his Minor League contract and was getting ready for Cleveland's first official workout for pitchers and catchers.

Hanigan is in camp with the Tribe as a non-roster invitee, but he can earn a base salary of $1.25 million in the Majors this season. For now, he gives the Indians an experienced backstop to help handle the many pitchers in the fold for the club at the outset of the preseason.

GOODYEAR, Ariz. -- Ryan Hanigan sat at his locker inside the Indians' clubhouse on Thursday morning, trying on a set of shin guards. The veteran had completed the physical that finalized his Minor League contract and was getting ready for Cleveland's first official workout for pitchers and catchers.

Hanigan is in camp with the Tribe as a non-roster invitee, but he can earn a base salary of $1.25 million in the Majors this season. For now, he gives the Indians an experienced backstop to help handle the many pitchers in the fold for the club at the outset of the preseason.

The Indians are not only set behind the plate with Yan Gomes and Roberto Perez, but they have a top catching talent in Francisco Mejia. Even with that being an area of perceived strength, depth for the catcher position is important for a long season.

Hanigan and Jack Murphy are in camp as non-roster invitees, joining Gomes, Perez, Mejia and Eric Haase among the catchers.

Hanigan, 37, has spent parts of 11 seasons in the Majors between stints with the Reds, Rays, Red Sox and Rockies. The veteran catcher has turned in a .251/.344/.334 slash line over his career with a 36 percent caught-stealing rate. Last season, Hanigan appeared in 17 games for Triple-A Albuquerque and 33 games for Colorado. With the Rockies, he hit .267 (.671 OPS) in 112 plate appearances.

Right now, Gomes and Perez project to split the catching duties for the Tribe.

Video: Top Prospects: Francisco Mejia, C, Indians

Gomes, 30, caught the bulk of the innings for Cleveland last season and is signed through 2019 with team options for '20 and '21. The 29-year-old Perez moved into the No. 1 spot late in the season and is signed through '20 with club options for '21 and '22. Mejia, who is ranked as the Indians' No. 1 prospect and the No. 1 catching prospect in baseball by MLB Pipeline, spent the final month of the season with the Tribe last year.

Jordan Bastian has covered the Indians for MLB.com since 2011, and previously covered the Blue Jays from 2006-10. Read his blog, Major League Bastian, follow him on Twitter @MLBastian and Facebook.

Cleveland Indians, Ryan Hanigan

Ellis reaches Minors deal with Padres

Veteran catcher will compete with Gale, Lopez to back up Hedges
MLB.com

PEORIA, Ariz. -- The Padres added a veteran backstop to their backup catcher battle on Wednesday evening, agreeing to a non-roster deal with free agent A.J. Ellis.

Ellis will report on Thursday afternoon and undergo his physical before beginning work with pitchers on Friday. He will compete with Rocky Gale and Raffy Lopez for a place on the Opening Day roster behind starter Austin Hedges.

PEORIA, Ariz. -- The Padres added a veteran backstop to their backup catcher battle on Wednesday evening, agreeing to a non-roster deal with free agent A.J. Ellis.

Ellis will report on Thursday afternoon and undergo his physical before beginning work with pitchers on Friday. He will compete with Rocky Gale and Raffy Lopez for a place on the Opening Day roster behind starter Austin Hedges.

"He comes in with no real guarantee but every opportunity to compete for that spot," Padres manager Andy Green said.

Ellis, 36, is easily the most experienced of the bunch, having played in parts of 10 big league seasons, including his first 8 1/2 with the Dodgers. The club is particularly thrilled about the wealth of knowledge he brings to the catcher spot with a young group of pitchers in camp.

:: Spring Training coverage presented by Camping World ::

"There's something powerful when you're catching [prospects] and you can say, 'This is the way [Clayton] Kershaw did it, I caught him for years, I saw him coming up,' and when you're catching young righties, you say, 'This is what [Zack] Greinke did, this is what Dan Haren did,'" Green noted. "You have a catcher, not just a coach, saying those things to prospects."

In 51 games for the Marlins last season, Ellis batted .210/.298/.371. Known mostly for his solid defense and ability to reach base, Ellis is a career .237/.337/.353 hitter with 43 home runs and three years of postseason experience.

Ellis' big league track record might make him the early favorite for the backup job, but the club intends to give equal opportunity to all three.

Gale, who turns 30 next week, was a career Minor Leaguer until a callup in 2015 and again last season. Lopez, 30, has 84 plate appearances over parts of three seasons. He hit 20 homers at three levels last year, including four for the Blue Jays.

Lopez signed a Minor League deal during the offseason, while Gale is the only catcher of the bunch currently on the 40-man roster, which currently sits at 39. Ellis, meanwhile, has an opt-out clause if he's not on the big league roster for the start of the season.

AJ Cassavell covers the Padres for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter @ajcassavell.

San Diego Padres, A.J. Ellis

Miley agrees to Minors deal with Brewers

Left-hander will be invited to big league Spring Training
MLB.com

PHOENIX -- Add veteran left-hander Wade Miley to the list of competitors for two open spots in the Brewers' starting rotation.

On Wednesday, Miley struck a Minor League agreement with Milwaukee that includes an invitation to big league camp, as first reported by USA Today. Brewers general manager David Stearns said he could not yet confirm the deal, which reportedly would pay Miley $2.5 million in the Majors and includes $3.2 million more in a variety of incentives for innings, starts and relief appearances, according to MLB Network insider Jon Heyman.

PHOENIX -- Add veteran left-hander Wade Miley to the list of competitors for two open spots in the Brewers' starting rotation.

On Wednesday, Miley struck a Minor League agreement with Milwaukee that includes an invitation to big league camp, as first reported by USA Today. Brewers general manager David Stearns said he could not yet confirm the deal, which reportedly would pay Miley $2.5 million in the Majors and includes $3.2 million more in a variety of incentives for innings, starts and relief appearances, according to MLB Network insider Jon Heyman.

Miley, 31, was a National League All-Star for the D-backs in 2012. He has more recently pitched for the Red Sox, Mariners and Orioles. He was 8-15 with a 5.61 ERA in 32 starts for Baltimore last season with a career-worst 1.73 WHIP, fueled by a Major League-worst 93 walks.

Brewers pitchers and catchers are scheduled to undergo physicals on Thursday before the team's first official workout. At the moment, Chase Anderson, Zach Davies and Jhoulys Chacin are penciled into the top three spots in the rotation, while Jimmy Nelson is recovering from shoulder surgery. That leaves two openings for a group of candidates that includes Brandon Woodruff, Brent Suter, Yovani Gallardo, Junior Guerra, Aaron Wilkerson and Miley.

Like Gallardo, Miley's contract includes incentives for relief work if he does not make the rotation. All but four of Miley's 200 Major League appearances have been starts.

Adam McCalvy has covered the Brewers for MLB.com since 2001. Follow him on Twitter @AdamMcCalvy and like him on Facebook.

Milwaukee Brewers, Wade Miley

White Sox, Santiago agree on Minors deal

MLB.com

GLENDALE, Ariz. -- The White Sox and left-hander Hector Santiago on Wednesday agreed to terms on Minor League contract with a non-roster invitation to big league camp.

Santiago, 30, who was originally drafted by the White Sox in 2006 and later pitched with the big league club from 2011-13, has made 189 career appearances (130 starts) during seven Major League seasons. He also has pitched for the Angels (2014-16) and Twins (2016-17).

GLENDALE, Ariz. -- The White Sox and left-hander Hector Santiago on Wednesday agreed to terms on Minor League contract with a non-roster invitation to big league camp.

Santiago, 30, who was originally drafted by the White Sox in 2006 and later pitched with the big league club from 2011-13, has made 189 career appearances (130 starts) during seven Major League seasons. He also has pitched for the Angels (2014-16) and Twins (2016-17).

"We saw firsthand how valuable he can potentially be in various roles, whether it's in the rotation or the bullpen," White Sox general manager Rick Hahn said. "The versatility certainly had an appeal to us and as a player we drafted and helped develop, I think we have a special fondness for Hector. He's a tremendous, tremendous individual and a great fit in the clubhouse."

Santiago, who is 40-46 with a 4.00 ERA, four saves and 683 strikeouts in his career, was slowed by injury last season. He enters camp healthy and without any restrictions, Hahn said.

Video: Hahn on signing Santiago to a Minor League deal

"It turned out to be more a back issue than a shoulder issue, which he felt he got resolved around mid-September, but it was too late in the season for it to really show on the field," Hahn said. "He feels like everything's resolved and our doctors are fairly comfortable with the diagnosis and prognosis going forward."

Chicago White Sox, Hector Santiago

Deal official, Cards envision flex role for Norris

MLB.com

JUPITER, Fla. -- Cardinals manager Mike Matheny has made it clear already this spring that a theme of his camp will be purpose.

"We will be very intentional about everything we do," Matheny said.

JUPITER, Fla. -- Cardinals manager Mike Matheny has made it clear already this spring that a theme of his camp will be purpose.

"We will be very intentional about everything we do," Matheny said.

Spring Training info | Schedule | Tickets

When discussing newly acquired right-hander Bud Norris, whom the Cardinals officially signed to a one-year deal Wednesday, Matheny was intentionally vague.

:: Spring Training coverage presented by Camping World ::

Starter? Reliever? Closer? Norris has done all three in his career.

"He's just a pitcher," said Matheny, careful not to specify. "I think it's really important for our guys to figure out how to come in here and just pitch. Come out and fight for innings."

Fact is, the Cardinals don't know yet which role they'll most need Norris in, so they're planning to prepare him for all three. Norris, who closed for the Angels last season after spending most of his career as a starter, will stretch his arm out early this spring as a starter would. If needed, he could provide depth to a rotation with health and experience questions, particularly on the back end. There is a good chance he helps in the bullpen at some point as well, perhaps in the late innings.

• Plenty of questions as Cards pitchers begin camp | Relievers set to jockey for roles

"He gives us some flexibility," Cardinals president of baseball operations John Mozeliak said. "I don't want to say there are question marks in the rotation. But he gives us the ability if we need someone to eat some innings. You also look at the first half of last year and the impact he had in their bullpen. That's certainly something we're trying to capture."

To make room for Norris on the 40-man roster, the Cardinals designated Minor League righty Rowan Wick for assignment. Wick, a former outfielder, reached Triple-A Memphis last season, but struggled there. He hit 30 home runs over his first two professional seasons as before converting to pitching in 2015. The British Columbia native's fastball approaches triple digits, but he has struggled to develop secondary pitches. He could remain with the organization if he clears waivers.

Norris will wear uniform No. 26. The deal will reportedly pay Norris a $3 million base salary.

With a new team and armed with a new cutter, Norris transitioned to relief pitching full-time last year after eight big league seasons as a starter. The 32-year-old right-hander spent his first five seasons with the Astros before drifting into bullpen roles with the Orioles, Padres and Braves. He emerged as an early-season surprise for the Angels in 2017, but lingering knee injuries ultimately led to an uneven season. Norris saved 13 games with a 2.23 ERA in the first half; in the second his ERA was 7.01. Overall, Norris went 2-6 with a 4.21 ERA and 19 saves last season. He also made three starts.

"We'll see where the things unfold," Matheny said. "He had a real nice start to the season last year in a different role."

Joe Trezza is a reporter for MLB.com.

St. Louis Cardinals, Bud Norris