Brett Tomko, who impressed with his pitching in a recent stint in the Dominican Republic, is working out in California and plans to audition for clubs in late January, a source tells MLBTR's Zach Links. The veteran is healthy and hitting 90-92 mph on the gun with his fastball to go along with a solid changeup and cutter. Tomko is seeking a minor-league deal with an invite to big-league spring training. If he doesn't make the 25-man roster out of the gate, he's willing to go to Triple-A as an insurance policy to either start or pitch out of the bullpen. Here are more notes from around the big leagues.
- If you've ever wondered how salaries work for non-Japanese players in Japanese baseball, NPB Tracker's Patrick Newman has a handy chart. Former top MLB players like Andruw Jones and new Rakuten Golden Eagle Kevin Youkilis have salaries that top $3MM. Former MLB regulars who weren't stars, like Casey McGehee and Nyjer Morgan, tend to make in the $1MM-$3MM range, while good Triple-A players and fringe big-leaguers like John Bowker and Fred Lewis make between $400K and $1MM.
- The Rockies deserve a B- grade for their offseason so far, opines Troy E. Renck of the Denver Post (on Sulia). Renck notes that the Rockies haven't acquired a catcher like Carlos Ruiz (who ended up re-signing with the Phillies). He also suggests the Rockies ought to also try to add another starting pitcher. Juan Nicasio, Jordan Lyles and Christian Friedrich are currently their main fifth-starter possibilities behind Jorge De La Rosa, Jhoulys Chacin, Brett Anderson and Tyler Chatwood.
- The Twins have "checked in" on free-agent infielder Justin Turner, although their level of interest is unclear, 1500ESPN.com's Darren Wolfson tweets. Wolfson notes that Turner is connected to Twins special assistant Wayne Krivsky, who drafted Turner in 2006, when Krivsky was the GM of the Reds.
Zach Links contributed to this post.