- Prior to tearing his ACL, Wilson Ramos was aiming at a $100MM contract in free agency. It’s an eye-popping number, as Joe Mauer ($184MM from the Twins) and Buster Posey ($167MM) are the only catchers to crack the nine-figure threshold. Both of those deals were extensions rather than free agent contracts, and both Mauer and Posey had more consistent track records than Ramos. It’s quite common for a player and his representatives to aim high with an initial asking price, of course, especially when that player is the top free agent at his position. Injury notwithstanding, Ramos is still expected to receive significant interest, to the point that he is still looking for four or five years on the open market.
- The Mets will indeed tender a contract to first baseman Lucas Duda. MLBTR projects Duda to earn $6.7MM in arbitration this winter, following a rough year that saw Duda spend much of the season on the DL due to a stress fracture in his lower back. He hit just .229/.302/.412 with seven homers over 172 PA in 2016, though given the first baseman’s strong production in previous seasons, the Mets are surely counting on a bounce-back next year when Duda is healthy.
- “Nothing’s close” on a reunion between the Mets and Bartolo Colon, though the team has interest in bringing the veteran back and “no one would be surprised” if the two sides work out another contract.
- “It would be an upset” if the Diamondbacks hire anyone other than Red Sox bench coach Torey Lovullo as their new manager, Heyman writes. Lovullo has been widely connected to the Arizona job from virtually the moment former Boston GM Mike Hazen took over as the D’Backs’ new general manager. Hazen does plan to interview between 5-7 candidates as part of a managerial search, and as of last Tuesday, the D’Backs hadn’t yet asked the Sox for permission to speak with Lovullo.
- One executive suggests Dexter Fowler should accept the Cubs’ qualifying offer, though Heyman believes the center fielder can top the one-year, $17.2MM offer in free agency. I agree with Heyman; while the QO limited Fowler’s market last winter, his outstanding season for the NL champions should easily net him a nice multi-year deal this offseason.
- Assuming Fowler leaves, Heyman notes that the Cubs face an “interesting” outfield situation with Kyle Schwarber, Ben Zobrist and Jason Heyward all best suited to playing the corners. It should be noted that Chicago faced a similar scenario last winter prior to Fowler’s unexpected return, as the Cubs had Schwarber and Jorge Soler lined up for the corner outfield spots and Heyward was going to play center. Heyward has posted excellent defensive metrics over his brief (404 innings) time as a center fielder during his career, though since Heyward is arguably the best defensive right fielder in the game, any lessening of his value could be a problem given how badly Heyward fell off at the plate this year. The versatile Zobrist is now locked into outfield duty with Javier Baez’s emergence at second while Soler and Albert Almora are also in the outfield mix, so the Cubs are fully stocked with outfield options.
- The Blue Jays have parted ways with scout Ed Lynch. Best known as the Cubs’ GM from 1994 to 2000, Lynch had been working as a scout for the Jays since 2010.
Durability is the main reason the Mets should re-sign impending free agent Bartolo Colon, opines Joel Sherman of the New York Post. The right-hander will be 44 next season, but he still led the Mets in starts (33) and innings pitched (191 2/3) this year. Colon hasn’t thrown fewer than 190 1/3 frames in a season since 2012, and he’s one of just 14 pitchers to make 30-plus starts in each of the past four campaigns, notes Sherman. It also helps that Colon remains highly effective, having logged a 3.43 ERA to go with 6.01 K/9 against 1.5 BB/9 this year. If they let Colon go, the Mets will have plenty of other rotation options on hand in Noah Syndergaard, Jacob deGrom, Matt Harvey, Steven Matz, Zack Wheeler, Seth Lugo and Robert Gsellman, though injuries or inexperience are concerns with certain members of the group. Whether it’s with the Mets or someone else, Colon should be in line for a raise over the $7.25MM he made this year.
Here’s more from around the majors:
- An important reinforcement could be on the way for the Indians, who will have a chance to sweep the Red Sox on Sunday to advance to the ALCS. Injured right-hander Danny Salazar threw a 35-pitch bullpen session in Arizona on Friday and is hoping to come back from a month-long absence if the Indians advance, writes Jordan Bastian of MLB.com. Salazar started in all 25 of his regular-season appearances before succumbing to a forearm strain in early September, but he’ll work out of the bullpen in the event of a return. As of now, Salazar is only throwing fastballs and changeups because his curveball was his main source of discomfort, per Bastian.
- With Walt Weiss gone and the Rockies in search of a new manager, the team parted with multiple members of his coaching staff Saturday, according to Bob Nightengale of USA Today (Twitter link). Colorado let go of bench coach Tom Runnells, hitting coach Blake Doyle, first base coach Eric Young, and catching coach/defensive coordinator Rene Lachemann. Pitching coach Steve Foster, bullpen coach Darren Holmes and third base coach Stu Cole are still with the team, but it’s unknown if they’ll keep their jobs.
- Nationals outfielder Chris Heisey didn’t enjoy his one-year stint with the Dodgers, he told Bill Shaikin of the Los Angeles Times. Heisey joined the club prior to the 2015 season and then spent the year shuffling between Triple-A Oklahoma City and LA. The Dodgers optioned Heisey five times, recalled him five times, and also released and re-signed him. “On the personal side, they may not realize the toll it may take on a player’s confidence when he’s going up and down, taken off the roster, put back on the roster, in my case released and signed back,” said Heisey. “It was a crazy year. I made some good friends there, so it wasn’t all bad. But it was tough.” Heisey collected 72 plate appearances as a Dodger and another 262 in OKC. The 31-year-old then signed a minor league with the Nationals during the offseason, but all 155 of his PAs since have come with Washington. “I think this year has been a lot better in that regard — being comfortable, being with the same guys all year, competing at the highest level and not having to go back and forth and say goodbye to my family so many different times. That was one of the harder parts,” added Heisey, whose Nats dropped the first game of the NLDS to the Dodgers on Friday.
Ageless righty Bartolo Colon helped pitched the Mets to a Wild Card berth with a five-inning, six-strikeout performance today, and he’s been a big asset to an injury-riddled Mets rotation thanks in large part to the movement on his two-seam fastball, as James Wagner of the New York Times writes in a fascinating look at the 43-year-old enigma’s repertoire. Colon learned his current grip on the pitch from Hall of Famer Greg Maddux, then perfected it over time so that he can aim for a left-handed batter’s ribs, only to have the ball break back toward the plate. “He’s got such hand, finger and wrist strength that he’s able to manipulate the ball,” says Mets catcher Travis d’Arnaud. “It’s an art that not that many people have.” Here’s more from the East divisions.
- Veteran outfielder Michael Bourn is open to returning to the Orioles in 2017, although he says he says his mind is currently on the team’s playoff chase, Rich Dubroff of CSNmidatlantic.com writes. “I’ll keep that in the cards, no doubt. I like the organization, good team to be a part of,” Bourn says. Nonetheless, he adds, “We’re in the pennant race right now. By now, that’s my main focus.” Orioles manager Buck Showalter said yesterday (again via Dubroff) that he’d like to keep Bourn and that Bourn was “more than a fourth outfielder.” Next year, Bourn will no longer be receiving checks from the four-year, $48MM contract he signed with the Indians prior to the 2013 season. That deal has mostly been a disaster, but Bourn has been effective down the stretch in Baltimore, batting .275/.333/.450 in 47 plate appearances heading into today, when he’s had a single and two walks.
- Yankees slugger Aaron Judge made 95 plate appearances in his first taste of big-league action and batted .179/.263/.345 before hitting the DL with an oblique strain. Now, he’s looking forward to 2017, as MLB.com’s Bryan Hoch writes. “It’s the same thing as last year; I got a little taste of Triple-A and got used to it, and same thing here,” says Judge. “I got a couple games up here and saw what it’s like. It’ll help me prepare coming in here, not in the unknown.” Judge says he expects to have to compete for a starting role in the big leagues next year. Manager Joe Girardi sensibly points out that Judge needs to work on hitting for contact — Judge struck out 42 times in his short stay in the Majors this year. As Judge implies, though, he struggled in his first stint in Triple-A last year, only to bat .270/.366/.489 with 20 homers there this year. Perhaps he can improve the second time around against big-league pitching as well.
Bartolo Colon may be 43 years of age (44 next May), but the right-hander has no intention of calling it a career after the season and tells ESPN New York’s Adam Rubin that his ideal scenario would be to re-sign with the Mets as a free agent. “If they gave me the opportunity, I would be delighted to come back,” Colon said though his interpreter.
At one point, the notion of Colon returning to the Mets might’ve seemed like a stretch, as New York had built up a vaunted stockpile of enticing young arms. Entering the season, as Rubin reminds, Colon was only supposed to work out of the rotation until Zack Wheeler had recovered from 2015 Tommy John surgery. However, Wheeler won’t pitch in the Majors this season, Matt Harvey has undergone surgery to alleviate thoracic outlet syndrome, Steven Matz is dealing with a bone spur in his left elbow and now a shoulder impingement, and Noah Syndergaard is also dealing with a more minor spur in his right elbow. Jacob deGrom, meanwhile, is set to miss multiple starts due to forearm soreness.
Right-hander Seth Lugo has stepped up and been a godsend for the Mets recently, pitching to a 2.38 ERA in 41 1/3 innings (four starts, nine relief appearances), and if he can finish out the season with anywhere near that level of success, he’ll enter the 2017 campaign as an excellent safety net. However, given the plethora of injuries facing the Mets’ ballyhooed young starters, adding another insurance policy in the form of the veteran Colon, who is beloved among fans and teammates alike, certainly carries some merit.
The timeless Colon hasn’t pitched like a man whose years are beginning to catch up to him in 2016. His age-43 campaign, in fact, has been his best season yet with the Mets. In 158 2/3 innings, Colon is sporting a 3.35 ERA with 6.0 K/9, 1.6 BB/9 and a 43.8 percent ground-ball rate. His four-seamer’s velocity is down from 90.3 mph to 89.7 mph, but there’s little difference in the velocity of the two-seam fastball upon which he relies so heavily (87.2 mph in 2015; 87.0 mph in 2016). While some detractors might point out that Colon is averaging just 5.8 innings per start after averaging 6.2 and 6.5 per start, respectively, in 2015 and 2014, his 2016 number is weighed down by a June 21 outing in which he exited after one batter after being hit on the hand by a line drive. Subtracting that appearance from the equation, Colon is averaging a hair over six innings per outing — once again demonstrating an ability to work reasonably deep into games on a regular basis.
The 2017 season would represent the 20th season in Colon’s storied Major League career and, as Rubin notes, bring him within arm’s reach of Juan Marichal’s 243 wins — a record among Dominican-born hurlers — as well as Dennis Martinez’s 245 wins — the all-time record for a Latin American pitcher. “…if I caught up to either of those, it would be very meaningful,” said Colon.
The Dodgers intend to pursue reunions with at least four prominent free agents, according to Jon Heyman of Fan Rag. Excellent third baseman Justin Turner, relief ace Kenley Jansen, late-breaking lefty Rich Hill, and veteran second baseman Chase Utley would all hold interest to Los Angeles, per the report, though age considerations and the presence of internal alternatives could limit the club’s willingness to top the market for those players. The 28-year-old Jansen may be the highest priority among this group, Heyman suggests. While the Dodgers haven’t exactly broken the bank on relief arms under president of baseball operations Andrew Friedman, it seems Jansen could warrant an exception given his unbelievable performance level. All said, Heyman suggests it would be surprising if L.A. doesn’t bring back at least two of those four players.
Here are some more of Heyman’s latest notes, from his weekly column:
- The Braves and Yankees have tabled any talks pertaining to catcher Brian McCann until the offseason, which may not bode well for New York’s chances to trade him to Atlanta. Heyman writes that the Braves have interest in Matt Wieters, Jason Castro and top free agent catcher Wilson Ramos, whom they’d love to snatch away from the division-rival Nationals. Atlanta is willing to pay half of the remaining $34MM McCann is owed from 2017-18. They’re also looking to add a rotation piece for 2017 and beyond, if not two, as a number of their top-ranked minor league arms are still a ways off from the Majors (which, of course, could make them appealing trade chips in an offseason where the free agent market is devoid of talented starters).
- Mike Napoli, who is enjoying a rebound season at the plate with the Indians, has said he’d like to remain in Cleveland, though the two sides aren’t engaged in talks. Napoli’s defense and baserunning have torpedoed his WAR totals, but he’s batted a well-above-average .259/.345/.494 with 29 home runs in his first season with Cleveland. His bat should draw plenty of interest this winter despite the fact that he’ll turn 35 on Halloween.
- Marlins outfielder Ichiro Suzuki hopes to play again in 2017 and would like to stay in Miami, per the report. With his club option valued at only $2MM, that may be a fairly easy pick-up for the organization. Playing in his age-42 season in 2016, Ichiro has compiled a useful .294/.365/.366 batting line over 296 plate appearances, continues to rate as an average or better fielder and overall baserunner, and has even cracked double-digit stolen bases for the 16th-straight season.
- Another aging veteran who intends to continue his career, says Heyman, is Mets righty Bartolo Colon. It’s not yet clear how his market will develop — we don’t know what level of interest New York will have, or whether the 43-year-old will be looking for multiple years — but there certainly ought to be ample interest given that Colon has provided 158 2/3 innings of 3.35 ERA pitching thus far in 2016. Even if the peripherals don’t quite line up with those bottom-line results, he’ll be among the more durable and effective pitchers available on a forthcoming seller’s market for starters.
- There’s no sense that the Reds are interested in making a change at manager, Heyman says. Skipper Bryan Price’s contract does expire after the year, but with some positive signs in the second half — excluding a current four-game skid, at least — it seems he could be retained.
The Mets aren’t likely to make a big splash at the trade deadline, as Mike Puma of the New York Post notes that the team simply doesn’t have the prospect depth to acquire a big bat as they did last season with Yoenis Cespedes. A bullpen addition is still in the team’s plans, however, and as Puma reports in a separate tweet, the Mets could add one reliever prior to August 1 and then another in the August waiver period. Just yesterday, Puma reported that Jeremy Jeffress, Joe Smith and Chris Withrow were a few of the relief names on the Mets’ radar.
It could be a quiet deadline in another sense for the Mets should the team suddenly hit a slump, as Newsday’s Marc Carig reports that the Mets wouldn’t become deadline sellers in the event that they were to fall back in the standings over the next week. In fact, the Mets would likely still look to buy even if they did have a losing streak, as the team is looking ahead to a weak September schedule as an opportunity to make a late run at a wild card, if not the NL East if the Nationals slow down.
At least a couple of notable teams (the Royals and White Sox) are considering becoming deadline sellers after a dip in form, and the Yankees have long been seen as candidates to unload veterans as August 1 approaches. Any of these teams could become big players in the trade market if they made some of their established stars available, and the Mets could follow suit by shopping Cespedes or Neil Walker. In regards to those two, however, Carig reports that the team prefers to receive draft pick compensation in the form of the qualifying offer if either or both leave in free agency this winter. The Mets also don’t have interest in dealing Bartolo Colon, which isn’t surprising given the injury questions within their rotation.
The Nationals’ Trea Turner, whom Baseball America ranks as the sport’s fifth-best prospect, rejoined the club Friday when first baseman Ryan Zimmerman landed on the disabled list with a strained left rib. The middle infielder hasn’t slotted into the Nats’ lineup, though, which is no surprise in light of manager Dusty Baker’s comments on Friday. “Right now, there’s no real place for Trea to take,” Baker said, per Chelsea Janes of the Washington Post. “This isn’t a tryout camp. This is try to play the best team overall to win the game and win the pennant. Hopefully Trea will be a part of that while he’s here.” Turner has garnered some center field experience at the Triple-A level, though Baker is wary of putting him out there in the majors at this point. “I’m sure in time, he’ll show us all, but right now, he’ll probably remain in the infield unless I have to make a move out there in the outfield,” stated Baker. Between second baseman Daniel Murphy and shortstop Danny Espinosa, the Nats have an outstanding middle infield, so it doesn’t appear Turner will make much of an impact if those two remain healthy. The 23-year-old has batted an excellent .302/.370/.471 with 36 extra-base hits and 25 stolen bases in the minors this season.
More from three other NL cities:
- The Diamondbacks and closer Brad Ziegler might only be amid a separation, not a divorce, after they traded him to Boston on Saturday. While breaking the news of the trade to Ziegler, the D-backs informed the soon-to-be 37-year-old that they’d be interested in bringing him back during free agency, reports FOX Sports’ Ken Rosenthal (on Twitter). General manager Dave Stewart expressed a desire last month to extend Ziegler’s contract, so it’s not surprising that Arizona might want to sign him in a few months. In the meantime, “With no real certainty of whether we’re going to be able to bring him back on a multi-year deal, we just decided we’d be able to get some pretty good prospects for him,” Stewart said regarding the trade (via Sarah McLellan of the Arizona Republic). Ziegler joined the Diamondbacks in 2011 and ultimately recorded an impressive ERA (2.49), sky-high ground-ball rate (69.3 percent), and 62 saves across 335 2/3 innings with the franchise.
- Newly-minted All-Star Bartolo Colon says he wants to pitch one more year, as MLB.com’s Anthony DiComo tweets. Whether that will be with the Mets remains to be seen, but the timeless wonder has been a godsend for New York thus far in 2016. Colon, who will turn 44 next May, has put up a 3.28 ERA and 1.55 BB/9 in 98 2/3 innings. The pending free agent is currently earning $7.25MM.
- The Pirates’ recent revival will likely erase the chances of right-handed closer Mark Melancon switching teams prior to the Aug. 1 trade deadline, according to Travis Sawchik of the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review. The free agent-to-be seemed like a prime trade candidate earlier this summer, but the Bucs have gone 11-3 since sitting a season-worst 34-39 on June 23 and have climbed to within 2.5 games of a Wild Card spot. Melancon is amid yet another stellar season, with a sparkling 1.26 ERA, 8.07 K/9 and 2.02 BB/9 in 35 2/3 innings. The 31-year-old has also converted 27 of 28 save opportunities.
Veteran righty Bartolo Colon left his start tonight after just four pitches when he was struck on his pitching thumb by a comebacker. Fortunately, x-rays were negative, suggesting that the team may have dodged a bullet. A lengthy absence from Colon would represent a blow to a club that is already dealing with some significant injury questions.
Here’s more from Queens:
- The hope has long been that Zack Wheeler would re-enter the picture this summer, adding another quality arm to a stacked rotation. His status could take on renewed importance if Colon is down, but we heard earlier today that he may now be on hold. Wheeler has been “backed down” from his pitching program after experiencing elbow discomfort, as Mike Puma of the New York Post was among those to report on Twitter. GM Sandy Alderson says that it’s not yet clear how concerning the issue is, with Wheeler set to be examined further tomorrow (via Adam Rubin of ESPNNewYork.com, on Twitter).
- Third base remains arguably the biggest area of concern for New York, and Alderson said today that the club intends to host a private workout with Cuban star Yulieski Gurriel, as David Lennon of Newsday was among those to tweet. Widely regarded as the best Cuban player of his generation, the infielder was recently declared a free agent at an opportune time for clubs in need of a third or perhaps a second baseman. MLBTR’s Mark Polishuk examined the potential market for Gurriel earlier today, listing the Mets among many teams that could conceivably match up with the 32-year-old.
- First baseman Lucas Duda has yet to advance to baseball activities, Rubin tweets. He has been limited thus far to bike exercise as he tries to recover from a lower back stress fracture. James Loney has filled in adequately thus far, with a .279/.329/.412 batting line in 74 plate appearances.
- As the Mets weigh a move for infielder Jose Reyes — who is said to prefer a return himself (via Mike Puma of the New York Post, on Twitter) — Rubin reports that Alderson has hinted that Reyes’s ugly domestic violence incident will weigh into the equation. “We always evaluate talent and character,” said Alderson (who was understandably addressing the issue obliquely). “There’s a balance. With respect to issues of character, those are things we take a look at. Those are things we don’t ignore and are always taken into account when we make a player-acquisition decision.”
Zack Wheeler returning from 2015 Tommy John surgery and replacing Bartolo Colon in the Mets’ rotation, as originally planned, is now far from a sure thing, writes David Adler of MLB.com. Thanks to Colon’s success, “there’ll be a pretty hefty discussion of what’s going to be best for” the Mets’ rotation when Wheeler is set to come back, said manager Terry Collins. The 43-year-old Colon hasn’t shown any signs of his advanced age, having thrown 80 2/3 innings of 3.01 ERA ball and supported that with a 1.45 BB/9. Wheeler could rejoin the team sometime next month, meanwhile, and a six-man rotation is a possibility when he does. “We’ve been [saying] since Spring Training that when Zack gets here, is it the time when we want to add a guy to the rotation anyway, to give guys some time off? Because the days off are going to be a little bit fewer in the second half. Right now I can’t answer where we’d go,” Collins stated.
Here’s more from around the majors:
- The Astros demoted early season slugger Tyler White to Triple-A Fresno on Saturday, tweets Jake Kaplan of the Houston Chronicle. White maintained an OPS above 1.000 for the majority of April, but his production began falling off as the month advanced and continued to plummet in May and June, leading the Astros to send him down. All told, the 25-year-old hit a clearly below-average .211/.296/.386 with seven home runs in 189 plate appearances prior to the demotion. As Roster Resource shows, the Astros are now down to Marwin Gonzalez as their primary first base option. The organization also has highly touted prospect A.J. Reed in Fresno, though he hasn’t produced to expectations in 2016. Former top prospect Jon Singleton hasn’t been great at the Triple-A level this year, either.
- The Nationals are keeping a watchful eye on the amount of innings and pitches 23-year-old right-hander Joe Ross’ racks up, Chelsea Janes of the Washington Post details. Ross has 77 2/3 innings under his belt this year, which is the second fewest among Nats starters. He’s also the only member of their rotation who’s averaging fewer than 100 pitches per start, coming in at 94. Ross amassed 153 2/3 innings between the majors and minors in 2015, and while pitchers often push 200 frames the season after totaling in the 150 range, Janes notes that the Nationals try to avoid that type of one-year jump when dealing with their youngsters. There’s no actual innings limit in place, however, relays Janes (Twitter link). ““His innings are building up, as you can notice, he has the least amount of innings of our starters. We want to take him all the way through September, and hopefully into October,” manager Dusty Baker said of Ross, who has posted a 3.13 ERA, 7.63 K/9 and 2.78 BB/9 this season.
- The Athletics are being careful with injured left-hander Rich Hill as he works his way back from a right groin strain, tweets Connor Letourneau of the San Francisco Chronicle. The 36-year-old threw a 10-pitch bullpen session Thursday, and there’s no word yet on when the improbable ace/trade chip will return. Hill hit the disabled list on June 9, retroactive to May 30, with the ailment.
- White Sox center fielder Austin Jackson underwent surgery to debride and remove a portion of the medial meniscus in his left knee Friday, according to Colleen Kane of the Chicago Tribune (Twitter link). Jackson – who went on the DL with a meniscus tear on June 10 – will be on crutches for two more weeks and will undergo a reexamination in four weeks, per Kane. Jackson batted a weak .254/.318/.343 through 204 PAs before the injury. In his stead, the free-falling White Sox have opted for J.B. Shuck in center lately.
Several notable big leaguers have officially hung up the cleats this offseason, or given an indication (sort of) about when they might be retiring. Here’s the latest from some more veterans about when they may or may not consider calling it a career…
- R.A. Dickey is entering the last year of his contract with the Blue Jays and the 41-year-old tells VICE Sports’ John Lott that he’ll sit down with his family after the season to decide on his future. Right now, “we’re all kind of undecided. We just like to stay in the moment,” Dickey said. If he does return, it would be for a situation that suits his family and likely a one-year contract. “I think I will be an attractive option for a lot of teams because I will not be requiring a multi-year deal, and I will probably be asking less than what my market value will be….And for me, it’s not necessarily about the money at this point. It’s about the right fit, and how close to home I’d be, and are there direct flights, and what is the clubhouse policy for kids, all that stuff,” Dickey said. Despite his age, the knuckleballer is as steady an innings-eater as any in baseball, averaging 219 frames per season since 2011. Given the lack of starting pitching available in next winter’s free agent market, Dickey is probably correct in assuming he would get a lot of interest.
- Speaking of ageless right-handers, Bartolo Colon tells Kristie Ackert of the New York Daily News that plans to pitch as long as he’s healthy. “I take it year by year. We’ll see what happens for me,” Colon said. The 42-year-old fan favorite is preparing for his 19th season in the bigs, returning to the Mets rotation until Zack Wheeler makes his midseason return from Tommy John rehab.
- Left-hander Cesar Jimenez hasn’t arrived at the Brewers’ Spring Training camp, and while the team hasn’t heard anything official yet, Jimenez might be retiring, Tom Haudricourt of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel tweets. Jimenez appeared in 16 games with the Crew last season after he was selected off waivers from Philadelphia in August, and he signed a minor league deal to return to Milwaukee in January. Jimenez, 31, has a 4.05 ERA over 104 1/3 career innings and parts of six big league seasons with the Brewers, Phillies and Mariners.