Pitchers and catchers report in just a few days, so spring training is nearly here. All the big-name free agents have signed and the trade rumor mill is quiet. That just means the only movement left before the spring would be housekeeping-type things and signing the few remaining big-league free agents.
On that front, let's hit Saturday's news and rumors.
D-Backs beef up bullpen
The Arizona Diamondbacks and lefty reliever Andrew Chafin have agreed to a one-year deal that is in the $6.5 million range, reports Ken Rosenthal. It's a reunion, as Chafin spent the first 6 1/2 seasons of his MLB career with Arizona before he was traded to the Cubs at the 2020 deadline. Last season with the Tigers, Chafin had a 2.83 ERA (134 ERA+), 1.17 WHIP and 67 strikeouts in 57 1/3 innings.
The Diamondbacks had one of the worst bullpens in baseball last season and Chafin is their biggest upgrade from outside the organization. Along with All-Star lefty Joe Mantiply and right-hander Kevin Ginkel, Chafin will likely be one of the late-inning arms, maybe even the closer.
Dodgers add big arm
The 28-year-old Reyes was once considered one of the best prospects in baseball and the plan was for him to be a fixture in the Cardinals rotation for years. Injuries derailed that plan quickly and he ended up in the bullpen. The 2021 season was his only full one at the MLB level, during which he pitched to a 3.24 ERA (122 ERA+) and 1.36 WHIP with 95 strikeouts in 72 1/3 innings. Walks were an issue, but he still closed 29 of his 34 save chances.
Reyes missed all of 2022 due to shoulder issues that resulted in season-ending surgery.
Marlins, A's make one-for-one deal
The 6-foot-7 Puk was the sixth overall pick in the 2016 draft out of the University of Florida. In 62 relief appearances last season, he pitched to a 3.12 ERA, 1.15 WHIP and struck out 76 in 66 1/3 innings.
Bleday was the fourth overall pick out of Vanderbilt in 2019. In 65 games as a rookie last season, he hit .167/.277/.309 (67 OPS+) with 10 doubles, two triples, five homers, 16 RBI, 21 runs and four steals.
Mariners take a shot with Fulmer
The Seattle Mariners and right-handed reliever Carson Fulmer are in agreement on a minor-league deal, according to the MiLB transaction logs. He was a first-round pick (eighth overall) out of Vanderbilt in 2015 and has a high enough ceiling that he was once a consensus top-100 prospect. Things didn't really work out with the White Sox in four seasons and he's thrown for the Tigers, Orioles and Reds since. Fulmer spent all of 2022 with Triple-A Oklahoma City (Dodgers system), where he put up a 2.86 ERA, 1.25 WHIP and 62 strikeouts in 56 2/3 innings.
Rays add Crick
The Tampa Bay Rays are finalizing a minor-league deal with right-handed reliever Kyle Crick, per the Tampa Bay Times. Crick, 30, has experience in parts of six seasons with the Giants, Pirates and White Sox. In 14 appearances last season, he pitched to a 4.02 ERA (101 ERA+) and 1.34 WHIP with 19 strikeouts in 15 2/3 innings.