Steve Cishek signs with the White Sox
A week or so ago, there was a report that reliever Steve Cishek, who is from Falmouth on the Cape, wanted to sign with the Red Sox, but it was unclear if they’d be willing to pay what it took to sign him. We profiled him here late last week. Well, it turns out he wasn’t going to wait around for ever if the Red Sox were interested. On Tuesday he signed a one-year deal worth $6 million with the White Sox. If you can’t sign with one Sox, sign with the other, right? I already spoke at length about Cishek the pitcher in the linked post above, so I won’t go back into that. With the signing, Chicago continues an aggressive winter and adds him to a bullpen with Alex Colomé, Aaron Bummer, Kelvin Herrera and Evan Marshall.
Sox Spin: The connection here is pretty clear, and if they do in fact want to sign a reliever the market, which was weak to begin with, is drying up quickly.
Jimmy Nelson signs with the Dodgers
Taijuan Walker has gotten a decent amount of attention as a former top prospect trying to come back from some rough injury history, but Jimmy Nelson is a similar profile and has been a bit overlooked. That is at least true publicly. As it turns out, he’s signing before Walker, agreeing to a one-year deal with the Dodgers worth about $1 million with incentives on top of that along with an option for a second year. L.A. is probably the best team to do this kind of deal and lead a reclamation project like Nelson, as they have pretty famously been loaded with starting pitching depth in the past. That’s not as true this year without Hyun-Jin Ryu and Rich Hill, but they also have minor-league arms coming up. If Nelson can be his 2017 self, this is a steal. If he can’t stay on the mound, they likely have the depth to make it through.
Sox Spin: I wasn’t sure Nelson was going to get a major-league deal. I thought he would have been perfect as a minor-league deal with a relatively large price if he makes the roster, but I’m not sure they have the depth to have had him come into the year with the fifth spot in the rotation (assuming David Price is traded) guaranteed. Speaking of which, I don’t think this affects the Dodgers’ interest in Price at all as Nelson can’t really be counted on at this point.
Robinson Chirinos heads back to Texas
Like the White Sox, the Rangers have been pretty active this winter, most notably with their rotation. They had a hole behind the plate to fill too, though, and it turns out they are reuniting with their former backstop. After a one-year pit stop in Houston, Robinson Chirinos is heading back to Arlington to play with the Rangers. It’s a one-year deal with a $6.75 million guarantee and a second-year team option. Chirinos gives Texas a little more power towards the bottom of his lineup. There are some questions about his defense, but he has been an above-average bat every year since 2015, which is very rare for a catcher.
Sox Spin: Chirinos would have been an interesting guy to pair with Christian Vázquez, but it probably was never realistic. Chirinos wouldn’t have settled for that role and the Red Sox wouldn’t have paid this contract.