Pirates, Cabrera agree to minor league deal
PITTSBURGH (AP) — The Pittsburgh Pirates announced their minor league contract with outfielder Melky Cabrera, who will report to major league spring training.
If added to the 40-man roster, the 34-year-old would get a one-year contract that would pay a $1.15 million salary while in the major leagues. He would have the chance to earn an additional $850,000 in performance bonuses.
Cabrera has a .286 average in 14 seasons with seven big league teams. He made the All-Star team in 2012 while playing for the San Francisco Giants and was named the All-Star Game’s Most Valuable Player. He was suspended 50 games later in the 2012 season following a positive test for testosterone, and he agreed to remove himself from consideration for the NL batting title he otherwise would have won.
Cabrera hit .280 with six home runs and 39 RBIs in 78 games last season for Cleveland. He will get a chance to compete with Lonnie Chisenhall and others for a spot in Pittsburgh’s outfield while right fielder Gregory Polanco recovers from shoulder surgery.
Garth Brooks in spring training with Pirates
Garth Brooks has come out of baseball retirement.
The country music legend will spend just over a week participating in spring training with the Pittsburgh Pirates, reporting Monday with the pitchers and catchers.
The 57-year-old has previously been in the camps of the San Diego Padres (1999), New York Mets (2000) and Kansas City Royals (2004). His workouts start Thursday.
“As a celebrity, they haven’t cut me yet, so we’ll see,” Brooks said with a laugh after taking ground balls at third base and fly balls in the outfield. “You’ve got to use your advantages, you know. Before you could crowd the plate all you want because nobody wanted to hit you. You haven’t got speed. You haven’t got fielding. You haven’t got hitting. So, use the other thing you’ve got.”
Brooks is briefly returning to the sport to mark the 20th anniversary of the Garth Brooks Teammates for Kids Foundation, which has raised more than $100 million for children’s charities. The foundation pairs children with professional athletes.
Brooks was a Pirates fan despite growing up in Oklahoma.
The Pirates did not announce that Brooks would be in camp until Monday morning, making it a surprise for his “teammates.”
“I went out to take some fly balls and the guy didn’t look familiar,” left fielder Corey Dickerson said. “Then it hit me. It’s really cool. My brother and I grew up listening to his music and I’m looking forward to having a chance to talk with him.”
Indians sign OF Joyce, RHP Wilson to deals
CLEVELAND — The Cleveland Indians signed free agent outfielder Matt Joyce and reliever Alex Wilson to minor league contracts.
The deals include invites to spring training camp, where the defending AL Central champions must address two glaring issues — outfield depth and their bullpen. Joyce and Wilson agreed to their deals on Friday, pending medical exams which were completed Saturday.
Joyce spent the past two seasons with the Oakland Athletics. The 34-year-old hit 25 home runs and drove in 68 runs in 2017, but was limited to 83 games last season because of lower back problems. Joyce was an All-Star in 2011 for Tampa Bay.
If he makes the Indians’ 40-man roster, Joyce will make $1.25 million next season while in the majors and he can earn $500,000 in performance bonuses.
The 32-year-old Wilson pitched in 59 games for Detroit last season, posting a 3.36 ERA. He limited right-handed hitter to a .191 average. Wilson has spent the past four seasons with Tigers.
Wilson will also get $1.25 million if he makes the roster and can get another $750,000 in bonuses.
Cleveland is rebuilding its bullpen following the departures of closer Cody Allen and left-hander Andrew Miller.
The Indians have 19 non-roster invitees coming training camp, which opens for pitcher and catchers on Feb. 12 in Goodyear, Arizona.