Tampa Bays' new deal with Grant Balfour looks like it could be the steal of the offseason. After his contract with Baltimore fell apart due to a failed physical, Balfour turned to the Rays' medical staff to help him prove that he was healthy. Perhaps, the framework of his contract is his way of thanking the team.
In the first year of his 2-year, $12 million deal, Balfour will get a $1 million signing bonus and earn just $4 million for the 2014 season, and $7 million in 2015, according to the New York Post's Joel Sherman. The small-market Rays couldn't afford Balfour under normal circumstances. Their general manager, Andrew Friedman, has expressed concern about the team's growing payroll, but it appears as though he couldn't pass on Balfour at such a discounted price.
Rockies sign Paul Janish
The Colorado Rockies have agreed to a minor league deal with free agent shortstop Paul Janish, according to CBS Sports' Jon Heyman. The deal includes an invite to spring training. Janish could serve as a defensive replacement if he makes the roster, and will provide the team will organizational depth. Rockies starting shortstop Troy Tulowitzki has spent significant time on the disabled list in four of his seven full season as a Major Leaguer. However, Colorado could slide use Josh Rutledge at short if Tulo misses time again in 2014. Janish would be a valuable reserve in that case since Rutledge typically struggles defensively.
Reds add Chris Nelson
Cincinnati is "close to wrapping up a deal" with veteran infielder Chris Nelson, according to ESPN's Jerry Crasnick. Nelson, 28, has spent parts of four seasons with the Rockies, Yankees, and Angles. He's struggled to find a regular job after a solid 2012 season in Colorado -- .301/.352/.458 in 111 games. He's likely to serve as organizational depth, but with a good minor league showing he could earn a utility role, playing second, third, and short.
Yankees prospect charged with DUI
Yankees pitching prospect Omar Luis Rodriguez was charged with a DUI in Tampa, Fla., according to the Associated Press. He was apparently driving the wrong way down a one-way street with a blood-alcohol content slightly over the legal limit, and was released on $500 bail. Rodriguez, 21, earned a multi-million signing bonus from the Yankees after defecting from Cuba in 2012.