The Kansas City Royals and reliever Aaron Crow will avoid the arbitration panel thanks to a one-year, $1.475 million deal, as the New York Post's Joel Sherman reports. The deal includes a $50,000 bonus if Crow is named an All-Star.
Crow, the Royals first round pick in the 2009 draft, made the All-Star team as a 24-year-old rookie in 2011. In three seasons out of the Kansas City bullpen, he's posted a 3.19 ERA over 178⅔ innings. Earlier in the offseason, Crow was rumored to be "very available" on the trade market, and the team could still attempt to move him in an effort to make room in what appears to be a crowded bullpen. The Royals have several relievers that have also started in their careers, and they recently added Bruce Chen back into the mix, so a spring training trade is certainly a possibility.
Reds sign Roger Bernadina to minor league deal
The Cincinnati Reds have agreed to sign outfielder Roger Bernadina to a minor league deal, according to MLB.com. The deal also includes an invite to spring training. Bernadina, 29, originally signed with the Montreal Expos as an amateur free agent in 2001. After six years in the minors, Bernadina made his debut for the Washington Nationals in 2008. He's been a strong defender in right field during his career, but advanced fielding metrics suggest that he has been below average in center. As a hitter, he's struggled to post strong enough numbers to be considered an everyday option, but in 2012, he rode a .359 batting average on balls in play to a .341 weighted on-base average in limited paying time.
He should provide the Reds with organizational depth and serve as a passable replacement if one of their regular outfielders ends up on the disabled list.
Marlins bring in Reed Johnson on a minor league deal
The Miami Marlins have signed former Braves and Cubs outfielder Reed Johnson to a minor league deal with an invite to spring training, as MLB.com's Joe Frisaro reports. The 37-year-old served as a utility outfielder for the Braves last season, batting .244/.311/.341 in 136 plate appearances. Considering the youth on the Marlins roster, Johnson could very well end up garnering significant playing time with the club in 2014. MLB Depth Charts currently has 23-year-old Marcel Ozuna listed as the team's starting center fielder, and 22-year-old Jake Marisnick is expected to see time there as well.
Orioles add shortstop Alex Gonzalez
The Baltimore Orioles have invited shortstop Alex Gonzalez to spring training as well, signing him to a one-year, minor league deal. Gonzalez, who will turn 37 next month, has appeared in just 65 games over the last two seasons for the Brewers with a .211/.256/.325 batting line in 207 plate appearances.