Former major league outfielder Andruw Jones has opted to re-sign with the Rakuten Golden Eagles, according to SB Nation's Chris Cotillo. Jones reportedly had a pair of MLB offers on the table, but preferred to remain in Japan.
Jones, 36, hit .243/.391/.454 with 26 home runs in 2013 for Rakuten, which finished the season as Japan Series champions. He last appeared in MLB in 2012 with the New York Yankees, hitting .197/.294/.408 in part-time duty.
Jones was joined by former big-leaguers Kaz Matsui, Brandon Duckworth, Casey McGehee, Ken Ray, Darrell Rasner and Takashi Saito on Rakuten's championship squad. Highly touted free-agent pitcher Masahiro Tanaka served as the team's ace.
After beginning his MLB career as a 19-year-old with the Atlanta Braves in 1996, Jones went on to hit .254/.337/.486 with 434 home runs in 17 big-league seasons. Jones accumulated 62.7 rWAR in his career, and was 243 runs above average in the outfield, good for No. 1 all-time.
Abreu attempting comeback; Indians interested?
Seventeen-year veteran Bobby Abreu wants to return to MLB and might have at least one interested party. The Cleveland Indians have been keeping an eye on Abreu during winter ball and have had discussions with his agent, according to multiple reports, though Paul Hoynes of the Cleveland Plain Dealer doesn't believe the team's level of interest is very high.
Abreu has hit .322/.416/.461 in 50 Venezulean League contests. He last appeared in the big leagues in 2012, when he hit .242/.350/.342 in 257 plate appearances for the Angels and Dodgers.
Rays claim Figueroa, DFA Sands
The Tampa Bay Rays claimed reliever Pedro Figueroa off of waivers from the Oakland Athletics, the Rays announced Tuesday. To make room for Figueroa on their 40-man roster, the Rays designated outfielder Jerry Sands for assignment.
Figueroa, 28, has allowed 12 earned runs in 24⅔ innings spanning two MLB seasons. He has struck out 17 batters and walked 18. The left-hander owns a 4.09 ERA in eight minor-league seasons.
Sands was acquired by the Rays via waiver claim from the Pittsburgh Pirates in December. His only big-league action came in 2011 and 2012 with the Los Angeles Dodgers, with whom he hit .244/.325/.376 in 251 plate appearances.
Royals sign Hernandez
The Kansas City Royals signed veteran catcher Ramon Hernandez to a minor-league deal on Tuesday, according to a team press release. The agreement includes an invite to big-league camp, per MLB.com's Adam McCalvy.
Hernandez, 37, has been limited to 251 plate appearances over the past two seasons, managing a .216/.257/.371 line with eight home runs over that span. The native of Venezuela has hit .263/.327/.417 with 169 home runs in 15 MLB seasons.
Padres sign Nady
The San Diego Padres and veteran outfielder Xavier Nady agreed on a minor-league deal that includes an invite to spring training, according to MLB.com's Corey Brock (via Jeff Sanders of the San Diego Union-Tribune). Nady will make his second stint with the Padres after spending the last eight seasons playing for nine different organizations.
Nady hit .296/.360/.456 in 496 plate appearances for the Royals' and Rockies' Triple-A affiliates in 2013. He last spent time at the big-league level in 2012, when he finished with a .184/.253/.316 line for the Washington Nationals and San Francisco Giants.
The Padres selected Nady in the second round of the 2000 MLB First-Year Player Draft and promoted him to the big leagues a few months later, despite the fact that he hadn't yet appeared in a minor league game. Nady singled in his only plate appearance that season.