MLB rumors: Brewers sign former All-Star; Mets add Jonathan Villar

In about one week spring training camps will open across Arizona and Florida. Cactus League and Grapefruit League play is tentatively scheduled to begin in less than three weeks. Hooray for that. Here is our look at Justin Turner’s market and here are the latest hot stove rumblings as the offseason winds down.

Mets add Villar to roster in utility role

The New York Mets and free-agent infielder Jonathan Villar agreed to a one-year, $3.5 million deal, according to MLB Network’s Jon Heyman. Villar, 29, is coming off a down year, but it could be chalked up to the difficulties of a season cut short due to the coronavirus pandemic. In 2019 with the Baltimore Orioles, Villar looked solid, hitting .274/.339/.453. Villar, a switch hitter, will likely fill in as a super utility player for the Mets in 2021. He can play second, third, shortstop and the outfield as well as help on the basepaths thanks to his speed. Here’s more on the signing.

Brewers sign Zimmermann to minor-league contract


Jordan Zimmermann

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The Milwaukee Brewers have signed veteran starter Jordan Zimmermann to a minor-league deal for the 2021 season, the team announced Tuesday. Zimmermann, 34, will receive an invitation to spring training. During the abbreviated 2020 season, Zimmermann was limited to just three appearances (5 2/3 IP) for the Detroit Tigers due to a forearm injury, none lasting longer than three innings.

Zimmerman spent the first seven seasons of his MLB career with the Washington Nationals and the last five seasons with the Tigers. His best years on the mound came with Washington where he posted a 3.32 ERA, but after signing a five-year, $110 million deal with the Tigers in 2015, he struggled to a 5.63 ERA. A two-time All-Star, Zimmerman has recorded a career 4.06 ERA (101 ERA+) in 275 starts.

The Wisconsin native had been a starter throughout his 12-year MLB career, but had begun a transition to the bullpen last season. 

After months of free agency, St. Louis Cardinals catcher Yadier Molina will be returning to his longtime club. The Cards and Molina are reportedly finalizing a one-year deal, ending several months of ongoing rumors regarding the negotiations between the two sides. Molina, 38, is entering his 18th season with the Cardinals, who drafted him out of high school in the fourth round in 2000. He debuted at the big-league level in 2004 at age 21. You can read more on the signing here.

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