National League

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Signed LHP Wesley Wright to a minor-league deal. [1/11]

You might wonder why someone with Wright's recent numbers (he hasn't posted an ERA+ south of 100 in five years and has a .244 multi-year True Average against lefties) is on his fifth organization since 2013. Alas, there's no mystery or scandal here; rather, the answer is straightforward: Wright is a non-elite left-handed specialist in an era where those are considered fungible. It's fitting then that Wright winds up in Arizona, because he probably would've spent a few years in a Tony La Russa bullpen had he been born a decade earlier. Maybe he still does. For now though Wright, who'll turn 31 in a few weeks, will need to edge Matt Reynolds for a roster spot.

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Signed 1B/3B-R Chris Johnson to a one-year deal. [1/12]

The Marlins have honed in on a new way to save money: signing veterans who were released by other teams with a season (or more) remaining on their contracts. That way, you see, the other team is footing the bill, allowing the Marlins to pay these players no more than the league minimum. Miami did it with Edwin Jackson last week, and now again with Johnson. Whether the Marlins (or anyone else) should want these players at any cost is another issue entirely. Here though, the appeal is obvious.

There's a lot Johnson doesn't do well. He's a below-average fielder; his approach is poor; he's too prone to swinging and missing given his power production; and so on. But if he possesses a bankable skill, it's his ability to hit left-handed pitching. Over the last three seasons, Johnson has posted a .304 True Average versus southpaws—same as Ryan Raburn, the free-agent market's best short-side platoon partner. Johnson, then, ought to fit as Justin Bour's right-handed sock.

Considering the cost (and that the Marlins handed Jeff Baker a multi-year deal the last time they wanted someone with this skill set), it's hard to view this as a negative—even if it doesn't work out.

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Signed RHP Daniel Bard to a minor-league deal. [1/11]

The ultimate heat check. Bard hasn't pitched in the majors since 2013. He hasn't pitched well in the majors in more than four years. The last time he visited the minors, back in 2014, he allowed 13 runs in two-thirds of an inning . . . without allowing a hit (he plunked seven batters and walked another nine). Destroying matter seems like an easier task than getting Bard back on track. But shoot, why not sign him? Bard's eagerness to push on against the odds is admirable from any angle, and hopefully infectious to the players around him. Besides, maybe these camp stays are helping him find peace. That's the real upshot here—that, and finding out if Ray Searage is a witch.

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Signed RHP Seung-Hwan Oh to a one-year deal worth $5 million with a club option worth $6 million. [1/11]

John Mozeliak hasn't had a flashy winter, but this is a deal that makes sense. The Cardinals needed more bullpen depth to go with Trevor Rosenthal: both Seth Maness and Kevin Siegrist were worked hard last season; Steve Cishek is elsewhere; Jonathan Broxton and Jordan Walden are back but unreliable for varying reasons; and so on. Oh isn't guaranteed to bring his overseas results stateside—he's a short right-hander with a drop-and-drive delivery, which always elicits concerns about downward plane—but he has an above-average fastball-slider combination that should lend itself to seventh-inning work. Considering the market value for veteran relievers—remember, former Cardinal Jason Motte received a guaranteed two-year deal worth $10 million—it's hard to see much downside here.

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