How was your week

Posted: February 13, 2021 by Sports Time Radio in sports

We’re not very far away from pitchers and catchers reporting for spring training and before you know it every player will be in spring training and will be close to the baseball regular season starting. With these dates quickly approaching teams are in the process of rounding out their rosters and just in these last few days we’ve seen some veterans who have been on the free agent market sign deals to join teams.

In a lot of these cases it’s teams hoping that at the trade deadline they might be able to move the players they signed for a low level prospect, but that’s not always the way it goes. While most of these payers signed with teams that don’t look like playoff contenders there was one signing that might play a big role in this teams

The San Diego Padres added reliever Mark Melancon to their bullpen mix. Before this signing it appeared as though the Padres would go into the season with a combination of Drew Pomeranz and Emilio Pagan closing games for them. Now that may still be the case in San Diego, but by signing Melancon the Padres have given them another option at the end of games and that’s not a bad thing for a contender to have.

Now Melancon is 36 years old and may not be the same closer that saved 51 games like he did for the Pittsburgh Pirates in 2015, but he did save 11 games for the Atlanta Braves last season while posting an ERA of 2.78 in 23 games. Now Melancon himself hasn’t been a full time closer in about four or five years, but if Pomeranz and Pagan can pitch in and close games here and there he won’t have to be in San Diego.

Another closer signed a deal this week as well. Ken Giles signed a two year deal to join the Seattle Mariners. Now Giles won’t be pitching during the 2021 season as he is recovering from Tommy John surgery, but if he returns healthy in 2022 he’ll slide right into the closers role for the Mariners.

Giles started closing games for the Philadelphia Phillies in 2015 and after being dealt to the Houston Astros he found his groove as a closer before hitting a rough patch. As Giles struggled the Astros traded him to the Toronto Blue Jays and it took the remainder of the 2018 season for Giles to straighten out his issues, but in 2019 he was a lights out closer for the Blue Jays. Giles saved 23 games for Toronto and posted an ERA of 1.87 in 53 games in 2019. Unfortunately he pitched in just four games for the Blue Jays last season before his arm trouble came up and it was decided that he needed to under go surgery.

A couple of other veteran pitchers signed yesterday, but in this case they where starters. Rich Hill will join the Cincinnati Reds on a one year deal worth $2.5 million dollars while Jake Arrieta will be returning to the Chicago Cubs on a one year deal where he’ll make $6 million dollars.

While the cubs needed some help in their starting rotation I’m not sure if Arrieta is it. He’s no longer the pitcher that went 22-6 with a 1.77 ERA like he did for the Cubs in 2015. Arrieta left the Cubs after the 2017 season to sign with the Phillies as a free agent, but it didn’t go as well for him in Philadelphia. In his three seasons with the Phillies Arrieta went 22-23 with an ERA of 4.36 in 64 starts. Arrieta also missed the end of the 2020 season with an injury, but he should be 100% when he reports to spring training.

Hill turns 41 years old in March and Cincinnati with be the tenth major league team he’s pitch for. Last season Hill pitched for the Minnesota Twins where he went 2-2 in 9 starts while posting an ERA of 3.03. Hill isn’t the kind of starting pitcher who’s going to give a team 30 starts or take a team deep into games in his starts, but he can keep his team in games and help them gets wins which is what the objective in baseball. Hill has had injury issues throughout his career; so the Reds will have to watch him careful to make sure he can help them during the 2021 season.

Now the only non-pitcher signing in the last few days saw Marwin Gonzalez. He signed a one year 43 million dollar deal with the Boston Red Sox. There are also incentives in Gonzalez’s contract that can earn him another $1 million dollars. Gonzalez has spent his career as a utility player as he’s played all of the infield and outfield positions in his nine seasons in Major League Baseball. It appears as the Red Sox have the same plan for Gonzalez and he’ll provide them with quite a bit of flexibility on their bench. Gonzalez is the second career utility player the Red Sox have signed this off season. Just a few weeks ago the Red Sox added former Los Angeles Dodgers Kiki Hernandez to their roster, but it looks as though Hernandez is going to be given the opportunity to be the teams everyday second baseman.

Now none of these signings would be what you’d called a blockbuster signing, but there are quality veteran players that can help teams. The only question now is will they be helping the team that signed them or could that team use them in a deal to try and get a prospect or two down the road. Of course we won’t know that until we see how these veteran players perform for their new teams.

What do you think about these signings? And how many of them do you think finish the season with the team that just signed them?

Have you been listening to the Sports Time Radio podcast? It’s available for you to listen to live on, but if you miss the podcast live just head on over to and you can listen any time you want to.

I’m also on Twitter if you want to look me up; I’m @Burketime

  1. I’ve never been a fan of Rich Hill but he proves me wrong year after year, especially when he pitches against the Cubs. He looks like he should be easy to hit and occasionally, he does get hammered around a bit.
    It will be quite a battle between the Cubs and the Reds for third place!
    Melancon is exactly a youngster so we he still able to deliver the goods for the 2nd place Padres?


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