Things are beginning to pick up for the new MLB season.  While the head office and players still work out the details, there is movement underway.  Several teams are making swaps and deals as they prepare for what everyone hopes will be a normal, non-COVID-19 season.

Brewers Hope Zimmerman Rebounds

34-year-old Jordan Zimmermann, a former two-time All-Star pitcher with the Washington Nationals, has just signed a minor league contract, which includes an invitation to major league camp, with the Milwaukee Brewers. A former 2nd-round Draft pick in 2007, Zimmermann managed to pitch in just three games last year for the Detroit Tigers due to a forearm injury which he described as a “forearm flexor thing.”

Zimmerman now says that he is as healthy as he’s been in a few years. “If I didn’t feel good or I didn’t feel healthy, I was probably thinking about retiring,” he asserts.

McGee Puts On A New Uniform

Out in LA, journeyman left-handed relief pitcher Jake McGee will be leaving the Dodgers to join the archrival San Francisco Giants.  McGee gets a 2-year, $7 million deal, a source confirmed to ESPN’s Jeff Passan.  McGee put in 24 appearances with the Dodgers last season and went 3-1 with an ERA of 2.66.  He should be getting ample opportunities to close games up in San Francisco with the Giants.

McGee had 19 saves during 2014 when he played for the Tampa Bay Rays and another 15 with the Colorado Rockies in 2016.  He is an 11-year veteran with an overall record of 28-23 and a combined ERA of 3.59.  He has accumulated 45 saves and has 546 MLB appearances in his career.

Veteran Adam Duvall Heads To Miami

The Miami Marlins have acquired the services on Tuesday this week of 32-year-old outfielder Adam Duvall.  On a Marlins team loaded with young talent, Duvall will be a guiding veteran figure in the locker room and provide a solid bat in the lineup. The 16 homeruns that he hit for the Atlanta Braves last year would have led the entire Miami Marlins team.  He had an OPS of .833 in 57 games last year and has hit 105 home runs since 2016.  He’s not getting a lot of support, though, as his contract is for just one year.

Remember that “sinkerballing” guy?  Steve Cishek has just agreed to a minor league contract deal with the Houston Astros, and has even been invited to big league spring training.  The right-handed, side-arm-throwing, sinkerballing reliever has an impressive 2.78 ERA with 132 saves in 594 appearances and has been playing in MLB for 11 seasons now.  Cishek, now 34 years old, spent last season with the Chicago White Sox where he ran up a rather alarming 5.40 ERA in just 22 games.  He spent the 2018-2019 seasons with the Chicago Cubs where he made 150 appearances and racked up 11 saves with a 2.55 ERA.   Cishek had a career high 34 & 39 saves back when he played with the Marlins in 2013.

Phillies Hope Kintzler Still Has It

The Philadelphia Phillies President Of Baseball Operations David Dombrowski announced today that free agent reliever Brandon Kintzler has signed a minor league deal with the Phillies.  Kintzler gets a base $3 million, if he makes the team.  Incentives could push the deal up to $4 million if Kintzler pitches well.  He pitched for the Marlins last year appearing in 24 games with 12 saves and an ERA of 2.22.  He was an MLB All-Star in 2017.

Dombrowski added that free-agent outfielder Matt Joyce was also signing a minor league deal with the Phillies.

Rangers Get Folty

The Texas Rangers have signed on some good pitching with the addition free-agent former All-Star right-hander Mike Foltynewicz.  They picked him up on a one-year, $2-million contract.

The Chicago White Sox have hired former Rangers and Cincinnati Reds manager Jerry Narron on Wednesday to be a major league instructor on brand-new manager Tony La Russa’s staff when he and the White Sox take to the field for 2021.