With no options left, Mortensen hopes for spot with Sox


With no options left, Mortensen hopes for spot with Sox

FORT MYERS, Fla. -- Clayton Mortensen spent last year riding the shuttle between Triple A Pawtucket and Boston. The righthander pitched well when summoned to the major league club, but was often the victim of a numbers game when the team needed to create a roster spot.

Mortensen had options remaining last year, meaning the Sox could move him between Boston and Pawtucket without exposing him to waivers. He appeared in 26 games and posted a 3.21 ERA with a WHIP of 1.21.

But this season, Mortensen is out of options and with plenty of other established relievers -- Joel Hanrahan, Koji Uehara, Junichi Tazawa, Andrew Miller, Franklin Morales, Andrew Bailey, Craig Breslow and Alfredo Aceves -- out of options and virtually guaranteed spots, that means Mortensen could be lost at the end of spring.

If the Sox can't find a means of getting him on the 25-man roster, they may have to deal him elsewhere and get something in return rather than risk losing him on waivers.

"Without a question, it puts me in a good situation," said Mortensen. "But it could work against me, too. I've had my share of up and downs, so I'll come in here and try to win a spot on the team. I feel like I have a little better shot without options of making the team than if I did have options.

"I feel confident coming in here. As long as I go out and do what I have to do, I feel like I have a shot of making this team."

Mortensen admits that he's done the roster math in his head and tried to analyze the best he can.

"You're always looking at it," he said, "and evaluating where you're at and try to place yourself in there. But it all comes down to, you never have a clue what these guys are going to do. After a while, you just try to do what you do."

The last thing Mortensen wants to do is "play GM because you're never right. I don't even bother with it. I don't even bother with it. If I'm in their plans, awesome; if I'm not, then something's going to happen."

Report: Aroldis Chapman, Yankees reach deal for $86M, 5 years


Report: Aroldis Chapman, Yankees reach deal for $86M, 5 years

OXON HILL, Md. - Aroldis Chapman found a spot in a most familiar bullpen - a very rich spot, too.

The hard-throwing closer reached agreement to return to the New York Yankees on Wednesday night with the highest-priced contract ever for a relief pitcher, an $86 million deal for five years.

A person familiar with the negotiations told The Associated Press that the contract was pending a physical. The person spoke on condition of anonymity because the deal was not yet complete.

Once it's done, the 28-year-old lefty whose fastballs routinely top 100 mph would shatter the previous richest contract for a reliever - that was the $62 million, four-year deal Mark Melancon signed with San Francisco just a couple days ago during the winter meetings.

Chapman was acquired by New York from the Cincinnati Reds last offseason, then missed the first 29 games of the season due to a domestic violence suspension from Major League Baseball. The Cuban was traded to the Chicago Cubs in late July and helped them win the World Series, becoming a free agent when it was over.

Chapman went 4-1 with 36 saves and a 1.55 ERA in a combined 59 games for the Yankees and Cubs. He struggled some in the postseason as the Cubs beat Cleveland for their first championship since 1908.

With the Yankees this season, Chapman teamed with Andrew Miller and Dellin Betances in one of the most dominant bullpens in baseball history. Miller was later traded to Cleveland, but Betances is still with New York.

Earlier this week, Yankees general manager Brian Cashman said the team was interested in both Chapman and fellow free agent closer Kenley Jansen. The Yankees had already made one deal at these meetings, signing slugger Matt Holliday, before paying a lot more to bring Chapman back to the Bronx.

Fox Sports first reported the agreement.

CSN CHICAGO: Yoan Moncada 'thrilled' to reunite with Jose Abreu on White Sox

CSN CHICAGO: Yoan Moncada 'thrilled' to reunite with Jose Abreu on White Sox

Yoan Moncada and Jose Abreu are back together.

The two Cuban natives were teammates in 2012 when they played for Cienfuegos in Cuba, and now they'll be in the same dugout once again — this time in Chicago.

"To get the opportunity to play with him right now in the United States, it's an honor for me," Moncada said through a translator on a conference call Wednesday. "I'm thrilled with that."

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