M’s Sign Four To Minor League Deals
The M’s have announced the signings of four players to minor league contracts with invites to spring training. Those four are Ryan Langerhans, Denny Bautista, Chris Gimenez, and Royce Ring. They are actually more interesting than you might think.
Langerhans, you know. He probably won’t make the team out of spring training unless Saunders fails to make the club for one reason or another. Most likely, he’ll hang out in Tacoma and come up when Milton Bradley lands on the DL. He gives the team a legitimate reserve outfielder who can play all three spots.
Gimenez is basically Rob Johnson 2.0. Eric Wedge reportedly loved him in Cleveland, and if Moore flops in spring training, he could end up as the backup catcher. Otherwise, he’ll head to Tacoma and serve as organizational depth. He strikes out a lot and doesn’t have much power, but he will take a walk or two.
The two pitchers actually have an outside chance of making this club. Bautista is a hard-thrower with no command, kind of an older version of Dan Cortes. His fastball averages 95 MPH and he gets a lot of strikeouts, but his walk rate was a horrendous 7.22 BB/9 last year. If you enjoyed Jesus Colome, you’ll love Bautista, who is basically the same idea – big arm, no command, could be good if he ever figures it out, but at 30, don’t count on it. A good spring training could land him on the team, however.
Ring is a classic LOOGY, and has been one of the best lefty specialists in Triple-A for several years. He’s completely worthless against RHBs, however, so his only role on a team is as a one or two batter situational reliever. Given that the M’s don’t really have a guy who is good at left-on-left match-ups, Ring could be an attractive bullpen option in March. His lack of versatility will work against him, however.
As far as minor league signings go, these are pretty decent ones. All four guys could end up playing for the M’s and contributing in their own way. They aren’t big additions, but they’re decent depth at no real cost.