Monday's MLB roundup: Former Tiger Justin Wilson agrees to deal with Yankees
New York — Left-hander Justin Wilson returned to the New York Yankees after two seasons with the Mets in Queens, agreeing Monday to a one-year contract that includes player and club options for 2022, a person familiar with the agreement told The Associated Press.
The person spoke on condition of anonymity because the deal was subject to a successful physical.
Wilson joins a bullpen headed by closer Aroldis Chapman and Zack Britton, both left-handers. Hard-throwing right-hander Chad Green is joined by side-arming right-hander Darren O’Day, who was signed after the Yankees dealt Adam Ottovino to Boston in a cost-cutting move.
The 33-year-old Wilson was 5-0 with a 3.10 ERA in 74 appearances for the Yankees in 2015, then moved on to Detroit and the Chicago Cubs before spending 2019 and 2020 with the Mets. He was 2-1 with a 3.66 ERA in 19 2/3 innings over 23 appearances last season. He struck out 23 and walked nine
He averaged 95 mph with his fastball, throwing it slightly more often than on half his pitches. He also throws cutters, mixing in an occasional slider and curveball.
Wilson is a nine-year major league veteran who spent his first three seasons with Pittsburgh.
Brewers deal for Fisher
The Milwaukee Brewers have acquired outfielder Derek Fisher from the Toronto Blue Jays for cash and a player to be named.
Fisher, 27, batted .226 with one homer and seven RBIs in 16 games last season. He had a .359 on-base percentage and a .452 slugging percentage.
He has a career batting average of .194 with a .662 OPS, 17 homers and 52 RBIs in 168 games. He began his major league career with the Houston Astros in 2017 and was sent to Toronto at the July 31 trade deadline in 2019.
Fisher is a right-handed thrower and left-handed hitter who has MLB experience at all three outfield positions. He has spent the majority of time in left field.
Fisher can become eligible for arbitration after this season, with 2 years, 61 days of service. He earned a prorated $214,667 of his $579,000 salary last season.
Fans back in Miami
Small crowds at Marlins Park will be back this season.
The attendance-challenged Marlins plan to allow fans at home games, although crowds will initially be limited to about 25% of capacity. That would mean a maximum of about 9,300 spectators in the 37,446-seat ballpark.
“We look forward to having the opportunity to have fans come back to our ballpark,” CEO Derek Jeter said. “There will be a limited number of fans that are allowed at the onset. We hope those numbers increase throughout the course of the season, but the most important thing for us is to make sure everyone is healthy and safe.”
The Marlins, like the rest of MLB, didn’t allow fans during the 2020 regular season because of the coronavirus pandemic. Limited crowds were permitted for the postseason, and that will be the case for spring training games in Florida and Arizona starting late this month.
The Marlins averaged about 10,000 fans in 2018 and 2019, the first two seasons that Jeter’s group owned the team. They finished last in the majors in attendance both years, and ranked last in the National League 14 out of 15 seasons through 2019.
The 2020 season might have brought an increase as the Marlins made surprising run to their first playoff berth in 17 years. But because of COVID-19, the size of the bandwagon was impossible to gauge.
“One thing that was a little bit disappointing last year – going through the pandemic, you hear about the excitement of our fan base, but they weren’t able to come to games,” Jeter said. “I would have loved to have seen what that looked like.
“There is a level of excitement, and we need to continue to build on that, not only on the baseball side but on the business side as well.”
The Marlins anticipate increased revenue this year not only at the box office, but thanks to a pending rights agreement that is expected to more than double income from local game telecasts.
“We will no longer have the worst deal in major league baseball,” majority owner Bruce Sherman said.
Around the horn
Catcher Austin Barnes and the World Series champion Los Angeles Dodgers avoided a salary arbitration hearing when they agreed to a two-year, $4.3 million contract. Barnes hit .244 with one homer and nine RBIs in 86 bats over 29 games during the pandemic-shortened season.
... The Colorado Rockies signed C.J. Cron to a minor league contract with an invite to major league spring training. Cron, 31, hit .190 with four homers and eight RBIs in 13 games with the Tigers last season.
... The Cleveland Indians finalized a minor league contract with outfielder Billy Hamilton., who spent last season with the Chicago Cubs and New York Mets.
... Free agent reliever Blake Parker agreed to a minor league contract with the Indians. He spent the past two seasons with the Philadelphia Phillies.
... Two-time All-Star second baseman Jason Kipnis has agreed to a minor league contract with the Atlanta Braves.