The Arizona Diamondbacks are bringing the bullpen cart back for the 2018 season, making them the first MLB team to use a vehicle to shuttle in relief pitchers since the Milwaukee Brewers in 1995.
The team released a picture of the new-age cart on their Twitter account Tuesday morning. The golf cart is topped with a Diamondbacks cap that has an OnTrac sponsorship logo on the side.
“We think the time is right to bring it back,” Arizona president and CEO Derrick Hall said via ESPN.com. “… An ancillary benefit might be that it could speed up the game. I expect a lot of teams to follow suit.”
Diamondbacks bullpen coach Mike Fetters said the team will not make relievers use the cart, saying, “Whatever makes them comfortable. We’re not going to force it.”
–Tim Lincecum has won two Cy Youngs as a starting pitcher in the majors, but he’ll be competing for a bullpen job with the Texas Rangers.
Lincecum was at Rangers camp in Surprise, Ariz., for his physical Tuesday, which he said he passed. The right-hander agreed to a one-year contract with the Rangers last month after impressing at a showcase in front of scouts for multiple teams. The Rangers have yet to announce the deal, but general manager Jon Daniels confirmed it.
Daniels told reporters the four-time All-Star was signed to compete for a spot in the bullpen, whether it be middle relief, setup or potentially serving as the team’s closer. Lincecum, 33, has started 270 of his 278 games in the major leagues.
–On his first day of eligibility to sign with a major league team, Cuban outfield prospect Julio Pablo Martinez has agreed to a deal with the Rangers, according to a report from Baseball America.
Martinez’s contract is worth the remainder of the Rangers’ international bonus pool, which was at $2.8 million, according to the report. MLB.com reports the two sides are still nearing an agreement, and an official announcement is expected soon.
Martinez, 21, is expected to become one of the club’s top prospects based on his intriguing combination of power and speed. In the Cuban Serie Nacional last year, Martinez posted a .333/.469/.498 slash line with six home runs, 52 walks, 30 strikeouts and 24 stolen bases in 61 games.
–The Kansas City Royals announced the signing of free-agent outfielder Jon Jay to a one-year contract.
Terms of the deal were not disclosed, but Jay will earn $3 million this season with the chance to make an additional $1.5 million in incentives, according to multiple reports.
Jay, who turns 33 next week, played last season with the Chicago Cubs, hitting .296/.374/.375 with two home runs and 34 RBIs in 141 games. He played all three outfield positions for the club, though he’s primarily served as a center fielder during his eight-year career spent with the Cubs (2017), San Diego Padres (2016) and St. Louis Cardinals (2010-15).
–The Oakland Athletics released first baseman/outfielder Brandon Moss, two days after designating him for assignment.
The 34-year-old Moss was acquired from the Kansas City Royals on Jan. 29 for his second stint with the Athletics. But the club has determined that it would be hard for Moss to make the 25-man roster based on how they stack up at first baseman, the outfield and designated hitter.
Moss slugged 76 homers from 2012-14 with the Athletics and was an American League All-Star in 2014. He batted just .207 with 22 homers and 50 RBIs last season for Kansas City. He was due to be paid $8.25 million this season, with the Royals agreeing to pick up $3.25 million. By releasing Moss, the Athletics will eat the remaining $5 million.
–Field Level Media