Ex-Pirate pitchers sign deals
CINCINNATI — Reliever Jared Hughes and the Cincinnati Reds have agreed to a $4.5 million, two-year contract that includes a club option for 2020.
Hughes gets $2,125,000 in each of the next two seasons under the deal announced Tuesday, and the Reds have a $3 million option with a $250,000 buyout.
He can earn an additional $750,000 annually in performance bonuses for games: $100,000 each for 25, 30, 35, 40, 45 and 50, and $75,000 apiece for 55 and 60.
A 32-year-old right-hander, Hughes went 5-3 with a 3.02 ERA for Milwaukee last season with one save in 67 appearances. He became a free agent when the Brewers failed to offer a 2018 contract by the Dec. 1 deadline.
Cincinnati hopes Hughes will provide help getting leads to closer Raisel Iglesias, who had 28 saves in 30 chances last season.
Hughes pitched his first six seasons in the majors with Pittsburgh. He has allowed 27 homers in 369 innings and has the 12th-best ratio of ground ball outs among major league relievers since 2011 — attributes that should help him in homer-friendly Great American Ball Park.
Cincinnati’s bullpen had a 4.65 ERA — second-worst in the NL to the New York Mets — last season. The rotation ranked last with a 5.55 ERA and 73 losses.
Duke inks 1-year deal
MINNEAPOLIS — Left-hander Zach Duke and the Minnesota Twins have finalized a one-year contract.
The 34-year-old was 1-1 with a 3.93 ERA in 27 relief appearances this year for St. Louis, returning to the major leagues on July 21 after Tommy John surgery in October 2016. He struck out 12 and walked six in 181/3 innings over 27 games, and three of the 13 hits he allowed were home runs.
He is 61-85 with a 4.54 ERA in 169 starts and 299 relief appearances over 13 major league seasons with Pittsburgh (2005-10), Arizona (2011), Washington (2012-13), Cincinnati (2013), Milwaukee (2014), the Chicago White Sox (2015-16) and the Cardinals (2016-17).
Sabathia, Yanks finalize
NEW YORK — CC Sabathia’s $10 million, one-year contract has been finalized by the Yankees, a deal that raises New York’s projected luxury tax payroll for next year to about $178 million.
The deal was announced Tuesday, about 10 days after the sides reached an agreement pending a physical. The 37-year-old left-hander is taking a pay cut from the $25 million he earned this year, when he went 14-5 with a 3.69 ERA in 27 starts for his best season since 2012. He was 9-0 with a 1.71 ERA in 10 starts following a Yankees loss.
Sabathia needs periodic injections in his surgically repaired right knee. The six-time All-Star is part of a rotation that includes Luis Severino, Masahiro Tanaka, Sonny Gray and Jordan Montgomery.
Sabathia is 237-146 with a 3.70 ERA and 2,846 strikeouts in 17 big league seasons with Cleveland (2001-08), Milwaukee (2008) and the Yankees, who first signed him to a $161 million, seven-year deal before the 2009 season. When Sabathia had the right to opt out after the 2011 season, the Yankees agreed to a deal that paid him $25 million in 2016 and included a $25 million option for 2017 that became guaranteed because he did not finish 2016 with a left shoulder injury.
Yankees owner Hal Steinbrenner repeatedly has said New York intends to get under next year’s tax threshold of $197 million, which would reset the team’s base tax rate from 50 percent to 20 percent in 2019, the first season after Bryce Harper and Manny Machado are free agents. New York has paid tax annually in each year since the penalties began in 2003.