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Pirates sign Todd Fraizer

The Associated Press

PITTSBURGH — Infielder Todd Frazier agreed to a minor league deal with the Pittsburgh Pirates that includes an invitation to big league spring training.

If Frazier is added to the 40-man roster, he would get a one-year contract paying a $1.5 million salary while in the major leagues, as part of the agreement announced Friday.

Pittsburgh is in need of depth at both corner infield spots after trading first baseman Josh Bell to Washington in the offseason. Colin Moran will move from third base to first full-time, with Ke’Bryan Hayes projected to start at third.

The 35-year-old Frazier is a career .242 hitter with 218 home runs and 636 RBIs while playing for five teams, including Cincinnati, the New York Mets and the New York Yankees. Frazier split time with Texas and the Mets in 2020, hitting .236 with four home runs and 12 RBIs.

Frazier is expected to join the Pirates in time to be on the field for the first day of workouts for position players on Monday.

He loves LA

Justin Turner’s extended flirtation with free agency ended where it began — with the Los Angeles Dodgers.

Along the way, the third baseman had doubts about whether he would return to his hometown team and wondered if his mask-less appearance on the field to celebrate the Dodgers’ World Series championship would hurt him.

Turner got yanked from the clinching Game 6 against the Tampa Bay Rays in the eighth inning last October after testing positive for the coronavirus. He wasn’t initially on the field as his teammates celebrated the franchise’s first World Series title since 1988.

Instead, Turner was confined to a small room at Globe Life Field in Texas, pained as he watched the hugs and high-fives go on without him. Major League Baseball said he violated COVID-19 protocols by returning to the field, pulling down his mask and posing for photos. After an investigation by MLB, Turner was not disciplined and he issued an apology.

“It was extremely difficult. I experienced just about every range of emotion that you can possibly have,” he said Friday on a virtual call from spring training in Arizona. “For me, sitting back in that room and watching the guys dogpile, personally, it felt like it was the third time I had to sit and watch a team celebrate winning a World Series. That was tough.”

Turner became a free agent at the end of last season when his $64 million, four-year contract expired. He hit .307 with four homers and 23 RBIs in the pandemic-shortened season and .293 (17 for 58) with three homers and six RBIs in the postseason, including .320 with a pair of solo homers in the World Series.

Turner, who turned 36 in November, has been with the Dodgers since 2014. He was one of a handful of free agents still unsigned until just before the start of spring training when the front office put his name on the dotted line for a new deal earlier this week.

Wait and see

The Seattle Mariners finalized a $7 million, two-year contract with reliever Ken Giles on Friday that includes a club option for the 2023 season.

Seattle signed Giles knowing he won’t pitch for the Mariners this season while recovering from Tommy John surgery. Manager Scott Servais stressed that no matter how far along Giles gets in his recovery, he won’t pitch in the majors in 2021.

“There is no chance of that happening,” Servais said. “We will not let that happen.”

When healthy, Giles has been one of the top relievers in the American League. He had 34 saves and a 2.70 ERA in 63 appearances in 2017 for Houston. He had another 23 saves and a 1.87 ERA in 53 games for Toronto in 2019. Giles had 83 strikeouts and just 17 walks in 53 innings pitched for the Blue Jays.

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