Hot Stove Roundup 1/31

Plenty of important news came out of the Hot Stove on Friday, most notably in Chicago. According to FOX Sports, the Cubs have signed free-agent pitcher Jason Hammel to a one-year, $6 million contract.

Hammel, 31, had a break out year in 2012. The right-hander went 8-6 with a 3.43 ERA in 118 innings over 20 starts for the Orioles. However, he took a step back in 2013, finishing with a 7-8 record and 4.97 ERA in 26 appearances. He was on the disabled list during the season with tenderness in his right forearm.

Yet, it wasn’t just Hammel. Plenty of others news occurred throughout the league. Here’s a look at some of the top stories:

* The Tigers avoided arbitration with catcher Alex Avila, signing him to a one-year, $4.15 million contract that includes an option for 2015. The deal finished the Tigers’ arbitration dealings.

* The Angels avoided arbitration with their final two eligible players, agreeing on a $5.05 million contract with third baseman David Freese and a $1,462,500 contract with reliever Kevin Jepsen.

* The Royals signed relief pitcher Aaron Crow to a one-year, $1.475 million contract to avoid arbitration. He asked for $1.7 million, while the Royals offered $1.28 million, the same salary he earned in 2013.

* Not only did the Cubs reportedly sign Jason Hammel, the team signed pitcher James McDonald to a Minor League contract that includes an invitation to Spring Training.

* The Marlins added Reed Johnson into their mix of outfielders, signing the veteran to a Minor League deal with an invitation to Spring Training. Johnson played in 74 games for the Braves last season.

* The Angels signed Yorvit Torrealba to a Minor League contract with an Invitation to Spring Training. The catcher would provide Minor League depth along with Luis Martinez and John Hester.

* Veteran shortstop Alex Gonzalez, who will enter his 16th season, signed a Minor League deal with the Orioles that includes an invitation to Spring Training. He spent the last two seasons with the Brewers, but appeared in only 65 games.

* Roger Bernadina became the Reds latest Minor League signing, inviting the outfielder to Spring Training as a non-roster player. If he makes it out of Reds camp, Bernadina will earn a $1 million salary in 2014.

* Switch-hitting veteran Wilson Betemit agreed to a Minor League deal with the Rays, according to CBSSports.com. The club has yet to confirm the deal.

* After spending the 2013 season in Japan, first baseman Matt Clark and the Mets agreed to a Minor League contract with an invitation to Spring Training.

Quinn Roberts

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