MLB Rumors: Dellin Betances Lands With Dodgers; White Sox add Johnny Cueto; Yankees bring back Greg Bird

With just days to go until opening day of the 2022 MLB season, teams are still sorting out their roster situations and, yes, adding free agent talent. Here’s a bit of the latter to set the scene for Tuesday.

Following Lance Lynn’s knee surgery which will sideline him until at least mid-May, defending champions AL Central have added veteran right-hander Johnny Cueto, Mike Rodriguez of Univision Reporting. It’s a minor league deal, and according to Jon Heyman, Cueto will earn $4.2 million on a prorated basis if he makes the major league roster. He can withdraw from the contract on May 15.

Cueto, 36, is coming off a 2021 season with the Giants in which he pitched a 4.08 ERA and 3.27 K/BB in 114 2/3 innings. Cueto seems like a reasonable end-of-the-hour stopgap for a team that needs rotational depth, but the reality is he hasn’t been both healthy and highly effective since 2016.

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The Dodgers signed right-handed reliever Dellin Betances to a minor league contract, Reporting by Ken Rosenthal of The Athletic. Joel Sherman of New York Post adds that Betances will receive $2.5 million if he is on the Dodgers’ active roster with the potential to earn an additional $500,000.

Betances is coming off surgery to fix a shoulder problem that limited him to just one appearance for the Mets in 2021. The 34-year-old is posting impressive career numbers, which are largely a function of his run dominant with the 2014-18 Yankees. In recent years, however, health has eluded Betances.

Greg Bird returns to the Yankees

The Yankees welcomed first baseman Greg Bird to a minor league contract on Tuesday, WFAN’s Sweeny Murti reports. Bird was recently released by the division rival Blue Jays after failing to crack the opening day roster.

Bird, 29, hasn’t appeared in the majors since 2019, when he was still with the Yankees. Over four MLB seasons, Bird, a left-handed hitter, has a .211/.301/.424 slant line with 32 home runs in 186 games. Bird has spent the last two seasons as a minor for the Rangers, Phillies, Rockies and Blue Jays. Bird will report to Triple-A for the Yankees and earn a prorated $1 million for 2022 if he makes the majors at any time.

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