MLB roundup: Yuniesky Betancourt signs with Japanese club

USA TODAY Sports

A Yuni-less MLB is a sad MLB.

Veteran infielder Yuniesky Betancourt will sign with the Orix Buffaloes of Japan's Nippon Professional Baseball league, according to Fox Sports' Ken Rosenthal.

Betancourt, who turns 32 later this month, hit .212/.240/.355 with the Brewers in 2013. In nine big-league seasons with the Mariners, Royals and Brewers, Yuni has posted a .261/.285/.388 line with 80 home runs in more than 4,000 plate appearances. He's been below replacement level during that time, compiling -2.5 rWAR mostly as a result of being 34 runs below average on defense.

Yuni's new club, Orix, went 66-73 in the Japan Pacific League a year ago with the help of six former MLB players, including former Yankees hurler Kei Igawa.

Angels add OF Boesch, INF Pena on minor-league deals

The Angels signed outfielder Brennan Boesch and first baseman Carlos Pena to minor-league contracts and extended a spring training invitation to both players, per Mike DiGiovanna of the Los Angeles Times.

For more on the Angels, head over to Halos Heaven

Boesch, 28, slugged .529 in 53 plate appearances for the Yankees in 2013 before his season ended with a demotion to Triple-A and subsequent shoulder injury in June. New York released him on July 19. Boesch is a career .260/.315/.418 hitter and possesses a fairly significant reverse-platoon splits as a left-handed batter. Defense is not his strong suit; Boesch comes in at 20 runs below average in parts of four seasons in the outfield.

Pena, 35, has posted an OPS+ of fewer than 100 in consecutive seasons for the first time in his career. He hit .207/.321/.346 with eight home runs in 328 plate appearances for the Astros and Royals in 2013. Pena led the American League in home runs with 39 in 2009 and has 285 dingers in his career.

INF Baker close to signing

Free-agent infielder Jeff Baker is close to a deal, according to the Washington Post's Adam Kilgore, who adds that the Nationals are still in the mix.

More from Federal Baseball: Nats still interested in Baker?

Baker is a career .267/.321/.440 hitter who does a significant amount of damage against left-handed pitching. The native of Germany victimized southpaws to the tune of a .314/.407/.667 line with 10 home runs in 123 plate appearances with the Rangers last season.

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