This is one in a series of daily articles highlighting the latest news and notes from the MLB offseason.
After splitting the 2023 season between the Pittsburgh Pirates and Texas Rangers, catcher Austin Hedges is returning to the Cleveland Guardians. According to Jon Heyman of the New York post, the 31-year-old backstop has agreed to a one-year, $4 million deal.
The Pirates signed Hedges to a one-year contract last offseason. He struggled with the bat during his tenure with the Pirates with a .180 batting average and a lowly .467 OPS. However, Hedges was terrific behind the plate and combined for 11 defensive runs saved on the year.
The Pirates traded Hedges to Texas at the trade deadline. Of course, Hedges and the Rangers went on to win the 2023 World Series.
Now, Hedges will be back in Cleveland, where he spent parts of three seasons of his career from 2020-22. While with the Guardians/Indians, Hedges slashed .169/.228/.274 in 199 games. Defensively, he accumulated 20 defensive runs saved.
RELIEVERS OFF THE BOARD
A couple of left-handed relievers have found homes for the 2024 season. Andrew Chafin is in agreement on a one-year deal for $4.75 million with the Detroit Tigers, per Evan Petzold the Detroit Free Press. Chafin’s deal has a club option for 2025.
It’s a reunion for Chafin and the Tigers. The veteran lefty pitched to a solid 2.83 ERA in his lone year in Detroit in 2022. Chafin split last season between the Arizona Diamondbacks and Milwaukee Brewers.
Additionally, Will Smith has agreed to a one-year, $5 million deal with the Kansas City Royals, according to ESPN’s Jeff Passan.
Smith heads to Kansas City after winning his third-straight World Series this past season with the Texas Rangers. The 11-year veteran owns a 3.67 ERA in his career and has amassed 113 saves.
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