Flush with cash after the team’s sale this year, the Los Angeles Dodgers are busy spending it on starting pitching.
The team introduced left-hander Ryu Hyun-jin of South Korea on Monday, making him the first player ever to go directly from the Korean league to the major leagues.
The Dodgers also finalized a $147 million, six-year deal with free agent right-hander Zack Greinke later in the day.
The deals gives the Dodgers eight starting pitchers under contract for next season.
LUDWICK STAYS WITH REDS
Left fielder Ryan Ludwick signed a two-year, $15 million deal with the Cincinnati Reds on Monday that includes a mutual option for the 2015 season.
The 34-year-old batted .275 with 26 homers and 80 RBI in 125 games last season, when he started 107 times for Cincinnati.
ROYALS PITCH IN
When James Shields broke into the big leagues with Tampa Bay, the Rays were no better than the Kansas City Royals.
But by his third season as a starter, the Rays had finally turned the corner, a team that upstaged American League East stalwarts Boston and the Yankees and advanced to the World Series.
Now, after a blockbuster deal that sent Shields and fellow right-hander Wade Davis to the Royals late Sunday, the former All-Star pitcher thinks everything is in place for Kansas City to replicate the Rays’ success.
“The Royals are definitely on the right track,” Shields said Monday.
Along with acquiring Shields and Davis, the Royals also re-signed Jeremy Guthrie to a $25 million, three-year deal and acquired Ervin Santana and his $12 million salary from the Los Angeles Angels. That means Kansas City’s top four starters next season weren’t on their opening day roster this past year.
The Detroit Tigers have agreed to a one-year contract with catcher Brayan Pena. Pena had a .236 batting average with two homers and 25 RBI in 68 games last season for the Kansas City Royals. The 30-year-old Pena will back up Alex Avila behind the plate. … The Chicago White Sox announced a three-year, $12 million contract with infielder Jeff Keppinger after reaching an agreement last week. Keppinger is set to earn $3.5 million next season, $4 million in 2014 and $4.5 million in 2015. … The Pittsburgh Pirates have re-signed free agent reliever Jason Grilli to a two-year contract worth $6.75 million. … The Toronto Blue Jays have hired Pat Hentgen as their bullpen coach, bringing the Cy Young winner back into the team’s coaching ranks. Hentgen previously served as Toronto’s bullpen coach in 2011.