MLB rumors: Dellin Betances lands with Dodgers; White Sox add Johnny Cueto; Yankees bring back Greg Bird

With Opening Day of the 2022 MLB season just days away, 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. 

In the wake of Lance Lynn’s knee surgery that will sideline him until at least the middle of May, the reigning AL Central champs have added veteran right-hander Johnny Cueto, Mike Rodriguez of Univision reports. It’s a minor-league deal, and according to Jon Heyman, Cueto will make a prorated $4.2 million if he makes the major-league roster. He can opt out of the contract on May 15. 

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


The Dodgers have signed right-handed reliever Dellin Betances to a minor-league contract, Ken Rosenthal of The Athletic reports. Joel Sherman of the New York Post adds that Betances will be paid $2.5 million if he makes the Dodgers’ active roster with an opportunity to make another $500,000 incentives.

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

Greg Bird returns to Yankees

The Yankees on Tuesday welcomed back first baseman Greg Bird to the fold on a minor-league contract, WFAN’s Sweeny Murti reports. Bird was recently cut loose 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. Across parts of four MLB seasons, Bird, a lefty hitter, owns a slash line of .211/.301/.424 with 32 home runs in 186 games. Bird has spent the last two seasons in the minors for the Rangers, Phillies, Rockies, and Blue Jays. Bird will report to Triple-A for the Yankees and make a pro-rated $1 million for 2022 should he make the majors at any point.

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