The York Revolution continued to build its 2017 spring training roster on Tuesday, with a couple of signings to bolster its bullpen.
On the "Revs Hot Stove Weekly" radio show on 1350 WOYK, it was revealed that relievers Jose Arredondo and Michael Click will be back with York for the start of 2017, as well as newcomer Angel Franco.
Arredondo was the big signing for Revs' manager Mark Mason, because it was expected that Arredondo would at least receive a spring training invite with a major league organization. Arredondo had a strong winter ball season for Venezuelan club Bravos de Margarita and drew some interest from MLB organizations, including the New York Mets. However, none of that turned into an actual offer or invite, so Arredondo will return to York for the second consecutive season.
After reporting to the team part way through the season last year because of visa difficulties, Arredondo showed why he was a former big league pitcher. Arredondo had a strong 2.25 ERA in 35 appearances for the Revs, pitching 36 innings and recording 38 strikeouts.
Arredondo, 32, pitched four years in the MLB for the Los Angeles Angels and Cincinnati Reds from 2008-2012. He made 95 appearances for the Angels in 2008 and 2009, but had Tommy John surgery following the 2009 season, forcing him to miss the 2010 campaign. He came back with the Reds in 2010 and 2011 to make 119 appearances. For his career, he has a 3.27 ERA in the big leagues in 214 appearances and 220 innings pitched, going 22-11.
"We're excited to get him back, obviously," York manager Mark Mason said during the radio show Tuesday. "I thought he'd get an invite with the Mets based on what he did in winter ball, but things didn't work out and we're glad to have him back."
Joining Arredondo in the bullpen as a returner from last year's club is Click.
Click will be pitching in his fourth season in the Atlantic League and second with the Revs. After putting up back-to-back seasons with sub-2.00 ERAs for the Camden Riversharks in 2014 and 2015, Click struggled in his first year with York. Click, 28, went 7-3 in 2016, but did it while posting a 5.25 ERA in 61.2 innings pitched. During the offseason, Click was instructed to work on pitching inside to hitters, Mason said on the radio show, as a way to make him more difficult to hit. He already possesses a 90-plus mph fastball.
Franco will be a fresh face for Revs' fans. The versatile 26-year-old infielder spent last season with the Omaha Storm Chasers of the Pacific Coast League, the AAA affiliate of the Kansas City Royals. He hit .220 in 68 games, driving in 15 runs. For his career, he's a .263 hitter.
Mason said he anticipates using Franco at a number of positions throughout the infield, and, if he plays up to his potential, he could be back playing in affiliated ball in short time.
"He's a guy who could be out of York quickly if he does what he's capable of doing," Mason said.
So far, York has announced 12 signings for 2017 and will continue to announce three at a time over the next several weeks leading up to the start of spring training in April on the radio show.
— Reach Patrick Strohecker at firstname.lastname@example.org.