After nine weeks of making weekly roster announcements for the looming 2017 season, the final York Revolution acquisitions were announced during Tuesday's "Revs Hot Stove Weekly" radio show on WOYK 1350.
Before Tuesday, York revealed 27 players who would open spring training this week with the team. The final five players to round out the roster were unveiled on the second day of spring training Tuesday, with a pair of notable names from last year's club headlining the signings.
Josh Wilson: Kicking things off is returning MLB veteran shortstop Josh Wilson.
At 36, Wilson still has a desire to play baseball and, despite spending his first full year out of the big leagues in 2016, he was willing to return to the team for a second stint. Last year with the Revs, Wilson showcased the play that enabled him to compete in 431 major league games, providing York with sharp defense in the infield, while hitting .255 with 38 RBIs. York manager Mark Mason said on the radio show that he plans to use Wilson a little less often this season, looking to play him about five games per week to keep him fresh and healthy. Even as Wilson creeps up in age, however, Mason said he didn't have to worry about Wilson not wanting to come back for another year, even after not having his contract purchased by a big league club in 2016.
"We're very fortunate to have Josh here as our shortstop," Mason said. "...He was one of the first guys that really committed to coming back for this season."
Joel Guzman: If Wilson was the main addition to the roster for the week, then returner Joel Guzman was a close second.
Guzman, 32, was a pure power hitter at the plate last season with the Revs, belting 16 home runs and driving in 85 runs, while hitting .278 and earning an Atlantic League All-Star nod. This year, however, Guzman wants to increase his production at the plate, setting a goal of driving in at least 100 runs, according to Mason.
Brad Allen: Highlighting the three new players was right-handed pitcher Brad Allen.
Allen was a late pickup for Mason and York, spending most of the spring with the Toronto Blue Jays, before getting released just before the start of the regular season. A hard-throwing reliever, Allen, 28, can touch the mid-90s on the radar gun with his fastball. He also has a knack for coming up clutch in key situations. In his final appearance with the Blue Jays during the spring, Allen entered the game with Toronto leading by one run in the bottom of the ninth, but with the bases loaded. In three pitches, he induced a pop-up to seal the victory over the Detroit Tigers, but was still released the next day. Mason says he looks at Allen as a potential ninth-inning guy because of his power arm.
Outfielders: The last two signings of the day were outfielders, adding to an already loaded and talented group. Alonzo Harris has spent most of his pro career playing in the New York Mets and Florida Marlins' systems, while Derrick Robinson was acquired in a trade. Harris, 28, never made it above High-A ball in the minor leagues, hitting .254 with 36 home runs and 192 RBIs in 540 games over seven seasons. However, he has a mix of speed and power, swiping 122 bags during that time. Last year, he played in the American Association with the St. Paul Saints, hitting .307 with 15 home runs, 58 RBIs and 43 stolen bases.
"If he puts up the numbers that he did in the American Association, he might not be here long," Mason said about Harris' potential.
Robinson, 29, was part of a trade that will delay his arrival with the Revs. Robinson brings along big-league experience, playing in 102 games for the Cincinnati Reds in 2013, hitting a respectable .255 with eight RBIs and four stolen bases. He most recently played in affiliated ball in 2015 with the Harrisburg Senators, the Class-AA affiliate of the Washington Nationals. Mason said he expects Robinson to arrive in camp by either Monday or Tuesday next week, but says he shouldn't be far behind in preparation, despite the delayed arrival.
Mutz retiring: One of the pitchers York signed earlier in the offseason, Nick Mutz, is no longer part of the roster.
After suffering a shoulder injury in a bullpen session shortly before he was set to leave his California home to arrive at Revs' camp, Mutz informed Mason of his injury and that he is retiring from baseball, according to Mason.
— Reach Patrick Strohecker at email@example.com