- White Sox Claim Kyle Drabek
- Brady Aiken Undergoes Tommy John Surgery
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- Dodgers To Sign Hector Olivera
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- White Sox Extend Adam Eaton
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- Nationals Release Heath Bell
- Dodgers To Sign Cuban Pitcher Pablo Millan Fernandez
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- East Notes: Papelbon, Warren, Victorino
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- AL Central Notes: Graham, Pelfrey, Salazar, Finnegan
- Padres Fielding Trade Inquiries On Relievers
- Aiken Situation Could Lead To Changes In Draft Medicals
- Brandon League Likely Out Several Months
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- White Sox Claim Kyle Drabek
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- NL Central Notes: Bryant, Kang, Reds, Cardinals
- Finding A Landing Spot For Jhoulys Chacin
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The White Sox, Yankees and Astros have spent heavily on relief help this offseason, and ESPN’s Jerry Crasnick wonders if they’ll end up regretting their expensive contracts for veteran relievers. “In the last couple of years we’ve lost a lot of games late in the eighth and ninth inning,” says White Sox manager Ventura. “After a while you sit there and think, ‘We have to have somebody who can come in and do this.’ Everything has its risks — and this is one of them — but we’re pretty confident we got a guy [David Robertson] who we can put in the bullpen and be a leader.” The reason for all the spending on players like Robertson, Zach Duke, Andrew Miller, Luke Gregerson and Pat Neshek isn’t so much that teams are trying to emulate the Royals‘ ferocious 2014 bullpen, Crasnick suggests. Rather, it’s more that teams are loaded with cash and pitchers like Robertson and Miller are very good. Here are more notes from around the Majors.
- The Braves continue to explore potential trades involving Justin Upton and Evan Gattis, MLB.com’s Mark Bowman reports (Twitter links). The Braves have spoken about Upton and Gattis with five teams Wednesday, and continued to consider ways to include B.J. Upton or Chris Johnson in trades involving Justin Upton or Gattis. The Padres had previously looked like a potential destination for Justin Upton, but it would appear that their agreement to acquire Wil Myers today rules them out as a potential trade partner, at least for now.
- Free agent catcher David Ross is deciding between the Red Sox, Cubs and Padres, WEEI.com’s Rob Bradford writes. Meanwhile, lefty reliever Craig Breslow has spoken to the Red Sox and Cubs. Ross has played for the Red Sox, of course, and has a history with Jon Lester and Theo Epstein of the Cubs (although his signing with the Cubs would likely result in, or come as the result of, a trade of Welington Castillo). The Padres are in the process of trading both Yasmani Grandal and Rene Rivera, but are also in the process of acquiring Ryan Hanigan and Tim Federowicz, so it’s unclear where Ross would fit in.
- Asdrubal Cabrera has drawn interest from the Giants, Athletics, Mets, Cardinals and Twins, CBS Sports’ Jon Heyman tweets. Heyman writes that Cabrera could play second base or third base as well as shortstop, although there have been rumblings that Cabrera prefers to play shortstop or second base only, and not third. Susan Slusser of the San Francisco Chronicle would be surprised if the A’s are interested, as they’ve never shown interest in Cabrera in past years despite up-the-middle needs (Twitter links).
- Those same five teams have asked about Korean middle infielder Jung-ho Kang, although the Athletics and Mets are downplaying their interest, Heyman tweets. A’s GM Billy Beane has stated on the record that reports of his club’s interest in Kang are inaccurate. Kang was posted earlier this week.
- Heyman lists the Orioles, Reds and Mariners as possibilities for Nori Aoki, with the veteran outfielder potentially receiving two to three years at $7MM-$8MM per year. Aoki had previously been connected to the Orioles and Reds, with the Orioles mostly interested in him as a backup option. Heyman reported last week that Aoki was looking for a three-year deal. Earlier this offseason, we at MLBTR guessed he would receive two years and $16MM.
Full Story | Comments | Categories: Atlanta Braves | B.J. Upton | Baltimore Orioles | Boston Red Sox | Chicago Cubs | Chris Johnson | Cincinnati Reds | Craig Breslow | David Ross | Evan Gattis | Jung-ho Kang | Justin Upton | Kansas City Royals | Minnesota Twins | New York Mets | New York Yankees | Oakland Athletics | San Diego Padres | San Francisco Giants | Seattle Mariners | St. Louis Cardinals
The Marlins do not think they’ll have to pay out the entire $325MM balance of Giancarlo Stanton‘s contract, Pirates president Frank Coonelly told a crowd (including the Tribune-Review’s Rob Biertempfel) at PirateFest Saturday. Speaking very candidly for a team president, Coonelly recalled a recent conversation with Marlins owner Jeffrey Loria and president David Samson: “They said to me, ‘You don’t understand. (Stanton) has an out clause after six years. Those first six years are only going to cost $107 million. After that, he’ll leave and play for somebody else. So, it’s not really $325 million.'” Here are more notes from around the big leagues.
- The Mets should trade for Troy Tulowitzki, Joel Sherman of the New York Post writes. Yes, Sherman says, Tulowitzki has $106MM on his contract and a long list of injuries, but if he were a perfect player, the Rockies would not trade him at a reasonable price. (In fact, they still might not trade him at a reasonable price.) And the time is right for the Mets, who have plenty of promising pitching but don’t have a shortstop. A trade for Tulowitzki could be just the risk the Mets need, Sherman writes, like their trade for Gary Carter 30 years ago. As for Tulowitzki, Sherman says that it’s “a poorly kept secret in the game is just how badly he wants out of Colorado now.” He doesn’t have a no-trade clause, but the Rockies’ front office would likely consult him about a possible trade, and Sherman thinks he would appreciate the chance to play for the Mets.
- The Cardinals say they are not actively pursuing Max Scherzer, USA Today’s Bob Nightengale tweets. Scherzer is from the St. Louis area, and he reportedly met with the team earlier in the offseason.
- A Mariners official says the team doesn’t want to trade Brad Miller, Bob Dutton of the Tacoma News Tribune reports. “[U]nderstand this: We’re not looking to trade him,” the official says. “I’m not saying it won’t happen, but it’s a lot less likely than some people seem to think.” Dutton adds, however, that Miller was part of a deal the Mariners proposed to try to get Matt Kemp from the Dodgers. The Dodgers then demanded the Mariners include either Taijuan Walker or James Paxton. The Mariners declined, and the Dodgers agreed to trade Kemp to the Padres instead.
- The Twins have shown interest in former Reds third baseman Jack Hannahan, Darren Wolfson of 1500ESPN.com tweets. Hannahan was born in St. Paul and went to both high school and college in the Twin Cities. He played sparingly in 2014 and posted just a .470 OPS in 50 plate appearances, so as Wolfson notes, the Twins would likely have interest in him only on a minor league deal.
Full Story | Comments | Categories: Brad Miller | Colorado Rockies | Giancarlo Stanton | Jack Hannahan | James Paxton | Los Angeles Dodgers | Matt Kemp | Max Scherzer | Miami Marlins | Minnesota Twins | New York Mets | Pittsburgh Pirates | Seattle Mariners | St. Louis Cardinals | Taijuan Walker | Troy Tulowitzki
The Pirates seem willing to spend on relievers, as Rob Biertempfel of the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review writes. “We have typically stayed away from large dollars in the bullpen,” Huntington said. “That said, we are evolving as a organization. We’ve got a little more to spend now. For the right guy, we can go a little bit beyond our comfort zone.” More out of the NL Central..
- There’s mutual interest between the Cardinals and Lance Lynn in discussing an extension this winter, according to Derrick Goold of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch. Yesterday, GM John Mozeliak inferred that he had a chat with someone from Excel Sports Management about Lynn.
- Pat Neshek signed with the Astros earlier today, but he nearly joined the Pirates, according to Brian McTaggart of MLB.com (via Twitter). The reliever was about to join the Bucs, but Houston upped their offer at the last second. Neshek had eight two-year offers in front of him.
- The Cardinals are not only interested in Rickie Weeks, they’re also looking at another ex-Brewer in Mark Reynolds, according to Tom Haudricourt of the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel (via Twitter). Reynolds, 31, hit .196/.287/.394 with 22 homers last season.
- The Cardinals aren’t necessarily looking for a platoon partner to pair with Matt Adams, writes Goold. “I believe we saw Matt Adams put together some fantastic at-bats against lefties in big situations,” manager Mike Matheny said Tuesday. “We can’t get too far away from the fact that this kid is still not really long into his career. Lumping him into this idea that he can’t hit lefthanded pitching isn’t really fair right now.”
The Padres would be willing to trade pitcher Jesse Hahn in order to add a hitter, Yahoo! Sports’ Tim Brown tweets. Hahn, 25, had a relatively promising rookie season with the Padres in 2014, posting a 3.07 ERA with 8.6 K/9 and 3.9 BB/9 in 73 1/3 innings, most of them in the starting rotation. Hahn also got plenty of ground ball outs in his rookie season and got impressive results with his changeup. While he likely wouldn’t lure a top hitter on his own, he would certainly have appeal for most potential trading partners. Here are more notes from the National League.
- The Cardinals are looking for a right-handed first base option to pair with Matt Adams, but there’s a chance they might find that option within the organization, Jenifer Langosch of MLB.com writes. One possibility would be to use Stephen Piscotty, a third baseman and the Cards’ top prospect. Xavier Scruggs, who hit .286/.370/.494 for Triple-A Memphis last season, is another possibility.
- The Pirates lost Russell Martin earlier this offseason, but they’re currently satisfied with newly acquired Francisco Cervelli along with Chris Stewart at catcher, MLB.com’s Tom Singer writes. “Francisco was an aggressive get for us. We feel very comfortable with his defensive side, and we think his bat has an upside. If Opening Day were tomorrow, we’d feel very comfortable with our catching mix,” says GM Neal Huntington. That’s not surprising, given the lack of remaining options on the free agent market. The Pirates also have prospect Elias Diaz, who should be ready for the big leagues after another year or so in the minors.
- Phillies manager Ryne Sandberg is ready for the team to rebuild, Ryan Lawrence of the Daily News writes. “[Y]ou have to start somewhere. Like the bullpen last year was young players that had to prove something,” says Sandberg. “They had energy and youth on their side and they were successful. To have that a little bit more on the field on a regular basis, and to get that process started building a new core group, I think that’s necessary.”
- Now that the Pirates have re-signed Francisco Liriano, they’re probably not going to look for any more starting pitching and will instead focus on the bullpen, Rob Biertempfel of the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review reports (Twitter links). The Bucs are willing to give a multiyear contract to a reliever “if it’s right guy-right deal situation.”
- The Reds met with Johnny Cueto‘s agent today to explore a long-term extension, GM Walt Jocketty told reporters (including MLB.com’s Mark Sheldon). “If it’s possible, I’m not sure it will be, I think it’s still something we have to take a look at as we explore every possibility,” Jocketty said.
- Teams have reportedly been calling the Reds about Cueto and Aroldis Chapman, though Jocketty said that the Reds aren’t themselves shopping those pitchers. “I don’t know where the Chapman stuff came from….I walked into the room today and asked our guys if there was anything on Chapman,” the GM said. “I got three texts and a phone call this morning. I’ll listen to anything that makes sense. It was not something we initiated….I don’t consider, unless we get proposals from clubs, that it’s anything legitimate. It’s just inquiring.”
- Cardinals general manager John Mozeliak told reporters (including MLB.com’s Jen Langosch) that it’s “fair to say” that Lance Lynn‘s name came up during Mozeliak’s meeting today with an Excel Sports Management agent, as Lynn is an Excel client. While Mozeliak didn’t comment on the meeting, Langosch wonders if the two sides could’ve discussed Lynn’s forthcoming arbitration eligibility or perhaps even a multiyear extension for the right-hander.
- The Cardinals have some interest in Rickie Weeks, Tom Haudricourt of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel tweets. The Cards would use Weeks as a right-handed bench bat and possibly also as first base depth, which would require Weeks to learn a new position.
- How quiet has this Winter Meetings been for the Brewers? Haudricourt reports (Twitter link) that as of earlier tonight, the Crew had yet to personally meet with any agents or with representatives from another team.
Here’s the latest from Angel Stadium…
- The Angels are targeting the Rockies‘ Josh Rutledge, the Astros‘ Marwin Gonzalez, the Tigers‘ Eugenio Suarez and the Cardinals‘ Pete Kozma in their search for middle infield depth, Jeff Fletcher of the Orange County Register reports. Rutledge would require the most back in return since he has experience in an everyday role.
- Also from Fletcher’s Twitter account, he reports that the Angels aren’t interested in Brandon Beachy or Kris Medlen. Both starters underwent Tommy John surgery last year and were recently non-tendered by the Braves.
- GM Jerry Dipoto told reporters (including MLB.com’s Alden Gonzalez and Bill Shaikin of the L.A. Times) that his team is “probably not” going to pursue more international players during the 2014-15 signing period, though “we’re open to it.” The Halos have already far exceeded their bonus pool for the 2014-15 period thanks to their $8MM expenditure on Roberto Baldoquin, an overage that will prevent them from spending any significant money when the 2015-16 international market opens.
- The player most often asked about by other teams is catcher Carlos Perez, Dipoto said.
The Royals have interest in free agent Asdrubal Cabrera, according to MLBTR’s Tim Dierkes (via Twitter). Earlier today, Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports reported that the Royals have made Omar Infante available, so they could be viewing Cabrera as a potential upgrade. More from the Central divisions..
- With Francisco Liriano back in the fold, the Pirates are seeking relief help and have some money to spend, according to Rob Biertempfel of the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review (on Twitter). The Bucs, he adds, are fans of Pat Neshek.
- Jon Paul Morosi of FOX Sports (on Twitter) adds that the Pirates are checking the trade market for left-handed relief options. As it stands, Tony Watson is their only proven lefty reliever after the Justin Wilson deal.
- The Cardinals‘ primary focus is on finding a right-handed bat off the bench, tweets Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports. St. Louis will turn their attention to finding a bargain fifth starter/long man type in January as protection for Carlos Martinez.
- Cardinals GM John Mozeliak is making no secret of the fact that he’s going to wait until the New Year to find pitching, writes Derrick Goold of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch. “I would be looking for someone who adds depth to what we already have,” Mozeliak said. “I’m not saying I’m searching for that. That might be the time if we might want to bring in an extra arm or two that we might do it. The way I like to think about it is I don’t know what it looks like. Basically, it’s what’s left.“
- In a chat with reporters yesterday, Tigers General Manager Dave Dombrowski stressed the importance of right-handers Joakim Soria and Bruce Rondon, indicating that he’s not about to make a major bullpen move, writes Chris Iott of MLive.com.
Here’s the latest news on the Braves out of San Diego:
- Echoing the prior report, president of baseball operations John Hart says that he will keep both Upton and Gattis unless he gets what he is looking for, Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports tweets. The club still has the option of attempting to compete by keeping them and adding another starter and a second baseman.
- Teams in discussions with the Braves now feel they might be likely to keep Gattis, ESPN’s Buster Olney tweets.
- The Braves are now packaging Justin Upton and Chris Johnson in trade talks with teams, according to Bob Nightengale of USA Today (via Twitter).
- Atlanta is fielding interest on Upton from the Orioles, Rangers, and Padres, Bowman reports (Twitter links).
- When the Royals asked about Gattis several weeks back, the Braves asked for young righty Yordano Ventura in return. Needless to say, that seems to have been a non-starter.
- The Braves “seem ready to be aggressive,” sources from competitors tell MLB.com’s Mark Bowman (Twitter links). Justin Upton and Evan Gattis remain the two most talked-about trade targets, but infielder Tyler Pastornicky and righty Anthony Varvaro “could also be included in talks,” per Bowman. Pastornicky is a 24-year-old infielder who could figure into Atlanta’s plans at second if he is kept. Varvaro, 30, has been a fixture in the Braves pen over the last several years.
- While there remain several teams that are good potential matches on Upton, David O’Brien of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution tweets that the Padres might be the best given their supply of young, controllable pitching. A note from Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports earlier today also suggested a viable connection between those clubs on Upton.
- While there is general agreement that Upton is a more valuable commodity than was the previously-traded Jason Heyward, teams remain hesitant to beat the return for the latter, Jon Heyman of CBSSports.com reports. There is a general sense that the package given up by the Cardinals, headlined by Shelby Miller, may have outstripped Heyward’s value.
Before he joined the Yankees, the Astros actually offered Andrew Miller a deal that included not only four guaranteed years but also a fifth-year option, ESPN.com’s Jerry Crasnick reports on Twitter. It remains to be seen how Houston will reallocate the funds it had earmarked for the lefty.
- If the Giants miss on Jon Lester, they are more likely to go to the next tier of free agent pitchers than to go all out for Max Scherzer, per John Shea of the San Francisco Chronicle (via Twitter). San Francisco could aim for options of the ilk of Ervin Santana and Francisco Liriano, says Shea, though it is not clear if those illustrative names or particular targets.
- The Cardinals met with Scherzer at some point over the offseason and are at least weighing a run at him, Jon Heyman of CBSSportscom reports. It remains something of a longshot that Scherzer will land in St. Louis, Heyman notes, though the fact that he is from the area can’t hurt.
- The Red Sox met with Justin Masterson over the weekend, Darren Wolfson of 1500 ESPN reports on Twitter. The Twins, meanwhile, have not managed to gain traction with Masterson’s camp, Wolfson adds.
- The Marlins, White Sox, and possibly Cubs will also sit down with Masterson in San Diego, Heyman reports.
- Reliever John Axford has drawn interest from the Reds, though nothing is close and there are other teams involved, according to Mark Sheldon of MLB.com.
Full Story | Comments | Categories: Andrew Miller | Boston Red Sox | Chicago Cubs | Chicago White Sox | Cincinnati Reds | Ervin Santana | Francisco Liriano | Houston Astros | John Axford | Justin Masterson | Max Scherzer | Miami Marlins | Minnesota Twins | New York Yankees | San Francisco Giants | St. Louis Cardinals
David Ortiz plans to give some guidance to Hanley Ramirez as he begins his next chapter with the Red Sox, writes Peter Abraham of the Boston Globe. “He looks at me as one of his older brothers,” Ortiz said. “I’m going to try to encourage him to do the right thing as long we keep on playing [together] and probably beyond that because I don’t have the time that he has left. I’m going to, like we normally say, take him under my wing and show him whatever I can help him with and make sure he’s really successful in Boston.” More from the AL East..
- Anthony McCarron of the New York Daily News wonders if the Yankees are really out on a big money pitcher. They’d like to retain Brandon McCarthy and could go after someone like Justin Masterson, but some in the industry feel that they’ll ultimately wind up in the mix for a starter like Max Scherzer.
- Michael Silverman of the Boston Herald also hears that the Red Sox will begin to explore Scherzer more aggressively if they lose out on Jon Lester. Besides the Red Sox, the teams who are expected to take a long, serious look at the right-hander are the Yankees, Dodgers, Nationals, Tigers, Phillies, Cardinals, Cubs, White Sox, Giants, and Blue Jays, industry insiders tell Silverman.
- Signing Lester is important, but the Red Sox need to put an even greater focus on developing the next Lester, opines Michael Silverman of the Boston Herald.
- George A. King III of the New York Post runs down the Yankees‘ three biggest needs heading into the meetings.
- The Red Sox have lots on their agenda this week, writes Tim Britton of The Providence Journal.