- The Yankees have released Chris Dickerson according to the MLB.com transactions page. New York designated the 30-year-old outfielder for assignment after claiming Russ Canzler last week. Dickerson hit .316/.417/.515 in Triple-A last year and received a September call-up.
- Fernando Cabrera signed a minor league deal with the Angels, according to Jeff Fletcher of the Orange County Register. Cabrera, 31, owns a 5.24 ERA with 9.9 K/9 and 5.0 BB/9 across parts of seven career big league seasons. The right-handed reliever spent last season with the Mets' Triple-A affiliate.
- Mark Hendrickson will have a tryout with the Orioles during their mini-camp next week, reports Roch Kubatko of MASNSports.com (Twitter links). The 39-year-old left-hander has not appeared in the big leagues since 2011, and Kubatko says he's trying to reinvent himself as a sidearmer.
- The Indians have released Thomas Neal, the team announced (Twitter links). The 25-year-old outfielder was designated for assignment to clear room on the 40-man roster for Nick Swisher earlier this month. The team says they have interest in re-signing Neal, who hit .314/.400/.467 in Double-A last season.
The Angels are not expected to pursue free agent Kyle Lohse, reports MLB.com's Alden Gonzalez (on Twitter). Gonzalez says the team has maxed out their payroll ($160MM or so) and are concerned about how the right-hander would perform in the AL.
Lohse, 34, has drawn little interest this offseason, presumably because he's tied to draft pick compensation. The Angels have remade their rotation this winter, replacing Dan Haren and Ervin Santana with Tommy Hanson, Jason Vargas, and Joe Blanton. Jerome Williams and Garrett Richards serve as depth.
The Nationals are showing "heavy interest" in Javier Vazquez, reports Bob Nightengale of USA Today (on Twitter). He says scouts are raving about the right-hander, who is throwing 92-95 mph during winter ball in Puerto Rico.
Vazquez, 36, sat out the 2012 season after pitching to a 3.69 ERA with 7.6 K/9 and 2.3 BB/9 in 192 2/3 innings for the Marlins in 2011. The ACES client has been scouted by the Red Sox, White Sox, Phillies, Royals, Rays, and Mets in recent weeks, but he remains undecided about a return next season. Vazquez has favored East Coast teams throughout his career.
The Nationals already have a stacked rotation featuring Stephen Strasburg, Gio Gonzalez, Jordan Zimmermann, Dan Haren, and Ross Detwiler. They do lack a left-handed reliever though, so Detwiler could shift to the bullpen with Vazquez taking his spot in the rotation.
12:25pm: Lopez will receive $1MM plus incentives if he's on the big league roster, reports Jim Salisbury of CSNPhilly.com (on Twitter).
12:03pm: The Phillies have signed Rodrigo Lopez to a minor league contract with an invitation to Spring Training, reports Fernando Ballesteros at the Mexican baseball magazine Puro Béisbol. The right-hander confirmed the agreement to Juan Santana at the TV station Canal 3 in Mexico. Nick Collias provided the translation.
Lopez, 37, is a MVP Sports Group client. He appeared in four games with the Cubs last season but spent most of the year in Triple-A, where he posted a 5.28 ERA with 6.8 K/9 and 3.2 BB/9 in 73 1/3 innings. Lopez made 16 starts and threw 97 2/3 innings for the Cubs in 2011. He'll give the Phillies some veteran Triple-A depth behind a workhorse rotation led by Roy Halladay, Cliff Lee, Cole Hamels, and John Lannan.
Earlier this offseason we heard the Rockies were open to trading position players for pitching help, but Jon Paul Morosi of FOX Sports reports (on Twitter) the team is not planning to move Michael Cuddyer. Morosi says the Mariners inquired about his availability at one point this winter.
Cuddyer, 33, hit .260/.317/.489 with 16 homers in 394 plate appearances for Colorado last season, the first on his three-year, $31.5MM contract. He missed nearly two months total with oblique problems and is owed $21M over the next two seasons. Cuddyer does offer some versatility because he can play the two corner outfield positions and first base, which surely appealed to Seattle.
It has been two days since Justin Upton used his no-trade clause to block a trade to the Mariners, which would have sent Taijuan Walker, Nick Franklin, Charlie Furbush, and Stephen Pryor to the Diamondbacks. Yesterday we learned that both the Braves and Mets still have interest in the outfielder, but are unlikely to get involved unless Arizona lowers the asking price. Here is the latest on the 25-year-old Upton…
- The Braves are "lying in the weeds" in conversations about Upton, reports ESPN's Buster Olney (on Twitter). Atlanta would be guaranteed an outfield of Jason Heyward and the two Uptons for three years.
- The Diamondbacks like Mike Olt according to Olney (on Twitter), so presumably he would be someone they target during trade conversations with the Rangers.
- A lot of people within baseball are surprised the Mariners were willing to give up so much for Upton according to Olney (Twitter links). "It's not as if [Seattle] is one player away from contending," said one evaluator. "Why give up that much now when you're still far away?"
The Rangers remain in the market for pitching, but FOXSportsSouthwest.com's Anthony Andro reports the team will bring Robbie Ross to camp as a starter if they don't make any more additions this winter. Texas currently has Yu Darvish, Matt Harrison, Derek Holland, and Alexi Ogando slated for the rotation with Colby Lewis due to return at midseason.
Here's the latest from around the league as Friday turns into Saturday…
- "There are still some players that in the right scenario that could be fits for us … There is a reasonable chance that we could add somebody from outside," said Rangers GM Jon Daniels to MLB.com's T.R. Sullivan, though he also said it could just be a player on a minor league contract. Ownership is willing to add payroll "within reason."
- "We're definitely still talking … We'll see where that goes," said Harrison to Andro. The southpaw and the Rangers were reportedly discussing an extension earlier this offseason.
- Manny Corpas will earn $800K in the big leagues as part of his minor league deal with the Rockies, reports Troy Renck of The Denver Post. The right-hander will earn $14K per month in the minors.
- Ken Davidoff of The New York Post spoke to Braves president (and former GM) John Schuerholz about his team, including the performance of the front office staff.
- Zack Meisel of MLB.com wrote about under-the-radar bargains, something every team tries to find throughout the offseason. Low-risk deals are commonplace in the weeks leading up to Spring Training.
- In an Insider-only blog post, ESPN's Jim Bowden listed the best fit for unsigned big-name free agents like Michael Bourn, Rafael Soriano, and Kyle Lohse.
6:28pm: Dan Connolly of The Baltimore Sun reports (on Twitter) that Reimold received $1MM, exactly as Swartz's model projected.
5:58pm: The Orioles have avoided arbitration with Nolan Reimold, the team announced. The ACES client received a one-year contract. Financial terms are unknown, but Matt Swartz projected the outfielder to earn $1MM in 2013.
Reimold, 29, hit .313/.333/.627 with five homers in 69 plate appearances last year, though his season ended in late-April due to a neck injury that required surgery. He's a .261/.338/.455 career hitter in 916 plate appearances, with most of his playing time coming in 2009 and 2011.
The Orioles have eight unsigned arbitration-eligible players, as our Arbitration Tracker shows: Chris Davis Jason Hammel, Tommy Hunter, Jim Johnson, Brian Matusz, Darren O'Day, Troy Patton, and Matt Wieters.
Toronto claimed Hottovy off waivers from Rangers just yesterday. The 31-year-old left-hander appeared in nine MLB games with the Royals this past season, but spent most of the year at Triple-A, where he posted a 2.52 ERA with 11.0 K/9 and 2.9 BB/9 in 50 innings.
On this date in 2006, the then-Devil Rays franchise acquired its first Japanese-born player by signing reliever Shinji Mori to a two-year contract worth $1.3MM. They won his negotiating rights through the posting process with a $1MM bid. Mori suffered a major shoulder injury in Spring Training though, so he never actually appeared in a game for Tampa Bay. Here's the latest from the baseball blogosphere…
- McCovey Chronicles thinks the Giants should wait a year before considering an extension for Buster Posey.
- Motor City Bengals says the time is right for the Tigers to extend Justin Verlander.
- Through the Fence Baseball wrote about Michael Bourn and draft pick compensation.
- Pirates Prospects lists some alternatives for the Pirates in case Francisco Liriano's deal falls through.
- South Side Sox wonders if the White Sox should listen to offers for Chris Sale.
- Lookout Landing wrote about the cost of acquiring Justin Upton.
- Baseball News Source says the Mariners should trade Justin Smoak or Mike Carp.
- Mariner Melee ranks some outfield trade targets for the Mariners.
- The Blue Jays Hunter wrote about the Darren Oliver dilemma in Toronto.
- Rising Apple wonders how the Mets will spend the rest of their money.
- The Process Report thinks Chris Archer may be an extension candidate with the Rays.
- Pinstripe Pundits wrote about a Red Sox-Yankees trade for Jarrod Saltalamacchia.
- Baseball Professor explains why the Red Sox will make the playoffs in 2013.
- The True Fan's Sports Blog says the Yankees are overrated.
- Beyond the Box Score analyzed the Hall of Fame voting, specifically the votes that were not revealed publicly.
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