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Red Sox signed RHP Oscar Villarreal to a minor league contract.

The deal includes a spring training invite. Villarreal, 31, hasn't pitched in the big leagues since 2008 and spent last season with the Orioles' Triple-A affiliate. He's likely to serve as organizational depth.
Mon, Dec 3, 2012 04:34:00 PM

According to Bill Brink of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, the Orioles are among the teams that have asked the Pirates about Gerrit Cole.

We've also heard of varying levels of interest from the Brewers, Rangers, Twins, and Yankees. Cole posted a disappointing 4.26 ERA in 203 innings this past season with Pittsburgh, but the 27-year-old had a 3.23 ERA in 579 1/3 innings between 2013-2016 and he is under club control through 2019. Baltimore is exploring several different avenues for starting pitching upgrades after the rotation registered a league-worst 5.70 combined ERA in 2017.
Dec 12 - 6:55 PM

Ken Rosenthal of The Athletic reports that the Cardinals have spoken to the Blue Jays about a Josh Donaldson trade at this week's Winter Meetings.

Rosenthal says there is no indication that a deal is close and adds that the Blue Jays are "seemingly bullish" about keeping Donaldson and making other upgrades to their roster for 2018. St. Louis has been connected to just about every impact bat on the trade market this winter, including Marcell Ozuna and Christian Yelich of the Marlins and Manny Machado of the Orioles. The Cardinals also made a serious run at Giancarlo Stanton before he used his no-trade clause to force a move to the Yankees.
Dec 12 - 6:43 PM

ESPN's Buster Olney reports that the Yankees are among the teams that have shown interest in Orioles star Manny Machado.

The rich get even richer? New York just acquired Giancarlo Stanton from the Marlins, but that trade required more of a financial commitment than a haul of young talent and the Yankees still have a loaded farm system to pull off this kind of deal. Olney says the White Sox are also interested in Machado, and the Cardinals are known to be in the hunt as well. Machado has averaged 35 home runs and 92 RBI per year since 2015 and he's a tremendous defender at both shortstop and third base, but he can become a free agent after the 2018 season.
Dec 12 - 6:22 PM

According to ESPN's Jerry Crasnick, the trade market for Domingo Santana is "not as brisk as Milwaukee might have hoped."

Santana broke out with an .875 OPS, 30 home runs, 85 RBI, 15 stolen bases, and 88 runs scored in 151 games this past season for the Brewers, but his defensive ratings in the outfield are extremely poor and there was some hope in the Milwaukee front office that a sell-high move could be made this winter. It sounds like that won't happen. Santana, 25, is under the Brewers' control through 2021.
Dec 12 - 6:18 PM

Jon Heyman of FanRag Sports reports that J.D. Martinez will meet with the Red Sox "and others" at the Winter Meetings this week in Orlando.

Martinez is scheduled to arrive at the Swan and Dolphin Hotel on Tuesday night and he'll presumably stick around through the end of the day on Wednesday. The 30-year-old slugger is likely to command one of the richest position-player contracts on the free agent market this winter after batting .303/.376/.690 with 45 home runs and 104 RBI in 119 games between the Tigers and Diamondbacks in 2017. He'd make a ton of sense for Boston.
Dec 12 - 6:10 PM

Tigers GM Al Avila strongly indicated Tuesday that the club is close to trading Ian Kinsler.

"We’ve gotten to the point where names have been exchanged," Avila said. "We just can’t agree." There is reported interest from the Mets and Angels, and there could very well be other teams in this hunt. Kinsler, 35, batted .236/.313/.412 with 22 homers and 14 steals over 139 games this past season for the Tigers while playing strong defense at second base. He's owed $11 million in 2018 -- the final year of his current deal.
Dec 12 - 5:21 PM

Red Sox manager Alex Cora said Tuesday that he will consider using Craig Kimbrel in non-save situations next season.

If a higher-leverage situation presents itself earlier in the game -- say, the seventh or eighth inning -- the new Boston skipper said he might deploy Kimbrel without worrying about his closer's saves total. It's a smart baseball strategy, though it could obviously present some frustrating days and nights for fantasy owners. Kimbrel dominated to the tune of a 1.43 ERA, 0.68 WHIP, and 126/14 K/BB ratio in 69 innings this past season.
Source: ESPN.com
Dec 12 - 5:15 PM

Jeff Passan of Yahoo Sports reports that the Cardinals are among the teams in on free agent reliever Wade Davis.

Passan says the Cardinals have prioritized "late-inning relief help" to complement their recent signing of setup man Luke Gregerson. Davis would almost certainly be the primary closer in St. Louis after putting up a 2.30 ERA, 1.14 WHIP, and 79/28 K/BB ratio over 58 2/3 regular-season innings with the rival Cubs in 2017. There's also known to be serious interest from the Rockies.
Dec 12 - 5:05 PM

Dodgers GM Farhan Zaidi confirmed Tuesday that Corey Seager will not require surgery on his right elbow.

Seager battled right elbow problems down the stretch in 2017 and at one point indicated that an offseason procedure might be necessary, but his rehab has been going smoothly and he's expected to be 100 percent by the beginning of spring training in February. The young shortstop slashed .295/.375/.479 with 22 homers and 77 RBI over 145 regular-season games this past year for the National League champs.
Dec 12 - 5:00 PM

Yankees GM Brian Cashman acknowledged Tuesday that he has been having conversations with the agent for Todd Frazier.

Frazier posted a decent .788 OPS with 11 home runs and 32 RBI in 66 games this past season for the Yankees after they acquired him from the White Sox on July 19. Chase Headley was traded to the Padres on Tuesday morning, leaving a clear vacancy at third base in New York. It's a pretty good fit.
Dec 12 - 4:54 PM

Rockies GM Jeff Bridich has denied rumors that the Rockies are engaged in trade talks for Marlins outfielder Marcell Ozuna.

Clark Spencer of the Miami Herald mentioned the Rockies as a suitor for Ozuna on Tuesday morning. A couple hours later, Bob Nightengale of USA Today pegged the Cardinals as the favorites to acquire the 27-year-old slugger. There's also believed to be interest coming from the Rangers, Nationals, and Blue Jays. Ozuna posted a stellar .312/.376/.548 batting line with 37 home runs and 124 RBI in 159 games this past season for Miami and he is under control through 2019.
Dec 12 - 4:50 PM




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