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Nick Cafardo of the Boston Globe writes that it looks like the Indians are "stepping up their intensity" in negotiations with free agent Kevin Youkilis.

The market for infielders appears to be picking up now that Marco Scutaro, Jeff Keppinger and Eric Chavez are off the board. Youkilis reportedly has multiple one-year and multi-year offers on the board, though the identities of the teams aren't known. The Indians are interested in using him at first base while the Yankees are eyeing him as a potential stop-gap option at third base with hip surgery looming for Alex Rodriguez.
Wed, Dec 5, 2012 03:47:00 PM

Ryan Lawrence of the Philadelphia Inquirer and Daily News reports that the Padres have had discussions with the Phillies regarding Cole Hamels.

Lawrence notes that any trade package for Hamels could revolve around the newly-acquired Wil Myers. The Padres have pulled off several blockbuster moves in the past week, and acquiring an elite top of the rotation left-hander would be another strong acquisition.
Dec 21 - 5:11 PM

Agent Scott Boras has said that his client, Matt Wieters (elbow), will be ready to play on Opening Day.

Orioles manager Buck Showalter said last week that it's possible Wieters won't be ready for the opener as he works his way back from Tommy John surgery, but Boras doesn't seem to think it will be an issue. The O's will no doubt take things slowly with the catcher in spring training and we likely won't know for sure until he starts playing in Grapefruit League action whether he can be penciled into the lineup on April 6 versus the Rays.
Dec 21 - 12:00 PM

Nick Cafardo of the Boston Globe reports that James Shields' contract demands are expected to be around five years and $110 million.

It's the same amount left on Cole Hamels' contract, assuming Hamels' option is picked up, and is a reasonable demand after Jon Lester landed a $155 million deal from the Cubs. Cafardo says that the Giants and Red Sox are "in the picture" for Shields, while the Yankees "may be another suitor." Shields, who just turned 33, holds a 3.64 ERA over his eight full seasons and has made at least 31 starts every year during that stretch.
Source: Boston Globe
Dec 21 - 11:21 AM

Angels signed INF Roberto Baldoquin.

The Angels and the 20-year-old Cuban infielder agreed to an $8 million signing bonus in November, and the deal became official after he passed his physical. The Angels view him as a shortstop, and he should be close to major-league ready. Even so, Baldoquin will likely start the season in the high minors to get acclimated to the professional game.
Dec 20 - 7:23 PM

Giants acquired INF Casey McGehee from the Marlins for RHP Kendry Flores and RHP Luis Castillo.

The 32-year-old third baseman may seem like an underwhelming addition to replace Pablo Sandoval at the hot corner for the Giants, but if he can replicate the .287/.355/.357 that he hit in 2014 while playing solid defense, he'll win over Giants fans. Just don't expect much from a fantasy perspective, as his power was non-existent in Miami.
Dec 20 - 10:14 AM

According to Jeeho Yoo of Yonhap News, the Nexen Heroes of the Korea Baseball Organization will accept the $5 million bid for shortstop Jung-Ho Kang.

It's still unclear who the winning team is, though that information should be announced on Saturday. That team will then have an exclusive window to negotiate a contract with Kang. The 27-year-old slashed .356/.459/.739 with 40 homers and 117 RBI over 117 games in the KBO in 2014.
Dec 19 - 11:11 PM

Padres acquired INF Will Middlebrooks from the Red Sox for C Ryan Hanigan.

The 26-year-old slugger has lost a bit of the luster off his top prospect status in recent years, but still possesses plenty of power and should be locked in as the Padres starter at the hot corner. The move from Fenway to Petco certainly diminishes his potential fantasy value though.
Dec 19 - 10:55 PM

FOX Sports' Ken Rosenthal reports that David Ross has agreed to a two-year, $5 million contract with the Cubs

CBS Sports' Jon Heyman reported earlier Friday that Ross had signed with the Padres but then later retracted it. Ross has batted just .197/.276/.374 over the last two seasons, but his leadership and ability to handle a pitching staff is valued. Signing Ross to be Miguel Montero's backup now allows the Cubs to field offers for Welington Castillo.
Dec 19 - 5:11 PM

Padres acquired OF Justin Upton and RHP Aaron Northcraft from the Braves in exchange for LHP Max Fried, INF Jace Peterson, 3B Dustin Peterson, OF Mallex Smith and the fourth international bonus pool slot.

The deal, which was reported early Friday morning, has now been made official. Upton is coming off a season in which he batted .270/.342/.491 with 29 homers and 102 RBI for the Braves. With the addition of him, Matt Kemp, Wil Myers, Derek Norris and Will Middlebrooks, the Padres have completely re-tooled their lineup.
Dec 19 - 4:55 PM

Royals signed OF Alex Rios to a one-year, $11 million contract with a mutual option for 2016.

Chris Cotillo of MLBDailyDish.com says the mutual option is worth $12.5 million. Rios batted just .280/.311/.398 with only four home runs over 521 plate appearances during his walk year. The move from Globe Life Park to Kauffman Stadium won't help, but Rios is worth a shot on a one-year deal. He will turn 34 in February.
Dec 19 - 3:15 PM

Angels acquired 2B Johnny Giavotella from the Royals in exchange for RHP Brian Broderick.

Giavotella had been designated for assignment on Thursday. The Angels plan to go with Josh Rutledge at second base after trading away Howie Kendrick, but Giavotella isn't a bad insurance option. The 27-year-old never received a long-term look with the Royals but is a career .305/.378/.438 hitter in the minors.
Dec 19 - 2:54 PM




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