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Nick Masset (shoulder) said Friday that he's about a month away from beginning a throwing program.

The right-hander hopes to be throwing off a mound by the beginning of spring training. Masset missed all of 2012 with a shoulder issue that eventually required arthroscopic surgery. He'll be a big boost to the Reds' bullpen in 2013 if he can show he's healthy, as he pitched quite well for them from 2009-11.
Fri, Dec 7, 2012 03:40:00 PM

Cardinals acquired OF Marcell Ozuna from the Marlins for RHP Sandy Alcantara, OF Magneuris Sierra, RHP Zac Gallen, and LHP Daniel Castano.

St. Louis was considered a frontrunner in the Giancarlo Stanton sweepstakes before the 2017 National League MVP declined a move there (and to San Francisco) and used his no-trade clause to land comfortably with the Yankees. Ozuna is a pretty nice fallback for the Cardinals, coming off a breakout 2017 season that saw him register a .312/.376/.548 batting line, 37 home runs, and 124 RBI in 159 games. The 27-year-old outfielder is under contractual control through 2019 via salary arbitration. He figures to bat third or fourth in the St. Louis lineup in 2018 and should prove to be a significant offensive upgrade for his new team.
Dec 14 - 2:32 PM

Ken Rosenthal of The Athletic reports that the Angels are interested in free agent Zack Cozart.

They'd ask him to play third base, with Andrelton Simmons locked in at shortstop and newcomer Ian Kinsler set to slide in at second. Cozart has never made an appearance at the hot corner at any level of professional baseball, but he's always been a good defender and is probably capable of making the transition. The market is beginning to pick up for the 32-year-old, who batted .297/.385/.548 with 24 home runs over 122 games with the Reds in 2017.
Dec 14 - 2:00 PM

According to Jon Heyman of FanRag Sports, the Rangers' pursuit of Diamondbacks starter Zack Greinke is "said to be pretty dead."

USA Today's Bob Nightengale reported earlier this week that the Rangers were offering only "marginal prospects" for the Arizona ace, and the Diamondbacks are not interested in a straight salary-dump. Heyman says there are three other teams in the mix. It is believed that one of them is the Phillies. Greinke finished fourth in the NL Cy Young balloting in 2017, but he's owed a whopping $126.5 million over the next four seasons and the Diamondbacks want to free up some cash to re-sign J.D. Martinez.
Dec 14 - 1:34 PM

USA Today's Bob Nightengale reports that the Giants and Blue Jays have spoken to the White Sox about a potential trade for Avisail Garcia.

Nightengale notes that there is "nothing close" at this point, but many in the industry -- including a number of beat writers who cover the White Sox -- believe Garcia will be on the move this winter. The 26-year-old had a breakout season in 2017, slashing .330/.380/.506 with 18 home runs and 80 RBI in 136 games while earning his first All-Star nod. The issue for a team like San Francisco -- and other clubs in the NL -- is that Garcia is a dreadful defender in the outfield.
Dec 14 - 1:29 PM

Chris Cotillo of SB Nation hears there is "traction" between the Mets and Indians on a Jason Kipnis trade.

The two sides have engaged in serious discussions this week at the Winter Meetings and the heat probably turned up even further when Ian Kinsler went to the Angels on Wednesday night. Kinsler had been a target of the Mets, but they were on his no-trade list and he told Tigers GM Al Avila that he would only accept a move to Anaheim. Kipnis would be a nice bounceback play for the apparently cost-conscious Metropolitans. He struggled to a .232/.291/.414 batting line in 2017 with Cleveland, but the 30-year-old second baseman put up an .817 OPS in 297 games between 2015-2016.
Dec 14 - 1:04 PM

A source tells Michael Silverman of the Boston Herald that the Red Sox are trying to sign both J.D. Martinez and Eric Hosmer.

That would take a massive financial commitment, but it could also be an excellent counter-punch to the rival Yankees landing Giancarlo Stanton from the Marlins last week. Red Sox executives met with Martinez at the Winter Meetings in Orlando on Wednesday and it sounds like there might be some mutual interest there. Recent reports have the Padres as the current favorite for Hosmer, but you'd have to think Boston could make the better bid of those two teams.
Dec 14 - 12:17 PM

According to Jon Heyman of FanRag Sports, the Blue Jays have expressed interest in free agent outfielder Lorenzo Cain.

It's been a slow-moving offseason for Cain, but the same can be said for many other free agent position players. The 31-year-old should eventually score a nice deal after batting .300/.363/.440 with 15 home runs and 26 stolen bases over 155 games with Kansas City in 2017. Heyman says Toronto would prefer a four-year contract.
Dec 14 - 12:00 PM

Craig Mish of Sirius XM reports that the Twins have signed Fernando Rodney to a one-year, $4.5 million contract.

The one-year deal also includes $1.5 million in performance-based bonuses, so it could be worth as much as $6 million. Rodney also drew heavy interest from the Tigers, Rangers, Mets, and Diamondbacks this winter before deciding to head to Minnesota -- where he should get a chance to serve as the primary closer. The 40-year-old right-hander posted some rather underwhelming overall numbers in 2017, but he had a 2.38 ERA and 52/19 K/BB ratio over his final 45 1/3 innings and tallied 39 total saves.
Dec 14 - 11:34 AM

Athletics acquired OF Stephen Piscotty from the Cardinals for SS Yairo Munoz and 2B Max Schrock.

The framework of the trade was agreed to on Wednesday night and then officially announced Thursday after Piscotty passed his physical. The 26-year-old outfielder struggled with injuries throughout 2017 and his mother was diagnosed with ALS in the middle of the summer. He heads home to the Bay Area as a strong bounceback candidate for 2018. St. Louis signed Piscotty to a relatively team-friendly six-year, $33.5 million contract extension last April after watching him put up an .815 OPS with 29 home runs and 124 RBI over his first 216 major league games between 2015-2016.
Dec 14 - 11:31 AM

According to Ken Rosenthal of The Athletic, the Cardinals "keeping pushing for" Blue Jays third baseman Josh Donaldson.

Rosenthal adds, however, that the Blue Jays "remain disinclined to move Donaldson" because they want to compete in 2018. The asking price is high and there is no indication that a deal is close. St. Louis has its toe in the water on a bunch of different potential upgrades and it sounds like there might be a better match with the Rays. Evan Longoria, Alex Colome, and Chris Archer are the names the Cardinals have discussed with Tampa Bay.
Dec 14 - 9:30 AM

Ken Rosenthal of The Athletic reports that the Cubs are in agreement on a contract with free agent reliever Steve Cishek.

ESPN's Jerry Crasnick says it's a two-year deal in the $12-14 million range. Cishek dealt with some durability issues in 2017, but when healthy the 31-year-old sidearmer delivered a 2.01 ERA, 0.896 WHIP, and 41/14 K/BB ratio in 44 2/3 innings between the Mariners and Rays. He'll add a unique presence to the back end of the Chicago bullpen.
Dec 14 - 9:20 AM




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