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According to Alden Gonzalez of MLB.com, Albert Pujols will participate in the World Baseball Classic for his native Dominican Republic, provided that his surgically-repaired knee continues to feel good.

Pujols underwent a very minor knee procedure in early October to relieve some mild pain that he played through during the 2012 season. His rehab has gone smoothly so far, but he'll probably opt to test the knee out during spring training before officially committing to play in the WBC. The Angels still owe him a total of $238 million.
Sat, Jan 12, 2013 11:18:00 PM

Orioles and LHP Zach Britton avoided arbitration by agreeing to a one-year, $6.75 million contract.

It's the exact midpoint between the the figures that each side filed at. With Britton now under contract, the Orioles have settled with all of their arbitration-eligible players. The 28-year-old has developed into one of the top closers in the league, coming off a phenomenal 2015 campaign where he posted a 1.92 ERA, 0.99 WHIP and 79/14 K/BB ratio across 65 2/3 innings.
Feb 5 - 6:53 PM

ESPN's Jayson Stark reports that the Blue Jays plan to have long-term extension talks with the agents of Jose Bautista and Edwin Encarnacion during spring training.

Both players are currently set to hit free agency following the 2016 campaign. It seems unlikely that Toronto would be able to afford both on a long-term deal, but they're going to engage with each player in talks soon. New Blue Jays general manager Ross Atkins told the Canadian Press that the team would "love to have both of them" remain Blue Jays beyond this season. "And the more we've learned about them, that has only increased our interest in keeping them here," Atkins said. "The challenge lies in placing a value on that and then agreeing on a contract." Bautista turned 35 last October, while Encarnacion turned 33 last month. The latter has set a deadline of Opening Day for extension talks.
Source: ESPN.com
Feb 5 - 4:41 PM

Marc Topkin of the Tampa Bay Times reports that the Rays are among the teams considering Tyler Clippard.

The low-budget Rays might not be able to offer Clippard the most money, but the reliever is a Florida native and the state has no personal income tax. The Diamondbacks are another club that has indicated they'd be interested in Clippard, who put up a 2.92 ERA, 1.13 WHIP and 64/31 K/BB ratio over 71 innings last season between the A's and Mets.
Feb 5 - 2:45 PM

Eduardo A. Encina of the Baltimore Sun reports that the Orioles are "one of several teams" expressing interest in Tim Lincecum.

Lincecum, who is making his way back from hip surgery, was reportedly set to begin throwing off a mound last week and is expected to hold a showcase for interested clubs soon. Encina isn't sure what the Orioles' level of interest is at this point, although that could become clearer after the showcase. Lincecum posted a 4.13 ERA over 15 starts last season before being shut down with his hip issue.
Feb 5 - 9:14 AM

The Blue Jays and free agent Gavin Floyd are in agreement on a deal, according to Chris Cotillo of MLB Daily Dish.

The agreement is pending a physical. Floyd didn't pitch until September last season after re-fracturing the olecranon bone in his right elbow in March. He struggled in three minor league starts following his return, posting an 11.57 ERA before putting up a more respectable 2.70 ERA in seven relief appearances with the Indians down the stretch. Floyd will provide some rotation depth for the Jays.
Feb 4 - 9:41 PM

Blue Jays general manager Ross Atkins said the team is "going to work toward a multi-year deal" with Josh Donaldson.

Donaldson is under team control through 2018, giving the team some leverage, but the reigning AL MVP surely won't sign on for a long-term deal cheaply. Presently, the two sides are just $450,000 apart in arbitration figures filed last month, so there shouldn't be any problem getting something done for 2016 if extension talks don't progress. The third baseman is a fantasy monster heading into the season after batting .297/.371/.568 with 41 home runs, 123 RBI and 122 runs scored last year.
Feb 4 - 7:48 PM

Sources tell Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports that the Orioles remain interested in free agent Yovani Gallardo.

Recent reports suggested the O's wouldn't have interest in Gallardo because he would cost the team the No. 14 overall pick in June's MLB Draft, but Rosenthal said the price for the right-hander could fall to the point that it would make sense for the club. The team acquired potential starter Odrisamer Despaigne on Thursday, but their rotation remains a weakness and they'll need help from somewhere to compete in a loaded AL East. The market for the 30-year-old has been cold and getting colder as teams go alternative routes in their search for starting pitching help.
Feb 4 - 6:30 PM

Orioles and LHP Brian Matusz avoided arbitration by agreeing to a one-year, $3.9 million contract.

Matusz requested $4.4 million and was offered $3.5 million by the Orioles when figures were exchanged last month, so the two sides settle for a little under the midpoint. The soon-to-be 29-year-old posted a 2.94 ERA and 56/20 K/BB ratio over 49 relief innings last season and is going into his final year of team control.
Feb 4 - 5:35 PM

Padres pitching prospect Ryan Butler has been suspended 50 games following a second positive test for a drug of abuse.

Butler, 23, held a 3.90 ERA over 64 2/3 innings in the Padres' minor leagues this past season. The right-hander, who made three starts at Double-A San Antonio last year, was the team's seventh-round pick in the 2014 MLB Draft.
Feb 4 - 4:53 PM

Jake Arrieta is scheduled to have an arbitration hearing with the Cubs on February 9 in Arizona.

Arrieta requested a $13 million salary and was offered $7.5 million from the Cubs' front office when arbitration figures were exchanged last month. That's a huge gap -- $5.5 million to be exact -- so this will be a very interesting result. Arrieta won the 2015 National League Cy Young Award after posting a 22-6 record, 1.77 ERA, 0.86 WHIP, and 236/48 K/BB ratio across 229 innings. He had a brilliant 0.75 ERA over his final 15 regular-season starts.
Feb 4 - 2:50 PM

Diamondbacks GM Dave Stewart suggested Thursday that he might make a play for free agent Tyler Clippard.

"We have not talked to his people, (but) that is a good name," Stewart told the Arizona Republic when asked about Clippard. "I know we talked about it internally, so I think there’s a pretty good possibility we will (reach out), at least just to see." Clippard, who turns 31 years old next week, posted a 2.92 ERA, 1.13 WHIP, and 64/31 K/BB ratio in 71 innings of relief last season between the A's and Mets. He is probably still holding out for a multi-year deal.
Feb 4 - 2:28 PM




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