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John Shea of the San Francisco Chronicle reports that the Athletics are "seriously considering" starting Hiroyuki Nakajima in the minors to begin the season.

Nakajima hasn’t had a hit in eight straight Cactus League games, dropping his average down to .150. He has just one extra-base knock (a double) in his 47 plate appearances. At the very least, Nakajima is looking at a bench role to start the season, though he would probably be better off playing every day at Triple-A Sacramento as he tries to become comfortable in the states. The A's figure to go with Jed Lowrie at shortstop and Scott Sizemore at second base on Opening Day, though Adam Rosales and Eric Sogard are still in the mix at second.
Mon, Mar 25, 2013 10:29:00 PM

Astros signed RHP Hector Rondon to a two-year, $8.5 million contract.

Ken Rosenthal of The Athletic first reported the agreement earlier Friday and now has the particulars after Rondon passed a physical. Rondon had a disappointing 4.24 ERA in 2017, but his velocity was fine and he had a career-best 29.1 percent strikeout percentage. He'll help the Astros in a setup role if he can stay healthy.
Dec 15 - 3:14 PM

Angels signed INF Zack Cozart to a three-year, $38 million contract.

Ken Rosenthal of The Athletic passed along the financials of the deal. Cozart has never played a position other than shortstop in the majors and is an excellent defender there, but he'll be the Angels' third baseman with Andrelton Simmons holding down shortstop. The Halos are going to have an excellent defense across the board in 2018. In addition to good glove work, Cozart broke out at the plate in 2017 with a .297/.385/.548 batting line and 24 home runs.
Dec 15 - 1:57 PM

Jon Heyman of FanRag Sports reports that the Phillies have signed Carlos Santana to a three-year, $60 million contract.

MLB.com's Jesse Sanchez says the Phillies also have a $17.5 million club option for 2021. It's an odd fit on the surface, as it means either Rhys Hoskins or perhaps even Santana will play the outfield or Santana will move back third base and bump Maikel Franco from a starting job. Perhaps there will be a series of moves coming from Philly. Santana does give the Phillies a bona-fide bat, as he boasts a career .249/.365/.445 batting line and has averaged 24 homers per season in his seven full years. The Indians will now have to turn to Plan B at first base.
Dec 15 - 1:33 PM

Padres acquired SS Freddy Galvis from the Phillies for RHP Enyel De Los Santos.

The deal is now official after being reported earlier Friday. Galvis gives the Padres a steady presence at shortstop that they've been lacking and offers them a stopgap at the position until Fernando Tatis Jr. is ready. The 28-year-old batted .255/.309/.382 with 12 homers and 14 steals in 2017.
Dec 15 - 1:15 PM

Gerry Fraley of the Dallas Morning News reports that the Mets and Twins are showing interest in Mike Napoli.

Fraley points out that Napoli has connections to both franchises in general manager Thad Levine with Minnesota and manager Mickey Callaway with New York. He would give the Twins a designated hitter option and offer protection for Dominic Smith at first base. Napoli is 36 and batted only .193/.285/.428 in 2017, but he did sock 29 home and was playing through a torn ligament in his right hand, which he had surgically-repaired.
Dec 15 - 11:18 AM

Ken Rosenthal of The Athletic reports that Hector Rondon has agreed to a contract with the Astros.

SB Nation's Chris Cotillo says it's a two-year deal. Rondon was non-tendered by the Cubs after posting a 4.24 ERA this past season, but his velocity and strikeouts were fine. He did have elbow issues in the second half, but if he can stay healthy Rondon should bounce back with the Astros in 2018.
Dec 15 - 10:30 AM

Indians signed OF Melvin Upton to a minor league contract with an invitation to spring training.

Jon Heyman of FanRag Sports says Upton will earn $1.5 million if he's in the majors. Upton, 33, hit only .244/.306/.333 over 12 minor league games in 2017 while battling injuries. With Michael Brantley (ankle) unlikely to be ready for Opening Day and Jason Kipnis apparently on the trade block, Upton should have a shot to make the team.
Dec 15 - 8:37 AM

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




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