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Indians manager Terry Francona announced Sunday that Danny Salazar will start Wednesday's Wild Card Game against the winner of Monday's Rays vs. Rangers tiebreaker.

Salazar has been brilliant since joining the rotation in July, boasting a 3.12 ERA, 1.13 WHIP and 65/15 K/BB ratio over 52 innings. But the 23-year-old has pitched more than six innings in just one of his 10 starts this season, so Francona will likely have to rely on his bullpen as well on Wednesday to advance.
Sun, Sep 29, 2013 10:33:00 PM

Jon Morosi of MLB Network reports that the Cubs have inquired on Royals closer Wade Davis.

Mark Melancon is already off the board (Giants) and it doesn't sound like the Cubs want to step into the astronomical bidding wars for Kenley Jansen or Aroldis Chapman. Davis would certainly be a good fallback, though he did battle forearm issues late in the 2016 season. The 31-year-old right-hander owns a 1.18 ERA over his last 185 appearances with Kansas City. He's due to become a free agent next winter.
Dec 5 - 1:39 PM

MASN's Roch Kubatko hears the Orioles made a four-year offer to free agent Mark Trumbo.

But the word is Trumbo and his agent are seeking something in the $80 million range, and it sounds like the Orioles aren't prepared to go that high on a player with his sort of defensive limitations and offensive inconsistency. Trumbo led the major leagues with 47 homers in 2016, but he also batted just .256 with a .316 on-base percentage. He is a terrible outfielder.
Dec 5 - 1:32 PM

A source told SB Nation's Chris Cotillo that free agent Brad Ziegler has drawn interest from nine of the 10 teams that made the playoffs in 2016.

That source is probably Ziegler's agent, but it's no surprise the veteran reliever is generating significant attention in this market after he registered a 2.25 ERA across 68 innings between the Diamondbacks and Red Sox in 2016. Mike Puma of the New York Post says the Mets are among the interested teams. There are also probably some non-contenders involved.
Dec 5 - 1:24 PM

MLB Network's Jon Morosi reports that the Royals are "gauging trade interest" in Danny Duffy.

Wade Davis and Lorenzo Cain also appear to be on the block in Kansas City. Duffy is set up for a big payday in arbitration this winter after producing a fantastic 3.51 ERA, 1.14 WHIP, and 188 strikeouts over 179 2/3 innings with the Royals in 2016. Morosi suggests he could be a fallback plan for teams that don't want to meet the high demand on Chris Sale.
Dec 5 - 1:18 PM

Dodgers re-signed LHP Rich Hill to a three-year, $48 million contract.

The deal was agreed to in principle over the weekend and then finalized Monday morning after the veteran left-hander passed his physical. Hill excelled when healthy in 2016, producing a 2.12 ERA and 129 strikeouts in 110 1/3 innings between the Athletics and Dodgers. He'll carry big-time fantasy potential (but some of the same durability concerns) into 2017 -- what will be his age-37 campaign.
Dec 5 - 1:06 PM

Mark Melancon has agreed to a contract with the Giants, per Buster Olney of ESPN.

Joel Sherman of the New York Post says it's in the four-year, $62 million range. Late-inning bullpen issues were a big problem for the Giants in 2016, especially in the second half and postseason, and Melancon brings a terrific amount of stability to that department. He doesn't have the strikeout rates of some other top-tier closers (like free agents Aroldis Chapman and Kenley Jansen) but the 31-year-old right-hander boasts a 1.80 ERA and 0.91 WHIP over his last 290 innings dating back to the beginning of the 2013 season. An official announcement should be coming soon, after Melancon passes his pre-signing physical.
Dec 5 - 12:43 PM

MASN's Roch Kubatko reports that the Orioles are showing interest in free agent Michael Saunders.

He meets the Orioles' desire for a right fielder who bats left-handed. Injuries have been a constant drain for Saunders throughout his career and he fell apart down the stretch with Toronto in 2016, though the 30-year-old still managed a decent 253/.338/.478 overall slash line with 24 home runs in 140 games.
Dec 5 - 11:36 AM

Bill Brink of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette reports that Pirates officials are planning to meet with the representatives for Derek Holland during the Winter Meetings.

Pittsburgh has been a reported suitor for Holland since mid-November, and it sounds like the two parties are ready to get serious about contract negotiations. There are few better places for a pitcher to try to revitalize his career, so the interest is likely mutual. Holland posted a rough 4.95 ERA and 1.41 WHIP across 107 1/3 innings with the Rangers in 2016, prompting Texas to decline his $11 million option for 2017.
Dec 5 - 11:30 AM

Andrew McCutchen is drawing trade interest from the Dodgers, per Jon Morosi of MLB Network.

A number of other MLB teams are checking in, namely the Nationals. McCutchen was a disappointment for the Pirates in 2016, slashing .256/.336/.430 with 24 home runs and six stolen bases, but he's a pretty good bounceback candidate for 2017. At least from an offensive standpoint. The 30-year-old center fielder has always been overrated as a defender.
Dec 5 - 11:13 AM

Jon Heyman of FanRag Sports hears Marlins owner Jeffrey Loria "loves" Aroldis Chapman.

Spending something close to $100 million on a closer doesn't seem like a wise move for a team with many other needs, but Loria hasn't always pushed wise moves. Chapman may be waiting for Kenley Jansen and Mark Melancon to sign first, which would set the market for the elite closer options. Chapman, 28, put up a 1.55 ERA, 0.86 WHIP, and 90/18 K/BB ratio in 58 innings this summer between the Yankees and Cubs.
Dec 5 - 10:56 AM

According to Jim Bowden of ESPN, the teams currently in on free agent Kenley Jansen are the Nationals, Marlins, Yankees, Giants, Cubs, and Dodgers.

It's going to be a big-time bidding war that could last well into the offseason. Jansen, thought to be seeking close to $100 million, registered a stellar 1.83 ERA, 0.67 WHIP, and 104/11 K/BB ratio in 68 2/3 innings this past year for the Dodgers. Aroldis Chapman and Mark Melancon are also out there in free agency as elite-level closer options. When one domino falls, the others will soon.
Source: ESPN.com
Dec 5 - 10:46 AM




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