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Astros manager Bo Porter announced that he will begin the season with a closer by committee.

Expect Chad Qualls, Matt Albers and Josh Fields to divide save opportunities at the outset, though Kevin Chapman absolutely should be owned in AL-only formats as the only projected southpaw currently in Houston's bullpen, according to the website MLB Depth Charts. Qualls is the favorite to end the season with the most saves, but that says more about his competition than it does about him. This bullpen is an absolute mess, same as last year, and the Triple-A isn't hiding any saviors.
Sun, Mar 23, 2014 11:22:00 AM

Evan Gattis recently underwent hernia surgery and will be sidelined for the next 4-6 weeks.

The operation shouldn't have any long-term effects, but it could sideline Gattis for the bulk of spring training and possibly threaten his availability for Opening Day. If Gattis does get a late start to the season, Jake Marisnick, Preston Tucker and Marwin Gonzalez would figure to be in line to pick up the slack. Gattis batted .246/.285/.463 with 27 homers and 88 RBI in his first season with the Astros.
Feb 9 - 10:00 PM

Yu Darvish (elbow) is on track to begin throwing bullpen sessions in March.

Working his way back from Tommy John surgery, Darvish resumed a throwing program last August but hasn't been cleared for mound work just yet. He's currently long-tossing at 120 feet and throwing off flat ground at 60-75 feet. Darvish is aiming to rejoin the Rangers' rotation around mid-May to early-June. "I have no problems at all right now. I have no concerns," Darvish said. "I feel like I could throw 95 right now, but they told me not to. I feel really good right now."
Feb 9 - 5:51 PM

White Sox signed RHP Mat Latos to a one-year, $3 million contract.

Latos is coming off a 2015 campaign that saw him bounce around with three different teams and post a 4.95 ERA. He's also not throwing as hard as he used to and has drawn criticism for being a poor clubhouse presence. That said, there's little risk in a $3 million investment and the White Sox were lacking rotation depth. He'll push Erik Johnson either to the bullpen or Triple-A.
Feb 9 - 4:15 PM

Mariners signed RHP Joel Peralta to a minor league contract with an invitation to spring training.

Peralta, who turns 40 in March, is coming off a rough season with the Dodgers where he posted a 4.34 ERA and 24/8 K/BB ratio over 29 innings while missing some time with neck and shoulder injuries. Still, he's a fine gamble at these terms.
Feb 9 - 1:53 PM

Jason Castro lost his arbitration hearing against the Astros and will make $5 million in 2016.

Castro requested $5.25 million when arbitration figures were exchanged last month, so it wasn't much of a difference, but the two sides were unable to avoid a hearing. The 28-year-old batted .211 with 11 homers and a .648 OPS over 104 games in 2015. He's going into his final year before free agency.
Feb 9 - 1:32 PM

ESPN's Jerry Crasnick writes that free agent shortstop Ian Desmond is a "long shot" for the Rays.

There's been some chatter about the Rays being interested in Desmond, as he could be a bargain at this point of the winter, but the club doesn't want to give up a draft pick in order to sign him. There's always the chance that they could change their mind, but the 30-year-old appears likely to end up elsewhere. Many have pegged the White Sox as a logical fit for Desmond, but they are also reluctant to give up a pick.
Feb 9 - 11:38 AM

Josh Donaldson's new two-year deal with the Blue Jays is worth $28.65 million, according to the Associated Press.

Shi Davidi of Sportsnet.ca reported late Monday night that the two sides had agreed to a deal worth around $29 million, but now we have the exact number. Donaldson won his arbitration case against the Blue Jays last winter, but the two sides were able to avoid a hearing this time around. The 2015 AL MVP will still be under team control for one more year after this new deal expires.
Source: Sportsnet.ca
Feb 9 - 11:20 AM

MLB Network's Jon Heyman reports that the Royals are still talking to Salvador Perez about extending and redoing his contract.

Talks have been going on for most of the winter, so it would be a surprise if something doesn't get done. Perez might have the most team-friendly contract in the game, as he's owed just $2 million in 2016 with three club options for 2017-2019 which max out at $14.75 million. An extension would increase the guarantee involved, but it's a tricky proposition for the Royals, as Perez's heavy workload could take its toll on him as he moves closer to his 30s.
Feb 9 - 9:29 AM

Diamondbacks and OF A.J. Pollock avoided arbitration by agreeing to a two-year, $10.25 million contract.

The deal buys out Pollock's first two years of arbitration eligibility. The outfielder certainly earned the raise after a breakout 2015 season that saw him bat .315/.367/.498 with 20 homers, 39 stolen bases and 111 runs scored. He'll patrol center field for the D'Backs again in 2016.
Feb 8 - 11:26 PM

Padres signed INF/OF Skip Schumaker to a minor league contract with an invitation to spring training.

The Reds unsurprisingly declined a $2.5 million option on Schumaker shortly after last season ended and he wound up settling for a non-guaranteed deal. However, the veteran utility player stands a good chance at winning an Opening Day roster spot with the ability to play second base and all three outfield spots. Schumaker, 36, batted .242/.306/.336 with one homer last season in Cincinnati.
Feb 8 - 9:24 PM

SB Nation's Chris Cotillo reports that the Tigers and J.D. Martinez have agreed to a two-year contract.

Robert Murray of BaseballEssential.com hears that the deal, which buys out Martinez's final two years of arbitration eligibility, is worth $18.5 million. The 28-year-old slashed .282/.344/.535 with 38 home runs and 102 RBI across 158 games last season for the Tigers. He'll operate as the Tigers' regular right fielder again in 2016.
Feb 8 - 8:00 PM




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