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The Red Sox won't know until Monday whether Shane Victorino (hamstring) will be ready for Opening Day.

Victorino strained his right hamstring Saturday but won't undergo an MRI until Monday morning. Boston plays in Baltimore at 4 ET, but they think the outfielder will be able to get to the game in time if he's cleared. Victorino expressed optimism shortly after the injury that he'd be fine, but manager John Farrell said the 33-year-old is "questionable" for the opener.
Sun, Mar 30, 2014 12:51:00 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

Tigers selected OF Victor Reyes from the Diamondbacks with the first overall pick in the Rule 5 draft.

Reyes batted .292/.332/.399 with four home runs and 18 stolen bases in 126 games this past season for the Diamondbacks' Double-A affiliate. Detroit will have to keep the 23-year-old on the major league roster throughout the 2018 campaign, but that is not such a difficult task for a rebuilding team. Reyes can play all three spots in the outfield and he'll make for a pretty good pinch-running option.
Dec 14 - 9:06 AM

USA Today's Bob Nightengale writes that the Padres have become the "clear-cut favorites" for free agent Eric Hosmer.

Nightengale says the Padres have had two face-to-face meetings with Hosmer and his camp, presumably at this week's Winter Meetings in Orlando. But this of course will all come down to money and agent Scott Boras offered no indication Wednesday in his annual scrum with the media that Hosmer has lowered his sky-high asking price. Nightengale notes that the Red Sox are also "lurking" on the 28-year-old first baseman, who posted a career-best .318/.385/.498 batting line with 25 home runs and 94 RBI over 162 games for the Royals in 2017. He also earned his fourth career Gold Glove, though advanced defensive metrics aren't as kind to him as the folks who vote on those awards.
Dec 14 - 8:55 AM

USA Today's Bob Nightengale reports that the Orioles "are moving aggressively on Manny Machado trade talks and now believe they can move him by the end of the week."

Ken Rosenthal of The Athletic wrote late Wednesday night that the White Sox have emerged "as the most aggressive suitor" for Machado and Nightengale confirms that the Pale Hose have presented the strongest offer so far to Baltimore, however the Cardinals, Giants, Red Sox, Phillies, and Yankees are also in the mix on this. Machado is an elite-level talent and he is only 25 years old, but the star third baseman can become a free agent after the 2018 season and the Orioles clearly don't think they can afford to lock him up to a long-term deal. A trade of Machado might kick off a larger rolling rebuild effort for the O's front office. Brad Brach, Zach Britton, and Adam Jones are all entering walk years.
Dec 14 - 4:01 AM

According to Bob Nightengale of USA Today, the Rangers are "strongly pursuing" Royals closer Kelvin Herrera.

Kansas City appears poised for an organizational rebuild, so Herrera -- a free agent next winter -- can probably be had with the right match of young talent. Joel Sherman of the New York Post reported on the first day of the Winter Meetings that the Royals were at least "fielding interest" in the 27-year-old right-hander. Herrera struggled to a 4.25 ERA over 59 2/3 innings in 2017, but he put up a dominant 2.30 ERA with 209 strikeouts in 211 2/3 innings between 2014-2016.
Dec 14 - 3:45 AM

Brandon Kintzler has agreed to a two-year free agent contract with the Nationals, per Ken Rosenthal of The Athletic.

Kintzler finished the 2017 season in Washington and will return to a setup role with the defending NL East champs after fielding interest from several other teams this winter -- some of whom might have given him a chance to close. His new agreement with the Nats carries a $10 million guarantee and it can jump to $16 million if certain incentives are reached and an option is exercised, per USA Today's Bob Nightengale. Kintzler owns a sharp 3.08 ERA in 125 2/3 innings since the beginning of the 2016 campaign, though the 33-year-old right-hander has never generated many swing-and-misses.
Dec 14 - 1:30 AM

Astros signed RHP Joe Smith to a two-year, $15 million contract.

The two-year deal was first reported by Brian McTaggart of MLB.com, with Ken Rosenthal of The Athletic later filling in the financial details. Smith, 33, struck out 71 batters with a 3.33 ERA in 54 innings of relief this past season while splitting time between the Blue Jays and Indians. He should find a home in a high-leverage role with Houston next year.
Dec 13 - 9:20 PM




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