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Sean Burnett (elbow) could be nearing a rehab assignment.

Angels manager Mike Scioscia said that Burnett "looked good" during another appearance in an extended spring training game Monday. Burnett has had a few setbacks as he works his way back from elbow surgery but appears to be moving in the right direction again.
May 5 - 10:51 PM

Rays exercised INF/OF Ben Zobrist's $7.5 million option for 2015.

Zobrist didn't have one of his better years at the plate with a .749 OPS, but he's still worth well more than $7.5 million, so it's a no-brainer move even for a team with a limited payroll. That said, it wouldn't be surprising if the Rays shopped him this winter, as he's slated for free agency after next season.
Oct 31 - 3:18 PM

Twins outfield prospect Byron Buxton underwent surgery Friday to repair a fractured left middle finger.

Buxton was originally diagnosed with a dislocation as a result of a dive in the Arizona Fall League, but a hand specialist discovered the fracture. The good news is that he'll be recovered well before spring training. Buxton was limited to just 31 games this season due to a variety of ailments.
Oct 31 - 3:03 PM

The Cubs on Friday announced that they have fired manager Rick Renteria.

Renteria was offered another position with the club but declined. This puts the Cubs in position to hire Joe Maddon, though the move isn't official yet. It's merely a formality, however.
Oct 31 - 2:49 PM

Blue Jays claimed OF Andy Dirks off waivers from the Tigers.

Dirks missed all of the 2014 season while rehabbing from back surgery before eventually being shut down with a strained hamstring. He's been a useful player at times in the past, though, and shouldn't have trouble cracking the Jays' Opening Day roster as long as he's healthy. Dirks is a career .276/.332/.413 hitter.
Oct 31 - 2:24 PM

Indians exercised INF Mike Aviles' $3.5 million option for 2015.

It was reported a week ago that they planned to pick it up, and now it's official. Aviles hit just .247/.273/.343 this season, but he offers plenty of value with his ability to play all over the diamond.
Oct 31 - 1:10 PM

Tigers exercised RHP Joakim Soria's $7 million option for 2015.

Soria didn't pitch very well after being acquired by the Tigers at the trade deadline, but he had a terrific year overall and the club needs all the bullpen arms it can get. As of now, Joe Nathan is expected to remain the team's closer heading into next season, though it's possible the Tigers will try to upgrade over the winter.
Oct 31 - 11:40 AM

Brewers declined 2B Rickie Weeks' $14.5 million option for 2015.

It's no surprise, of course, after Weeks lost his second base job to Scooter Gennett this season. He hit well in a part-time role, batting .274/.357/.452 with eight homers over 286 plate appearances. He's injury-prone and the big upside isn't there anymore, but Weeks is probably intriguing enough to land a starting job somewhere this winter.
Oct 31 - 10:30 AM

Sports Hochi reports that the Fukuoka Softbank Hawks plan to offer Daisuke Matsuzaka a four-year contract worth about $3.58 million per season.

He'd be crazy to turn that kind of money down, as Matsuzaka would have to take a minor league deal from a major league club. The right-hander has said previously that he'd be open to returning to Japan if they give him a chance to start. It would be shocking if Matsuzaka turns the offer down.
Oct 31 - 9:58 AM

Padres decline RHP Josh Johnson's $4 million option for 2015.

Johnson, of course, missed the 2014 campaign following Tommy John surgery and could get a late start to next season. However, he and the Padres are both interested in working out a smaller, likely incentive-laden deal. The right-hander has ample upside when healthy, which isn't terribly often.
Oct 30 - 7:57 PM

Orioles declined OF Nick Markakis' $17.5 million option for 2015.

It was an expected move. The Orioles are working to re-sign Markakis to a long-term deal, though Chris Cotillo of MLBDailyDish.com reported earlier this month that there has been "no substantial progress" made in extension talks. Markakis hit .276/.342/.386 with 14 homers and 50 RBI for the O's this season.
Oct 30 - 6:14 PM

Orioles exercised LHP Wei-Yin Chen's $4.75 million option for 2015.

It's a no-brainer. Chen has put up a 3.86 ERA and 1.27 WHIP across 86 starts over the last three seasons for the Orioles, proving to be a bargain after coming over from Japan. He'll be a big part of the Baltimore rotation again next season.
Oct 30 - 6:09 PM




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