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The Braves don't have firm plans on the exact date for a call up for prospect outfielder Ronald Acuna, writes Mark Bowman of MLB.com.

The original expectation was that Acuna would be called up as soon as the Braves delayed his service clock enough to secure an extra year of team control -- that would be April 13 -- but the top prospect is batting just .152/.222/.182 with 12 strikeouts in 36 plate appearances through eight games with Triple-A Gwinnett. The thought is that the lengthy gap between the end of spring training and the start of the minor league season could be a factor. Or it's just the randomness of baseball. Acuna could still be called up within days, possibly by the end of the Braves' seven-game homestand this week, but ideally he'd start swinging the bat better first.
Apr 16 - 9:51 AM

Royals signed OF Billy Hamilton to a one-year, $5.25 million contract with a $7.5 million mutual option for 2020.

The deal was agreed to on Monday and finalized Tuesday after Hamilton passed his physical. He'll serve as the Royals' primary center fielder in 2019 and should have the green light to run wild on the basepaths with the rebuilding club. Hamilton is a .245/.298/.333 career hitter in over 2,700 major league plate appearances, but the 28-year-old plays tremendous defense and is still one of the top base-stealers in the game.
Dec 11 - 4:21 PM

ESPN's Buster Olney hears that Manny Machado is planning to make "four in-person visits with teams in the days ahead."

It's unclear exactly which teams have meetings lined up with the free agent superstar, but the White Sox and Phillies certainly seem interested and Yankees general manager Brian Cashman confirmed Monday that he's had multiple conversations with Machado's agent, Dan Lozano. Machado is expected to visit with these teams in the cities where they play, so we can say pretty confidently that he's not going to be signed during the Winter Meetings this week in Las Vegas. "The days ahead" could refer to next week.
Dec 11 - 3:50 PM

Bob Nightengale of USA Today reports that the Red Sox are "openly listening" to offers for Rick Porcello.

The idea is to shed some salary for bullpen help. Porcello posted a 4.28 ERA in 33 starts this past season and is owed $21 million in 2019 before hitting free agency. Nightengale adds that rivals insist the Red Sox are also are willing to talk about shortstop Xander Bogaerts and center fielder Jackie Bradley Jr., but that sounds like a stretch, especially in regard to Bogaerts.
Dec 11 - 3:42 PM

Buster Olney of ESPN.com reports that the White Sox are considering free agent catcher Yasmani Grandal.

There's been surprisingly little talk about Grandal after his rough showing during the postseason, but he'd still make for a healthy upgrade on most catching situations around the league. The 29-year-old posted an .815 OPS with 24 home runs over 140 games in 2018 and carries a good reputation for his work behind the plate, postseason struggles aside.
Dec 11 - 3:36 PM

Jon Heyman of FanCred Sports hears that the Mets are being "very aggressive" on Marlins catcher J.T. Realmuto.

According to Heyman, the debate internally with the Mets is whether to part with young shortstop Amed Rosario or Noah Syndergaard in order to make a deal happen. Syndergaard has been mentioned as a possible piece of a three-way trade involving the Yankees. The Mets were reportedly reluctant to include Rosario, but it seems that they could be willing to budge here. If they do, there's a good chance this could be done in a straight trade and they'll keep Syndergaard. It wouldn't be ideal to lose someone with Rosario's potential, but the thought is that they could turn to a defensive-minded replacement at shortstop.
Dec 11 - 3:29 PM

Blue Jays released SS Troy Tulowitzki.

This comes after Blue Jays general manager Ross Atkins said last week that he wasn't sure there was a role for Tulowitzki moving forward. And so, the Blue Jays will simply eat the two years and $38 million remaining on his contract. The 34-year-old compiled a disappointing .250/.313/.414 batting line over 238 games with the Blue Jays and missed the entire 2018 season following surgery on both heels. Someone will surely take a chance on him now that he's available at the major league minimum salary, but it's hard to expect much at this point.
Dec 11 - 3:02 PM

Matt Gelb of The Athletic reports that the Phillies have signed outfielder Andrew McCutchen, pending a physical.

Jim Salisbury of NBC Sports Philadelphia adds that it's a three-year deal while Jon Heyman of FanCred Sports hears that it's worth $50 million. McCutchen is a big addition for the Phillies' outfield, which carries plenty of uncertainty with Odubel Herrera, Nick Williams, and Roman Quinn. Rhys Hoskins is set to make the full-time move back to first base following the Carlos Santana trade. The 32-year-old McCutchen might not be the player he once was, but he still delivered a very solid .255/.368/.424 batting line in 2018. The Phillies still have plenty more up their sleeve this offseason.
Dec 11 - 2:42 PM

According to Adam McCalvy of MLB.com, the Brewers had a "very good" meeting with free agent catcher Wilson Ramos on Monday.

Ramos is on hand at the Winter Meetings in Las Vegas and is set to meet with other teams, including the Mets. As of now, the Brewers are looking at a combination of Manny Pina, Erik Kratz, and Jacob Nottingham behind the plate, so this makes for a potentially strong fit. Ramos has an injury history, but there's no question about his ability to produce offensively. The 31-year-old batted .306/.358/.487 with 15 homers and 70 RBI over 111 games this past season between the Rays and Phillies.
Dec 11 - 2:14 PM

White Sox acquired RHP Ivan Nova from the Pirates for RHP Yordi Rosario and international pool money.

Nova was expendable for the Pirates and they were also able to move his salary (roughly $9.1 million) for 2019. The veteran right-hander is coming off a 4.19 ERA and 114/35 K/BB ratio in 161 innings across 29 starts in 2018. He brings excellent control, but the home run ball tends to hurt him. That's not going to change in Chicago. Still, he should be a stable option in Chicago's rotation.
Dec 11 - 2:07 PM

Jon Paul Morosi of MLB.com reports that the Astros are looking into free agent Michael Brantley.

His left-handed bat would be a great fit in the Astros' lineup, but Morosi hears that the club is hesitant about potentially blocking prospect Kyle Tucker. The 31-year-old has had a bunch of injury issues in recent years, but he's still likely to get a three-year deal coming off a season where he batted .309/.364/.468 with 17 homers and 76 RBI in 143 games.
Dec 11 - 2:00 PM

Jon Paul Morosi of MLB.com reports that the Astros have remained in contact with J.A. Happ's representatives in recent days.

The Astros could use the help in their rotation with Dallas Keuchel and Charlie Morton on the free agent market. The 36-year-old Happ isn't going to get as long of a deal as Keuchel, but he's still trying to get three years and it sounds like he'll wait things out until he does. The Yankees and Phillies are among a group of clubs in on Happ.
Dec 11 - 1:11 PM




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