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Multiple sources report that the Blue Jays have signed RHP David Phelps to a one-year deal with an option for 2020.

The deal is worth $2.5 million guaranteed, but as expected, it's incentive-laden and could be worth up to $8 million in 2020 based on how many games he pitches in. Phelps missed all of the 2018 season after tearing the UCL in his right elbow and undergoing Tommy John surgery in March. The 32-year-old was last in the majors with the Mariners in 2017; coming to Seattle in a deadline deal. When healthy, Phelps has shown electric stuff at times; particularly out of the bullpen with a strikeout rate over 10.0 in that role. He'll have to show he's healthy -- and strike-throwing has been an issue -- but he could be a high-leverage reliever for the Blue Jays in the 2019 season.
Jan 10 - 11:06 PM

Ken Rosenthal of The Athletic reports that the Twins have reached a contract agreement with free agent left-hander Martin Perez.

According to Rosenthal, it's a one-year major league deal that includes a club option for a second season. No word yet on the financials. Perez hit the open market after the Rangers declined his $7.5 million option in December. The 27-year-old hurler registered a troublesome 6.22 ERA, 1.78 WHIP and 52/36 K/BB ratio across 85 1/3 innings for the Rangers in 2018.
Jan 19 - 4:52 PM

Jon Heyman of Fancred reports that the Giants have been gauging trade interest in third baseman Evan Longoria.

Longoria has four years and $72.5 million remaining on his contract with the Giants, in addition to a $2 million assignment bonus if he's traded, so the Giants may have to contribute significant cash if they're hoping to move him. The 33-year-old hit .244/.281/.413 with 16 homers and 54 RBI over 125 games in his first season with the Giants.
Jan 19 - 4:48 PM

Ken Rosenthal of The Athletic reports the Dodgers have growing interest in possibly signing OF A.J. Pollock.

The Dodgers have a plethora of outfielders but Cody Bellinger is the only one that could be considered a star-level player. Pollock would fill a need in center field and his right-handed bat would help balance out a lefty-heavy lineup. Pollock battted .257/.316/.484 with 21 home runs, 65 RBI and 13 steals in 113 games last year for the Diamondbacks. He missed nearly two months due to a fractured thumb.
Jan 19 - 4:02 PM

Jon Heyman of Fancred reports that the Yankees and Reds are "getting closer" to making a trade involving Sonny Gray.

This one has been brewing for a long time now and something might happen soon. Heyman mentions that the Yankees would receive two prospects and a competitive balance draft pick. One of the prospects involved could be either 2B Shed Long or C Tyler Stephenson, both of whom are in the back half of the Reds' top ten prospects. The second prospect would likely be from further down the list. Gray will make a $7.5 million salary in 2019 after going 11-9 with a 4.90 ERA and woeful 1.50 WHIP in 30 games (23 starts) last year for the Yankees. Based on those numbers we wouldn't expect Gray to net much of a return in trade value, but his xFIP was better at 4.10 and he owns a career ERA of 3.66 over six seasons. His first three seasons were his best however, and over the last three seasons he has a 4.59 ERA. Heyman reports the Giants, Braves and Brewers are also interested in Gray.
Jan 19 - 10:50 AM

Pete Abraham of the Boston Globe reports that Chris Sale said his shoulder is feeling healthy again.

Sale spoke at the Red Sox annual fan convention and said "I feel normal again, I’m able to throw free and easy and feel loose and kind of have that whip back. It’s obviously a nice feeling." Sale suffered through an extended bout with left shoulder inflammation last season that cost him two stints on the disabled list. The club was able to nurse him through the season and the playoffs but he wasn't at full strength. The aches and pains limited him to 158 innings but when he was on the mound he was spectacular. He turned in a 2.11 ERA and 0.86 WHIP (both career bests) in 27 starts. He struck out 237 batters, issued just 34 walks and yielded only 11 home runs. He won 12 games against four losses and finished fourth in the AL Cy Young balloting. He has finished in the top six of the Cy Young balloting in each of the last seven seasons but has not yet won the award.
Jan 19 - 10:33 AM

Kris Bryant said his shoulder is now perfectly healthy and he has been taking batting practice at full strength since December 1st.

Bryant initially injured his left shoulder on a slide in late June and was bothered by lingering discomfort throughout the second half. He batted just .242/.333/.374 with two home runs over his final 30 regular-season games. Following the season there was conjecture that he might need surgery on the shoulder and that he wouldn't be able to swing a bat until January. Speaking at the Cubs' fan convention he said his shoulder is "Perfect. I feel so good. I feel great... I feel very strong... I'm swinging really hard." It's good news for fantasy owners who can now draft him with confidence this spring.
Jan 19 - 9:54 AM

Cubs president of baseball operations Theo Epstein said shortstop Addison Russell will get a "conditional second chance" to remain with the organization.

Russell was suspended 40 games for violating Major League Baseball's domestic violence policy and still has 29 games of that suspension left to serve this year. The Cubs consulted with Russell's ex-wife (the victim of the abuse), and Epstein said "She felt like this was Addison's best chance to get his life in order." The former elite prospect's career has been disappointing thus far -- he has a .242/.313/.392 slash line in 533 career games and his results have been trending in the wrong direction. His role moving forward could be that of a part-time player on the Cubs' loaded roster. He will turn 25 years old next week.
Source: Sportsnet
Jan 19 - 9:14 AM

According to Jon Heyman of Fancred, there is a mystery team in the mix for Manny Machado, and that they reportedly have the highest offer on the table.

Heyman notes that the impression is that the mystery team is not Machado's preferred destination, though if the Phillies and White Sox don't up their offers, perhaps the almighty dollar will win out in the end. The Yankees and Dodgers have each been connected to Machado as well this winter, but Heyman reported earlier on Friday that neither team has made an official contract offer.
Jan 18 - 8:46 PM

Rays signed OF Avisail Garcia to a one-year, $3.5 million contract.

The deal -- which was first reported early this week -- could be worth as much as $6 million if Garcia hits all of his incentives. Garcia was non-tendered by the White Sox earlier this offseason following a disappointing .719 OPS, but his Statcast data was promising and he posted a .885 OPS in 2017. You have to expect at least one trip to the disabled list, but he's a worthy gamble on a modest deal.
Jan 18 - 5:29 PM

Ken Rosenthal of The Athletic reports that the Reds are "making progress" in their pursuit of a trade for Sonny Gray.

Jon Heyman of Fancred Sports hears that the Yankees have shown interest in second base prospect Shed Long and catching prospect Tyler Stephenson, although it's unclear whether one or both of those players is headed to New York. Cincinnati and Great American Ball Park isn't the best landing spot for Gray as he looks to have a bounce-back season, although a move to the National League should help and he'll be reunited with his former college pitching coach, Derek Johnson. Like fellow pitching acquisitions Alex Wood and Tanner Roark, Gray is set to hit free agency after the 2019 campaign.
Jan 18 - 3:35 PM

Andy Martino of SNY.tv reports that the White Sox have discussed a deal with Manny Machado that would allow the team to exercise an option after year three that would trigger club control for an eighth or ninth year.

If the White Sox declined to exercise that option, Machado would have the opportunity to opt out of the deal after 2021. It's a similar contract stipulation that Yusei Kikuchi and Zach Britton agreed to, although with Machado it would obviously be on a much larger scale. All three players are clients of Scott Boras, who has referred to the unique contracts as a "swellopt" (meaning it's a "swell" option for both sides). Martino believes that if Machado might be amendable to this type of contract, it's possible the Yankees could jump back into the bidding.
Source: SNY.tv
Jan 18 - 9:38 AM




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