Player News

Date: Team: Pos:

Justin Upton's agent, Larry Reynolds, said in an interview on SiriusXM Sunday that his client is open to a contract extension with the Padres.

Upton is not, however, willing to negotiate a deal in-season, which is pretty common among impending free agents. Whether the Padres have any real interest or would be capable of locking Upton up remains to be seen. If they don't extend the outfielder, they can make him a qualifying offer next winter and pick up a draft pick.
Dec 21 - 1:07 PM

Agent Scott Boras has said that his client, Matt Wieters (elbow), will be ready to play on Opening Day.

Orioles manager Buck Showalter said last week that it's possible Wieters won't be ready for the opener as he works his way back from Tommy John surgery, but Boras doesn't seem to think it will be an issue. The O's will no doubt take things slowly with the catcher in spring training and we likely won't know for sure until he starts playing in Grapefruit League action whether he can be penciled into the lineup on April 6 versus the Rays.
Dec 21 - 12:00 PM

Nick Cafardo of the Boston Globe reports that "there seems no urgency on either side" when it comes to extension talks between the Orioles and Matt Wieters.

The two sides are known to have had discussions early in the 2013 season, but nothing materialized and it's looking at this point like Wieters will play out his final year before free agency. The talented backstop was limited to just 26 games last season before having Tommy John surgery, which could sideline him past Opening Day next year.
Source: Boston Globe
Dec 21 - 11:25 AM

Nick Cafardo of the Boston Globe reports that James Shields' contract demands are expected to be around five years and $110 million.

It's the same amount left on Cole Hamels' contract, assuming Hamels' option is picked up, and is a reasonable demand after Jon Lester landed a $155 million deal from the Cubs. Cafardo says that the Giants and Red Sox are "in the picture" for Shields, while the Yankees "may be another suitor." Shields, who just turned 33, holds a 3.64 ERA over his eight full seasons and has made at least 31 starts every year during that stretch.
Source: Boston Globe
Dec 21 - 11:21 AM

Phillies general manager Ruben Amaro has indicated that Chase Utley still has no desire to waive his no-trade clause.

"I've had some dialogue with Wolfie [agent Joel Wolfe] but frankly, he doesn't want to go anywhere," Amaro said. "He has no desire to go anywhere... He wants to honor his contract and that's how we have to perceive it." The Phillies are obviously in rebuilding mode, but it appears that Utley would rather stay where he's comfortable than go to a potential playoff contender. The veteran second baseman will make $10 million in 2015 and has $45 million in three vesting options from 2016-18.
Dec 21 - 9:39 AM

Yankees general manager Brian Cashman said following the Martin Prado trade that Rob Refsnyder and Jose Pirela are currently in line to compete for the second base job.

"It’s a competition right now and I’ll evaluate any other opportunities that legitimately present themselves,’’ he said, "but clearly if spring training started today, that would be the competition." Refsnyder is the better prospect of the two, having batted .318/.387/.497 with 14 homers, 63 RBI and nine steals between Double- and Triple-A in 2014. Pirela is coming off a fine season of his own with a .305/.351/.441 with with 10 homers, 60 RBI and 15 steals at Triple-A while also getting a cup of coffee in the majors. It's a situation to keep an eye on in spring training.
Dec 21 - 9:32 AM

ESPN's Jerry Crasnick reports that the Cardinals did not place the winning bid for Korean shortstop Jung-Ho Kang.

Derrick Goold of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch previously reported that the Cards were considering a bid, but if they ended up making one it obviously wasn't high enough. In addition to the Cardinals, the Rays, Twins, Yankees, Braves, Padres, Giants, Rangers, Angels, Dodgers, Blue Jays, Orioles and Mets are known to have not placed the winning bid for Kang.
Dec 21 - 9:16 AM

Josh Lindblom signed with the Lotte Giants of the Korean Baseball Organization.

Lindblom was released by the Pirates and subsequently signed a deal to play in the KBO next season. According to the Yonhap News Agency, Lindblom will get $850,000 and a $50,000 signing bonus in the deal. The 27-year-old made one start in the majors this past season.
Dec 20 - 10:00 PM

Angels signed INF Roberto Baldoquin.

The Angels and the 20-year-old Cuban infielder agreed to an $8 million signing bonus in November, and the deal became official after he passed his physical. The Angels view him as a shortstop, and he should be close to major-league ready. Even so, Baldoquin will likely start the season in the high minors to get acclimated to the professional game.
Dec 20 - 7:23 PM

The Rays and Twins aren't believed to be the winning bidders on Korean shortstop Jung-Ho Kang.

Marc Topkin of the Tampa Bay Times reported the Rays news, while Darren Wolfson of 1500 ESPN relayed the information on the Twins on Twitter. The Giants, per Alex Pavlovic of the San Jose Mercury News, never made a bid for the services of the 27-year-old. Plenty of teams are being eliminated, but the winning bidder hasn't been identified as of yet.
Dec 20 - 6:50 PM

Jim Bowden of ESPN.com reports the Yankees and Braves are two teams that did not submit bids for Korean shortstop Jung-Ho Kang.

We know that the Nexen Heroes accepted the highest bid from an MLB team -- slightly over $5 million -- but we don't yet know which team that is. Bowden has eliminated two teams, both of which make sense given that they both appear to be set at the shortstop position. The Padres were previously eliminated by Jon Heyman of CBS Sports. We'll likely know which team did win the right to negotiate exclusively with Kang soon.
Dec 20 - 4:58 PM

Giants general manager Brian Sabean said Saturday that the team does not plan to talk to free agent right-hander Max Scherzer.

The Giants have talked to James Shields this winter, so there were some rumblings that they may have some interest in Scherzer as well, but it appears that they have no desire to entertain the massive payday that he is looking to find. With the Yankees also out on Scherzer, his market for potential destinations appears to be dwindling.
Dec 20 - 3:36 PM

According to Roch Kubatko of MASN Sports, Nick Hundley has a two-year offer on the table from another team, making a return to the Orioles unlikely.

The O's had been hoping to re-sign the veteran backstop to a one-year deal as an insurance policy behind Matt Wieters. In 218 at-bats between the Padres and Orioles in 2014, Hundley hit .243/.273/.358.
Dec 20 - 2:21 PM

Jerry Crasnick of ESPN reports that the Phillies could have interest in free agent infielder Asdrubal Cabrera.

The Phillies have a large vacancy to fill at the shortstop after dealing Jimmy Rollins to the Dodgers, and Cabrera is one of the top names available on the free agent market. According to Crasnick though, Phillies general manager Ruben Amaro Jr. would first have to shed some payroll to create the requisite flexibility to add the veteran infielder.
Dec 20 - 1:03 PM

Indians signed LHP Scott Downs to a minor league contract.

The deal includes an invitation to major league spring training. The 38-year-old southpaw posted a 4.97 ERA, 1.47 WHIP and 25/20 K/BB ratio over 38 innings with the White Sox and Royals in 2014. Once considered one of the top left-handed specialists in the game, Downs represents a nice low-risk signing for the Indians.
Dec 20 - 12:56 PM



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