Player News

Date: Team: Pos:

Mitch Harris (elbow) expects to be throwing without restrictions by the end of January.

Harris underwent a new kind of Tommy John-like surgery last June that is supposed to come with a shorter rehab time -- not the 12-15 months that is usually required. "I want to come into spring training 100 percent and healthy," the reliever told MLB.com on Sunday. "Hopefully, I make a decision extremely difficult for somebody, or really easy." Harris, a graduate of the United States Naval Academy, posted a decent 3.67 ERA over his first 27 major league innings in 2015 before missing the entire 2016 season. He's doubtful to win a bullpen spot out of camp, even if he's fully healthy.
Jan 16 - 10:25 AM

Cubs vice president Jason McLeod told fans in Chicago on Sunday that Jorge Soler was benched "a couple of times" last season due to a lack of hustle.

The comments came during a Q&A at the final session of the Cubs' annual winter fan convention. "This is not trying to harp on 'Georgie' at all, but he got yanked a couple of times last year for not hustling out to the outfield, for not running down the line," said McLeod. "I don't know if Joe [has conversations with players like that] so much, but Joe makes the decision. And Joe's style is not gonna go up and blow somebody up, especially in the dugout, on TV. But yeah, those conversations do take place." Soler will try to shake off that reputation in Kansas City, where he was traded in early December for closer Wade Davis. There's still a whole lot of offensive upside in the 24-year-old from Cuba. Maybe the fresh start can yield positives for everybody involved.
Jan 16 - 10:02 AM

FOX Sports' Ken Rosenthal reports that the Blue Jays and Jose Bautista are discussing a two-year contract in the $35-40 million range.

And it sounds like an official agreement may be imminent. Bautista struggled to attract a healthy market for himself this winter after an injury-riddled 2016 that saw him post his worst OPS (.817) since 2009. In bringing Bautista back the Jays will lose the opportunity to gain a compensatory draft pick, but it's a relatively low-cost, low-risk deal at two years, $35-40 million for a guy who ranked among the most dangerous sluggers in the game just a season ago. If the 36-year-old Bautista can stay healthy for most of 2017 and 2018, this could really work out well for Toronto. Look for more details soon.
Jan 16 - 9:41 AM

Bob Nightengale of USA Today confirms the Padres have signed Trevor Cahill to a one-year, $1.75 million contract.

Nightengale notes that the Pirates, Blue Jays, Reds, and Rangers also made offers to Cahill, but the 28-year-old right-hander wants another shot at starting and San Diego offers the best possible path to a major league rotation spot. Cahill posted a 2.74 ERA, 1.279 WHIP, and 66/35 K/BB ratio in 65 2/3 innings (one start, 49 relief appearances) last season for the Cubs. He'll have to sort out his recent control problems to flourish with the Friars.
Jan 16 - 9:30 AM

Jesse Sanchez of MLB.com reports that the Blue Jays are nearing a deal with Jose Bautista.

The Indians and Orioles have been mentioned as possibilities in recent days, but Sanchez writes that the Blue Jays have emerged as the front-runners. Jon Heyman of FanRag Sports confirms the report while adding that it "seems likely to happen." No word on the exact terms being discussed, but Bautista's market hasn't been nearly as strong as originally hoped. The Blue Jays have a clear need for another outfielder, so it makes sense to retain him if the price is right, even though they won't get the draft pick they would have received if he signed elsewhere. Bautista, 36, has slugged 265 homers in 1,078 games with Toronto. Only Carlos Delgado (336) has hit more in franchise history.
Jan 16 - 12:04 AM

Jon Morosi of MLB Network reports that the Orioles have been in contact with the representatives for Jose Bautista this offseason.

Despite their comments at the winter meetings to the contrary, it appears as though the O's have at least checked in on their former division-rival. The longer that he remains on the free agent market, and his price continues to drop, the more appealing he may be to the Orioles.
Jan 15 - 8:55 PM

Peter Gammons of GammonsDaily.com reports that the Mets, Yankees, Dodgers and Red Sox are among the dozen or more teams that plan to attend a showcase for Craig Breslow on January 23.

According to Gammons, Breslow has spent the off-season adopting a new pitch-tracking technology in order to reinvent his throwing habits, with input from Rich Hill. The veteran left-hander posted a 7.01 ERA over 25 2/3 innings at Triple-A in 2016.
Jan 15 - 7:45 PM
Jay Bruce - OF - Mets

According to Jim Salisbury of CSN Philadelphia, the Mets are seeking a pair of prospects in potential trades for outfielder Jay Bruce.

The Phillies have shown interest in Bruce in the past and could use some left-handed power in the middle of their lineup, though they could just prefer to sign a cheaper option through free agency and hold on to their prospects. The trade market for Bruce has been incredibly slow to develop this winter.
Jan 15 - 7:37 PM

Yankees signed 1B/OF Ji-Man Choi to a minor league contract.

The 25-year-old slashed a troublesome .170/.271/.339 in 129 plate appearances with the Angels last season. He was designated for assignment in late December but elected to explore free agency rather than accepting his outright assignment to Triple-A. He'll presumably get an invitation to big league camp as well and could compete for a role on the Yankees' Opening Day bench.
Jan 15 - 6:07 PM

Randal Grichuk said that he's now feeling much better after undergoing surgery earlier this offseason to remove loose bodies from his knee.

Grichuk required more than a month to recover from the procedure. It sounds as though he's back to having no restrictions now though and should be fully healthy for the start of spring training. The 25-year-old slashed .240/289/.480 with a career-best 24 homers and 68 RBI in 478 plate appearances with the Cardinals in 2016.
Jan 15 - 4:44 PM

Bruce Levine of CBS Chicago reports that "several teams" have upped their trade offers for Jose Quintana in the last week.

This has the feel of a White Sox leak that they hope results in actual improved offers from clubs. Regardless, the situation with Quintana does figure to come to a head soon with spring training not too far away. The Astros, Yankees and Pirates have been the three teams most often connected to Quintana, but Levine notes that there are others interested. For what it's worth, Levine says the "smart money" is on the left-hander being traded prior to spring training.
Source: CBS Chicago
Jan 15 - 3:38 PM

Marco Gonzales (elbow) is aiming to resume throwing off a mound during spring training and begin facing hitters before the end of exhibition play.

Working his way back from Tommy John surgery, Gonzales is currently long-tossing from 90 feet and says it's "going good." The left-hander will join Triple-A Memphis' rotation at some point early in the season and could help the big club in a starting or relief role later on in the year.
Jan 15 - 1:52 PM

Cardinals general manager John Mozeliak said Sunday that there will be a competition for the third base job between Jhonny Peralta and Jedd Gyorko.

The general assumption has been that Peralta would start at the hot corner, and he probably does have a slight leg up for the job. However, Peralta is coming off an injury-plagued season where he batted just .260/.307/.408, while Gyorko smacked a team-high 30 home runs. Gyorko is also just 28, whereas Peralta will turn 35 in May. It ultimately could turn into a bit of a timeshare, with Gyorko also filling in at second base on occasion versus lefties.
Jan 15 - 12:42 PM

Cardinals general manager John Mozeliak said Sunday that the club has considered a contract extension for Yadier Molina.

Molina is set to make $14 million in 2017 and the two sides have a $15 million mutual option for 2018. The catcher will turn 35 at midseason this year, but the Cardinals and Molina would both surely like to work something out to where the seven-time All-Star can retire as a Cardinal. Molina's Gold Glove streak was snapped at eight last season, but he had his best offensive season (.307/.360/.427) in a few years while leading all catchers with 142 starts behind the plate.
Jan 15 - 12:37 PM

Cardinals general manager John Mozeliak said Sunday that the team plans to go to an arbitration hearing with Carlos Martinez and Michael Wacha.

It's possible things could change between now and the date of the hearing, but it looks like Mozeliak might be employing a file-and-trial approach. It would be a change in philosophy for the Cardinals, who haven't gone to an arbitration hearing since 1999. Mozeliak noted that the club and Martinez's rep engaged in long-term extension talks but they obviously weren't able to work anything out. Martinez requested $4.25 million and was offered $3.9 million by the Cards when arbitration figures were exchanged on Friday, while Wacha requested $3.2 million and was offered $2.775 million.
Jan 15 - 12:22 PM



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