Player News - American - American

Date: Team: Pos:

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

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

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

Indians signed RHP Travis Banwart to a minor league contract with an invitation to spring training.

Banwart, who turns 31 next month, spent the first half of 2014 at Triple-A Columbus in the Indians organization but played in Korea the last two and a half years. He'll likely begin 2017 in Columbus' rotation.
Jan 15 - 9:07 AM

Red Sox first base prospect Sam Travis (knee) has been working out without restrictions for the last two months.

Travis had surgery last May to repair a torn ACL in his left knee. While he's still wearing a brace while exercising, he's expected to be cleared to remove it soon. There's a chance Travis might have been ready to take over at first base in Boston in 2017 had he not missed most of last season. As it is, he'll probably spend the bulk of the season at Triple-A Pawtucket but could push for a late-season promotion, especially if Mitch Moreland struggles.
Jan 15 - 8:37 AM

According to Nick Cafardo of the Boston Globe, the Dodgers view Ian Kinsler as a possible fallback option if the team is unable to acquire Brian Dozier.

The Dodgers have been linked to Dozier for quite some time but Cafardo is hearing the Twins are "having second thoughts" about moving him. Kinsler enjoyed a power surge last season, ripping 28 home runs while contributing a stellar .484 slugging percentage. The Tigers are looking to shed payroll and getting Kinsler's $11 million salary off the books would certainly accomplish that. The four-time All-Star has two years remaining on his current contract.
Source: Boston Globe
Jan 14 - 11:51 PM

According to Ken Rosenthal of Fox Sports, the Indians have been "in touch" with free agent Jose Bautista.

The Indians were expected to have a relatively low-key offseason but so far it's been anything but. They already made a huge splash by adding Edwin Encarnacion and could go for the jugular by bringing in Bautista, who played seven years alongside Encarnacion in Toronto. Signing Bautista would fall in line with Cleveland's win-now approach, but the Indians' outfield is already overcrowded and it's unlikely they'd break the bank for a 36-year-old coming off a down season. The Indians have already forfeited their first-round pick and would only have to give up a second-rounder in order to sign Bautista.
Source: Fox Sports
Jan 14 - 8:35 PM

Russell Martin will play shortstop for Team Canada in the World Baseball Classic.

Martin caught some flak for skipping out on the last WBC, but this time he's willing to do whatever he can to help Team Canada. Apparently that includes playing a new position. Martin has made 19 big-league appearances at third base and four at second base but has never played an inning of shortstop. "You go ahead and put me wherever you want," said Martin. Ryan Dempster, Freddie Freeman, Eric Gagne (seriously) and Justin Morneau are also slated to suit up for Team Canada in the WBC.
Jan 14 - 6:31 PM

Free agent Michael Saunders reiterated that he hopes to be back with the Blue Jays in 2017.

"I'm waiting for the right deal for me and my family," said Saunders. "I'm hoping to stay in Toronto and hopefully finding out soon." Saunders has gotten the cold shoulder from teams this winter despite making his first All-Star team in 2016. A return to Toronto would make sense for both sides, especially if Jose Bautista lands elsewhere. Saunders could also be an option for the Orioles if they lose Mark Trumbo in free agency.
Jan 14 - 6:14 PM

According to Peter Gammons, the Orioles' original offer to free agent Mark Trumbo was only for three years and $40 million.

The offer was previously believed to a four-year deal in the $52-55 million range but was actually much lower. Trumbo was hoping for something more after leading the majors with 47 round-trippers last season but his market has been slow to develop. John Hickey of the Bay Area News Group reported that the A's, who had previously shown interest in Trumbo, are unlikely to make a run at him. That leaves the Orioles, Rangers and Rockies as his primary suitors. In the end, we wouldn't be surprised if an increasingly desperate Trumbo circles back to the Orioles' original offer.
Jan 14 - 6:00 PM

Steven Wright is still rehabbing his injured right shoulder.

Wright first injured his shoulder during a pinch-running appearance back in August. He's been battling bursitis and rotator cuff irritation since then but is hoping to be back for the start of spring training. Now that Clay Buchholz is in Philadelphia, the All-Star knuckleballer should be in position to land the No. 5 spot in Boston's starting rotation.
Source: Boston Globe
Jan 14 - 4:32 PM

Matt Shoemaker said Saturday that he has been doing full workouts this offseason and that he has been cleared for normal pitching activity.

The right-hander is very anxious to get back on the hill after suffering a small skull fracture when he was drilled by a line drive on September 4, ending his season prematurely. It sounds like he should be a full-go for the start of spring training and won't have any restrictions.
Jan 14 - 11:12 AM

Alex Bregman announced Friday that he will play for the United States in the upcoming World Baseball Classic.

He has previously represented his country four other times. The second overall pick from the 2015 draft, Bregman slashed .264/.313/.478 with eight homers and 34 RBI over 217 plate appearances during his rookie season in 2016.
Jan 14 - 10:41 AM



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