Player News

Date: Team: Pos:

Angels and 3B David Freese avoided arbitration by agreeing to a one-year, $6.425 million contract.

Freese asked for $7.6 million and was offered $5.25 million from the Angels when arbitration figures were exchanged on January 16. The two sides found the midpoint. Freese batted just .260/.321/.383 in 2014 for Anaheim, but he'll open the 2015 season as the club's starting third baseman. He can become a free agent next fall.
Jan 28 - 5:04 PM

Braves designated OF Jose Constanza for assignment.

Constanza lost his 40-man roster spot Wednesday to Cuban outfielder Dian Toscano, whose four-year, $6 million contract with the Braves is now official. Constanza, 31, is a .273/.316/.323 hitter in 112 career games at the major league level. He'll probably clear waivers.
Jan 28 - 4:25 PM

White Sox designated OF Dayan Viciedo for assignment.

The move clears a spot for the newly-signed Gordon Beckham on the 40-man roster. The White Sox and Viciedo recently avoided arbitration by agreeing to a one-year, $4.4 million contract, but he became the odd man out on the roster after Melky Cabrera and Adam LaRoche were brought into the fold over the winter. Viciedo batted just .231 with a .686 OPS last season, but he should draw some interest with his pop from the right side of the plate.
Jan 28 - 2:24 PM

White Sox signed INF Gordon Beckham to a one-year, $2 million contract.

Beckham failed to live up to expectations before his first stint with the White Sox came to an end last August, but now he's back. We're not expecting much from a fantasy perspective, but the 28-year-old gives the White Sox as a platoon option against lefties, either at second base or third. GM Rick Hahn now has a handful of options at both positions and we might not know until later on in spring training how it will shake out, especially with Carlos Sanchez and Micah Johnson.
Jan 28 - 2:23 PM

Casey Janssen will make a $3.5 million salary with the Nationals this season.

It was reported that Janssen will be guaranteed $5 million in the deal, but the additional $1.5 million is part of a mutual option for 2016. The 33-year-old is expected to function as a set-up man for Washington and provides insurance for closer Drew Storen.
Jan 28 - 2:21 PM

Pirates signed OF/C Wilkin Castillo to a minor league contract with an invitation to spring training.

Castillo hasn't appeared in the majors since 2009 as a member of the Reds and spent last year in the Mexican League. The 30-year-old will serve as organizational depth.
Jan 28 - 2:12 PM

Tom Haudricourt of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel gets the impression that the Brewers would like to pull off a trade with the Phillies for closer Jonathan Papelbon.

As Haudricourt notes, the situation is complicated, as Papelbon is owed $13 million in 2015 and carries a $13 million vesting option for 2016 should he finish 48 games. He has a no-trade clause, so he may ask for the option to be fully guaranteed in order to accept a deal. If the Brewers are unable to work out a deal for Papelbon, they could still look to Francisco Rodriguez as a fallback.
Jan 28 - 1:49 PM

Chris Cotillo of MLB Daily Dish reports that a reunion is possible between the White Sox and Gordon Beckham.

The White Sox traded Beckham to the Angels in August, but he was non-tendered in December and is still out there in free agency. Cotillo hears that Chicago might be emerging as the "most likely destination" for him. Beckham hit just .226/.271/.348 with nine homers over 127 games last season and would likely have to accept a diminished role in his return.
Jan 28 - 1:40 PM

Mariners signed C John Baker to a minor league contract with an invitation to spring training.

Baker was non-tendered by the Cubs in December after batting just .192/.273/.231 over 68 games last season. Still, he has a decent chance to win the backup catcher job with Seattle in the spring.
Jan 28 - 11:33 AM

According to Tim Dierkes of MLB Trade Rumors, Joe Blanton will hold an open workout and throw a bullpen session for teams on February 4.

Blanton left the Athletics' Triple-A team after two outings last season, which led to reports about retirement, but he has been on a normal throwing program this winter and hopes to resume his playing career. The 34-year-old will almost certainly have to settle for a minor league deal. He had a 6.04 ERA over 20 starts and eight relief appearances with the Angels during his last stint in the majors in 2013.
Jan 28 - 11:20 AM

Indians director of player development Carter Hawkins expects third base prospect Giovanny Urshela to be ready for spring training.

Urshela suffered a sprained posterior cruciate ligament in his left knee in November when he slid into third base during a Venezuelan Winter League game, but the Indians decided against surgery. The 23-year-old hasn't progressed to batting practice, but he has resumed fielding ground balls hit directly at him. While he might not be ready when camp opens, the Indians are optimistic about his progress. Urshella batted .280/.334/.491 with 18 home runs and 84 RBI in 128 games this last season between Double-A Akron and Triple-A Columbus and could surface in the majors this season if healthy.
Jan 28 - 11:15 AM

FOX Sports' Ken Rosenthal reports that the Nationals have signed reliever Casey Janssen to a one-year, $5 million contract.

The deal includes a mutual option for 2016. Janssen should at least be a candidate for the set-up role following the Tyler Clippard trade, but he could find himself in the mix for saves if Drew Storen stumbles. The 33-year-old posted a 3.94 ERA and 28/7 K/BB ratio over 45 1/3 innings last season while going 25-for-30 in save chances.
Jan 28 - 10:45 AM

Anthony DiComo of MLB.com reports that the Mets aren't close to trading Dillon Gee.

The Mets have shopped Gee for most of the offseason and a deal has appeared close at times, but they have been unable to find a match yet. Still, things could change with spring training rapidly approaching. The Rockies, Padres, Royals, and Twins are among the teams who have been linked to him this winter.
Jan 28 - 9:28 AM

Matt Albers (shoulder) will have a showcase for teams on February 10 in Houston.

Albers was limited to eight appearances in 2014 due to shoulder problems, so he wants to prove his health. The 32-year-old capable of being a useful middle reliever, so someone will likely take a chance on him assuming he's feeling good. Darren Wolfson of 1500 ESPN notes that the Twins are open to adding another bullpen arm.
Jan 28 - 9:24 AM

Marlins signed OF Ichiro Suzuki to a one-year contract.

The deal is expected to be for around $2 million. Suzuki batted .284/.324/.340 with one homer and 15 steals last season for the Yankees and is 156 hits away from 3,000 for his major league career. Ichiro is 41 and has faded in recent years, but on a modest one-year deal as a fourth outfielder he's worth a shot.
Jan 27 - 10:12 PM



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