Player News

Date: Team: Pos:

Giants claimed infielder Engelb Vielma off of waivers from the Pirates.

The Giants previously claimed Vielma from the Twins last September, only to lose him to the Phillies on waivers in November (the Pirates claimed him later in December). A defensive-minded shortstop, Vielma isn't likely to hit enough to be of use as a major league bench player. He can be plugged in at short for a few weeks if the starter gets hurt, though.
Jan 18 - 7:42 PM

Yasmany Tomas was arrested in Arizona on Thursday morning after allegedly driving 105 mph.

Tomas was charged with reckless driving and criminal speeding. He was not impaired at the time of the arrest. Tomas could face jail time and a fine, given the charges, but an MLB suspension is unlikely. Jayson Werth received no discipline from MLB after a similar incident three years ago.
Jan 18 - 6:40 PM

Nationals signed outfielder Howie Kendrick to a two-year, $7 million contract.

The Nationals are getting a perfectly decent regular here at a bargain price and making him their fourth outfielder ahead of Brian Goodwin, who already looked like a pretty good fourth outfielder himself. They're now really well protected in case Adam Eaton or Bryce Harper gets hurt or if Michael Taylor struggles to hit like he did last season. What's disappointing for prospect hounds is that Victor Robles now seems a whole lot less likely to luck into 300-400 at-bats this year.
Jan 18 - 5:07 PM

Rangers signed catcher Curt Casali to a minor league contract and invited him to spring training.

Casali requested his release from the Angels earlier this week after the team signed Rene Rivera as the likely backup to Martin Maldonado. In Texas, Casali appears set to compete with Juan Centeno and Mike Nicholas for a job behind Robinson Chirinos, though that's still subject to change.
Jan 18 - 5:01 PM

Baseball America's Ben Badler reports that the Yankees, Marlins and Rangers are the favorites to sign Cuban defector Juan Pablo Martinez.

The Yankees and Marlins both held private workouts for Martinez last week. The 21-year-old Martinez is still waiting to be cleared to sign by MLB. A center fielder with power and speed, he'll likely spend most of 2018 in the minors before perhaps getting a chance to win a starting job in 2019.
Jan 18 - 4:41 PM

Dustin Pedroia (knee) has been cleared to begin running.

Pedroia mentioned on a podcast last week that his goal is to be ready for Opening Day. With him being cleared to run a full month ahead of the start of spring training, it may just give him a shot. Boston will likely take things very carefully with the 34-year-old second baseman, however, and we'll need to hear the words "baseball activities" before getting too optimistic. Still, this is good news for Pedroia and Red Sox fans.
Jan 18 - 3:13 PM

White Sox sent OF Jacob May outright to Triple-A Charlotte.

May was designated for assignment a week ago to make room on the 40-man roster for Miguel Gonzalez. He went 2-for-36 in very limited time with the White Sox in 2017. He'll serve as outfield insurance for the 2018 season.
Jan 18 - 2:56 PM

Padres signed C Rafael Lopez to a minor league contract with an invitation to spring training.

Lopez played in 24 games with the Blue Jays in 2017, but selected free agency after being outrighted to Triple-A Buffalo in November. He hit .222/.306/.463 in his time with Toronto. He'll get a chance to compete for the backup catching job in San Diego.
Jan 18 - 1:50 PM

Marlins signed 1B Jonathan Rodriguez to a minor league contract with an invitation to spring training.

Rodriguez spent 2017 with the Twins organization, where he was also on a minor league deal. The 28-year-old first baseman put up big numbers with a .926 OPS, but he did most of his damage in Double-A Chattanooga. As bad as the Marlins are, it's unlikely Rodriguez becomes anything more than organizational fodder for Miami in 2018.
Jan 18 - 1:42 PM

Padres invited SS prospect Fernando Tatis Jr. to MLB spring training.

Tatis Jr. has seen his stock rise exponentially over the last couple of years, and he hit 22 homers at the Low-A and Double-A level in 2017. The son of former all-star Fernando Tatis, the younger Tatis has big-time power, quality speed and makes enough hard contact to compensate for the strikeouts. Despite the fact he won't turn 20 until next year, he still has a chance to be a contributor to the Padres in 2018. The sky's the limit in terms of his potential.
Jan 18 - 1:28 PM

Mets designated RHP Chase Bradford for assignment.

Bradford's removal from the 40-man roster became necessary after the Mets signed Adrian Gonzalez. He pitched in 28 games in 2017 for New York; registering a 3.74 ERA and striking out 27 in his 33 2/3 innings.
Jan 18 - 10:13 AM

Brewers signed RHP Ernesto Frieri to a minor league contract with an invitation to spring training.

Frieri has pitched in just six games at the big-league level in the past two seasons, and spent most of 2017 in Triple-A for the Rangers and Mariner organization. The former Angels closer will likely provide organizational depth for Milwaukee in the 2018 campaign.
Jan 18 - 10:09 AM

Blue Jays signed RHP Al Albuquerque to a minor league contract with an invitation to spring training.

Albuquerque had strong numbers in a small sample size in 2017, posting a 2.50 ERA in 21 games in stops with the Royals and the the White Sox. The 31-year-old right-hander will have a chance to win a job in the Toronto bullpen, but could be a back-and-forth player as he has been for most of his seven seasons.
Jan 18 - 9:49 AM

Mets designated RHP Kevin McGowan for assignment.

The move creates necessary 40-man roster space after the signings of Jay Bruce and Adrian Gonzalez. They'll have to make one more move, as the roster still sits at 41. The 26-year-old McGowan pitched just under nine innings for the Mets, posting a 5.19 ERA with six walks and eight strikeouts.
Jan 18 - 8:43 AM

Jim Salisbury of NBC Sports Philadelphia writes that the Phillies could be interested in free agent starting pitcher Jake Arrieta.

Salisbury notes that Arrieta has been working out with Philadelphia outfielder Nick Williams in Austin, and that Williams has been selling him on the Phillies. He also writes that GM Matt Klentak is "actively" looking at ways to improve the Philadelphia rotation. Reports are that Arrieta is still looking for a five-year deal, and the Phillies reportedly aren't willing to go that long with a starter on the market. If that yearly ask goes down, Philadelphia could very much be in play for the 31-year-old right-hander.
Jan 18 - 8:21 AM

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