Player News

Date: Team: Pos:

Michael Silverman of the Boston Herald hears that free agent slugger J.D. Martinez prefers to play in the outfield rather than serve as a designated hitter.

This news may put a crimp in the efforts of his biggest suitor, the Boston Red Sox, who have a crowded outfield and would likely want Martinez to DH. The Red Sox have been vocal about their interest in the best hitter remaining on the market this winter. Only five players (Mike Trout, Joey Votto, Bryce Harper, Paul Goldschmidt and Josh Donaldson) have a better OPS over the last three seasons than Martinez's .943 mark. He slashed .303/.376/.690 with 45 homers and 104 RBI in just 119 games this year. He is reportedly asking for a $200 million contract and the Red Sox might have to pay him a bit extra to entice him to play DH. The Diamondbacks, Giants and Rockies are also believed to be angling for his services.
Dec 15 - 6:31 PM

Marlins signed RHP Alex Wimmers to a minor league contract with an invitation to spring training.

A former first-round pick, Wimmers has been unimpressive in his chances in the majors with a 4.38 ERA and ugly 21/19 K/BB ratio across 24 2/3 relief innings. He'll compete for a bullpen job in spring training.
Dec 15 - 5:26 PM

Marlins signed INF Cristhian Adames to a minor league contract with an invitation to spring training.

Adames, 26, is a career .206/.283/.278 over parts of four seasons in the majors. He'll give the Marlins some infield depth.
Dec 15 - 5:24 PM

Mets signed C Jose Lobaton to a minor league contract with an invitation to spring training.

Lobaton is a career .218/.295/.324 hitter over parts of eight seasons in the majors. He'll likely be assigned to Triple-A at the beginning of the season.
Dec 15 - 5:22 PM

Jon Heyman of FanRag Sports reports that the Yankees and Pirates "are continuing to talk about Gerrit Cole."

Heyman says that Clint Frazier would likely be part of any package the Pirates would get for Cole, which backs up a previous report from the New York Post's George King. Cole is coming off a season when he held a 4.26 ERA and 196/55 K/BB ratio over 203 innings. He's under team control through 2019.
Dec 15 - 5:19 PM

Nationals re-signed LHP Tim Collins to a minor league contract with an invitation to spring training.

Collins made it back from a second Tommy John surgery in 2017 but struggled over 18 appearances in the minors with a 7.79 ERA. The left-hander hasn't pitched in the majors since 2014.
Dec 15 - 5:02 PM

Marlins signed OF Rafael Ortega to a minor league contract.

Ortega, 26, spent all of 2017 at Triple-A in the Padres organization, batting .317/.383/.468 with six homers and 26 steals. He could get a chance to play some on a rebuilding Marlins team.
Dec 15 - 4:37 PM

Astros designated OF Preston Tucker for assignment.

The move clears a spot on the 40-man roster for the addition of Hector Rondon. Tucker looked like a potentially important part of the Astros' future not long ago, but he's been bypassed by others on the depth chart and spent all of 2017 at Triple-A even though he turned 27 at midseason. Still, he should draw some interest on waivers.
Dec 15 - 3:50 PM

Matt Ehalt of The Record reports that "there is nothing currently brewing" in regards to the Mets and trade talks for Jason Kipnis.

Chris Cotillo of SB Nation reported Thursday that there was "traction" between the Mets and Indians on a trade involving Kipnis, but Ehalt is evidently hearing otherwise. The Mets are looking for a second baseman and Kipnis would be a buy-low candidate after he hit only .232/.291/.414 during an injury-shortened 2017.
Dec 15 - 3:36 PM

Astros signed RHP Hector Rondon to a two-year, $8.5 million contract.

Ken Rosenthal of The Athletic first reported the agreement earlier Friday and now has the particulars after Rondon passed a physical. Rondon had a disappointing 4.24 ERA in 2017, but his velocity was fine and he had a career-best 29.1 percent strikeout percentage. He'll help the Astros in a setup role if he can stay healthy.
Dec 15 - 3:14 PM

Tigers signed INF Ronny Rodriguez to a minor league contract.

Rodriguez batted .291/.324/.454 with 17 homers and 15 steals in his second go-round at Triple-A in the Indians organization in 2017. He'll turn 26 in April and has yet to appear in the majors.
Dec 15 - 2:51 PM

MLB.com's Mark Sheldon reports that the Reds have spoken with Craig Stammen's representatives recently.

Stammen had a nice bounce-back year in San Diego with a 3.14 ERA and 74/28 K/BB ratio over 80 1/3 innings. He's also from Ohio, so playing in Cincinnati might appeal to him.
Dec 15 - 2:16 PM

Angels signed INF Zack Cozart to a three-year, $38 million contract.

Ken Rosenthal of The Athletic passed along the financials of the deal. Cozart has never played a position other than shortstop in the majors and is an excellent defender there, but he'll be the Angels' third baseman with Andrelton Simmons holding down shortstop. The Halos are going to have an excellent defense across the board in 2018. In addition to good glove work, Cozart broke out at the plate in 2017 with a .297/.385/.548 batting line and 24 home runs.
Dec 15 - 1:57 PM

Twins signed RHP Fernando Rodney to a one-year, $4.5 million contract with a club option for 2019.

Rodney got off to a rotten start in April with the Diamondbacks this past season but was excellent the rest of the way with a 2.38 ERA and 52/19 K/BB ratio over his final 45 1/3 innings. He recorded 39 saves in 2017 and should option 2018 as the Twins' closer.
Dec 15 - 1:51 PM

Rockies re-signed LHP Jake McGee to a three-year, $27 million contract with a $9 million club option for 2021.

McGee's first season in Colorado was a dud, but he bounced back with a 3.61 ERA and 58/16 K/BB ratio over 57 1/3 innings last year to earn a multi-year contract. He'll likely be a setup man but could potentially be in the mix for saves if the Rockies are unable to land a closer.
Dec 15 - 1:47 PM


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