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Pirates and RHP Gerrit Cole avoided arbitration by agreeing to a one-year, $6.75 million contract.

The big right-hander was eligible for arbitration for the second time this offseason. Cole has been a popular trade target this winter.
Fri, Jan 12, 2018 01:39:00 PM

According to Jon Heyman of Fancred, there is a mystery team in the mix for Manny Machado, and that they reportedly have the highest offer on the table.

Heyman notes that the impression is that the mystery team is not Machado's preferred destination, though if the Phillies and White Sox don't up their offers, perhaps the almighty dollar will win out in the end. The Yankees and Dodgers have each been connected to Machado as well this winter, but Heyman reported earlier on Friday that neither team has made an official contract offer.
Jan 18 - 8:46 PM

Rays signed OF Avisail Garcia to a one-year, $3.5 million contract.

The deal -- which was first reported early this week -- could be worth as much as $6 million if Garcia hits all of his incentives. Garcia was non-tendered by the White Sox earlier this offseason following a disappointing .719 OPS, but his Statcast data was promising and he posted a .885 OPS in 2017. You have to expect at least one trip to the disabled list, but he's a worthy gamble on a modest deal.
Jan 18 - 5:29 PM

Ken Rosenthal of The Athletic reports that the Reds are "making progress" in their pursuit of a trade for Sonny Gray.

Jon Heyman of Fancred Sports hears that the Yankees have shown interest in second base prospect Shed Long and catching prospect Tyler Stephenson, although it's unclear whether one or both of those players is headed to New York. Cincinnati and Great American Ball Park isn't the best landing spot for Gray as he looks to have a bounce-back season, although a move to the National League should help and he'll be reunited with his former college pitching coach, Derek Johnson. Like fellow pitching acquisitions Alex Wood and Tanner Roark, Gray is set to hit free agency after the 2019 campaign.
Jan 18 - 3:35 PM

Andy Martino of SNY.tv reports that the White Sox have discussed a deal with Manny Machado that would allow the team to exercise an option after year three that would trigger club control for an eighth or ninth year.

If the White Sox declined to exercise that option, Machado would have the opportunity to opt out of the deal after 2021. It's a similar contract stipulation that Yusei Kikuchi and Zach Britton agreed to, although with Machado it would obviously be on a much larger scale. All three players are clients of Scott Boras, who has referred to the unique contracts as a "swellopt" (meaning it's a "swell" option for both sides). Martino believes that if Machado might be amendable to this type of contract, it's possible the Yankees could jump back into the bidding.
Source: SNY.tv
Jan 18 - 9:38 AM

Ken Rosenthal of The Athletic reports that the Angels are closing in on a one-year deal with free agent reliever Cody Allen.

Financial terms aren't yet known, but Rosenthal says the deal is agreed to, and pending a physical. Jeff Passan of ESPN says that the 30-year-old was discussing deals in the $9 million range, so it wouldn't be a surprise if the contract was for around that figure. Allen had the worst year of his career in 2018 with a 4.70 ERA, but he was able to save 27 games in 32 attempts, and he was among the best closers in the American League from 2014-2017. There's no obvious closing option on the Los Angeles roster right now, so you would have to assume that Allen heads into spring training the overwhelming favorite -- possibly a lock -- to handle saves for the Angels in 2019.
Jan 17 - 11:11 PM

Fancred's Jon Heyman reports that the Yankees are "working hard now" on a trade of Sonny Gray.

They've been trying to move Gray all winter, so this isn't breaking news, but the 29-year-old right-hander has become even more expendable to New York following the three-year, $27 million free agent agreement with Adam Ottavino. Heyman notes that the Reds, Giants, Brewers, Athletics, Padres, Braves, and Mariners have all been connected to Gray at various points this offseason. The former Oakland ace posted a disappointing 4.90 ERA in 23 starts and seven relief appearances last year, so the return will be light. He's due $7.5 million in 2019.
Jan 17 - 2:27 PM

ESPN's Jeff Passan reports that the Yankees have a three-year, $27 million agreement in place with free agent reliever Adam Ottavino.

It's only pending a physical exam. Ottavino adds another lethal arm to the Yankees' bullpen, joining Aroldis Chapman, Dellin Betances, Adam Ottavino, Zach Britton, and Chad Green in what should be the most dominant relief corps in baseball. Ottavino, 33, registered a spectacular 2.43 ERA (193 ERA+) with 112 strikeouts over 77 2/3 innings with the Rockies last season. The right-hander will likely work in a setup or mid-inning role in New York.
Jan 17 - 1:44 PM

Eric Skoglund has been suspended 80 games by Major League Baseball for PED violations.

He tested positive for Ostarine and Ligandrol, types of androgen receptor modulating drugs. Royals general manager Dayton Moore said in a statement that Skoglund "unknowingly made a mistake" and "will have to accept his suspension." The 26-year-old former third-round pick has mostly struggled at the major league level, holding a 6.03 ERA in 88 career innings. He made 13 starts and one relief appearance for the rebuilding Royals last season.
Jan 16 - 5:12 PM

Fancred's Jon Heyman hears that the White Sox's reported offer of seven years, $175 million to Manny Machado is "way off."

ESPN's Buster Olney presented those numbers on Wednesday afternoon. Word is the White Sox aren't willing to go beyond seven years for Machado -- or Bryce Harper, for that matter -- but Heyman writes that the dollar value in this case "almost surely begins with a 2," as in $200-million-plus. The Phillies and Yankees are the only other two teams that have been connected publicly to Machado, though darkhorses could certainly emerge if the price drops well below the $300 million he was believed to be demanding at the start of the winter. Machado's agent Dan Lozano released a statement Wednesday evening decrying "completely wrong" reports about the market for his client. The saga continues.
Jan 16 - 4:27 PM

ESPN's Jeff Passan reports that the Diamondbacks and Wilmer Flores have come to terms on a one-year, $4.25 million contract with a $6 million club option for 2020.

It's a fit that makes a lot of sense. Flores is bad defensively everywhere other than first base (and not particularly good there), but the Diamondbacks have plenty of flexibility there with Jake Lamb able to move between the corners, Eduardo Escobar able to play throughout the infield and Ketel Marte perhaps moving to center field. Flores will be asked to play against lefties and could take on a significant role against righties if he has a good start.
Jan 16 - 3:25 PM

According to USA Today's Bob Nightengale, the Phillies "have visions" of signing Bryce Harper, Dallas Keuchel, and Craig Kimbrel.

It would be a heck of a late-offseason coup. Phillies higher-ups had a lengthy in-person meeting with Harper on Saturday in his hometown of Las Vegas, and it apparently went so well that the team has shifted its primary focus more toward Harper than Manny Machado. Fancred's Jon Heyman hears that the Philadelphia front office has either already made a formal offer to the 26-year-old outfielder or will make one very soon. Keuchel and Kimbrel should come relatively cheap given the current sad state of MLB free agency, though a package of all three would still likely cost more than $400 million in total guarantees.
Jan 15 - 5:49 PM




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