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American Cream League (ID# 11176)
  • Maurer says his shoulder feels healthy
    Brandon Maurer said Thursday that his shoulder feels healthy.

    Advice: Maurer missed some time down the stretch last season due to right shoulder inflammation, but it's not an issue now. He also put on 15 pounds over the winter, presumably in an effort to help hold up over a full season. While he pitched exclusively out of the bullpen in 2015, he's expected to get a chance in the starting rotation this spring. Yesterday, 3:03 pm
  • Rays having advanced talks with Hunter
    Marc Topkin of the Tampa Bay Times reports that the Rays are having "advanced" talks with free agent reliever Tommy Hunter.

    Advice: Topkin adds that a deal doesn't appear close and that Hunter is talking with other teams. The 29-year-old posted a 4.18 ERA over 58 appearances last season between the Orioles and Cubs and is coming off core muscle surgery, but he's arguably the best free agent reliever left on the board. Yesterday, 2:58 pm
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  • Pirates ink Luebke to minor league contract
    Pirates signed LHP Cory Luebke to a minor league contract with an invite to spring training.

    Advice: Luebke worked his way back from his second Tommy John surgery to throw seven minor league innings this past season. The 30-year-old hasn't pitched in the majors since 2012. Before the injuries he was a very successful starter and reliever, and with a little Bucs magic, maybe we haven't seen the last of Luebke yet. Yesterday, 1:48 pm
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  • Pirates sign O'Flaherty to minor league deal
    Pirates signed LHP Eric O'Flaherty to a minor league contract with an invite to spring training.

    Advice: O'Flaherty wasn't right in 2015, posting a 8.10 ERA and 21/18 K/BB ratio over 30 innings while dealing with left shoulder issues, but he's been an effective lefty reliever in the past. The Pirates have a track record of getting pitchers straightened out, so it's a near-ideal landing spot for the 31-year-old. Yesterday, 1:40 pm
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  • Ryan Pressly (lat) back to full strength
    Ryan Pressly (lat) won't be limited in spring training.

    Advice: Pressly missed the entire second half with a strained lat. He resumed throwing in December and has already arrived at the Twins' spring training facility in Fort Myers. "After getting shut down, the main goal was just getting into the offseason healthy," said Pressly. "But the lat is feeling really good, so if I can come back and still be in the upper 90s, that'd be nice." He'll be battling for a job in the Twins' bullpen. Yesterday, 12:42 pm
  • McFarland and Worley on Orioles' roster bubble?
    T.J. McFarland and Vance Worley could be on the roster bubble if the Orioles sign Yovani Gallardo.

    Advice: Worley was considered the favorite for the No. 5 spot in Baltimore's starting rotation but that's not happening if the O's sign Gallardo. The Orioles probably don't need two long relievers, which means one of McFarland or Worley will be on the outside looking in. Nothing is official with Gallardo yet but Brittany Ghiroli of reported the two sides are "optimistic." Yesterday, 12:14 pm
  • Red Sox considering Cotts and Morales
    The Red Sox are considering free agent LHPs Neal Cotts and Franklin Morales, according to Pete Abraham of the Boston Globe.

    Advice: The Red Sox are looking to replace lefty specialist Craig Breslow. Morales has history with Boston having pitched there from 2011-2013. Cotts is five years older than Morales but he was downright dominant against lefties last year, limiting them to a .186 average in 98 at-bats. Morales comes with the added benefit of starting experience (47 career starts) and could fill in as a spot starter if needed. Yesterday, 8:07 am
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  • David Hernandez the favorite for closer's role
    David Hernandez will head into spring training as the favorite for the closer's role in Philadelphia.

    Advice: Used as a starter early in his career, Hernandez has settled in as a reliable late-inning relief option. Though he's mostly been limited to setup duty, Hernandez did log 11 saves with the Diamondbacks in 2011 while filling in for J.J. Putz. Andrew Bailey, Ernesto Frieri and Edward Mujica all have closing experience so Hernandez should face plenty of competition this spring. Yesterday, 6:40 am
  • Hunter still recovering from core muscle surgery
    Free agent RHP Tommy Hunter is rehabbing from core muscle surgery.

    Advice: It's unclear how far along he is in the recovery process, but the surgery is probably what has kept teams from pursuing Hunter this offseason. The right-hander had a rough year in 2015 but he can still bring the heat (his fastball averaged 96.2 mph last year) and has shown to be a capable late-inning arm throughout his career. Marc Topkin of the Tampa Bay Times previously reported Hunter could be a possibility for the Rays. Yesterday, 6:06 am
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  • Braves ink Carlos Torres to minors contract
    Braves signed RHP Carlos Torres to a minor league contract with an invitation to spring training.

    Advice: Torres was designated for assignment by the Mets in a surprise late-January move and subsequently elected to become a free agent. There was interest from the Asian market, but the 33-year-old right-hander opted for a Braves team that should allow him a semi-clear path to an Opening Day bullpen gig. Torres was excellent with the Mets in 2014 before struggling in 2015. He's a decent bet for a bounceback in 2016. Wednesday, 4:58 pm
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  • Jays considering Floyd as starter or reliever
    Blue Jays general manager Ross Atkins said Wednesday that the club is looking at Gavin Floyd as a starter and a reliever.

    Advice: Signed to a one-year, $1 million deal last week, Floyd will be stretched out as a starter during spring training, but they are open-minded about his potential role. Given that the Blue Jays already have more starters than rotation spots, the bullpen might be the best fit for him. For what it's worth, Atkins said that Floyd's showing as a reliever down the stretch for the Indians last season is what made them want to take the gamble. Wednesday, 12:08 pm
  • Phillies designate LaFromboise for assignment
    Phillies designated LHP Bobby LaFromboise for assignment.

    Advice: The move clears a spot for the newly-acquired Taylor Featherston on the 40-man roster. LaFromboise was just claimed off waivers from the Angels late last month and he could soon be with his fourth organization since mid-December. Wednesday, 11:59 am
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  • Blue Jays will wait to decide on closer
    Blue Jays general manager Ross Atkins said Wednesday that the club will wait until midway through spring training or perhaps later to decide on a closer.

    Advice: Roberto Osuna proved himself as a 20-year-old rookie last season by posting a 2.58 ERA and 75/16 K/BB ratio over 69 2/3 innings while notching 20 saves, but his role is in question after the Blue Jays picked up Drew Storen from the Nationals over the winter. Given Storen's experience and past issues as a set-up man, he'll likely go into spring training as the early favorite. However, fantasy owners will have to wait for an official decision. Wednesday, 11:49 am
  • Orioles ink RHP Thayer to minors deal
    Orioles signed RHP Dale Thayer to a minor league contract with an invitation to spring training.

    Advice: Thayer was a useful reliever with the Padres from 2012-2014, but he struggled to the tune of a 4.06 ERA and 25/15 K/BB ratio over 37 2/3 innings last season. The 35-year-old will attempt to earn a spot in Baltimore's bullpen in the spring. Wednesday, 11:43 am
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  • M's ink RHP Joel Peralta to minor league deal
    Mariners signed RHP Joel Peralta to a minor league contract with an invitation to spring training.

    Advice: Peralta, who turns 40 in March, is coming off a rough season with the Dodgers where he posted a 4.34 ERA and 24/8 K/BB ratio over 29 innings while missing some time with neck and shoulder injuries. Still, he's a fine gamble at these terms. Tuesday, 10:53 am
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  • Torres deciding between three teams
    Chris Cotillo of MLB Daily Dish reports that free agent reliever Carlos Torres is weighing interest from three teams.

    Advice: Torres drew a lot of interest from teams in Asia, but he plans to stay in MLB. The 33-year-old posted a mediocre 4.68 ERA and 48/18 K/BB ratio in 57 2/3 innings last season, but he has been a useful pitcher in the past and makes sense as a potential bounceback target. The Yankees are among the teams who have reportedly expressed interest. Tuesday, 10:44 am
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  • D'Backs' two-year deal with Clippard official
    Diamondbacks signed RHP Tyler Clippard to a two-year, $12.25 million contract.

    Advice: The reliever will receive a $4 million signing bonus and be paid $4.1 million in 2016 and $4.15 million in 2017. Clippard saw his strikeout rate drop and walk rate rise last season, but he boasts a career 2.88 ERA and will turn just 31 later this month. He will set up for Brad Ziegler. Monday, 1:27 pm
  • D'Backs, Clippard reach 2-yr, $12.25M deal
    Tyler Clippard has agreed to a two-year, $12.25 million free agent contract with the Diamondbacks, per FOX Sports' Ken Rosenthal.

    Advice: Clippard gets a $4 million signing bonus, a $4.1 million salary for 2016, and $4.15 million in 2017. The 30-year-old right-hander did not finish strong last season, but he still wound up with a cool 2.92 ERA and 1.13 WHIP in 71 total innings between the A's and Mets. And he owns a 2.88 ERA for his career. Clippard should be an upgrade to the Diamondbacks' setup corps and there's a chance he could vulture saves at some point from closer Brad Ziegler. Monday, 1:00 pm
  • Diamondbacks making progress with Clippard
    Nick Piecoro of the Arizona Republic is hearing that the Diamondbacks have made progress toward an agreement with free agent reliever Tyler Clippard.

    Advice: Diamondbacks general manager Dave Stewart acknowledged last week that Clippard would be a good fit for the club, and now it appears he is close to getting his man. The 30-year-old right-hander experienced some struggles down the stretch in 2015, but he still finished with a decent 2.92 ERA and 1.13 WHIP in 71 total innings between the A's and Mets. Clippard boasts a 2.88 ERA in 562 career major league frames. Monday, 8:11 am
  • Astros have inquired on Tyler Clippard
    Nick Cafardo of the Boston Globe reports that the Astros have inquired on Tyler Clippard.

    Advice: Clippard's market appears to finally be picking up, as the Diamondbacks and Rays have also been connected to the reliever in recent days. The right-hander's 2015 campaign wasn't his best, as he saw his strikeout rate drop and walk rate rise. However, Clippard has been one of the best and most reliable relievers in baseball over the last seven seasons and will turn just 31 in a week. Sunday, 7:16 am
  • Rays still looking for bullpen depth
    Marc Topkin of the Tampa Bay Times mentioned free agents Tommy Hunter, Burke Badenhop and Ryan Webb as "legit possibilities" for the Rays.

    Advice: Tampa Bay is looking to beef up its bullpen after trading Jake McGee to Colorado last week. The Rays have also been linked to Tyler Clippard though he might be out of their price range. Hunter is coming off a disappointing season (4.18 ERA in 58 appearances) but has been a solid late-inning and middle relief option throughout his career. The hard-throwing right-hander is reportedly holding out for a two-year deal. Saturday, 8:23 pm
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  • Diamondbacks still pursuing Clippard
    The Diamondbacks have had discussions with Tyler Clippard.

    Advice: We knew the Diamondbacks were interested but this is the first we've heard of the two sides actually talking. Arizona has been searching high and low for late-inning help and Clippard has a proven track record with 53 saves and a lifetime ERA of 2.88. The Rays have also shown interest in Clippard. Saturday, 1:25 pm
  • Blue Jays sign Gavin Floyd to one-year deal
    Blue Jays signed RHP Gavin Floyd to a one-year, $1 million contract.

    Advice: Floyd also has the potential to earn an additional $1 million in incentives based on days that he's on the active roster. It's unclear if the Jays plan to use him in the rotation or out of the bullpen where he finished the 2015 campaign with the Indians. Saturday, 9:40 am
  • Tyler Clippard the Diamondbacks' top target
    Bob Nightengale of USA Today reports that the Diamondbacks are interested in adding a late-inning reliever with Tyler Clippard representing their top target.

    Advice: General manager Dave Stewart admitted on Thursday that the club could have interest in the veteran right-hander. While Brad Ziegler was fantastic in the closer's role in 2015, the club is lacking depth in the late innings, and Clippard would add another strong arm with previous closing experience. Friday, 4:47 pm
  • Rays considering reliever Tyler Clippard
    Marc Topkin of the Tampa Bay Times reports that the Rays are among the teams considering Tyler Clippard.

    Advice: The low-budget Rays might not be able to offer Clippard the most money, but the reliever is a Florida native and the state has no personal income tax. The Diamondbacks are another club that has indicated they'd be interested in Clippard, who put up a 2.92 ERA, 1.13 WHIP and 64/31 K/BB ratio over 71 innings last season between the A's and Mets. Friday, 11:45 am
  • Gavin Floyd, Blue Jays in agreement on deal
    The Blue Jays and free agent Gavin Floyd are in agreement on a deal, according to Chris Cotillo of MLB Daily Dish.

    Advice: The agreement is pending a physical. Floyd didn't pitch until September last season after re-fracturing the olecranon bone in his right elbow in March. He struggled in three minor league starts following his return, posting an 11.57 ERA before putting up a more respectable 2.70 ERA in seven relief appearances with the Indians down the stretch. Floyd will provide some rotation depth for the Jays. Thursday, 6:41 pm
  • Gavin Floyd (elbow) throwing off a mound
    Gavin Floyd (elbow) has been throwing off a mound without issue for the last two weeks.

    Advice: Floyd was offered a tryout at the Orioles' minicamp in Sarasota, Florida in early January but didn't feel like he was ready. Now that he has ramped up his offseason workouts, the O's might take another look. Floyd re-fractured the olecranon bone in his right elbow last March and did not make an appearance until September. He is probably going to have to settle for a non-guaranteed minor league deal. Thursday, 11:31 am
  • Diamondbacks may look at RP Tyler Clippard
    Diamondbacks GM Dave Stewart suggested Thursday that he might make a play for free agent Tyler Clippard.

    Advice: "We have not talked to his people, (but) that is a good name," Stewart told the Arizona Republic when asked about Clippard. "I know we talked about it internally, so I think there’s a pretty good possibility we will (reach out), at least just to see." Clippard, who turns 31 years old next week, posted a 2.92 ERA, 1.13 WHIP, and 64/31 K/BB ratio in 71 innings of relief last season between the A's and Mets. He is probably still holding out for a multi-year deal. Thursday, 11:28 am
  • Yankees have reached out to RHP Torres
    Brandon Kuty of reports that the Yankees are among 20 teams who have reached out to free agent reliever Carlos Torres.

    Advice: Torres passed through waivers unclaimed after being designated for assignment by the Mets last month. The 33-year-old posted a mediocre 4.68 ERA and 48/18 K/BB ratio in 57 2/3 innings last season, but his average fastball velocity was higher than ever before and he was an important piece in the Mets' bullpen in 2014. There's a chance he'll have to settle for a minor league deal, but it's worth noting that he has also drawn interest from teams in Asia. Wednesday, 12:04 pm
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  • Mets done giving out major league deals
    Mets general manager Sandy Alderson said Wednesday that the club is done giving out major league deals this winter.

    Advice: Alderson also said that he assumes Tyler Clippard will land a major league deal, so it's safe to say he'll end up elsewhere. The soon-to-be 31-year-old was shaky down the stretch last season and during the postseason, but someone will surely take a chance on his reputation and track record. The Mets reportedly haven't ruled out adding another bullpen arm, but apparently they'll look to minor league deals. Wednesday, 10:36 am
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