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  • Chicago teams asking Rays for starting pitching
    The White Sox and Cubs have spoken with the Rays about acquiring a starting pitcher.

    Advice: Jake Odorizzi has been the subject of trade rumors all offseason. The White Sox and Cubs have also checked in on Desmond Jennings, who could be available now that Corey Dickerson has been added to what should be a crowded Rays' outfield. Odorizzi is a native of southern Illinois. The right-hander is under team control through 2019. Today, 3:37 pm
  • 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. Today, 1:25 pm
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  • Rodney leaves game with leg tightness
    Fernando Rodney left a game with leg tightness earlier this week.

    Advice: The injury came Thursday while Rodney was pitching for the Dominican Republic in the Caribbean Series. His exit was considered precautionary. It doesn't sound like anything serious but it's lousy timing as Rodney finalized a one-year deal with the Padres mere hours before getting hurt. The two-time All-Star turns 39 next month. Today, 1:17 pm
  • Blue Jays designate Jenkins for assignment
    Blue Jays designated RHP Chad Jenkins for assignment.

    Advice: The move clears a spot on the 40-man roster for Gavin Floyd whose signing was announced on Saturday. The 28-year-old Jenkins owns a career 3.31 ERA and 1.25 WHIP across 100 2/3 big league innings and should attract interest from other clubs seeking bullpen help. Today, 10:17 am
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  • 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. Today, 9:40 am
  • Jesse Chavez wins arbitration hearing vs Jays
    Jesse Chavez won his arbitration case against the Blue Jays and will make $4 million in 2016.

    Advice: Chavez and the Jays were only $400,000 apart when submitting figures, so the Jays aren't hurt too badly by the right-hander winning here. The 32-year-old right-hander posted a 4.18 ERA, 1.35 WHIP and 136/48 K/BB ratio over 157 innings for the Athletics in 2015. The signing leaves American League MVP Josh Donaldson as the only arbitration-eligible Blue Jay who remains unsigned. Today, 9:36 am
  • Chavez's arbitration ruling expected Saturday
    The Associated Press reports that the arbitration hearing between the Blue Jays and Jesse Chavez was heard on Friday, with a ruling expected on Saturday.

    Advice: The two sides are only $400,000 apart, with Chavez requesting $4 million and the Jays countering at $3.6 million. Acquired via trade from the Athletics this winter, Chavez could function in a swingman role for the Blue Jays in 2016, depending on how they choose to proceed with Aaron Sanchez. Today, 7:18 am
  • Cubs and Arrieta avoid arbitration at $10.7M
    Cubs and RHP Jake Arrieta avoided arbitration by agreeing to a one-year, $10.7 million contract.

    Advice: The agreed-upon sum is $450,000 above the midpoint that the two sides filed at. It marks the largest one-year deal in history for a pitcher with four years of service time. The reigning National League Cy Young Award winner is fresh off an unbelievable 2015 season where he registered a 1.77 ERA, 0.86 WHIP and 236/48 K/BB ratio over 229 innings. He'll be arbitration-eligible again after next season, though there have been rumblings that the Cubs and Arrieta have been in discussions on a multi-year contract extension. Yesterday, 8:55 pm
  • Joe Nathan still expecting to pitch this year
    Dave Pepe, the agent for free agent Joe Nathan said Friday that his workouts are going well and that the right-hander definitely plans on pitching this season.

    Advice: Pepe also added that they're not necessarily in a rush to sign a contract, moreso seeking the best overall opportunity. The 41-year-old hurler owns 377 career saves and could be a nice low-risk addition to team's looking to bolster the back end of their bullpen. Yesterday, 5:40 pm
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  • 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. Yesterday, 4:47 pm
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  • Orioles avoid arbitration with Zach Britton
    Orioles and LHP Zach Britton avoided arbitration by agreeing to a one-year, $6.75 million contract.

    Advice: It's the exact midpoint between the figures that each side filed at. With Britton now under contract, the Orioles have settled with all of their arbitration-eligible players. The 28-year-old has developed into one of the top closers in the league, coming off a phenomenal 2015 campaign where he posted a 1.92 ERA, 0.99 WHIP and 79/14 K/BB ratio across 65 2/3 innings. Yesterday, 3:53 pm
  • A.J. Schugel outrighted to Triple-A
    Pirates sent RHP A.J. Schugel outright to Triple-A Indianapolis.

    Advice: Schugel finally gets to stay in the same organization after being designated for assignment three times since December. The righty will provide depth in the minors. Yesterday, 11:49 am
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  • 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. Yesterday, 11:45 am
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  • Angels claim Christian Friedrich off waivers
    Angels claimed LHP Christian Friedrich off waivers from the Rockies.

    Advice: Friedrich owns a career 5.81 ERA and has battled injuries since the Rockies took him in the first round of the 2008 Draft. However, as a big lefty with decent velocity, it's not surprising that another club is taking a shot on him. He'll compete for a spot in the Angels' bullpen. Yesterday, 10:44 am
  • JJ Hoover wins arbitration case vs. Reds
    JJ Hoover won his arbitration case against the Reds and will make $1.4 million in 2016.

    Advice: There was only a $175,000 difference between figures exchanged by the two sides last month, but they were unable to avoid a hearing and Hoover wound up being victorious. The reliever is the favorite to serve as the Reds' closer in 2016, so his arbitration cost is going to rise rapidly if he hangs on to that job. Yesterday, 9:45 am
  • Orioles expressing interest in Tim Lincecum
    Eduardo A. Encina of the Baltimore Sun reports that the Orioles are "one of several teams" expressing interest in Tim Lincecum.

    Advice: Lincecum, who is making his way back from hip surgery, was reportedly set to begin throwing off a mound last week and is expected to hold a showcase for interested clubs soon. Encina isn't sure what the Orioles' level of interest is at this point, although that could become clearer after the showcase. Lincecum posted a 4.13 ERA over 15 starts last season before being shut down with his hip issue. Yesterday, 6:14 am
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  • 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
  • Britton has arb. hearing set for Feb. 17
    Zach Britton and the Orioles have an arbitration hearing set for February 17.

    Advice: Now that the Orioles and Brian Matusz have come to an agreement, Britton is the team's last remaining arbitration case. The closer requested $7.9 million and was offered $5.6 million by Baltimore when figures were exchanged last month. There's still a chance they could settle before a hearing. Thursday, 2:41 pm
  • Cubs, Arrieta to have arb. hearing on Feb. 9
    Jake Arrieta is scheduled to have an arbitration hearing with the Cubs on February 9 in Arizona.

    Advice: Arrieta requested a $13 million salary and was offered $7.5 million from the Cubs' front office when arbitration figures were exchanged last month. That's a huge gap -- $5.5 million to be exact -- so this will be a very interesting result. Arrieta won the 2015 National League Cy Young Award after posting a 22-6 record, 1.77 ERA, 0.86 WHIP, and 236/48 K/BB ratio across 229 innings. He had a brilliant 0.75 ERA over his final 15 regular-season starts. Thursday, 11:50 am
  • 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
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  • Padres will look at Villanueva as a starter
    Padres GM A.J. Preller said the club will look at Carlos Villanueva as a starter this spring.

    Advice: Chances are he'll end up back in a long-relief role, but it's worth a try. Villanueva posted an impressive 2.95 ERA, 1.16 WHIP, and 55/21 K/BB ratio in 61 innings of relief last season for the Cardinals. He did start five games for the Cubs in 2014, and he started 44 games for the Cubs and Blue Jays between 2011-2013. San Diego offers the kind of home pitching environment that could allow the 32-year-old right-hander to flourish in a more extended role. Thursday, 11:17 am
  • Padres finalize $2M deal with veteran Rodney
    Padres signed RHP Fernando Rodney to a one-year, $1.6 million contract with a $2 million club option for 2017.

    Advice: That option comes with a $400,000 buyout, so the total guaranteed money in the deal is $2 million. Rodney can also earn up to $5 million via performance-based incentives, and there are incentives built into the second-year option as well. The veteran right-hander posted an underwhelming 4.74 ERA and 58/29 K/BB ratio in 62 2/3 innings last season between the Mariners and Cubs, but he could get the first shot at saving games this year in San Diego. This will be his age-39 season. Thursday, 10:55 am
  • Smyly wins arb. case, will earn $3.75 million
    Drew Smyly won his arbitration case against the Rays and will make $3.75 million in 2016.

    Advice: Tampa Bay countered at $3.2 million when arbitration figures were exchanged last month and then lost the panel's ruling after a Wednesday hearing in Phoenix, Arizona. Smyly missed a large chunk of time in 2015 to a labrum tear in his shoulder, but he registered an impressive 3.11 ERA and 10.4 K/9 in 12 starts when healthy. The 26-year-old left-hander boasts a 2.52 ERA in 19 starts since joining the Rays in mid-2014. Thursday, 10:29 am
  • Lincecum could be in Rangers' price range
    Evan Grant of the Dallas Morning News expects the Rangers to pursue cheaper options like Tim Lincecum and Gavin Floyd instead of more expensive free agents like Yovani Gallardo and Dexter Fowler.

    Advice: GM Jon Daniels recently said "We are in the range of where we'll end up payroll-wise," which suggests the Rangers are through making big moves. The Rangers will be present for Lincecum's showcase later this month and it's possible they could sign him to a minor league deal and try him on for size in spring training. Grant conceded Texas could still make a play for Gallardo if his price drops low enough. Wednesday, 8:39 pm
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  • Smyly's arbitration ruling to come on Thursday
    Drew Smyly had his arbitration hearing on Wednesday.

    Advice: A ruling is expected to come on Thursday. Smyly asked for $3.75 million when arbitration figures were exchanged in January while the Rays offered $3.2 million. The left-hander earned $2.65 million in 2015, so either way he's getting a raise. Smyly pitched well last season (3.11 ERA, 10.4 K/9), though shoulder issues limited him to just 12 starts. Wednesday, 6:29 pm
  • Pirates designate Schugel for assignment
    Pirates designated RHP A.J. Schugel for assignment.

    Advice: The move clears a spot for the newly-acquired Jesse Biddle on the 40-man roster. Schugel was just claimed off waivers from the Mariners in January and could soon be with his fourth organization in the span of the two months. Wednesday, 11:02 am
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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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  • Giants unlikely to re-sign Tim Lincecum
    Andrew Baggarly of the Mercury News doesn't expect the Giants to re-sign Tim Lincecum.

    Advice: Re-signing Lincecum wouldn't make much sense as the Giants already have a full rotation. Lincecum will throw for teams at a showcase next month. He's five months removed from hip surgery. The Marlins and Padres have both shown interest in Lincecum, according to Jon Heyman of CBS Sports. Saturday, 7:00 pm
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  • Hoover 'certainly a front-runner' to closer
    Reds manager Bryan Price said Thursday that JJ Hoover is "certainly a front-runner" to become the team's closer, but the job won't be handed to him.

    Advice: Hoover was the club's best reliever not named Aroldis Chapman last season, so it stands to reason that he'd slide into the ninth inning with Chapman no longer around. However, Price indicated that there would be a competition for the gig. "I’m going to wait and see," Price said. "I think he’s certainly a front-runner for this opportunity, but I don’t think I’m quite ready to be assigning roles for on the team just quite yet. We’ll see what the final roster looks like coming out of spring training. He’s absolutely in contention for the position." Jumbo Diaz is another potential option to close for the Reds, but Hoover looks like the clear favorite. Friday, 6:50 am
  • Rockies designate Friedrich for assignment
    Rockies designated LHP Christian Friedrich for assignment.

    Advice: A first-round pick in the 2008 MLB Draft, Friedrich never gained traction at the major league level with the Rockies. He owns a career 5.81 ERA and 1.59 WHIP in 167 1/3 innings in the majors. Some team might remember his pedigree and take a shot on the 28-year-old, but he hasn't given anyone a reason to do so with his performance. Thursday, 6:02 pm
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