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    Yahoo Public 5595 (ID# 5595)
    • Report: Hiroki Kuroda to return to Japan
      Chugoku Shimbun and Sports Nippon report that Hiroki Kuroda will return to Japan to play for the Hiroshima Toyo Carp next season.

      Advice: Kuroda could have had another one-year contract with the Yankees if he wanted it, but it appears he'll return to his native country instead. The veteran right-hander will turn 40 in February but is coming off another fine season, having put up a 3.71 ERA, a 1.17 WHIP and 146/35 K/BB ratio over 199 innings. Rotoworld.com
      Today, 12:53 pm
       
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      W, 9-5 @Bos
    • Clint Robinson signs on with Nationals
      Nationals signed 1B Clint Robinson to a minor league contract with an invitation to spring training.

      Advice: Robinson spent almost all of last season at Triple-A with the Dodgers, batting .312/.401/.534 with 18 homers and 80 RBI. He's merely organizational depth. Rotoworld.com
      Today, 12:25 pm
       
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      W, 1-0 vs Mia
    • Pierzynski getting $2 million from Braves
      CBS Sports' Jon Heyman reports that A.J. Pierzynski will make a base salary of $2 million in his one-year contract with the Braves.

      Advice: He'll have the opportunity to make more through incentives. Pierzynski will serve as Christian Bethancourt's backup in 2015 after batting .251/.288/.337 over 362 plate appearances last season for the Red Sox and Cardinals. Rotoworld.com
      Today, 12:00 pm
       
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      W, 1-0 @Ari
    • Nationals sign Dan Uggla to minor league deal
      Nationals signed 2B Dan Uggla to a minor league contract with an invitation to spring training.

      Advice: General manager Mike Rizzo has history with Uggla, as he drafted him back in 2001 when he was Director of Scouting for the Diamondbacks. Uggla will turn 35 in March and batted just .149/.229/.213 in 157 plate appearances last season. There's a good possibility he's done, but he did at least land in a good spot, as the Nats have an opening at second base. That said, it's unlikely that they're done shopping for upgrades at the position. Rotoworld.com
      Today, 8:28 am
       
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      W, 1-0 vs Mia
    • J.C. Gutierrez re-signs with Giants
      Giants re-signed RHP J.C. Gutierrez to a minor league contract.

      Advice: The pact likely contains an invitation to spring training. Gutierrez held a 3.96 ERA, 1.19 WHIP and 44/16 K/BB ratio over 63 2/3 innings for the World Champion Giants in 2014. He should get a legit shot at an Opening Day bullpen spot. Rotoworld.com
      Today, 6:58 am
       
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      W, 9-3 vs SD
    • Darin Downs outrighted to Triple-A
      Astros sent LHP Darin Downs outright to Triple-A Fresno.

      Advice: He's now off the 40-man roster but will be invited to spring training. Downs posted a 5.45 ERA and 1.36 WHIP across 45 appearances for the Astros in 2014. Rotoworld.com
      Today, 5:41 am
       
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      L, 8-3 @NYM
    • D'Backs re-sign Pacheco to minors contract
      Diamondbacks re-signed INF/C Jordan Pacheco to a minor league contract.

      Advice: The deal includes an invitation to spring training, where Pacheco should have a good shot at an Opening Day roster spot. The 28-year-old batted just .272/.298/.321 in 47 games this past season for Arizona, but he can play catcher and third base. Rotoworld.com
      Yesterday, 7:47 am
       
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      L, 1-0 vs StL
    • Braves have discussed Avilan with other clubs
      Mark Bowman of MLB.com reports the Braves have discussed LHP Luis Avilan with other teams.

      Advice: The southpaw struggled to a 4.57 ERA over 43 1/3 innings this past season, but he still owns a 2.56 ERA for his career and won't be eligible for arbitration until 2016. If the 25-year-old Avilan is available, he'll surely draw some interest on the trade market. Rotoworld.com
      Wednesday, 5:44 pm
    • Indians sign RHP Jeff Manship to minors deal
      Indians signed RHP Jeff Manship to a minor league contract.

      Advice: Manship had a 6.65 ERA over 20 relief appearances spanning 23 innings with the Phillies this past season. The 29-year-old was a non-roster invite last spring and won a role in the Phils' bullpen, and he'll look to do it again with the Tribe this year. Rotoworld.com
      Wednesday, 3:38 pm
       
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      W, 7-2 vs TB
    • Rockies sign Roger Bernadina to minors deal
      Rockies signed OF Roger Bernadina to a minor league contract.

      Advice: Bernadina batted just .167/.304/.258 in 80 plate appearances this season between the Reds and Dodgers and for his career he's hit just .236/.307/.354. The 30-year-old is doubtful to have a significant impact for the Rockies, who have a ton of outfield depth. Rotoworld.com
      Wednesday, 2:56 pm
       
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      L, 10-5 @LAD
    • Carlos Gonzalez (knee) cleared to swing bat
      Carlos Gonzalez (knee) announced Wednesday that he has been cleared to begin hitting.

      Advice: Gonzalez is coming off surgery in August to repair the patella tendon in his left knee, which had bothered him dating back to 2013. The 29-year-old could be a little behind at the start of spring training, but the hope is that he'll be ready for Opening Day. Rotoworld.com
      Wednesday, 11:20 am
    • Braves, Pierzynski agree to one-year contract
      Mark Bowman of MLB.com reports that the Braves and A.J. Pierzynski have agreed to a one-year contract, pending a physical.

      Advice: Braves manager Fredi Gonzalez apparently let the cat out of the bag while at a Honeybaked Ham on Wednesday and Bowman was able to confirm the story's validity. We're not kidding. Pierzynski, 37, batted just .251/.288/.337 in 362 plate appearances this past season between the Red Sox and Cardinals and should back up young Christian Bethancourt in 2015. The deal is expected to become official after January 1. Rotoworld.com
      Wednesday, 10:50 am
       
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      W, 1-0 @Ari
    • Report: O's re-sign Delmon Young to 1-yr deal
      MASN Sports' Roch Kubatko reports that the Orioles have re-signed Delmon Young to a one-year contract, pending a physical.

      Advice: He'll be guaranteed $2.25 million and can reach $3 million with incentives. The physical is expected to be completed after January 1. Young hoped to find a multi-year deal after batting .302/.337/.442 with seven home runs and 30 RBI in 83 games with Baltimore this past season, but he ultimately lowered his demands to stick around for another year. The 29-year-old figures to see part-time at-bats again between the DH spot and left field. Rotoworld.com
      Wednesday, 8:58 am
       
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      W, 1-0 @Tor
    • Rays could trade Ben Zobrist
      FOX Sports' Jon Morosi writes that "there's a decent chance" the Rays will trade Ben Zobrist before Opening Day.

      Advice: It reads as speculation, but it makes a lot of sense given how active the Rays have been on the trade front this offseason. Zobrist turns 34 in May and will make $7.5 million in 2015 before hitting free agency. His versatility would make him an attractive target for a number of teams and should fetch Tampa Bay a nice haul. Morosi lists the Mets, Nationals, Mariners, Rangers, Cubs, Reds, and Twins among the teams who could be a fit. Rotoworld.com
      Wednesday, 8:21 am
       
      Player Note
      Ben Zobrist TB - 2B,SS,OF
      L, 7-2 @Cle
    • Orioles still interested in Venable, Smith
      Eduardo A. Encina of the Baltimore Sun reports that the Orioles are still interested in Seth Smith and Will Venable from the Padres.

      Advice: The Padres have a surplus of outfielders after acquiring Matt Kemp, Wil Myers and Justin Upton in recent days, so the Orioles could be able to find a match. Both Smith and Venable hit from the left side of the plate and could be used on the strong side of a platoon in Baltimore. Smith is signed through 2016 with a club option for 2017 while Venable can become a free agent after 2015. Rotoworld.com
      Wednesday, 6:15 am
    • Twins outright Chris Parmelee to Triple-A
      Twins sent OF Chris Parmelee outright to Triple-A Rochester.

      Advice: Parmelee was designated for assignment by Minnesota earlier this month and passed through waivers unclaimed. The 26-year-old hit just .256/.307/.384 with seven homers and 28 RBI in 87 games with the Twins in 2014. Rotoworld.com
      Tuesday, 2:21 pm
       
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      L, 3-0 @Det
    • Smith given verbal assurance of no trade
      FOX Sports' Ken Rosenthal reports that Seth Smith was given verbal assurance when he signed an extension that he would not be traded this offseason.

      Advice: As Rosenthal notes, the assurance came before A.J. Preller took over as general manager. However, the same ownership is still in place, and while they don't technically have to honor the verbal agreement, it would look pretty bad if they didn't. Smith has drawn trade interest with the Padres suddenly overflowing with outfielders, but it sounds like he might be staying put. Rotoworld.com
      Thursday, 7:17 pm
    • Seth Smith being discussed in trade talks
      ESPN's Jerry Crasnick reports he's hearing Seth Smith's name often in trade talks.

      Advice: With the recent deals for Matt Kemp and Wil Myers the Padres suddenly have an excess of outfielders. Smith got off to a great start to his 2014 season before finishing with a .266/.367/.440 line. Smith, 32, is due $6 million next season and is signed through 2016 with a club option for 2017, so he could be an attractive option for a team in need of left-handed power in the corner outfield or at first base. Rotoworld.com
      Wednesday, 5:00 pm
    • Zobrist not likely to be traded to Nationals
      Joel Sherman of the New York Post hears from sources that the Nationals are not targeting INF/OF Ben Zobrist in a potential trade with the Rays.

      Advice: The Rays are showing interest in outfield prospect Steven Souza. While Zobrist would fit a positional need, Sherman reported that he had been told that the Nationals and Rays are looking at options that don't include the versatile infielder. The Rays picked up Zobrist's option in late October, but it's likely that they'll be open to moving him at some point given that he is set to hit the free agent market next winter. Rotoworld.com
      Wednesday, 10:52 am
       
      Player Note
      Ben Zobrist TB - 2B,SS,OF
      L, 7-2 @Cle
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