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Player Notes

  • Erik Johnson on track to earn rotation spot
    White Sox GM Rick Hahn indicated that Erik Johnson's a front-runner to be part of the White Sox rotation in 2016.

    Advice: Said Hahn, "So if Opening Day were today, then I think Johnson is penciled in to that spot in the rotation right now. In all probability, once we get closer to spring, there will be some competition for him to earn that spot." The spot in question is the one vacated by free agent starter Jeff Samardzija. Chris Sale, Jose Quintana, Carlos Rodon and John Danks are already slotted into the rotation. Johnson, 25, made six starts for the White Sox in 2015 and held a 3.34 ERA, 1.40 WHIP and 30/17 K/BB ratio across 35 innings. Yesterday, 2:14 pm
  • Braves sign Bud Norris to one-year contract
    Braves signed RHP Bud Norris to a one-year, $2.5 million contract.

    Advice: Norris was designated for assignment by the Orioles in early August and finished out the 2015 campaign in a Padres uniform. Between the two clubs, the 30-year-old right-hander held a bloated 6.72 ERA and 1.57 WHIP across 83 innings. He appeared in 38 games overall, with 11 starts in that mix. Norris has had serviceable seasons in the past, but there's no real fantasy upside here. Yesterday, 1:27 pm
    Player Note
    Bud Norris Atl - SP,RP
  • Orioles have been in touch with Gallardo
    CBS Sports' Jon Heyman reports that the Orioles have reached out to the representatives for free agent right-hander Yovani Gallardo.

    Advice: Gallardo declined a $15.8 million qualifying offer from the Rangers, so signing him would require giving up a first-round pick. While the Orioles like him, they might not be willing to go there. Gallardo is coming off a solid season where he posted a 3.42 ERA and 121/68 K/BB ratio over 184 1/3 innings. The Diamondbacks and Tigers are among the other teams who have reportedly expressed interest. Yesterday, 11:50 am
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  • CHC, STL, LAD, SF, BOS top suitors for Price
    FOX Sports' Ken Rosenthal reports that the Cubs, Cardinals, Dodgers, Giants and Red Sox have the most interest in free agent left-hander David Price.

    Advice: For what it's worth, the Blue Jays aren't expected to be a major factor. ESPN's Buster Olney reported earlier Wednesday that there's a "high expectation" among executives involved in the bidding for Price that the Red Sox will have the highest offer. However, Rosenthal notes that Price "values comfort even more than most players" and Boston might not be his ideal fit. That could obviously change if Boston blows him out of the water with an offer, but with the number of teams involved in the bidding, it would be a shock if he doesn't land a contract north of $200 million. Yesterday, 11:21 am
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  • Mariners outright LHP Hultzen to Triple-A
    Mariners sent LHP Danny Hultzen outright to Triple-A Tacoma.

    Advice: Hultzen cleared waivers after being designated for assignment last Friday. While the 2011 No. 2 overall pick is a familiar name, it's not surprising that he's staying put. Shoulder problems have limited him to just 43 2/3 innings over the past three seasons. Yesterday, 10:55 am
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  • A's release RHP A.J. Griffin
    Athletics released RHP A.J. Griffin.

    Advice: Griffin was designated for assignment last week after the Athletics signed free agent left-hander Rich Hill. The 27-year-old showed promise from 2012-2013, but required Tommy John surgery in April of 2014 and encountered numerous setbacks while trying to make in back this past season. Someone will surely take a chance on him, but he probably will have to settle for a minor league deal at this point. Yesterday, 10:42 am
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  • Report: Wei-Yin Chen aims for 5-yr, $85M deal
    CBS Sports' Jon Heyman reports that Wei-Yin Chen is seeking a deal worth $85 million over five years.

    Advice: It sounds crazy on the surface, but Chen owns a 3.72 ERA (110 ERA+) over his first four seasons in the majors while calling the American League East home. The 30-year-old is arguably the second-best left-handed starter on the market behind David Price. Chen's agent Scott Boras will surely remind teams of this as he attempts to reach the lofty asking price. Yesterday, 10:33 am
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  • Pirates acquire Allen Webster from D'Backs
    Pirates acquired RHP Allen Webster from the Diamondbacks for cash considerations.

    Advice: Webster was designated for assignment last week after a disastrous season between the majors and the minors. Still, he won't be 26 until February and isn't far removed from being considered a top prospect. He'll be an intriguing project for Pirates pitching coach Ray Searage, who obviously has a number of success stories at this point. If there's any chance of him meeting his potential, it's probably here. Yesterday, 8:12 am
  • Yankees making Ivan Nova available
    Joel Sherman of the New York Post reports that the Yankees have let other teams know that Ivan Nova is available.

    Advice: Sherman says the Yanks "are not selling low" on Nova, as they think he will be stronger as he's further removed from Tommy John surgery and also motivated in his walk year. However, New York will consider dealing the right-hander as they look to plug in a rotation piece for beyond the 2016 season. Nova held a 5.07 ERA and 63/33 K/BB ratio in 94 innings over 17 starts in 2015 and is set to make around $4.5 million in his final year of arbitration eligibility. Tuesday, 4:44 pm
  • Kevin Gausman undergoes LASIK surgery
    Kevin Gausman said Tuesday that he "can see like a hawk" after undergoing LASIK surgery three days after the season ended.

    Advice: "I see 20-15 now," Gausman said. "I can see like a hawk. It's been great." The right-hander will now be able to ditch the goggles he used to wear on the mound and the improved eyesight surely can only help. Gausman has a huge arm and has shown flashes of brilliance with the Orioles the last three seasons but will be looking to have a true breakout season in 2016. Tuesday, 2:26 pm
  • Report: Giants interested in RHP John Lackey
    FOX Sports' Ken Rosenthal reports that the Giants are among the teams interested in free agent right-hander John Lackey.

    Advice: Rosenthal notes that the Giants are examining a "wide range of options." They are seen as a threat to land Zack Greinke, but Lackey would be a fine fallback. The veteran right-hander had a career-best 2.77 ERA across 33 starts this past season. He turned 37 in October, but should be able to land a two or three-year deal in free agency. Tuesday, 12:05 pm
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  • Jays ink LHP Diamond to minor league deal
    Blue Jays signed LHP Scott Diamond to a minor league contract with an invitation to spring training.

    Advice: Diamond, who previously pitched for the Twins, posted a 3.71 ERA and 91/26 K/BB ratio over 150 1/3 innings this past season with the Rays' Triple-A affiliate. The 29-year-old Ontario native will provide some rotation depth. Tuesday, 11:54 am
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  • Lincecum (hip) to throw for teams in January
    Tim Lincecum (hip) plans to hold a showcase for interested teams in January.

    Advice: Lincecum underwent surgery in September to repair a torn labrum in his hip and fix an impingement. His rehab process is ahead of schedule and he could receive clearance to begin throwing when he visits his surgeon for a follow-up in December. The hope is that he might be able to regain some velocity now that his hip pain is gone. The 31-year-old was limited to just 15 starts this past season and owns a 4.68 ERA (75 ERA+) over the past four seasons. Tuesday, 5:55 am
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  • Yusmeiro Petit could be non-tendered
    ESPN's Buster Olney reports that the Giants could non-tender Yusmeiro Petit.

    Advice: Petit had a decent year for San Francisco in 2015, posting a 3.67 ERA and 59/15 K/BB ratio across 76 innings. However, he made $2.1 million and is due for another raise in his final year of arbitration. Petit should be a nice swingman or possibly fifth starter wherever he winds up. Monday, 5:34 pm
  • James Paxton throwing simulated games
    James Paxton threw a seven-inning simulated game on Monday.

    Advice: He'll throw another seven-inning sim game again soon. Paxton was limited to just 13 starts in 2015 for the second straight season due to injury, and the Mariners are doing what they can to help build up his stamina. The left-hander also participated in the Arizona Fall League. Monday, 5:05 pm
  • Johnny Hellweg inks minors deal with Padres
    Padres signed RHP Johnny Hellweg to a minor league contract.

    Advice: Hellweg really struggled in his first year back from Tommy John surgery in 2015, posting a 6.06 ERA and 39/52 K/BB ratio over 61 innings in the minors. He was once a nice prospect, and San Diego is as nice a landing spot as any, but Hellweg obviously has things to work on before he has a shot to make an impact in the majors. Monday, 1:59 pm
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  • Astros could discuss long-term deal with Keuchel
    The Astros are expected to discuss a long-term contract with Dallas Keuchel this offseason.

    Advice: Keuchel is entering his first year of arbitration. Astros beat writer Evan Drellich called Keuchel a "hard comp," which means it's difficult to compare him to other players because of his age, style and unusual career arc. That could have an impact on negotiations. Either way, the Cy Young winner should be in for a big raise this offseason. Saturday, 8:37 pm
  • Brandon Maurer to close for Padres?
    According to Dennis Lin of the San Diego Union-Tribune, Brandon Maurer could be an option for the Padres in the ninth inning following some of their recent trades.

    Advice: With Craig Kimbrel and Joaquin Benoit both gone, the Padres are painfully short on late-inning arms. Of course, the Padres are also thin on starting pitching and Maurer could find his way into the starting rotation. Maurer has made 21 career starts, though he was used exclusively out of the pen in 2015. Lin said the Padres plan to add a middle reliever this offseason. Saturday, 2:22 pm
  • Diamondbacks discussing Johnny Cueto
    According to ESPN's Buster Olney, the Diamondbacks have had internal discussions about Johnny Cueto.

    Advice: It's obvious the Diamondbacks are looking to upgrade their starting pitching. They've already shown interest in big names like John Lackey, Shelby Miller and Yovani Gallardo. Cueto would top them all, but he'd also represent a major shift in strategy for the Diamondbacks, who are known for their conservative spending. It's going to take a nine-figure deal to land Cueto this offseason. Saturday, 1:55 pm
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  • Cubs purchase contract of Pierce Johnson
    Cubs purchased the contract of RHP Pierce Johnson from Double-A Tennessee.

    Advice: The 24-year-old right-hander spent the entire 2015 campaign at Double-A Tennessee, compiling a 2.08 ERA, 1.14 WHIP and 72/32 K/BB ratio over 95 innings. He's expected to begin the 2016 season at Triple-A Iowa and could be an option as a spot starter for the big league club. Friday, 9:02 pm
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