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    Player Notes

    • Phillies nearing deal with Wandy Rodriguez
      According to multiple reports, the Phillies are nearing a minor league deal with free agent left-hander Wandy Rodriguez.

      Advice: The 35-year-old was an abomination for the Pirates in 2014, posting a 6.75 ERA and 1.69 WHIP over 26 2/3 innings while battling arthritis in his pitching elbow. It would make for a nice low-risk signing for the Phillies, though Rodriguez shouldn't be counted on for much. Rotoworld.com
      Yesterday, 4:37 pm
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    • 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
      Yesterday, 12:53 pm
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    • 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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    • Twins sign Tim Stauffer to 1-year, $2.2M deal
      Twins signed RHP Tim Stauffer to a one-year, $2.2 million contract.

      Advice: Stauffer posted a 3.50 ERA and 67/23 K/BB ratio in three starts and 41 relief appearances this past season for the Padres. The 32-year-old righty was the fourth overall pick in the 2003 MLB Amateur Draft. He'll give Minnesota both rotation and bullpen depth. Rotoworld.com
      Tuesday, 2:18 pm
    • Cubs claim Mike Kickham off waivers
      Cubs claimed LHP Mike Kickham off waivers from the Giants.

      Advice: Kickham's mainly a reliever, but has made several spot starts for the Giants over the last few seasons. In 28+ innings in 2013, he allowed 46 hits and struggled to the tune of a 10.16 ERA. He spent most of 2014 in Triple-A, where he compiled a 4.46 ERA. While he hasn't shown much in the majors, he could see some action with the Cubs if they need a lefty to fill relief innings. Rotoworld.com
      Tuesday, 11:07 am
    • Red Sox sign LHP Casey Crosby to minors deal
      Red Sox signed LHP Casey Crosby to a minor league contract.

      Advice: Crosby was once a highly touted prospect, but he has not appeared in the majors since 2012. The lefty posted a 5.71 ERA over 17+ innings for the Tigers' Triple-A club in 2014. The 26-year-old will serve as organizational depth for the Red Sox. Rotoworld.com
      Tuesday, 8:16 am
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    • Johnny Cueto won't talk extension in-season
      Johnny Cueto's agent, Bryce Dixon, said that his client won't continue extension negotiations with the Reds past Opening Day.

      Advice: The Reds initiated preliminary talks with Cueto's rep at the Winter Meetings, but general manager Walt Jocketty didn't sound especially optimistic at the time about getting something done. "We had a brief meeting with his agent down here and we'll see how re-signing him progresses. But it won't be easy," Jocketty said. Dixon said that, among free agent pitchers this winter, Max Scherzer is the "closest comp" to Cueto. In other words, it's going to take a pretty penny to lock Cueto up before he hits free agency next offseason. Rotoworld.com
      Monday, 3:26 pm
    • Phils re-sign O'Sullivan to minors deal
      Phillies re-signed RHP Sean O'Sullivan to a minor league contract with an invitation to spring training.

      Advice: O'Sullivan made three appearances with the Phillies this past season and posted a 4.30 ERA over 25 starts at the Triple-A level. The 27-year-old is useful depth to have around. Rotoworld.com
      Monday, 2:18 pm
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    • Phillies sign Slowey to minor league deal
      Phillies signed RHP Kevin Slowey to a minor league contract with an invitation to spring training.

      Advice: Slowey, who turns 31 next May, had a 5.30 ERA and 1.66 WHIP in two starts and 15 relief appearances (37 1/3 innings) this past season with the Marlins. He could hang around in a swingman role. Rotoworld.com
      Monday, 2:11 pm
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    • Peavy's new contract now finalized
      Giants re-signed RHP Jake Peavy to a two-year, $24 million contract.

      Advice: The Giants and Peavy reached an agreement on a deal late last week. He'll reportedly receive a $4 million signing bonus with salaries of $7 million for 2015 and $13 million for 2016. Peavy was solid down the stretch with San Francisco this past season and stands a good chance to age gracefully by staying in the National League and making half of his starts in a pitcher-friendly ballpark. Rotoworld.com
      Monday, 1:35 pm
    • Haren 'holding out hope' for trade to SD, LAA
      According to CBS Sports' Jon Heyman, starter Dan Haren is "holding out hope" for a trade to the Angels or Padres.

      Advice: Haren told ESPN Los Angeles in November that he would rather retire than pitch for a team located outside of Southern California due to family reasons, and now that pledge will be put to the test following the December 11 trade that sent him from the Dodgers to the Marlins. Haren had an underwhelming 4.02 ERA and 145/36 K/BB ratio in 186 innings this past season for the Dodgers and a 4.67 ERA in 2013 for the Nationals, so moving him might not be all that easy for Miami. He is 34 years old. Rotoworld.com
      Monday, 12:51 pm
    • Padres re-sign SP Josh Johnson for $1 million
      Jeff Passan of Yahoo Sports confirms that the Padres have re-signed Josh Johnson.

      Advice: It's a one-year deal worth $1 million guaranteed, and it also includes another $6.25 million in performance-based incentives. Johnson missed the entire 2014 season due to Tommy John reconstructive elbow surgery -- the second of his career. He should be recovered sometime in May or early June. Rotoworld.com
      Monday, 11:46 am
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    • Hughes gets 3-yr, $42M extension from Twins
      Mark Feinsand of the New York Daily News reports that Phil Hughes has agreed to a three-year, $42 million contract extension with the Twins.

      Advice: The extension wipes out the final two years and $16 million on Hughes' original three-year, $24 million deal with the Twins. So it's essentially a five-year, $58 million pact, and it'll keep Hughes in Minnesota through the 2019 season. The 28-year-old right-hander revitalized his career in 2014, posting a 3.52 ERA, 1.13 WHIP, and 186/16 K/BB ratio across 209 2/3 innings. He had a 5.19 ERA and 1.46 WHIP in 2013, his final year with the Yankees. Rotoworld.com
      Monday, 5:59 am
    • Padres have talked to Phillies about Hamels
      Ryan Lawrence of the Philadelphia Inquirer and Daily News reports that the Padres have had discussions with the Phillies regarding Cole Hamels.

      Advice: Lawrence notes that any trade package for Hamels could revolve around the newly-acquired Wil Myers. The Padres have pulled off several blockbuster moves in the past week, and acquiring an elite top of the rotation left-hander would be another strong acquisition. Rotoworld.com
      Sunday, 2:11 pm
    • James Shields' asking price to be near $110M
      Nick Cafardo of the Boston Globe reports that James Shields' contract demands are expected to be around five years and $110 million.

      Advice: It's the same amount left on Cole Hamels' contract, assuming Hamels' option is picked up, and is a reasonable demand after Jon Lester landed a $155 million deal from the Cubs. Cafardo says that the Giants and Red Sox are "in the picture" for Shields, while the Yankees "may be another suitor." Shields, who just turned 33, holds a 3.64 ERA over his eight full seasons and has made at least 31 starts every year during that stretch. Rotoworld.com
      Sunday, 8:21 am
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    • Lindblom signs with KBO's Lotte Giants
      Josh Lindblom signed with the Lotte Giants of the Korean Baseball Organization.

      Advice: Lindblom was released by the Pirates and subsequently signed a deal to play in the KBO next season. According to the Yonhap News Agency, Lindblom will get $850,000 and a $50,000 signing bonus in the deal. The 27-year-old made one start in the majors this past season. Rotoworld.com
      Saturday, 7:00 pm
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    • Giants do not plan to talk to Max Scherzer
      Giants general manager Brian Sabean said Saturday that the team does not plan to talk to free agent right-hander Max Scherzer.

      Advice: The Giants have talked to James Shields this winter, so there were some rumblings that they may have some interest in Scherzer as well, but it appears that they have no desire to entertain the massive payday that he is looking to find. With the Yankees also out on Scherzer, his market for potential destinations appears to be dwindling. Rotoworld.com
      Saturday, 12:36 pm
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    • Braves get Max Fried in Upton deal
      Braves acquired LHP Max Fried, INF Jace Peterson, 3B Dustin Peterson, OF Mallex Smith and the fourth international bonus pool slot from the Padres in exchange for OF Justin Upton and RHP Aaron Northcraft.

      Advice: Fried was ranked before the season by Baseball America as the No. 53 prospect in the game, but he had elbow troubles and eventually had Tommy John surgery in August. He has top-of-the-rotation upside if he can re-gain his pre-op stuff, but obviously there's some risk here. Rotoworld.com
      Friday, 2:00 pm
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    • Rangers showing interest in Brandon Beachy
      Brandon Beachy's agent, Robert Martin, told Gerry Fraley of the Dallas Morning News that the Rangers are among the teams showing interest in his client.

      Advice: "Several teams are still reviewing his medicals," Martin said via e-mail. "I do not think a decision is imminent, but he does have multiple offers." Beachy, who is working his way back from a second Tommy John surgery, was non-tendered by the Braves earlier this month. He probably won't contribute much in the first half next season, but Beachy holds a career 3.23 ERA over 46 starts and is worth a gamble on an incentive-laden deal. Rotoworld.com
      Friday, 9:09 am
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    • Blue Jays ink Andrew Albers to minors deal
      Blue Jays signed LHP Andrew Albers to a minor league contract.

      Advice: The deal presumably includes an invitation to spring training. Albers, 29, posted a 4.05 ERA over 10 starts for the Twins in 2013 before spending last season in Korea. He's merely organizational depth. Rotoworld.com
      Friday, 7:03 am
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