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  • Diamondbacks ask about Machado
    ESPN's Buster Olney reports that the Diamondbacks have also checked in on Manny Machado.

    Advice: Arizona has 2017 All-Star Jake Lamb at third base and a handful of decent shortstop options, so an upgrade for the left side of the infield wasn't on their priority list. Still, when a talent like Machado becomes available, it's worth checking in. Olney thinks the White Sox and the Cardinals have the best offers out for Machado right now. 54 minutes ago
    L, 6-0 @TB
  • Marlins DFA left-hander Hunter Cervenka
    Marlins designated LHP Hunter Cervenka for assignment.

    Advice: Miami had to clear some 40-man roster space following the finalization of the five-player Marcell Ozuna trade deal with the Cardinals. Cervenka, 27, allowed eight earned runs in 4 1/3 innings at the major league level in 2017. Today, 11:43 am
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    L, 8-5 vs Atl
  • LAA interested in Zack Cozart for third base
    Ken Rosenthal of The Athletic reports that the Angels are interested in free agent Zack Cozart.

    Advice: They'd ask him to play third base, with Andrelton Simmons locked in at shortstop and newcomer Ian Kinsler set to slide in at second. Cozart has never made an appearance at the hot corner at any level of professional baseball, but he's always been a good defender and is probably capable of making the transition. The market is beginning to pick up for the 32-year-old, who batted .297/.385/.548 with 24 home runs over 122 games with the Reds in 2017. Today, 11:00 am
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    W, 3-1 @ChC
  • SF, TOR considering trade for Avisail Garcia
    USA Today's Bob Nightengale reports that the Giants and Blue Jays have spoken to the White Sox about a potential trade for Avisail Garcia.

    Advice: Nightengale notes that there is "nothing close" at this point, but many in the industry -- including a number of beat writers who cover the White Sox -- believe Garcia will be on the move this winter. The 26-year-old had a breakout season in 2017, slashing .330/.380/.506 with 18 home runs and 80 RBI in 136 games while earning his first All-Star nod. The issue for a team like San Francisco -- and other clubs in the NL -- is that Garcia is a dreadful defender in the outfield. Today, 10:29 am
  • Mets trade for 2B Jason Kipnis has 'traction'
    Chris Cotillo of SB Nation hears there is "traction" between the Mets and Indians on a Jason Kipnis trade.

    Advice: The two sides have engaged in serious discussions this week at the Winter Meetings and the heat probably turned up even further when Ian Kinsler went to the Angels on Wednesday night. Kinsler had been a target of the Mets, but they were on his no-trade list and he told Tigers GM Al Avila that he would only accept a move to Anaheim. Kipnis would be a nice bounceback play for the apparently cost-conscious Metropolitans. He struggled to a .232/.291/.414 batting line in 2017 with Cleveland, but the 30-year-old second baseman put up an .817 OPS in 297 games between 2015-2016. Today, 10:04 am
    W, 3-1 vs CWS
  • Bucs grab Damien Magnifico in Rule 5 draft
    Pirates selected RHP Damien Magnifico from the Angels in the Triple-A phase of the Rule 5 draft.

    Advice: Magnifico has made appearances at the major league level in each of the last two seasons, but he's never been able to stick around for very long. The 26-year-old right-hander will operate as organizational relief depth for Pittsburgh in 2018. Today, 9:42 am
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    W, 6-2 vs Sea
  • Cardinals get Yairo Munoz in Piscotty trade
    Cardinals acquired SS Yairo Munoz and 2B Max Schrock from the Cardinals for OF Stephen Piscotty.

    Advice: Munoz batted .300/.330/.464 with 13 home runs, 68 RBI, 22 stolen bases, and 65 runs scored in 112 games this past season between Double-A Midland and Triple-A Nashville. He has played all around the diamond defensively, but the majority of his innings have come at the shortstop position. The toolsy and versatile 22-year-old is a nice pickup for St. Louis. Today, 8:26 am
    L, 6-1 vs Mil
  • Cardinals acquire Schrock in Piscotty deal
    Cardinals acquired 2B Max Schrock and SS Yairo Munoz from the Athletics for OF Stephen Piscotty.

    Advice: Schrock hasn't developed much of a power tool yet, but he boasts a well-rounded .324/.372/.439 career batting line in the minor leagues and he plays good defense at second base. The 23-year-old finished the 2017 season with the Double-A affiliate of the A's. Today, 8:23 am
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    W, 5-2 @Tex
  • Astros grab OF/LHP Anthony Gose in Rule 5
    Astros selected OF/LHP Anthony Gose from the Rangers with the 15th pick in the Rule 5 draft.

    Advice: Gose struggled with his attempted conversion from outfielder to left-handed reliever in 2017, but Astros executive Kevin Goldstein told reporters on Wednesday that the club will double down on that experiment. It'll be an uphill battle for the 27-year-old to stick on Houston's active roster throughout the entire season. Today, 7:44 am
    W, 4-3 @Bos
  • Diamondbacks pick Albert Suarez in Rule 5
    Diamondbacks selected RHP Albert Suarez from the Giants with the 14th pick in the Rule 5 draft.

    Advice: Suarez has pitched in the big leagues for parts of the last two seasons, though the results haven't been all that great. The 28-year-old right-hander will be competing for a long relief spot in Diamondbacks camp next spring. Today, 7:36 am
  • Astros, Nationals in on RP Hector Rondon
    Hector Rondon is drawing free agent interest from the Astros and Nationals, per Chris Cotillo of SB Nation.

    Advice: It sounds like a deal could be close to completion with one of those two teams. Rondon was non-tendered by the Cubs on December 1 after posting a 4.24 ERA, 1.22 WHIP, and 69/20 K/BB ratio over 57 1/3 innings of relief in 2017. The 29-year-old right-hander will be a pretty good bounceback candidate in 2018. Today, 6:48 am
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    L, 3-1 vs Cin
  • Cardinals 'keep pushing for' Josh Donaldson
    According to Ken Rosenthal of The Athletic, the Cardinals "keeping pushing for" Blue Jays third baseman Josh Donaldson.

    Advice: Rosenthal adds, however, that the Blue Jays "remain disinclined to move Donaldson" because they want to compete in 2018. The asking price is high and there is no indication that a deal is close. St. Louis has its toe in the water on a bunch of different potential upgrades and it sounds like there might be a better match with the Rays. Evan Longoria, Alex Colome, and Chris Archer are the names the Cardinals have discussed with Tampa Bay. Today, 6:30 am
  • Cubs in agreement with reliever Steve Cishek
    Ken Rosenthal of The Athletic reports that the Cubs are in agreement on a contract with free agent reliever Steve Cishek.

    Advice: ESPN's Jerry Crasnick says it's a two-year deal in the $12-14 million range. Cishek dealt with some durability issues in 2017, but when healthy the 31-year-old sidearmer delivered a 2.01 ERA, 0.896 WHIP, and 41/14 K/BB ratio in 44 2/3 innings between the Mariners and Rays. He'll add a unique presence to the back end of the Chicago bullpen. Today, 6:20 am
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    W, 6-0 vs Bal
  • Padres 'clear-cut favorites' for Eric Hosmer
    USA Today's Bob Nightengale writes that the Padres have become the "clear-cut favorites" for free agent Eric Hosmer.

    Advice: Nightengale says the Padres have had two face-to-face meetings with Hosmer and his camp, presumably at this week's Winter Meetings in Orlando. But this of course will all come down to money and agent Scott Boras offered no indication Wednesday in his annual scrum with the media that Hosmer has lowered his sky-high asking price. Nightengale notes that the Red Sox are also "lurking" on the 28-year-old first baseman, who posted a career-best .318/.385/.498 batting line with 25 home runs and 94 RBI over 162 games for the Royals in 2017. He also earned his fourth career Gold Glove, though advanced defensive metrics aren't as kind to him as the folks who vote on those awards. Today, 5:55 am
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    L, 14-2 vs Ari
  • O's could trade Manny Machado this week?
    USA Today's Bob Nightengale reports that the Orioles "are moving aggressively on Manny Machado trade talks and now believe they can move him by the end of the week."

    Advice: Ken Rosenthal of The Athletic wrote late Wednesday night that the White Sox have emerged "as the most aggressive suitor" for Machado and Nightengale confirms that the Pale Hose have presented the strongest offer so far to Baltimore, however the Cardinals, Giants, Red Sox, Phillies, and Yankees are also in the mix on this. Machado is an elite-level talent and he is only 25 years old, but the star third baseman can become a free agent after the 2018 season and the Orioles clearly don't think they can afford to lock him up to a long-term deal. A trade of Machado might kick off a larger rolling rebuild effort for the O's front office. Brad Brach, Zach Britton, and Adam Jones are all entering walk years. Today, 1:01 am
    L, 6-0 @TB
  • Kintzler returning to Nats with two-year deal
    Brandon Kintzler has agreed to a two-year free agent contract with the Nationals, per Ken Rosenthal of The Athletic.

    Advice: Kintzler finished the 2017 season in Washington and will return to a setup role with the defending NL East champs after fielding interest from several other teams this winter -- some of whom might have given him a chance to close. His new agreement with the Nats carries a $10 million guarantee and it can jump to $16 million if certain incentives are reached and an option is exercised, per USA Today's Bob Nightengale. Kintzler owns a sharp 3.08 ERA in 125 2/3 innings since the beginning of the 2016 campaign, though the 33-year-old right-hander has never generated many swing-and-misses. Yesterday, 10:30 pm
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    L, 11-8 vs Pit
  • White Sox 'most aggressive' Machado suitor
    According to Ken Rosenthal of The Athletic, the White Sox "emerged Wednesday as the most aggressive suitor" for Manny Machado.

    Advice: Chicago isn't quite ready to contend and Machado can become a free agent after the 2018 season, but Rosenthal hears that the White Sox would quickly attempt to sign Machado to a long-term deal if they were able to land him. There's also the possibility, per Rosenthal, that the White Sox could flip the star third baseman to another club -- maybe the Yankees? -- to further stack their loaded farm system. Baltimore probably wouldn't do a direct trade with New York. Machado is also known to be drawing serious interest from the Giants, Red Sox, and Cardinals. Yesterday, 9:57 pm
    L, 6-0 @TB
  • Rondon close to signing, but not with Twins
    Darren Wolfson of ESPN 1500 reports that the Twins have shown interest in free agent reliever Hector Rondon, but they believe he's close to signing with another team.

    Advice: The Twins have been linked to several relievers this year, but have yet to come up with a closer for the 2018 campaign. It sounds like they'll come up short here, as well. The recently non-tendered right-hander had a 60/20 K/BB ratio over 57 1/3 innings with a 4.24 ERA for the Cubs. Yesterday, 7:37 pm
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    L, 3-1 vs Cin
  • Report: Several teams make offer for Machado
    FanRag Sports' Jon Heyman reports that several teams have made trade offers for Manny Machado.

    Advice: The Orioles don't appear to be close to contention and seem unable or unwilling to resign Machado, so it comes as no surprise that he's a hot commodity on the market. Recent reports have indicated that he wants a return to shortstop if he's to stay in Baltimore, and several teams could offer him the chance to play the position as well. There's a real chance the 25-year-old star is playing in a different uniform than Baltimore's in 2018. Yesterday, 4:29 pm
    L, 6-0 @TB
  • Twins in on free agent RP Steve Cishek
    Mike Berardino of the St. Paul Pioneer-Press reports that the Twins are in on free agent reliever Steve Cishek.

    Advice: There's also known to be interest from the Mets. Cishek, a 31-year-old sidearmer with experience as a closer, put up an outstanding 2.01 ERA, 0.896 WHIP, and 41/14 K/BB ratio in 44 2/3 innings between the Mariners and Rays in 2017. Yesterday, 10:53 am
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    W, 6-0 vs Bal
  • STL, TOR have talked Josh Donaldson trade
    Ken Rosenthal of The Athletic reports that the Cardinals have spoken to the Blue Jays about a Josh Donaldson trade at this week's Winter Meetings.

    Advice: Rosenthal says there is no indication that a deal is close and adds that the Blue Jays are "seemingly bullish" about keeping Donaldson and making other upgrades to their roster for 2018. St. Louis has been connected to just about every impact bat on the trade market this winter, including Marcell Ozuna and Christian Yelich of the Marlins and Manny Machado of the Orioles. The Cardinals also made a serious run at Giancarlo Stanton before he used his no-trade clause to force a move to the Yankees. Tuesday, 3:43 pm
  • Yankees among teams interested in Machado
    ESPN's Buster Olney reports that the Yankees are among the teams that have shown interest in Orioles star Manny Machado.

    Advice: The rich get even richer? New York just acquired Giancarlo Stanton from the Marlins, but that trade required more of a financial commitment than a haul of young talent and the Yankees still have a loaded farm system to pull off this kind of deal. Olney says the White Sox are also interested in Machado, and the Cardinals are known to be in the hunt as well. Machado has averaged 35 home runs and 92 RBI per year since 2015 and he's a tremendous defender at both shortstop and third base, but he can become a free agent after the 2018 season. Tuesday, 3:22 pm
    L, 6-0 @TB
  • Twins meet on Kintzler, Nicasio
    LaVelle E. Neal III of the Minneapolis Star-Tribune reports that the Twins have met with the representatives for Brandon Kintzler and Juan Nicasio.

    Advice: The Twins are obviously very familiar with Kintzler, who Neal writes is "very open to a return." The 33-year-old served as Minnesota's closer this past season before being traded to the Nationals at the July 31 deadline. Nicasio doesn't have as much closing experience as Kintzler, but he put up an excellent 2.61 ERA in 76 appearances this past season. The back-end of the Twins' bullpen is unsettled, so either of these pitchers could end up saving games. Tuesday, 11:19 am
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    L, 11-8 vs Pit
  • Report: O's want two SP back in Machado deal
    Ken Rosenthal of The Athletic reports that the Orioles want "two young, controllable starting pitchers" back in a trade for Manny Machado.

    Advice: The Orioles don't expect to re-sign Machado, so they appear willing to seriously consider offers from interested teams. No word on which team might have the advantage in trade talks, but the Cardinals have been mentioned as a possibility. One interesting side note from Rosenthal is that Machado wants to move to shortstop for his final year before free agency. Tuesday, 9:35 am
    L, 6-0 @TB
  • Report: Padres 'strongly in mix' for Hosmer
    Jon Heyman of FanRag Sports writes that the Padres are "thinking big" and remain "strongly" in the mix for free agent first baseman Eric Hosmer.

    Advice: The Padres aren't messing around, as Bob Nightengale of USA Today reported that members of the front office met with Hosmer last Thursday. Based on the early reports, they are the most aggressive team thus far. However, it's likely going to take a $100-plus million contract in order to land him. If the Padres were to sign Hosmer, they'd move Wil Myers back to the outfield. Tuesday, 5:58 am
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    L, 14-2 vs Ari
  • Report: Nats interested in retaining Kintzler
    Chelsea Janes of the Washington Post reports that the Nationals have expressed interest in retaining free agent reliever Brandon Kintzler.

    Advice: Kintzler posted a 3.46 ERA in 27 appearances after being acquired from the Twins at the trade deadline. The Nationals haven't ruled out bringing him back, but he's drawn interest from other teams (the Cubs, Rangers, and Cardinals among them) and might find a more appealing situation elsewhere. As of now, the Nationals appear prepared to enter 2018 with Ryan Madson and Sean Doolittle as their late-innings combo. Monday, 11:25 am
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    L, 11-8 vs Pit
  • Report: Nats checked in on Hector Rondon
    Jorge Castillo of the Washington Post reports that the Nationals checked in on free agent reliever Hector Rondon after he was non-tendered by the Cubs earlier this month.

    Advice: For what it's worth, there's a connection here with new manager Dave Martinez, who was previously Joe Maddon's bench coach with the Cubs. Rondon delivered a mediocre 4.24 ERA over 61 appearances in 2017, but he's been a trusted late-inning arm in the past. Monday, 11:02 am
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    L, 3-1 vs Cin
  • Report: Mets interested in Steve Cishek
    Marc Carig of Newsday reports that the Mets have expressed interest in free agent reliver Steve Cishek.

    Advice: Joel Sherman of the New York Post previously indicated that the Mets could pivot from the top-tier relievers to a group which includes Cishek, Tommy Hunter, and Anthony Swarzak. Cishek posted a stingy 2.01 ERA and 41/14 K/BB ratio over 44 2/3 innings this year between the Rays and Mariners. Monday, 9:21 am
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    W, 6-0 vs Bal
  • Cardinals could make push for Manny Machado
    According to Jon Heyman of FanRag Sports, one person familiar with the Cardinals' situation suggested that they would be one of the teams to inquire about the availability of the Orioles' Manny Machado.

    Advice: This doesn't mean that the Cardinals have actually reached out, but after missing out on Giancarlo Stanton, they are still hoping to make some impact moves this offseason. Though it's unclear whether the Orioles would actually move Machado, he would be a fantastic Plan B for St. Louis. The Cardinals are one of the few teams who could have the prospects needed to pull off such a deal. Machado, of course, is one year removed from free agency. He's just one of many possibilities for the Cardinals, who have also been linked to Evan Longoria and Alex Colome with the Rays and Marcell Ozuna with the Marlins via trade and Eric Hosmer and J.D. Martinez via free agency. Monday, 7:12 am
    L, 6-0 @TB
  • Report: Padres will look at Zack Cozart
    According to Jon Heyman of FanRag Sports, the Padres "will take a look at" free agent shortstop Zack Cozart.

    Advice: The Padres have top prospect Fernando Tatis in the pipeline, so Cozart could find a lengthier offer elsewhere. The 32-year-old is usually known for his defense, but he had a career-year with the bat this past season, putting up a .297/.385/.548 batting line with 24 homers over 122 games. Monday, 5:11 am
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    W, 3-1 @ChC
  • Royals discouraged about pursuit of Hosmer
    Jon Heyman of FanRag Sports reports that the Royals are getting discouraged about their pursuit of Eric Hosmer.

    Advice: The club doesn't sound optimistic about their chances of retaining their star first baseman, noting that there are much larger contracts to be had elsewhere. Heyman points out though that they felt similarly two years ago regarding their chances of keeping Alex Gordon, and the outfielder wound up re-signing with the Royals. Saturday, 10:50 am
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    L, 14-2 vs Ari
  • Mets have talked to Indians about Kipnis
    Marc Carig of Newsday reports that the Mets have had talks with the Indians regarding second baseman Jason Kipnis.

    Advice: Kipnis had a rather disappointing and injury-plagued 2017 campaign for the Tribe, slashing just .232/.291/.414 with 12 homers, 35 RBI and six swipes in 90 games. The Mets have also spoken to the Tigers about Ian Kinsler and Carig notes that they may approach the Pirates about Josh Harrison at the upcoming Winter Meetings. Saturday, 7:31 am
    W, 3-1 vs CWS
  • Orioles fielding inquiries on Manny Machado
    Jon Heyman of FanRag Sports reports the Orioles have been fielding inquiries from multiple teams regarding the availability of third baseman Manny Machado.

    Advice: Heyman doesn't know which teams have come calling but speculates the Yankees and Phillies are likely among them. Machado's contract expires following the coming campaign and he could receive offers north of $300 million as a free agent -- which would likely price him out of Baltimore's range. The Orioles will surely try to lock him up long term, but it would be wise to gauge interest in their superstar and weigh those offers against the possibility of seeing him walk away for nothing after the season. Friday, 5:57 pm
    L, 6-0 @TB
  • Padres met with Hosmer on Thursday
    Bob Nightengale of USA Today reports that members of the Padres contingent met with free agent Eric Hosmer on Thursday.

    Advice: The Padres have been the most aggressive pursuers -- at least on record -- of Hosmer, and it appears the pursuit heated up on Thursday. On Wednesday, it was reported that current first baseman Wil Myers was willing to move back to the outfield if San Diego was able to sign Hosmer. The 28-year-old is coming off the best year of his career; hitting .318/.385/.498 with 25 homers in 2017 for the Royals. Friday, 9:04 am
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    L, 14-2 vs Ari
  • Cubs showing interest in RP Brandon Kintzler
    According to Jon Morosi of MLB Network, the Cubs have shown interest in free agent reliever Brandon Kintzler.

    Advice: Morosi also mentioned the Cardinals and Rockies as possible suitors for Kintzler last month. The 33-year-old right-hander began the 2017 season as the Twins' closer and finished it in a setup role with the Nationals, posting a 3.03 ERA and 1.15 WHIP in 71 1/3 innings between the two stops. Kintzler doesn't miss many bats, but he figures to land a multi-year contract this winter given the number of teams seeking relief help. Tuesday, 4:24 pm
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    L, 11-8 vs Pit
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