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  • Mets 'keeping tabs' on free agent Joe Smith
    According to Mike Puma of the New York Post, the Mets are "keeping tabs" on free agent reliever Joe Smith.

    Advice: They're also said to be monitoring the markets for Addison Reed, Bryan Shaw, and left-hander Mike Minor. Smith is a favorite of former Indians pitching coach Mickey Callaway, who became the Mets' manager earlier this month. The sidearming right-hander registered a sharp 3.33 ERA, 1.04 WHIP, and 71/10 K/BB ratio in 54 innings this past season between Toronto and Cleveland. Rotoworld.com Yesterday, 10:34 am
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  • Martinez playing first base in Winter League
    Jose Martinez is using the Venezuelan Winter League to familiarize himself at first base.

    Advice: Martinez has spent most of his career in the outfield, and while first base may not be as hard as Ron Washington said it was in that movie, there's still a learning curve. The move is another way to get Martinez in the lineup, as he was one of the few pleasant surprises at the big league level for St. Louis this past year. He did get some action at the position but looked shaky at times. Rotoworld.com Wednesday, 6:43 pm
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  • Phillies considering Utley for bench coach
    The Phillies are considering Chase Utley to become their new bench coach, according to FOX 29's Howard Eskin in Philadelphia.

    Advice: The Phillies still have two more spots on their coaching staff to fill after hiring Pedro Guerrero to be the assistant hitting coach on Wednesday. Utley hasn't actually retired yet, but if he were to hang up his playing cleats, this would be a fun move. Utley was one of the best second basemen in the sport during his time with Philadelphia and he is still one of the most popular players in the city. He also has a long reputation of being a smart, respected presence in the clubhouse, so a transition into coaching could be a natural fit. Rotoworld.com Wednesday, 6:17 pm
    Player Note
    Chase Utley LAD - 1B,2B
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  • Lewis still dealing with knee issues
    Baseball America's Bob Dutton reports that outfield prospect Kyle Lewis is still dealing with lingering issues in his right knee.

    Advice: Lewis was forced to leave the Arizona Fall League at the end of October because of soreness in his surgically-repaired knee, and while there wasn't any structural damage found it sounds like this could be a chronic issue. The 2016 first-round pick has more talent than any prospect in the Mariners system, but there's a looming question about whether he will ever be able to truly recover from the horrific ACL tear that has seen him miss all but 49 games in his two years as a pro. There's just as much risk in Lewis's profile as there is reward at this point. Rotoworld.com Wednesday, 4:44 pm
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  • Mariners, Jon Jay have 'momentum' on deal
    According to Mark Feinsand of MLB.com, there is "momentum" toward an agreement between the Mariners and free agent outfielder Jon Jay.

    Advice: Jay has never shown much power, but he can play all three outfield spots and he batted .294 with an excellent .374 on-base percentage in 141 games this past season for the Cubs. The 32-year-old former second-round pick of the Cardinals signed a one-year, $8 million deal with Chicago last winter and figures to land something similar this offseason. Seattle has an opening in center field with Jarrod Dyson no longer under contract. This could come together quickly. Rotoworld.com Wednesday, 12:48 pm
    Player Note
    Jon Jay ChC - OF
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  • Mets making a play on reliever Bryan Shaw?
    Mike Puma of the New York Post hears the Mets are making a play for free agent reliever Bryan Shaw.

    Advice: Puma adds that "it wouldn't be surprising if the Mets moved soon" on adding a new bullpen piece. Shaw boasts a career 3.13 ERA over 475 major league appearances and has been among the most durable and reliable relievers in baseball over the last four seasons. The 30-year-old right-hander would make sense for just about any club seeking relief help. Rotoworld.com Wednesday, 12:39 pm
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  • O's acquire Jaycob Brugman from the A's
    Orioles acquired OF Jaycob Brugman from the Athletics for a player to be named later or cash considerations.

    Advice: Brugman was designated for assignment by Oakland on Monday. The 25-year-old batted just .266 with a .688 OPS in 162 plate appearances this past season at the major league level, but he can play all three outfield spots and his minor league numbers suggest he's capable of better things offensively. Brugman will be in the running for a bench job next spring in Orioles camp. Rotoworld.com Wednesday, 11:15 am
  • Padres DFA right-hander Kyle Lloyd
    Padres designated RHP Kyle Lloyd for assignment.

    Advice: The move clears a 40-man roster spot for right-handed reliever Colten Brewer, who was signed to a one-year major league contract on Wednesday. Lloyd made his MLB debut in a spot start for the Padres this past July, yielding four earned runs over four innings in a no-decision against the Mets. It was his only appearance at the big league level in 2017. Rotoworld.com Wednesday, 10:17 am
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  • Astros place C Juan Centeno on waivers
    Jake Kaplan of the Houston Chronicle reports that the Astros have placed Juan Centeno on waivers.

    Advice: Their hope is that he will pass through waivers unclaimed and accept an outright assignment to Triple-A Fresno, but the 28-year-old catcher might find interest from other teams after batting .311/.354/.383 this past season at the Triple-A level. Centeno could also elect free agency. He played 22 games in the majors in 2017 and was included on the Astros' roster for the ALDS, ALCS, and World Series. Rotoworld.com Wednesday, 9:38 am
  • Indians sign Leonel Campos to minors deal
    Indians signed RHP Leonel Campos to a minor league contract with an invitation to spring training.

    Advice: Campos was outrighted off the Blue Jays' 40-man roster earlier this month and elected to become a free agent. The 30-year-old right-hander holds a pedestrian 4.74 ERA and 1.51 WHIP in 38 career relief appearances at the major league level. Rotoworld.com Wednesday, 9:10 am
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  • Indians sign Jeff Beliveau to minors contract
    Indians signed LHP Jeff Beliveau to a minor league contract with an invitation to spring training.

    Advice: Beliveau posted an ugly 7.47 ERA in 19 appearances out of the Blue Jays' bullpen this past season. The 30-year-old southpaw is doubtful to crack the Indians' roster out of camp next spring. Rotoworld.com Wednesday, 9:06 am
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  • Twins could make a run at RP Justin Wilson
    Sources tell Mike Berardino of the St. Paul Pioneer Press that the Twins "could make another run" at left-handed reliever Justin Wilson.

    Advice: Wilson struggled down the stretch with the Cubs and was held off their roster for the NLCS, so it's possible Chicago might want to move on from him this winter. Berardino notes that the Twins made a serious run at Wilson before the Tigers traded him to the Yankees in December 2015. The 30-year-old southpaw is entering his final season of arbitration eligibility and expected to command a salary of around $4.3 million. Rotoworld.com Tuesday, 6:32 pm
  • Nats 'don't envision' Werth returning in 2018
    According to Jorge Castillo of the Washington Post, the Nationals "don’t envision" free agent Jayson Werth in their plans for the 2018 season.

    Advice: Nationals general manager Mike Rizzo suggested earlier this month that he hadn't closed the door on Werth returning, but it's simply not a good fit. The 38-year-old outfielder appeared in only 70 games this summer due to a bone bruise in his left foot and he batted just .226/.322/.393 when healthy. Werth also rated very poorly defensively. Adam Eaton, Michael Taylor, and Bryce Harper figure to make up the Nationals' starting outfield next season. Rotoworld.com Tuesday, 2:19 pm
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  • MLB confirms loss of Maitan, Coppolella ban
    Major League Baseball has confirmed in a statement that the Braves will lose the rights to shortstop prospect Kevin Maitan and 12 other international signees.

    Advice: Jeff Passan of Yahoo Sports was first to report on the full breadth of the sanctions. These include a lifetime ban for former general manager John Coppolella, a one-year ban for former scout Gordon Blakeley, significant restrictions in the 2019-20 and 2020-21 international free agent classes, forfeiture of a third-round pick in the 2018 MLB Draft, and varying punishments for other members of the Braves' international baseball operations department. The dozen players (beyond Maitan) who are no longer under Atlanta's control: Juan Contreras, Yefri del Rosario, Abrahan Gutierrez, Juan Carlos Negret, Yenci Peńa, Yunior Severino, Livan Soto, Guillermo Zuniga, Brandol Mezquita, Angel Rojas, Antonio Sucre, and Ji Hwan Bae. The hammer has dropped. Rotoworld.com Tuesday, 1:19 pm
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  • Will Venable named Cubs' first base coach
    Will Venable has been named the Cubs' new first base and outfield coach.

    Advice: Venable joined the Cubs' front office this past September as a special assistant to the president and general manager, and now he'll move into an on-field coaching role for the 2018 campaign. The 35-year-old graduated from Princeton University before playing parts of nine seasons in the major leagues. Rotoworld.com Tuesday, 1:06 pm
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  • Report: ATL losing 12 players as punishment
    According to Jeff Passan of Yahoo Sports, Kevin Maitan is one of 12 players on the Braves expected to become a free agent as a result of MLB's investigation into the club's international and domestic signing violations.

    Advice: MLB isn't messing around. In addition to losing the prospects, Passan reports that the Braves will be subject to significant restrictions in the 2019-20 and 2020-21 international free agent classes. The club will also lose a third-round pick in 2018 for trying to offer "off-the-books perks" to Drew Waters, who was the 41st overall pick in this year's draft. Finally, the team will be banned from signing 14-year-old Robert Puason after illegally reaching an agreement. The scandal ended up ousting general manager John Coppolella and scout Gordon Blakeley. The new GM Alex Anthopoulos still has a fine farm system even after losing these prospects, but his job just became more challenging. Rotoworld.com Tuesday, 12:17 pm
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  • Report: Braves expected to lose Kevin Maitan
    According to Jon Heyman of FanRag Sports, the Braves are expected to lose rights to prospect Kevin Maitan as punishment for international signing violations.

    Advice: It's believed that the Braves surrendered their rights to additional international signings, as well. Fines and restrictions on future spending could also be included. Official word on punishment could come down as soon as Tuesday. The 17-year-old Maitan received a $4.25 million bonus as the top prospect in the 2016 international class. He batted .241/.290/.340 with two homers and 18 RBI over 42 games in rookie ball this season, but he's still very young with a lot of room to grow. Rotoworld.com Tuesday, 9:42 am
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  • Jaycob Brugman designated for assignment
    Athletics designated OF Jaycob Brugman for assignment.

    Advice: Brugman hit .266/.346/.343 over 48 games for the A's in 2017. He's been a solid producer in the minors and can play all three outfield spots, so there could be some interest in him on waivers. Rotoworld.com Monday, 5:40 pm
  • Braves' IFA punishment likely to be severe
    Ken Rosenthal of The Athletic writes that the Braves' punishment for their alleged international free agent transgressions will likely be severe.

    Advice: Rosenthal mentions that the Braves will probably receive a "substantial" fine, restrictions in their allocated finances for future signings, and the possibility that some prospects they signed out of Latin America could be turned back into free agents. This includes 17-year-old shortstop Kevin Maitan, the crown jewel of the 2016 international class. Maitan is said to have made a verbal agreement with Atlanta before the official signing period, which is against the rules. There's still no firm date as to when Manfred will announce his findings and the subsequent penalties. Rotoworld.com Wednesday, 7:11 pm
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