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  • Castillo emerges as O's top catching target
    Dan Connolly of the Baltimore Sun reports that Welington Castillo has emerged as the Orioles' top catching target.

    Advice: The Orioles don't want to head into the season with Caleb Joseph as their primary catcher and they've expressed interest in other free agent catchers such as Nick Hundley as well. Castillo, who was non-tendered by the Diamondbacks last week, and his representatives have reportedly been in discussions with the Orioles since the winter meetings ended with expressed optimism that a multi-year deal could get done. Today, 4:08 pm
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    W, 3-2 vs SD
  • Emilio Bonifacio re-signs with Braves
    Braves re-signed 2B/OF Emilio Bonifacio to a minor league contract with an invitation to spring training.

    Advice: Bonifacio returns to the Braves after getting a brief shot with them in 2016, when he hit just .211/.268/.211 over 43 plate appearances. He'll compete for a utility job. Today, 2:18 pm
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    W, 1-0 vs Det
  • Sean Burnett will be NRI for Phillies
    Phillies signed LHP Sean Burnett to a minor league contract with an invitation to spring training.

    Advice: Burnett made it back to the majors for a cup of coffee last season with the Nationals after a few years of arm issues. The veteran left-hander is now 34 and will have a shot to win a bullpen spot with Philly. Sportsnet's Ben Nicholson-Smith says Burnett will earn $1.25 million if he makes the team, with another $1.75 million possible in appearance incentives. The deal also includes a March 26 opt-out. Today, 2:11 pm
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    W, 5-2 vs NYM
  • D'Backs finalize deal with Fernando Rodney
    Diamondbacks signed RHP Fernando Rodney to a one-year, $2.75 million contract.

    Advice: The deal, which was first reported on Wednesday, includes an additional $4 million in incentives. Rodney was Dr. Jekyll with the Padres (0.31 ERA, 33/12 K/BB ratio over 28 2/3 innings) and Mr. Hyde with the Marlins (5.89 ERA, 41/25 K/BB ratio over 36 2/3 innings) last season, but, of course, inconsistency is nothing new with him. He'll turn 40 just before Opening Day but will get a chance to close in Arizona. Today, 1:59 pm
  • Jeff Ferrell re-ups with Tigers
    Tigers re-signed RHP Jeff Ferrell to a minor league contract with an invitation to spring training.

    Advice: Ferrell made it up for a few appearances with the Tigers in 2015 but last season was in the minors, holding a 4.76 ERA over nine appearances. He'll represent organizational depth. Today, 1:34 pm
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    L, 1-0 @Atl
  • Miguel Gonzalez re-signs with Tigers
    Tigers re-signed C Miguel Gonzalez to a minor league contract with an invitation to spring training.

    Advice: Gonzalez has been in the Tigers' minor league system the last two years, hitting .243/.298/.327 with two homers this past season at Triple-A Toledo. He'll return there to start 2017. Today, 1:30 pm
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    L, 1-0 @Atl
  • Omar Infante catches on with Tigers
    Tigers signed 2B Omar Infante to a minor league contract with an invitation to spring training.

    Advice: Infante was released by the Royals last season and then released by the Braves after signing a minor league deal with them. The soon-to-be 35-year-old will make $8 million in 2017, but that will be paid by the Royals. He's probably a long shot to make the team even if the Tigers wind up trading Ian Kinsler. Today, 1:26 pm
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    L, 1-0 @Atl
  • Shawn Zarraga inks minors deal with Reds
    Reds signed C Shawn Zarraga to a minor league contract with an invitation to spring training.

    Advice: Zarraga was up with the Dodgers for one game last season but is still looking to make his major league debut. He's a defense-first catcher who batted .256/.329/.323 with zero homers between Double- and Triple-A in 2016. Today, 1:20 pm
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    L, 7-4 vs ChC
  • Lucas Luetge signs with Reds on minors deal
    Reds signed LHP Lucas Luetge to a minor league contract with an invitation to spring training.

    Advice: Luetge, who turns 30 in March, spent 2016 at Triple-A in the Angels organization, holding a 4.85 ERA over 48 relief appearances. He's probably a long shot to win an Opening Day bullpen spot. Today, 1:17 pm
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    L, 7-4 vs ChC
  • Tigers ink A.J. Achter to minors deal
    Tigers signed RHP A.J. Achter to a minor league contract with an invitation to spring training.

    Advice: The 28-year-old posted a 3.11 ERA in 27 appearances with the Angels this past season. Achter will compete for a middle relief spot in spring training. Today, 9:54 am
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    L, 1-0 @Atl
  • Report: Cards haven't talked to EE reps
    Jim Bowden of ESPN and SiriusXM reports that the Cardinals have not contacted Edwin Encarnacion's representatives at this point.

    Advice: A report from the St. Louis Post-Dispatch said that the Cards could target sluggers such as Encarnacion or Mark Trumbo following the Dexter Fowler signing. However, general manager John Mozeliak said Friday that right now he's looking more at complementary pieces at this point, suggesting a run at Encarnacion or Trumbo is unlikely. However, with Encarnacion's market in particular looking like it's fallen, some teams that hadn't been in on the bidding could jump in. Today, 9:32 am
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    W, 2-1 @Bos
  • Cards announce five-year contract with Fowler
    Cardinals signed OF Dexter Fowler to a five-year, $82.5 million contract.

    Advice: FOX Sports' Ken Rosenthal passed along the contract numbers for Fowler, who also received a full no-trade clause. The Cardinals entered the offseason looking for a new center fielder and possible leadoff man and they now have one in Fowler, who batted .276/.393/.447 with 13 homers, 48 RBI and 13 steals over 125 games this past season. He'll allow the Cards to move Matt Carpenter down to the middle of the batting order and Randal Grichuk to left field. Today, 8:19 am
  • Matt den Dekker catches on with Marlins
    Marlins signed OF Matt den Dekker to a minor league contract with an invitation to spring training.

    Advice: Den Dekker, 29, sports a career .236/.318/.359 batting line across parts of four seasons in the majors. The Florida native will compete for the Marlins' fifth outfielder job. Today, 7:57 am
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    L, 10-7 @Was
  • Angels talking to Padres about second basemen
    Jeff Fletcher of the Orange County Register reports that the Angels have had discussions with the Padres, presumably about their available second basemen.

    Advice: Fletcher lists Yangervis Solarte, Ryan Schimpf, Corey Spangenberg and Carlos Asuaje as possible targets for the Angels. FOX Sports' Ken Rosenthal has previously reported that the Padres are "aggressively shopping" Solarte, so he might be the one the Halos have eyes on. The Dodgers are also involved on Solarte, who batted 286/.341/.467 with 15 homers last season. Today, 7:49 am
  • Cardinals could pursue Encarnacion, Trumbo
    Derrick Goold and Ben Frederickson of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch write that the Cardinals "could become more aggressive than previously believed," with Mark Trumbo and Edwin Encarnacion as "possible pursuits."

    Advice: Interesting. The report says that the Cards' reported five-year, $80 million-ish contract for Dexter Fowler "could signal a pivot" for the club that "makes them a player for other free agents." Justin Turner has also been previously linked to St. Louis as a potential corner infield option. The Cards have already committed to playing Matt Carpenter at first base next season, but it sounds like they could explore signing a first baseman and presumably moving Carpenter back to third base. Encarnacion's market in particular isn't as robust as most figured it would be, and St. Louis might consider taking advantage. Today, 6:38 am
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    W, 2-1 @Bos
  • Yankees expected to hang on to Chase Headley
    Yankees general manager Brian Cashman indicated Thursday that he'll hang on to Chase Headley.

    Advice: Cashman shopped Headley around but evidently didn't like the offers presented to him. "I've turned down what was presented to me," Cashman said. "I don't think there's going to be any other opportunities that way at the time being. I'm still getting hits on (Brett Gardner) but the Headley stuff, I've decided to pass on and keep Chase." Headley batted .251/.329/.383 with 14 home runs in 2016 and is owed $34 million over the next two seasons. Today, 5:37 am
  • Report: Cardinals ink Fowler pending physical
    FanRag Sports' Jon Heyman reports that the Cardinals will sign Dexter Fowler to a five-year deal worth at least $80 million, pending a physical.

    Advice: Fowler has been confirmed to be in St. Louis to take a pre-signing physical. The center fielder turned down a $17.2 million qualifying offer from the Cubs and was believed to be seeking a four-year deal for about $18 million per year. It appears the Cardinals trumped the field by offering a fifth year and at least $16 million annually. One year after the Cubs poached Jason Heyward and John Lackey from the Cardinals, they get a measure of revenge by prying Fowler away from the World Series champs. Fowler gives the Cardinals a badly-needed upgrade in center field and should find a home near the top of the lineup. He owns a .366 career on-base percentage. Randal Grichuk will move from center to left field with Matt Holliday out of the picture. Yesterday, 6:59 pm
  • Cards made 'over-the-top' offer to Fowler
    According to beat writer Derrick Goold of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, the Cardinals made an "over-the-top offer" to be sure they landed free agent center fielder Dexter Fowler.

    Advice: Multiple reports state Fowler is on his way to St. Louis for a pre-signing physical. Jon Heyman of FanRag Sports confirms that the deal is done and that it's expected to be big, perhaps in the $80-90 million range. It's safe to say he got the $18 million AAV (average annual value) he was seeking. Fowler is tied to draft pick compensation after rejecting a $17.2 million qualifying offer from the Cubs. He registered a solid .276/.393/.447 slash-line with 13 homers, 48 RBI, and 13 steals over 125 games this past season. Yesterday, 5:55 pm
  • Report: Fowler to take physical in STL on Fri
    According to Frank Cusumano of KSDK Sports, free agent outfielder Dexter Fowler is scheduled to take a physical in St. Louis on Friday.

    Advice: Cusumano says that he confirmed the information with the team. This would seem to indicate that the Cardinals have reached an agreement with Fowler and that the physical would be the formality to making things official. No word yet on the terms involved, but Fowler's reps were said to be looking for $18 million annually in a mulit-year pact. The 30-year-old is coming off a strong season for the World Series champion Cubs where be batted .276/.393/.447 with 13 homers, 48 RBI, and 13 steals over 125 games. While the defense isn't great in center field, it would fit into the team's goals of adding some speed and athleticism this winter. Yesterday, 4:14 pm
  • Rangers remain 'in touch' with Encarnacion
    Jon Morosi of FOX Sports reports that the Rangers continue to be in touch with Edwin Encarnacion.

    Advice: The Rangers apparently haven't given up hope on landing a deal with Encarnacion, but USA Today's Bob Nightengale has reported that the finances might not line up here. Stay tuned. The Indians have also been linked to Encarnacion, while Blue Jays general manager Ross Atkins indicated earlier on Wednesday that the team's path to re-signing their veteran slugger is less than evident at this juncture. EE's market really hasn't developed yet. He'll get paid by somebody. Wednesday, 5:12 pm
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    W, 2-1 @Bos
  • Blue Jays don't expect Encarnacion reunion
    Blue Jays general manager Ross Atkins said that the chances of re-signing Edwin Encarnacion are looking dim.

    Advice: "If there's a way [to bring him back], I don't see it. I don't think [Encarnacion's agent Paul Kinzer] sees it either but we haven't stopped trying," Atkins said. The Indians and Rangers are two teams linked to Encarnacion, though USA Today's Bob Nightengale reported earlier on Wednesday that the Rangers may not have the money to bring him into the fold. The veteran slugger looks unlikely to sign with a team before the end of the Winter Meetings. Toronto is moving forward with recent additions Kendrys Morales and Steve Pearce. Wednesday, 3:13 pm
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    W, 2-1 @Bos
  • Showalter says O's interested in C Castillo
    Orioles manager Buck Showalter confirmed Wednesday that the club has interest in free agent catcher Welington Castillo.

    Advice: Roch Kubatko of MASN Sports first reported the club's interest after Castillo was non-tendered by the Diamondbacks late last week. The Rays have reached an agreement with Wilson Ramos, taking one potential suitor out of the mix for Castillo. With Matt Wieters on the free agent market, Showalter also acknowledged that the club has discussed a possible reunion with Nick Hundley. Michael Bourn and Michael Saunders were also mentioned as outfield targets. Wednesday, 12:12 pm
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    W, 3-2 vs SD
  • Encarnacion not likely to sign during WM
    Jon Morosi of MLB Network writes that Edwin Encarnacion probably won't sign a contract before the end of the Winter Meetings.

    Advice: Encarnacion's reps went into the Winter Meetings optimistic that they would find a deal there, but things didn't exactly work out as planned. And there's simply not a lot of time left before everyone departs National Harbor, Maryland. Regardless, Morosi writes that multiple teams remain interested in the veteran slugger. The Indians have emerged as an unlikely suitor while there have been conflicting reports about the Rangers. With teams like the Red Sox and Rockies out and the Blue Jays only a remote possibility, his market is rather cloudy. Wednesday, 11:27 am
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    W, 2-1 @Bos
  • Report: Rangers don't have money for EE
    The Rangers don't have the money to sign Edwin Encarnacion or another marquee free agent, according to Bob Nightengale of USA Today.

    Advice: Marly Rivera of ESPN reported earlier in the day Wednesday that the Rangers and Indians were both still in talks with Encarnacion, so who knows what to believe. We wouldn't be surprised if there's some posturing going on. The one thing we do know is that Encarnacion's market isn't nearly as lively as originally expected. And that could open the door for a number of scenarios. Wednesday, 11:15 am
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    W, 2-1 @Bos
  • Report: Rangers, Indians in on Encarnacion
    Marly Rivera of ESPN reports that the Rangers and Indians are both still in talks with free agent slugger Edwin Encarnacion.

    Advice: The Indians have only emerged as a possibility after Encarnacion's market has been slow to develop, but the Rangers have been a great fit all along. Similar to his time in Toronto, he could potentially split time between first base and designated hitter in Texas. The big question is how much Encarnacion's camp will be willing to compromise in regard to years and dollars. As Jeff Passan reported early Wednesday morning, Encarnacion's camp is in "wait-and-see" mode as they try to find the right fit. Wednesday, 6:59 am
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    W, 2-1 @Bos
  • Report: Encarnacion in 'wait-and-see' mode
    According to Jeff Passan of Yahoo Sports, free agent slugger Edwin Encarnacion is currently in "wait-and-see mode."

    Advice: It's not by choice, but his market just hasn't worked out as hoped until this point. In fact, Passan hears that no team has been willing to go beyond three years and $60 million thus far. Encarnacion still figures to find a nice deal in the end, but he'll be 34 in January and this speaks to the hesitation about a player with his profile. With his market being slower than expected, the Indians and Rockies are two teams who have been connected to him this week. Wednesday, 6:23 am
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    W, 2-1 @Bos
  • D'Backs, Rodney do one-year, $2.75M deal
    Fernando Rodney has agreed to a one-year, $2.75 million contract with the Diamondbacks, per Jon Heyman of FanRag Sports.

    Advice: Heyman says there are "many, many" performance-based incentives included in the deal. Rodney posted a rough 5.89 ERA over his final 36 2/3 innings this past season with the Marlins, but he got off to a good start in San Diego and might have a little something left in the tank as he heads to the desert. The plan is for him to open the 2017 season as the Diamondbacks' closer. Good luck with that. Tuesday, 9:02 pm
  • D'Backs close to an agreement with Rodney
    According to Jon Heyman of FanRag Sports, the Diamondbacks are close to a deal with Fernando Rodney.

    Advice: Rodney was also said to be drawing interest from the Padres, with whom he enjoyed success at the opening of the 2016 season. The veteran right-hander went on to struggle mightily with the Marlins, registering an 11.57 ERA in September and October. This is probably not going to be a substantial contract -- and it probably won't work out very well either -- but Rodney might be the favorite for saves in Arizona coming out of camp next spring. Tuesday, 7:09 pm
  • Diamondbacks, Padres aiming for Rodney
    Jon Heyman of FanRag Sports says the Diamondbacks and Padres are among the teams "taking aim" at free agent reliever Fernando Rodney.

    Advice: Miami declined a $4.5 million club option on Rodney in early November after he posted a 5.89 ERA across 36 2/3 innings in a Marlins uniform. He did have some early success this summer with San Diego, but the 39-year-old isn't going to be able to command very much guaranteed money leading into 2017. Tuesday, 6:59 pm
  • Not much momentum between Tribe and EE
    ESPN's Jerry Crasnick tweets that he is "not sensing much momentum" between the Indians and free agent slugger Edwin Encarnacion.

    Advice: Crasnick says Encarnacion is looking for a "longer, more lucrative deal" than the Indians are willing to offer at the moment. Cleveland is a perfect fit, but the franchise rarely spends big in free agency and EE wants the world as one of the top bats in this market. An option dried up for him Tuesday when the Red Sox signed Mitch Moreland to play first base, which will shift Hanley Ramirez to DH. Maybe the Indians can slow-play this and watch Encarnacion's price fall into an agreeable range. Tuesday, 3:35 pm
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    W, 2-1 @Bos
  • Cards offer to Fowler in 4-yr, $60M range
    Mark Saxon of ESPN hears from a rival executive that the Cardinals' offer to free agent outfielder Dexter Fowler is in the same range as the four-year, $60 million offer from the Blue Jays.

    Advice: Meanwhile, Fowler is aiming for a multi-year deal worth $18 million per season. The Blue Jays and Cardinals aren't that far off at the moment, so perhaps the first one willing to budge on the AAV (average annual value) will get him. Tuesday, 12:06 pm
  • Red Sox 'very unlikely' for Edwin Encarnacion
    Jayson Stark of reports that the Red Sox appear "very unlikely" for free agent slugger Edwin Encarnacion.

    Advice: The Red Sox are reportedly one of three of Encarnacion's preferred options, but the club is mindful of the luxury tax threshold and appear prepared to go with other options. Odds of a return to the Blue Jays are also remote after the club signed Kendrys Morales and Steve Pearce, so the market for Encarnacion is very much up in the air. His agent, Paul Kinzer, is now telling teams that there's no hurry to get him signed, which is an indication that his market isn't as strong as originally hoped. The Indians have reportedly jumped in as a legitimate possibility while the Rockies have also emerged as a suitor. Tuesday, 6:12 am
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    W, 2-1 @Bos
  • Cardinals have made initial offer to Fowler
    FOX Sports' Ken Rosenthal reports that the Cardinals met with the agents for Dexter Fowler on Monday and made an initial offer.

    Advice: The Cardinals have mentioned as a fit for Fowler for a while, so it's no surprise that they are involved. The question is how far they are willing to go to get him. According to Jon Heyman of FanRag Sports, the Blue Jays have made a four-year, $60 million offer, though his agents are aiming for $18 million annually on a multi-year deal. Tuesday, 5:11 am
  • LAD talking to Padres about Yangervis Solarte
    According to FOX Sports' Ken Rosenthal, the Dodgers are among the teams talking to the Padres about Yangervis Solarte.

    Advice: Los Angeles is hoping to retain third baseman Justin Turner, but Turner is one of the biggest fish on a weak free agent market and is drawing heavy interest from many other clubs. Solarte would be a pretty good fallback plan, coming off a year in which he slashed 286/.341/.467 with 15 homers and 71 RBI in 443 plate appearances as the Padres' primary cleanup hitter. Solarte, 29, is under control via salary arbitration through 2019. Monday, 4:38 am
  • Cardinals could be in play for Dexter Fowler
    According to Jon Heyman of FanRag Sports, the Cardinals are a strong possibility for free agent outfielder Dexter Fowler.

    Advice: The Cardinals would presumably love to steal the leadoff hitter away from their division-rival Cubs while filling their void in center field. Fowler, who is seeking around $18 million per year in a multi-year deal, has also drawn interest from the Blue Jays. Sunday, 6:28 pm
  • Padres are aggressively shopping Solarte
    Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports reports that the Padres are aggressively shopping Yangervis Solarte.

    Advice: The 29-year-old slashed an impressive .286/.341/.467 with 15 homers and 71 RBI in 443 plate appearances with the Padres in 2016 while serving primarily as their cleanup hitter. He's in his first year of arbitration though and is projected by to earn $2.7 million in the process. While that may not seem excessive, the Padres are trying to cut payroll and may look to get what they can now for one of their top trade chips. Sunday, 6:11 pm
  • Orioles also interested in Welington Castillo
    Roch Kubatko of MASN Sports reports that the Orioles have interest in free agent catcher Welington Castillo.

    Advice: They join the Braves and Rays as clubs that are already known to have interest in the backstop that was cut loose by the Diamondbacks on Friday. With Matt Wieters not expected to return, the O's are currently set to open the season with Caleb Joseph as their primary catcher unless they bring another option in through trade or free agency. They have also expressed interest in Nick Hundley. Saturday, 11:23 am
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    W, 3-2 vs SD
  • Rays, others interested in Welington Castillo
    Marc Topkin of the Tampa Bay Times reports that the Rays, as well as other clubs, have expressed interest in Welington Castillo.

    Advice: Castillo was a surprising non-tender by the Diamondbacks on Friday and should be able to land himself a multi-year deal in free agency. Given the struggles of the Rays' trio of catchers in 2016 (Curt Casali, Luke Maile, Bobby Wilson), Castillo would represent a significant upgrade in terms of offense. Saturday, 8:09 am
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    W, 3-2 vs SD
  • Diamondbacks non-tender Welington Castillo
    Diamondbacks non-tendered C Welington Castillo.

    Advice: This move comes as quite a surprise, as Castillo was the club's starting catcher and coming off of a fine offensive season where he slashed .264/.322/.423 with 14 homers and 68 RBI in 457 plate appearances. Chris Herrmann now ascends to the top of the depth chart, but it's incredibly likely that the D'Backs will now add another backstop either through trade or free agency. As for Castillo, he was projected to earn around $6 million in arbitration, but now suddenly becomes one of the most appealing catchers on the free agent market. Friday, 4:16 pm
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    W, 3-2 vs SD
  • Report: Fowler's reps aiming for $18M per yr
    According to Jon Heyman of FanRag Sports, Dexter Fowler's representatives believe he can get $18 million per season on a multi-year deal.

    Advice: What a difference a year makes. Fowler ended up settling for a one-year, $8 million deal to return to the Cubs last offseason after draft pick compensation impacted his market, but the outlook is much rosier this time after he batted .276/.393/.447 with 13 homers, 48 RBI, and 13 steals over 125 games in 2016. Granted, Fowler wasn't nearly as productive after the start of June, but he's a switch-hitter with proven on-base ability. Heyman hears that the Cardinals, Blue Jays, and Giants are among the clubs believed to have interest. Thursday, 4:29 pm
  • Cubs unlikely to re-sign Dexter Fowler
    Cubs general manager Jed Hoyer indicated Wednesday that the club is unlikely to re-sign Dexter Fowler.

    Advice: It's not a big surprise, especially after the club signed Jon Jay on Tuesday. "We'd never close the door on Dexter, but we're aware that's something that may not happen for us," said Hoyer. Fowler rejected a qualifying offer from the Cubs and while he had to settle for a one-year deal to return to Chicago last offseason, he should have no problem landing a lucrative multi-year contract this time around. The Blue Jays are among the teams who reportedly have interest. The Cubs appear set to move on with Jay and Albert Almora in center field, but Jason Heyward is also an option if they want to go with Ben Zobrist and Kyle Schwarber in the corner spots. Wednesday, 11:04 am
  • Blue Jays showing 'strong interest' in Fowler
    Jon Heyman of FanRag Sports confirms the Blue Jays are showing "strong interest" in Dexter Fowler.

    Advice: MLB Network's Jon Morosi linked the two parties 10 days ago, and it sounds like talks may be heating up. Fowler represents the kind of high-OBP switch-hitting outfielder the Blue Jays covet, but a host of other high-budget teams like him too. He slashed .276/.393/.447 with 13 home runs, 48 RBI, 13 stolen bases, and 84 runs scored in 125 regular-season games this past season for the World Series champs. Tuesday, 5:10 pm
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