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  • Rangers and Jays still in mix for Encarnacion
    According to Jon Heyman of FanRag Sports, the Rangers and Blue Jays are among the teams still in the mix for Edwin Encarnacion.

    Advice: Heyman also notes two National League clubs that have inquired on the free agent slugger. The Astros are presumably out of the hunt after signing Carlos Beltran and the Yankees filled their void at designated hitter by agreeing to a deal with Matt Holliday on Sunday. Yesterday, 6:25 pm
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    W, 2-1 @Bos
  • De La Rosa willing to work out of bullpen
    According to Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports, Jorge De La Rosa has been informing interested teams that he's willing to work out of the bullpen as a multi-inning reliever.

    Advice: De La Rosa hasn't been a popular name in the early free agent market, but could prove to be useful in a swing role with the ability to work multiple innings or get left-handers out. The 35-year-old registered a 5.51 ERA, 1.64 WHIP and 108/63 K/BB ratio across 134 frames with the Rockies in 2016. Yesterday, 6:13 pm
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    L, 6-4 vs Mil
  • Twins sign Ben Paulsen to minor league deal
    Twins signed 1B/OF Ben Paulsen to a minor league contract with an invitation to spring training.

    Advice: After a strong 2015 season, Paulsen struggled mightily in 2016 slashing just .217/.258/.304 with one homer and 11 RBI in 97 plate appearances with the Rockies. The Twins need all of the offense that they can find, so Paulsen is a worthwhile low-risk investment on a minor league pact. Yesterday, 5:52 pm
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    W, 6-3 @CWS
  • Orioles have made strong offer to Mark Trumbo
    Orioles executive vice president Dan Duquette said Sunday that the club has made a strong offer to free agent Mark Trumbo.

    Advice: Trumbo slugged a major league leading and career-best 47 homers for the O's in 2016. He's already drawing ample interest on the free agent market, with the Rockies considered one of his most ardent suitors. He's expected to land a four-year deal in the neighborhood of $60 million. Yesterday, 3:15 pm
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    W, 5-2 @NYY
  • Mets willing to listen to offer on Conforto
    According to Joel Sherman of the New York Post, the Mets are willing to listen to trade offers on outfielder Michael Conforto.

    Advice: With Yoenis Cespedes back in the fold, the club now has the flexibility to be creative in order to fill their other needs. They'd certainly prefer to deal Curtis Granderson or Jay Bruce, but Conforto could fetch a much better return. Their priority at the winter meetings seems to be adding at least one, if not two, late-inning relievers. Yesterday, 2:30 pm
  • Marlins want one of the 'big three' closers
    Jon Heyman of FanRag Sports reports that the Marlins "seem intent on trying to beat some big-market teams for the services of one of the 'big three' closers."

    Advice: The Marlins' interest in Kenley Jansen had been reported previously, but Heyman says that Miami is showing interest in Aroldis Chapman and Mark Melancon, as well, in their hopes of building a "super bullpen." Melancon's market has been heating up of late and the feeling had been that he was down to the Nationals and Giants, but it looks like the Marlins might sneak in there. Yesterday, 1:06 pm
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    W, 10-7 vs Mia
  • DH Pedro Alvarez is on Red Sox' radar
    Jon Heyman of FanRag Sports reports that Pedro Alvarez is on the Red Sox' radar.

    Advice: Heyman says that Boston is "favoring a short-term deal" as they look to fill David Ortiz's vacated designated hitter spot, so they appear likelier to sign an Alvarez, Matt Holliday or Mike Napoli rather than an Edwin Encarnacion. Alvarez batted .249/.322/.504 with 22 homers over just 376 plate appearances for the Orioles this past season. Yesterday, 10:42 am
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    W, 5-2 @NYY
  • Pirates willing to eat money to move Bastardo
    Bill Brink of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette reports that the Pirates are willing to eat some of Antonio Bastardo's $6.5 million salary in a trade.

    Advice: The Pirates currently have four lefties projected for their bullpen, but they'd like someone to take Bastardo off their hands. The southpaw is coming off a season where he posted a 4.52 ERA and walked 32 over 67 2/3 innings, but he did strike out 74. Walks are always an issue for Bastardo, but he's not a bad buy low option if the Pirates pay down a big chunk of his deal. Yesterday, 10:32 am
  • K-Rod is 'available for the right price'
    Nick Cafardo of the Boston Globe writes that Francisco Rodriguez is "available for the right price."

    Advice: The Tigers want to contend in 2017 but also want to slash payroll, and K-Rod is one of the pieces they'll consider moving. The veteran closer is coming off a fine season that saw him put up a 3.24 ERA and 52/21 K/BB ratio over 58 1/3 innings while recording 34 saves. He'll make $6 million in 2017. Yesterday, 8:07 am
  • 10 clubs have contacted Jason Hammel's agent
    Nick Cafardo of the Boston Globe reports that "about 10 team" have called Jason Hammel's agent, Alan Nero.

    Advice: Cafardo adds of Hammel that the Marlins "might be one to watch for his services." It's not surprising that the right-hander is drawing plenty of interest, as he's one of the best arms in a weak crop of free agent starters. Hammel posted a 3.83 ERA, 1.21 WHIP and 144/53 K/BB ratio over 166 innings last season for the Cubs. Yesterday, 8:00 am
    W, 7-4 @Cin
  • Astros could field offers for Collin McHugh
    Nick Cafardo of the Boston Globe reports that the Astros would listen to trade offers for Collin McHugh.

    Advice: The Astros seemingly need to add and not subtract from their rotation, but it appears they'd send McHugh elsewhere in order to make room for an upgrade. McHugh can often be inconsistent, but he's put up a nice 3.71 ERA, 1.25 WHIP and 505/148 K/BB ratio across 543 innings over the last three seasons in Houston. He's arbitration-eligible for the first time this offseason. Yesterday, 7:56 am
  • Reds re-sign Gabby Guerrero to minors deal
    Reds re-signed OF Gabby Guerrero to a minor league contract.

    Advice: The Reds non-tendered Guerrero after claiming him off waivers last month, but he'll remain with the organization. Vlad's nephew hit just .234/.281/.383 across two minor league levels in 2016. Yesterday, 7:09 am
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    L, 7-4 vs ChC
  • Iglesias, Cingrani, Lorenzen in mix to close
    Reds manager Bryan Price said Saturday that he would be comfortable using Raisel Iglesias, Tony Cingrani and Michael Lorenzen in the closer role.

    Advice: Iglesias was the Reds' main closer down the stretch last season and fared well, and he's also the most talented pitcher of the aforementioned trio. But, while Iglesias is probably first in line for saves, Price seems to be leaning toward using all three pitchers in the role and often having them pitch multiple innings at a time. "I'd say right now that we have a series of guys that I'm comfortable with in the ninth inning and that would include (Raisel) Iglesias, (Tony) Cingrani and (Michael Lorenzen)," Price said. "Should we stay with this format – which I intend to do – all three of those guys and maybe more could have opportunities in save situations. At this point in time, there's no defined closer. There are multiple options and I'd like to stick with the philosophy that we're going to have our multi-inning guys, so we're going to need multi-closers." Yesterday, 7:06 am
  • Zach Eflin (knees) begins throwing program
    Zach Eflin (knees) began a throwing program on Wednesday.

    Advice: Eflin had a patellar tendinopathy on both knees in August after dealing with pain in his knees he says since Little League. "All of a sudden to go out there and do what I love with no pain, It’s an unbelievable feeling," Eflin said. "I never thought that this day would come that I would be pain-free throwing. I thought that I would always go through it, that it was always something I could deal with it. I’m really, really excited to see what my body can handle when it’s healthy." Eflin will compete in spring training for a spot in the Phillies' rotation. Yesterday, 6:57 am
    W, 5-2 vs NYM
  • Brewers nearly dealt for Szczur at deadline
    Mark Gonzales of the Chicago Tribune hears that the Brewers were close to trading for Matt Szczur at the deadline before talks dissolved.

    Advice: The late-season emergence of Keon Broxton and impending arrival of Lewis Brinson could remove the Brewers from the equation when it comes to Szczur. However, the Cubs have a surplus of outfielders and could revisit trading the 27-year-old. Szczur is a career .245/.297/.376 hitter over 346 plate appearances and is under team control through 2021. Yesterday, 6:37 am
  • Report: Melancon has 'multiple' four-year offers
    Fox Sports' Ken Rosenthal confirms Mark Melancon has received multiple four-year offers for at least $60 million.

    Advice: Rosenthal said those offers came from the Giants, Nationals and "perhaps one other" club. The Giants' offer is reportedly the strongest. Things seem to be moving quickly on Melancon and it wouldn't be a surprise if he signed during the Winter Meetings, which start tomorrow in Maryland. Saturday, 8:06 pm
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    W, 10-7 vs Mia
  • Rockies 'showing continued interest' in Trumbo
    Jon Morosi of MLB Network reports the Rockies are "showing continued interest" in free agent Mark Trumbo.

    Advice: His market has been slow to develop but could pick up once Edwin Encarnacion finds a new home. Trumbo is tied to draft-pick compensation and is a poor defensive player, which might also limit his options. Per Eduardo Encina of the Baltimore Sun, Trumbo is projected to land a four-year deal in the range of $57 million. That would be identical to the deal Nelson Cruz signed with Seattle two years ago. Trumbo's power would play well at Coors Field. He's clubbed eight homers in 12 career games at Colorado. Saturday, 3:55 pm
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    W, 5-2 @NYY
  • Yankees 'well-positioned' for Encarnacion
    MLB Network's Jon Morosi reports the Yankees are "well-positioned to make a play" for free agent Edwin Encarnacion.

    Advice: The Yankees are looking for a veteran power bat and just lost out on Carlos Beltran, who signed a one-year deal with Houston earlier today. The Astros had been a contender for Encarnacion, but likely took themselves out of the running by signing Beltran. With Boston also bowing out of the race, the Yankees and Blue Jays figure to be his top suitors. Talks for Encarnacion should intensify at the Winter Meetings, which begin Sunday in Maryland. Saturday, 3:38 pm
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    W, 2-1 @Bos
  • Reds non-tender Gabby Guerrero on Friday
    Reds non-tendered OF Gabby Guerrero.

    Advice: Guerrero, who is the nephew of former MLB star Vladimir Guerrero, was claimed off of waivers from the Diamondbacks last week and now finds himself as a free agent. He struggled with the bat in 2016, slashing .234/.281/.383 across two minor league levels, but possesses enough talent that he should find another club willing to give him a shot. Saturday, 7:30 am
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    L, 7-4 vs ChC
  • Iglesias, Lorenzen will remain in Reds 'pen
    Reds manager Bryan Price and general manager Dick Williams on Friday committed to using Raisel Iglesias and Michael Lorenzen as relievers next season.

    Advice: It's no surprise, as Price indicated back in October that he might use the duo as potential multiple-inning closers in 2017. Both Iglesias (1.98 ERA, 54/19 K/BB ratio over 50 innings) and Lorenzen (2.88 ERA, 48/13 K/BB ratio over 50 innings) thrived in the bullpen in 2016. Iglesias probably as a leg up on the closer role. Friday, 3:00 pm
  • Talks with Mark Melancon are 'moving along'
    ESPN's Jerry Crasnick reports that talks with Mark Melancon are "moving along."

    Advice: Crasnick says that the Nationals and Giants are "still in the mix" for the closer. He adds that the Giants could be in better position to make a deal for Melancon work since the Nats are currently focused on a trade for Andrew McCutchen and possibly Chris Sale. Melancon is expected to land a contract in the four-year, $60 million range, according to Crasnick. Friday, 1:09 pm
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    W, 10-7 vs Mia
  • Mets don't intend to trade Conforto, Lagares
    According to Anthony DiComo of, the Mets have made it clear that they don't have any intention to trade Michael Conforto or Juan Lagares.

    Advice: The Mets would prefer to trade Jay Bruce after re-signing Yoenis Cespedes, but teams are asking about Curtis Granderson in addition to Conforto and Lagares. Conforto had a rough year in 2016 and doesn't necessarily have a clear role even if the Mets trade Bruce or Granderson, but the feeling is that he still has a bright future ahead of him. As for Lagares, he's the only true center fielder on the Mets' roster right now. Wednesday, 12:30 pm
  • Rockies have checked in on Melancon
    Rockies general manager Jeff Bridich confirmed Tuesday that the club has checked in on free agent closer Mark Melancon.

    Advice: "I won’t say much," said Bridich. "Like we have done with a lot of guys, we have had conversations, and we have checked in on Mark." There's been natural speculation here since Melancon is from Colorado, but contenders like the Giants, Nationals, and Dodgers figure to be in the mix here, so the bidding could get higher than the Rockies' comfort level. As of now, Adam Ottavino projects to be the Rockies' closer in 2017. Wednesday, 7:40 am
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    W, 10-7 vs Mia
  • Encarnacion expected to sign soon
    Edwin Encarnacion's agent, Paul Kinzer, told TSN's Rick Westhead that his client will probably sign a contract later this week or early next week.

    Advice: Kinzer also said that the Blue Jays are "showing Edwin the most love," though he added that three teams have told him that they’re waiting for a new collective bargaining agreement before making an offer. Progress is reportedly being made on the CBA, so things could start to come together for him fairly soon. Kinzer also said that two teams have made "serious" offers to Encarnacion, though he declined to name them. The Red Sox have long been considered a likely landing spot, but a source told Rob Bradford of WEEI on Tuesday that they are "probably not" going to be a finalist. The Yankees, Astros, and Rangers are among the other teams in the mix. Wednesday, 6:09 am
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    W, 2-1 @Bos
  • BoSox 'probably not' finalist for Encarnacion
    A source told WEEI's Rob Bradford that the Red Sox are "probably not" going to be a finalist for free agent slugger Edwin Encarnacion.

    Advice: Bear in mind that this could be a case of posturing with Encarnacion's decision reportedly set to come shortly after the announcement of a new collective bargaining agreement. The other teams linked to him this month: the Yankees, Astros, Rangers, and Blue Jays. Encarnacion, 33, batted .263/.357/.529 with 42 home runs and 127 RBI in 160 games this past season for Toronto. He holds a sensational .912 OPS (146 OPS+) over the last five years. Tuesday, 7:13 pm
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    W, 2-1 @Bos
  • Astros still a possibility for Encarnacion
    Jerry Crasnick of hears that the Astros are still a possibility for free agent slugger Edwin Encarnacion.

    Advice: The Astros reportedly made a push to sign Cespedes before he reached an agreement to return to New York. Now they'll turn to Encarnacion, who is arguably the next best bat on the free agent market. It's worth noting that Encarnacion was offered a four-year, $80 million deal by the Blue Jays before they signed Kendrys Morales. Encarnacion remains a possibility to return to Toronto, though teams like the Yankees and Red Sox are also expected to be in the mix. Tuesday, 12:02 pm
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    W, 2-1 @Bos
  • Reds claim Gabby Guerrero off waivers
    Reds claimed OF Gabby Guerrero off waivers from the Diamondbacks.

    Advice: The nephew of Vladimir Guerrero, Gabby batted just .234/.281/.383 between Double- and Triple-A this past season. He's had back-to-back disappointing seasons but will turn just 23 in a couple weeks. Obviously the Reds think he's still got a shot to make an impact. Monday, 1:04 pm
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    L, 7-4 vs ChC
  • Teams willing to wait on Edwin Encarnacion
    According to Nick Cafardo of the Boston Globe, Edwin Encarnacion is unlikely to sign until the luxury tax threshold is resolved in CBA negotiations.

    Advice: The current $189 million luxury tax is expected to increase to $200 million when a new collective bargaining agreement is reached. The extra $11 million could make big market teams more inclined to spend big on Encarnacion and other top free agents. Incarnation has already received a four-year, $80 million offer from the Blue Jays and has also drawn interest from Astros, Rangers, Red Sox and Yankees. Nov 26, 7:00 pm
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    W, 2-1 @Bos
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