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  • Yankees re-sign Erik Kratz to minors deal
    Yankees re-signed C Erik Kratz to a minor league contract.

    Advice: Kratz elected to become a free agent in early November after being outrighted off the Yankees' 40-man roster, but the 37-year-old catcher has decided to begin the 2018 season back in pinstripes. A career .203/.250/.366 hitter, he appeared in only four games at the major league level with New York in 2017. Yesterday, 9:34 pm
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    L, 2-1 vs Tor
  • Mike Bolsinger sings with Japanese team
    Mike Bolsinger has agreed to a contract with the Chiba Lotte Marines in Japan.

    Advice: Bolsinger was outrighted off the Blue Jays' 40-man roster in August after registering an ugly 6.31 ERA, 1.82 WHIP, and 39/27 K/BB ratio in five starts and six relief appearances covering 41 1/3 innings. The 29-year-old right-hander will try to revitalize his career in Nippon Professional Baseball. Yesterday, 9:24 pm
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    W, 2-1 @NYY
  • TEX offering 'marginal prospects' for Greinke
    According to Bob Nightengale of USA Today, the Rangers are offering "only marginal prospects" to the Diamondbacks for Zack Greinke.

    Advice: Nightengale says the Rangers also want the Diamondbacks to pick up a portion of the $138.5 million that Greinke is owed over the next four years -- so this would basically be a salary dump. Arizona made it to the National League Division Series this past season and will be looking to go even further in 2018. It's a rumor that made very little sense from the get-go. Nightengale notes that the Rangers have been talking to the Diamondbacks about some of their other starting pitchers as well. Perhaps the clubs can work something out that doesn't involve Greinke, the fourth-place finisher in the 2017 National League Cy Young balloting. Yesterday, 7:46 pm
  • Phillies sign Tommy Hunter to two-year deal
    Ken Rosenthal of The Athletic hears that Tommy Hunter's new two-year deal with the Phillies will be in the $18 million range.

    Advice: It's just a little bit more than the Phillies have reportedly committed to Pat Neshek. Hunter registered a strong 2.61 ERA, 0.97 WHIP, and 64/14 K/BB ratio over 58 2/3 innings with the Rays in 2017. He carries some durability concerns, but the 31-year-old right-hander has been a very effective reliever when healthy. Yesterday, 7:29 pm
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    W, 6-0 vs Bal
  • Phils close to agreement with Tommy Hunter
    Matt Gelb of the Philadelphia Inquirer reports that the Phillies are moving toward an agreement with free agent reliever Tommy Hunter.

    Advice: Gelb adds that the Phillies do not have a deal in place with Addison Reed, contrary to multiple reports. It sounds like their primary target was Hunter all along. The 31-year-old right-hander registered an excellent 2.61 ERA, 0.97 WHIP, and 64/14 K/BB ratio over 58 2/3 innings with the Rays in 2017. Joel Sherman of the New York Post says it'll be a two-year deal. Yesterday, 5:32 pm
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    W, 6-0 vs Bal
  • Rangers talking Zack Greinke trade with AZ?'s T.R. Sullivan writes that the Rangers are talking to the Diamondbacks about their starting pitchers and "Zack Greinke could be in play."

    Advice: That news comes as a pretty big surprise, as the Diamondbacks made it back to the playoffs in 2017 due in large part to Greinke's excellent 3.20 ERA, 1.07 ERA, and 215/45 K/BB ratio in 202 1/3 regular-season innings. Greinke does carry a massive contract that will pay him $138.5 million over the next four seasons and he turned 34 years old in October, but Arizona is expected to add, not subtract, this winter. Maybe the Rangers are offering MLB-ready talent in return, or maybe there's nothing to this story at all. Yesterday, 4:55 pm
  • Tommy Hunter has deal with HOU or LAD
    Marc Topkin of the Tampa Bay Times is hearing that Tommy Hunter has either signed with the Astros or Dodgers.

    Advice: Topkin received that information from a source with a "non-involved" team. Hunter, 31, posted a strong 2.61 ERA, 0.97 WHIP, and 64/14 K/BB ratio over 58 2/3 innings with the Rays in 2017, holding opposing hitters to a stingy .202/.254/.333 batting line. There should be something official soon. Yesterday, 4:30 pm
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    W, 6-0 vs Bal
  • Domingo Santana not drawing much trade talk
    According to ESPN's Jerry Crasnick, the trade market for Domingo Santana is "not as brisk as Milwaukee might have hoped."

    Advice: Santana broke out with an .875 OPS, 30 home runs, 85 RBI, 15 stolen bases, and 88 runs scored in 151 games this past season for the Brewers, but his defensive ratings in the outfield are extremely poor and there was some hope in the Milwaukee front office that a sell-high move could be made this winter. It sounds like that won't happen. Santana, 25, is under the Brewers' control through 2021. Yesterday, 3:18 pm
  • Zaidi: Corey Seager won't need elbow surgery
    Dodgers GM Farhan Zaidi confirmed Tuesday that Corey Seager will not require surgery on his right elbow.

    Advice: Seager battled right elbow problems down the stretch in 2017 and at one point indicated that an offseason procedure might be necessary, but his rehab has been going smoothly and he's expected to be 100 percent by the beginning of spring training in February. The young shortstop slashed .295/.375/.479 with 22 homers and 77 RBI over 145 regular-season games this past year for the National League champs. Yesterday, 2:00 pm
  • Dee Gordon to bat leadoff for M's in 2018
    Mariners manager Scott Servais confirmed Tuesday at the Winter Meetings that he is planning to bat Dee Gordon at leadoff next season.

    Advice: Seattle acquired Gordon and international pool money from the Marlins last week in exchange for three minor leaguers. The speedy 29-year-old is expected to transition from second base to center field with the Mariners. He'll be the favorite to lead the American League in stolen bases leading into 2018. Yesterday, 1:29 pm
    L, 6-2 @LAA
  • Mets might not have set closer in 2018
    Mets manager Mickey Callaway indicated Tuesday that he might not have a dedicated closer in 2018.

    Advice: Instead, Callaway would prefer to make his decisions based on the situation. It's a refreshing way to think about things, though obviously any plan is subject to change. Jeurys Familia and A.J. Ramos are at the top of the depth chart, but the Mets could still add another name to the mix soon. Yesterday, 11:48 am
  • Mets, A's discussed Jed Lowrie trade
    Mike Puma of the New York Post reports that the Mets have discussed a possible Jed Lowrie trade with the Athletics, but that the two sides don't appear to match up for a deal.

    Advice: The Mets are known to be in the market for a second baseman, with trade targets like Ian Kinsler, Jason Kipnis, and Josh Harrison also under consideration, so it makes sense that they would at least all on Lowrie. It doesn't sound like talks got very far, though. Lowrie is owed $8 million in 2018 and batted .277/.360/.448 with 14 home runs and 69 RBI over 153 games this past season. Yesterday, 11:33 am
    W, 5-2 @Tex
  • 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. Yesterday, 11:19 am
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    L, 11-8 vs Pit
  • Yankees acquire Blash in Headley deal
    Yankees acquired OF Jabari Blash from the Padres for 3B Chase Headley, RHP Bryan Mitchell, and cash considerations.

    Advice: For the Yankees, this deal was all about shedding Headley's salary in order to provide more wiggle room under the luxury tax threshold. The 28-year-old Blash brings some interesting pop to the table, but he owns a .200/.323/.336 batting line over 99 games in the majors. Yesterday, 10:37 am
    L, 2-1 vs Tor
  • Report: 'At least 10 teams' inquire on Yelich
    According to Joe Frisaro of, "at least 10 teams" have inquired on Marlins outfielder Christian Yelich.

    Advice: Marcell Ozuna is being shopped at this week's Winter Meetings, but Yelich could be the bigger prize. While Ozuna has two years of team control remaining, Yelich is owed $43.25 million through 2021 with a $15 million club option (or a $1.25 million buyout) for 2022. Frisaro hears that the Braves, Diamondbacks, and Cardinals are among the teams who have checked in on Yelich so far. Yesterday, 10:29 am
  • Brewers interested in RHP Jesse Chavez
    Tom Haudricourt of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reports that the Brewers have interest in free agent right-hander Jesse Chavez.

    Advice: Chavez, 34, struggled with a 5.35 ERA over 21 starts and 17 relief appearances with the Angels in 2017. He might have to settle for a spring training invite this offseason. Yesterday, 9:49 am
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    W, 6-2 vs Sea
  • Report: Neil Walker seeking four-year deal
    According to Jon Heyman of FanRag Sports, free agent second baseman Neil Walker is seeking a four-year deal.

    Advice: Walker is 32 years old and had back surgery last year, so it's probably unrealistic. Teams also have multiple alternatives available on the trade front. Walker batted .265/.362/.439 with 14 home runs and 49 RBI in 111 games this past season between the Mets and Brewers. Yesterday, 8:02 am
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    W, 6-1 @StL
  • 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. Yesterday, 5:58 am
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    L, 14-2 vs Ari
  • Tommy Hunter on the Mets' radar
    Jon Heyman of FanRag Sports reports that Tommy Hunter is on the Mets' radar.

    Advice: Joel Sherman of the New York Post first connected Hunter to the Mets earlier Monday and Newsday's Marc Carig has said the reliever is a "prime target" for the team. It sounds like something could come together quickly between the two sides. Hunter had a nice bounce-back season with the Rays in 2017, posting a 2.61 ERA and 64/14 K/BB ratio over 58 2/3 innings. Monday, 5:29 pm
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    W, 6-0 vs Bal
  • A's could trade INF Jed Lowrie
    Susan Slusser of the San Francisco Chronicle writes that Jed Lowrie "could be on the move sooner rather than later."

    Advice: The A's were originally planning on keeping Lowrie through at least the trade deadline last year after picking up his $6 million club option for 2018, but Slusser notes that second basemen are in demand this offseason. The 33-year-old quietly put together his best season in 2017, batting .277/.360/.448 batting line with 14 home runs, 69 RBI, and 86 runs scored in 153 games. Monday, 11:54 am
    W, 5-2 @Tex
  • 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: Brewers listening on Domingo Santana
    According to Jerry Crasnick of ESPN, the Brewers are listening on outfielder Domingo Santana.

    Advice: Crasnick notes that the Brewers "don't appear to be getting much traction" in trade talks. The price tag for Santana is understandably high, as the 25-year-old slugged 30 homers with an .875 OPS this past season and isn't even arbitration-eligible yet. Ideally, the Brewers would be able to swing him for an affordable impact starting pitcher. Monday, 9:36 am
  • Mets more likely for Hunter/Cishek/Swarzak?
    Joel Sherman of the New York Post reports that the Mets are more likely to target relievers like Tommy Hunter, Steve Cishek, and Anthony Swarzak.

    Advice: In other words, the Mets don't want to give a three-year deal to the top-of-the-market options like Addison Reed and Bryan Shaw. Instead, Sherman hears that the Mets would prefer to follow what the Cubs did with Brandon Morrow and give two years with a higher annual average value. Hunter, Cishek, and Swarzak aren't big names, but they are all coming off excellent seasons. Monday, 8:21 am
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    W, 6-0 vs Bal
  • Yelich, Realmuto unlikely to be moved
    According to Joe Frisaro of, Christian Yelich and J.T. Realmuto are the two Marlins players least likely to be moved.

    Advice: Frisaro categorizes Dan Straily and Justin Bour as "doubtful" to be moved while right-hander Jose Urena is considered to be safe. Marcell Ozuna is noticeably absent from this group and figures to attract plenty of attention at this week's Winter Meetings. Monday, 7:00 am
  • 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
  • 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
  • Mariners acquire Dee Gordon to play center
    Mariners acquire 2B/OF Dee Gordon and international pool money from the Marlins for RHP Nick Neidert, SS Christopher Torres and RHP Robert Dugger.

    Advice: Along with Gordon, the Mariners acquired the rights to an extra $1 million in pool money to spend on Shohei Ohtani or a prospect. Gordon, who is owed $38 million for three years or $51 million for four if his option is exercised, will be tried in center field by the Mariners, replacing free agent Jarrod Dyson. His experience in the outfield is limited to a handful of games in the Dominican Republic several years ago, so it will be a transition to watch. Gordon presumably will lead off for the Mariners, and if healthy, he'd seem to be pretty much assured of leading the AL in steals, unless maybe Billy Hamilton switches leagues, too. Thursday, 2:40 pm
    L, 6-2 @LAA
  • Report: Dee Gordon traded to Mariners
    The Athletic's Ken Rosenthal is reporting that Dee Gordon has been traded from the Marlins to the Mariners.

    Advice: Gordon figured to get moved as a result of the Marlins' cutbacks, but Seattle is a highly unexpected destination. Perhaps the Mariners believe he'll fit in center field. He can't possibly be displacing Robinson Cano. Thursday, 2:00 pm
    L, 6-2 @LAA
  • 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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