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  • Jose Osuna signs with Tokyo Yakult Swallows
    Jon Heyman of MLB Network reports that the Jose Osuna has signed with the Tokyo Yakult Swallows. 

    Advice: The Pirates designated Osuna for assignment last week, and he's found a new home relatively quickly. The 27-year-old hit just .205/.244/.397 last year with four homers and a 16/4 K/BB ratio in 82 plate appearances. The year before, however, Osuna hit 10 homers with a .756 OPS in 95 games. If Osuna hits well in Japan, it certainly seems likely that he could be back in an MLB role in a year or two.  Rotoworld.com Yesterday, 5:46 pm
    New Player Note
    José Osuna Pit - 1B,3B,OF
    NA
    L, 6-8 @Cle
     
  • Pirates DFA first baseman Will Craig on Wed.
    Pirates designated 1B Will Craig for assignment.

    Advice: Ashton Goudeau, claimed off waivers from the Rockies on Wednesday, will fill the vacant 40-man roster spot. Craig, 26, went 0-for-4 with a strikeout in his first taste of MLB action this past season in Pittsburgh. Rotoworld.com Wednesday, 12:18 pm
    L, 6-8 @Cle
     
  • Orioles officially release Renato Nunez; now FA
    Orioles released 1B/DH Renato Nunez.

    Advice: Nunez went unclaimed on waivers, but he should now command multiple offers in free agency after putting up a strong .816 OPS with 12 home runs and 31 RBI over 52 games for Baltimore during the shortened 2020 campaign. NL teams may have been hesitant to claim him given the still-uncertain DH situation for 2021. Rotoworld.com Wednesday, 12:10 pm
    NA
    W, 7-5 @Tor
     
  • Rangers will give Apostel a look at first base
    The Rangers plan to give Sherten Apostel a look at first base this spring. 

    Advice: Apostel has mostly played third base in his professional career, but he's not anything close to an elite defender at the position, and his size (6'4/235) suggests he might outgrow it soon. The 21-year-old got a brief call-up during the 2020 season; going 2-for-20 with nine strikeouts in seven games. He's one of the top prospects in the system, and since the Rangers don't have an obvious answer at first base right now, it makes sense that they'd give him a look at the position during the Cactus League. More than likely, Apostel will open the 2021 season in the minors, but he could receive a promotion over the summer.  Rotoworld.com Sunday, 7:15 pm
    DTD
    W, 8-4 vs Hou
     
  • Rockies add Colton Welker to 40-man roster Friday
    Rockies purchased the contract of 3B Colton Welker.

    Advice: The move protects Welker -- the Rockies fourth round pick from the 2016 draft -- from the upcoming Rule-5 draft. The 23-year-old hit .252/.313/.408 with 10 homers, 53 RBI and a 68/32 K/BB ratio over 394 plate appearances at Double-A Hartford in 2019. It's unclear if he'll return to Double-A to begin the 2021 campaign, or if he'll start at Triple-A. Rotoworld.com Saturday, 3:12 pm
    L, 3-11 @Ari
     
  • Rays add Josh Lowe to 40-man roster on Friday
    Rays purchased the contract of OF Josh Lowe.

    Advice: The 22-year-old outfielder was the Rays' first round pick (13th overall) from the 2016 draft. He hit .252/.341/.442 with 18 homers, 62 RBI and 30 stolen bases at Double-A Montgomery in 2019 before hitting .327/.379/.558 with two homers, 11 RBI and four swipes in 15 games during the Arizona Fall League. He's likely to begin the 2021 season at Triple-A, but could find himself in Tampa Bay before long. If he lands regular playing time, his combination of power and speed -- despite the batting average risk -- would make him a worthwhile addition in mixed leagues. Rotoworld.com Friday, 9:29 pm
    W, 5-0 vs Phi
     
  • Indians protect Nolan Jones from Rule-5 draft
    Indians purchased the contract of 3B Nolan Jones.

    Advice: The 22-year-old -- and consensus top-100 prospect in MLB -- hit .272/409/.442 with 15 homers, 63 RBI and a 148/96 K/BB ratio in 126 games between High-A Lynchburg and Double-A Akron in 2019. He'll either begin the 2021 season back at Double-A, or at Triple-A Columbus, but it won't be long before he becomes a fixture in Cleveland. Rotoworld.com Friday, 8:20 pm
    W, 8-6 vs Pit
     
  • Orioles purchase contract of Rylan Bannon
    Orioles purchased the contract of 3B Rylan Bannon.

    Advice: The 24-year-old was one of the players acquired in the deal that sent Manny Machado to the Dodgers in 2018. Bannon hit .266/.345/.421 with 11 homers, 59 RBI and eight stolen bases across 130 games between Double-A Bowie and Triple-A Norfolk in 2019. He's likely to open the 2021 campaign back at Triple-A. Rotoworld.com Friday, 6:47 pm
    W, 7-5 @Tor
     
  • Orioles designate Renato Nunez for assignment
    Orioles designated 1B/DH Renato Nunez for assignment.

    Advice: Hmm. This is one of the more puzzling moves of the day. The 26-year-old slugger has led the Orioles in home runs each of the last two seasons, slugging 31 long balls in 2019 and 12 more during the abbreviated 2020 campaign. He slashed .256/.324/.492 with 12 homers and 31 RBI over 52 games during the 2020 campaign. The Orioles needed to free up space on the 40-man roster to protect players from the Rule-5 draft, but inexplicably chose to hold onto the corpse of Chris Davis instead of Nunez. The Orioles could still attempt to trade him in the next few years, and the team acquiring him would control him through arbitration for the next four seasons. Rotoworld.com Friday, 6:24 pm
    NA
    W, 7-5 @Tor
     
  • Pirates designate Jose Osuna for assignment
    Pirates designate INF/OF Jose Osuna for assignment.

    Advice: This move comes as a bit of a surprise, as Osuna had a very productive season offensively in 2019 before seeing his production fall off of a cliff in 2020. During the truncated season, the 27-year-old slashed just .205/.244/.397 with four homers, 11 RBI and a 16/4 K/BB ratio over 82 plate appearances. It seems likely that he'll refuse the outright assignment and explore his options on the free agent market. Rotoworld.com Friday, 5:11 pm
    New Player Note
    José Osuna Pit - 1B,3B,OF
    NA
    L, 6-8 @Cle
     
  • Report: Nats mulling trade for Kris Bryant
    Jon Morosi of MLB.com reports that the Nationals are considering a trade for Kris Bryant.

    Advice: They're also showing interest in DJ LeMahieu, as Morosi reported earlier Friday. The feeling seems to be that the Cubs will trade at least one big bat this offseason, and Bryant's name has popped up in trade rumors for a couple years now. Bryant is coming off a dreadful 2020 season which saw him post just a .644 OPS and he's likely to net close to $20 million in his final year of arbitration eligibility, so it's not the best time to be trading him. That said, the former MVP had a .903 OPS with 31 homers in his last full season, so a bounce-back seems reasonable if he's healthy. Rotoworld.com Friday, 2:17 pm
    Player Note
    Kris Bryant ChC - 3B,OF
    W, 10-8 @CWS
     
  • Cubs add Christopher Morel to roster
    Cubs purchased the contract of INF Christopher Morel.

    Advice: Morel, 21, has some upside with the bat but isn't close to being major league-ready. MLB.com has him ranked as the team's No. 11 prospect. Rotoworld.com Friday, 2:14 pm
     
  • Jake Burger joins White Sox' 40-man roster
    White Sox purchased the contract of INF Jake Burger.

    Advice: Burger has missed the last two seasons due to a pair of torn left Achilles. He's healthy now, but the 24-year-old needs to catch up on some lost development time. Rotoworld.com Friday, 12:12 pm
    L, 8-10 vs ChC
     
  • Braves claim Jack Mayfield off waivers
    Braves claimed INF Jack Mayfield off waivers from the Astros.

    Advice: Mayfield has put up some nice numbers in the minors but has struggled mightily during his brief time in the majors the last two seasons. He will give the Braves a utility option for their bench. Rotoworld.com Friday, 11:28 am
    L, 1-9 vs Bos
     
  • Report: Nationals showing interest in DJ LeMahieu
    Jon Morosi of MLB.com reports that the Nationals are showing "continued interest" in DJ LeMahieu.

    Advice: The "continued" portion of the report apparently stems from the fact that they pursued him in free agency two offseasons ago before he signed with the Yankees. The Nats certainly could use some offensive help, but it will be expensive to lure LeMahieu away from New York. Rotoworld.com Friday, 11:12 am
    Player Note
    DJ LeMahieu NYY - 1B,2B,3B
    NA
    L, 0-5 vs Mia
     
  • Morosi: LAD 'remain interested' in Arenado trade
    Jon Morosi of MLB.com reports that the Dodgers "remain interested" in trading for Nolan Arenado.

    Advice: The Dodgers also probably have interest in re-signing Justin Turner, but a trade for Arenado would obviously be a potential game-changer. Arenado is from Orange County and would surely relish playing for the team he grew up rooting for, so getting him to waive his no-trade clause likely isn't an issue. There are other obstacles, of course, between the $199 million Arenado is still owed to the opt-out clause he could exercise after the 2021 season. Still, the Dodgers are better equipped than most clubs to absorb that kind of money even after signing Mookie Betts to a long-term deal. As for the Rockies, they'll surely be open-minded to trading Arenado this winter, even if it's to a division rival. Rotoworld.com Friday, 5:27 am
    DTD
    L, 3-11 @Ari
     
  • Report: LeMahieu wants to stay in New York area
    Ken Davidoff of the New York Post reports that DJ LeMahieu wants to stay in the New York area. 

    Advice: Davidoff also mentions that the Blue Jays are interested in LeMahieu, but are at a "geographical" disadvantage. He also writes that the most likely scenario is that the MVP finalist re-signs with the Yankees, and that it's unknown how much interest the Mets have in him at this point. After hitting .364 with a 1.011 OPS over 50 games in 2020, LeMahieu shouldn't be lacking in suitors, but for now it appears to be a three-team race for the 32-year-old.  Rotoworld.com Thursday, 4:23 pm
    Player Note
    DJ LeMahieu NYY - 1B,2B,3B
    NA
    L, 0-5 vs Mia
     
  • Report: Cubs could 'move a number of players'
    MLB.com's Mark Feinsand cites "a number of rival executives around the league" who believe the Cubs "will move a number of players in the coming months."

    Advice: Kris Bryant and Javier Baez are the names mentioned most frequently by these execs, per Feinsand, but Kyle Schwarber and Anthony Rizzo are set to become free agents after the 2021 season as well, and Willson Contreras is headed for free agency after 2022. “They are open to all kinds of stuff,” one NL executive said. "They aren’t a group afraid to make big moves." It could be an offseason of tough decision-making for Jed Hoyer, who became the Cubs' front office head this week with Theo Epstein announcing his resignation. Rotoworld.com Thursday, 10:50 am
    Player Note
    Kris Bryant ChC - 3B,OF
    W, 10-8 @CWS
     
  • DJ LeMahieu more likely for Yankees than Mets
    Andy Martino of SNY.tv hears that DJ LeMahieu is more likely to re-sign with the Yankees than he is to sign with the Mets.

    Advice: Some speculated following Robinson Cano's PED suspension that the Mets might now target LeMahieu to be their new second baseman. They'll surely at least kick the tires, but putting Jeff McNeil at the keystone seems to be the likelier scenario. As for LeMahieu and the Yankees, Martino writes that the two sides "want a reunion to happen" but have "not yet agreed on what a fair contract should look like." Martino believes that LeMahieu ultimately will return to the Bronx and it will be the Yanks' "most significant free agent expenditure this year." Rotoworld.com Wednesday, 2:39 pm
    Player Note
    DJ LeMahieu NYY - 1B,2B,3B
    NA
    L, 0-5 vs Mia
     
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