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Player Notes

  • Nico Hoerner could open 2020 with Cubs
    Cubs president of baseball operations Theo Epstein told reporters that they're unsure on whether or not Nico Hoerner will open the 2020 season with the Cubs.

    Advice: "We haven’t figured that out yet," Epstein said. "I think you can make strong arguments on both sides, whether he should be part of the club on Opening Day or (get) a little bit more seasoning." He also mentions that the decision will be made in part by what the team will do in the offseason. Horner, 22, is the top prospect in the Cubs' system, and he held his own in 82 plate appearances with Chicago; slashing .282/.305/.436 with three homers. He's also shown the ability to help at multiple positions, and he could help in the outfield as well as the middle infield. The long-term future is very bright, but Hoerner is a very risky proposition for 2020 in redraft leagues even if he begins the year in Chicago. 32 minutes ago
  • Giants sign Drew Robinson to minors contract
    Giants signed INF/OF Drew Robinson to a minor league contract.

    Advice: Robinson, who spent the 2019 season in the Cardinals' organization, underwent a "progressive" Tommy John surgery on his left elbow in early August to repair a partially torn UCL. He's expected to be ready for the start of spring training. Robinson is a career .202/.296/.359 hitter with nine homers and 22 RBI in 253 plate appearances at the big league level. Yesterday, 7:13 pm
    Not Active
  • Ryan Burr (elbow) resumed throwing Monday
    White Sox hurler Ryan Burr resumed throwing on Monday.

    Advice: The right-hander underwent Tommy John surgery in June. While he's making steady progress in his recovery, he's expected to miss the majority of the 2019 season and can be ignored in redraft leagues. Yesterday, 2:13 pm
  • Steven Souza (knee) running at 100 percent
    Steven Souza (knee) said Monday that he is back to running at 100 percent.

    Advice: Souza posted a video on Twitter of him running sprints in Arizona. The outfielder tore the ACL, LCL, and PCL in his left knee late in spring training, but his rehab has gone as well as could be expected to this point. Souza would appear to have a good shot to be ready for Opening Day. Yesterday, 12:57 pm
  • Yuli Gurriel inks one-year, $8.3M contract
    Bob Nightengale of USA Today reports that the Astros have signed Yuli Gurriel to a one-year, $8.3 million contract.

    Advice: He can also earn an additional $250,000 in award bonuses and has the right to declare free agency after the season. Gurriel could have gone to arbitration had he not agreed to the guaranteed deal. The 35-year-old had a big year at the plate in 2019, batting .298/.343/.541 with 31 home runs and 104 RBI. Yesterday, 11:23 am
    New Player Note
    Yuli Gurriel Hou - 1B,2B,3B
  • Rodgers (shoulder) hopes to be ready for ST
    Brendan Rodgers said recently that he's "on track and maybe even just a couple of steps ahead" of schedule in his recovery from labrum surgery on his right shoulder.

    Advice: "Overall, my shoulder and my body, everything, feels great. The ultimate goal is to be 100 percent ready for spring training," Rodgers said. The young infielder added that he's "back to pretty much full activity, other than throwing and hitting a baseball," which he expects to be cleared to do in about a month. It sounds like Rodgers has a good shot to be ready by Opening Day, but his role for next season is unclear with the Rockies already having Trevor Story at shortstop and Ryan McMahon and Garrett Hampson at second base. Sunday, 7:34 am
  • Royals slugger Jorge Soler changes agents
    Jon Heyman of MLB Network reports that Jorge Soler has changed his representation -- switching to Casey Close of Excel Sports Management after previously being represented by ACES.

    Advice: The timing on this change is notable, as Soler has the ability to opt out of the $4 million that he's guaranteed for 2020 and into the arbitration process this winter -- which he is expected to do. In turn, it sounds like the Royals could be interested in discussing a long-term contract extension with Soler, who is under team control through 2021. The 27-year-old is coming off a breakout season where he slashed .265/.354/.569 with a franchise-record 48 home runs and 117 RBI. Saturday, 7:18 pm
  • Trea Turner undergoes surgery on index finger
    Trea Turner underwent successful surgery on his right index finger.

    Advice: The surgery was to repair the non-displaced fracture that he suffered in early April when he was hit by a pitch while attempting to bunt. This shouldn't have much of an impact on his offseason routine and he's expected to be ready to go for the start of spring training. Saturday, 2:00 pm
  • RHP Jacob Webb expects to be ready for spring
    Braves reliever Jacob Webb (elbow) is expected to be ready to go for the beginning of spring training.

    Advice: Webb suffered a right elbow impingement late in the season and missed the Braves' stretch run and the playoffs. The rookie had a fantastic campaign, notching a sterling 1.39 ERA in 36 relief appearances. On the other hand his peripherals were not so shiny -- he had a 4.30 FIP and a 5.15 xFIP. He is likely to be a solid middle reliever for the Braves again in 2020. Saturday, 10:43 am
  • Royals sign IF Reynolds to minor league deal
    Royals signed INF Matt Reynolds to a minor league contract.

    Advice: The 28-year-old infielder spent the 2019 season with the Nationals' Triple-A affiliate, slashing .295/.401/.521 with 16 home runs and 55 RBI in 11 games. He saw sporadic major league time with the Mets and Nationals from 2016 to 2018, registering a .223 batting average with four home runs in 240 total plate appearances. He will serve as organizational depth for the Royals in 2020. Saturday, 9:05 am
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  • Rays prospect RHP Honeywell to start throwing
    Rays prospect RHP Brent Honeywell (elbow) is expected to begin a throwing program in January.

    Advice: Honeywell was an elite prospect on the verge of the majors when he tore the ulnar collateral ligament in his right elbow late in the 2017 season. He underwent Tommy John surgery and missed the entire 2018 season. He got back on a mound in late May of 2019 and then fractured his throwing elbow in a bullpen session mere days later. He had surgery to repair the fracture in June and missed the rest of the 2019 season. Honeywell now faces the daunting task of returning after suffering two major elbow injuries, so his prospect status is a total mystery until he proves himself healthy once again. Honeywell was a supplemental second-round pick in the 2014 draft and quickly climbed top prospect charts after making his debut. He has made 78 minor league starts in his career, compiling a 31-19 record and 2.88 ERA across five levels, topping out at Triple-A in 2017. It is possible he could make his major league debut late in the 2020 season, although 2021 seems more likely. Saturday, 7:57 am
  • Mets not taking offers on Noah Syndergaard
    Mets general manager Brodie Van Wagenen said the Mets will not trade RHP Noah Syndergaard this offseason.

    Advice: The Mets have received plenty of inquiries from other teams about Syndergaard but Van Wagenen said "We have made it very clear that we're not going to engage on Noah." The Mets have shopped Syndergaard before, both at the trade deadline and last offseason, but they never got an offer enticing enough to accept. The team is likely to lose starter Zack Wheeler to free agency this winter, so they don't want to create another gaping whole in their rotation. Syndergaard went 10-8 with a 4.28 ERA in 32 starts this year. He struck out 202 batters and walked just 50 in 197 2/3 innings. He is under team control for two more seasons. Saturday, 6:25 am
  • Return to Yankees possible for Didi Gregorius
    While the Yankees aren't expected to pursue Didi Gregorius aggressively this offseason, general manager Brian Cashman is remaining in contact with his agent Jim Murray.

    Advice: Gregorius has already stated that his preference would be to remain in New York. The Yankees are prioritizing starting pitching this winter though, and seem fully comfortable entering the season with Gleyber Torres at shortstop and DJ LeMahieu at second base, with either Gio Urshela or Miguel Andujar covering the hot corner and Luke Voit or Greg Bird at first base. If Gregorius can't find a favorable landing spot on the open market, he could wind up back in New York at a discount late in the free agent season. Friday, 3:32 pm
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  • Brewers claim Eric Yardley off waivers
    Brewers claimed RHP Eric Yardley off waivers from the Padres.

    Advice: The side-arming righty held a 2.31 ERA over 10 appearances for the Padres this season. Yardley will compete for a bullpen job with the Brewers in spring training. Friday, 12:38 pm
  • Tatis Jr. (back) to resume activities in Dec.
    Fernando Tatis Jr. (back) is slated to resume baseball activities in December.

    Advice: Tatis Jr.'s rookie campaign ended in mid-August when he suffered a stress reaction in his lower back on a swing, but his rehab looks to be on track. The talented youngster should be on a normal schedule at the start of spring training, provided that he can continue to progress without any setbacks. Friday, 10:28 am
  • Cubs discussing extension with Javier Baez
    Gordon Wittenmyer of the Chicago Sun-Times reports that the Cubs have begun discussions with Javier Baez on a possible long-term contract extension.

    Advice: Wittenmyer hears that a potential long-term deal with Baez is much more likely than a new contract for the team's other stars like Kris Bryant. That said, whether the two sides are able to come together on something this offseason remains to be seen. Baez -- who is currently set for free agency after the 2021 campaign -- has batted .286/.321/.544 with 63 home runs over the last two seasons. Friday, 9:42 am
    Player Note
    Javier Báez ChC - 2B,3B,SS
  • Jose Peraza a non-tender candidate for Reds
    Bobby Nightengale of the Cincinnati Enquirer reports that Jose Peraza is considered a non-tender candidate for the Reds.

    Advice: After showing some progress at the plate in 2018, Peraza backslid in 2019 to a .239/.285/.346 batting line. The Reds value his versatility, but he's due another raise in arbitration and general manager Nick Krall noted when speaking of Peraza that "you want to make sure you’re getting the most bang for your buck." Friday, 7:50 am
    Player Note
    José Peraza Cin - 2B,SS,OF
  • Kenta Maeda unhappy with role
    Kenta Maeda has informed the Dodgers that he is unhappy in his role with the club.

    Advice: Each of the last three seasons, Maeda has began the year in the Dodgers' rotation before eventually shifting to the bullpen late in the regular season and playoffs. The 31-year-old would understandably like to remain in the rotation all season. However, how the team has handled him has worked from a performance standpoint and also made the right-hander cheaper, so it's hard to see Maeda's role changing at this point. Friday, 7:41 am
    Player Note
    Kenta Maeda LAD - SP,RP
  • Phillies working to extend J.T. Realmuto
    Jim Salisbury of NBC Sports Philadelphia reports that the Phillies "are quietly trying to hammer out" a contract extension with J.T. Realmuto.

    Advice: Realmuto is projected to make a bit over $10 million in his final year of arbitration before hitting the free agent market next winter. Salisbury expects any long-term deal for the catcher to be for 4-5 years and $20+ million per season and for the extension not to kick in until 2021 so the Phillies can maintain some payroll flexibility for this offseason. A long-term contract for Realmuto isn't close to being done, but it sounds like both sides are eager to work something out eventually. Friday, 7:29 am
  • Change of heart: Volquez to pitch in 2020
    Edinson Volquez has changed his mind on retirement and is working on completing a minor league contract with the Rangers.

    Advice: Volquez had planned to hang up his cleats after making it back in September from a five-month absence due to a sprained UCL. His numbers (6.75 ERA, 10/12 K/BB ratio over 16 innings) weren't good, but Volquez's velocity was fine in the final month and he apparently must have felt better than expected. Volquez figures to make the Rangers' bullpen next season as long as he's healthy. Friday, 5:12 am
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