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Player Notes

  • Eloy Jimenez injures quad in winter ball
    White Sox outfield prospect Eloy Jimenez is expected to be shut down until spring training after suffering a quad injury in the Dominican Winter League.

    Advice: It doesn't seem like the ailment is a long-term concern, but the White Sox will obviously be careful with the stud prospect. Jimenez is set to begin the 2019 season back in the minors but should debut at some point during the first half. He batted .337/.384/.577 with 22 homers over 108 games between Double- and Triple-A in 2018. Today, 8:47 am
  • Rosenthal: Adams heading back to Nationals
    The Athletic's Ken Rosenthal is reporting free agent Matt Adams is in agreement with the Nationals, pending a physical.

    Advice: Yahoo Sports' Jeff Passan hears it's a one-year, $4 million contract. Adams has spent the past few years rotating between a handful of teams, coming up with the Cardinals before being dealt to the Braves, then joining the Nats ahead of last season before a trade sent him back to the Cards mid-year. Now, he's back in the nation's capital on a one-year deal. As he was deployed by the Nats his first time around, the 30-year-old will likely spell Ryan Zimmerman at first base and could see more playing time if the oft-injured Zimmerman can't stay on the field or his decline escalates in 2019. Yesterday, 1:17 pm
    Player Note
    Matt Adams StL - 1B,OF
    Not Active
  • Astros talking to free agents Cruz, Brantley
    Ken Rosenthal of The Athletic reports the Astros would like to add at least one or maybe two hitters and have been talking to free agents Nelson Cruz and Michael Brantley.

    Advice: The team would like to upgrade from outfielder Josh Reddick, whom they have reportedly tried to trade this offseason. Cruz is 38 years old and is limited to a designated hitter role but remains one of the best hitters in the major leagues. He batted .256/.342/.509 with 37 home runs and 97 RBI this past season for the Mariners. The 31-year-old Brantley can play outfield and first base and is coming off a season in which he slashed .309/.364/.468 with 17 home runs, 76 RBI, 89 runs scored and 12 stolen bases. Yesterday, 12:37 pm
    Not Active
  • Palka to play left field after Alonso deal?
    Daniel Palka is likely to play primarily left field following the White Sox' acquisition of first baseman Yonder Alonso in a trade with Cleveland on Saturday.

    Advice: White Sox general manager Rick Hahn says he believes Alonso and Jose Abreu will occupy the first base and designated hitter slots in 2019. He is already on record saying the team has no plans to trade the veteran Abreu. Palka was the club's primary DH in 2018 but he will have to find his playing time somewhere else next year. Hahn said it will be up to manager Rick Renteria whether to put the defensively-challenged Palka in left field or have him come off the bench most days. The 27-year-old batted .240/.294/.484 with 27 home runs and 67 RBI in 417 at-bats this past season as a rookie. Yesterday, 10:13 am
  • Diamondbacks sign Matt Szczur to minors deal
    Diamondbacks signed OF Matt Szczur to a minor league contract with an invitation to spring training.

    Advice: The 29-year-old spent the 2018 season in the Padres' organization, slashing .187/.265/.267 in his 84 plate appearances at the big league level. He'll attempt to crack the Opening Day roster as a reserve outfielder, but will most likely begin the year as minor league depth at Triple-A Reno. Friday, 4:24 pm
    Not Active
  • Giants discussing possible Kevin Pillar trade
    Alex Pavlovic of NBC Sports Bay Area reports that Kevin Pillar is "one name discussed" by the Giants' front office.

    Advice: Steven Duggar is expected to open the season as the Giants' primary center fielder, but the club wouldn't mind finding a platoon partner to play against lefties and they're also considering the benefits of having two center fielder types on the field at the same time. Pillar is only a career .261/.298/.398 hitter but is one of the best defensive center fielders in the game. He's under team control through 2020. Friday, 2:12 pm
  • Mets have talked Castellanos deal with Tigers
    Anthony Fenech of the Detroit Free Press reports that the Mets have discussed a possible Nicholas Castellanos trade with the Tigers.

    Advice: There's no indication at this point that the talks have advanced past the preliminary stage, but it's no surprise at this point to see Brodie Van Wagenen and the Mets connected to another player on the trade block. Fenech notes that the asking price for Castellanos is "high" even though he's only under contract for one more year. The Mets could use a center fielder much more than a corner outfielder, so it remains to be seen whether talks for Castellanos gain any traction. Friday, 1:54 pm
  • Cubs in 'strong pursuit' of Daniel Descalso
    Ken Rosenthal of The Athletic reports that the Cubs are in "strong pursuit" of Daniel Descalso.

    Advice: The Cardinals have also been connected to Descalso, so it could be a battle between the two National League Central rivals to land the utility player. Descalso has become a better hitter the last few seasons, posting a solid .238/.353/.436 batting line with 13 home runs last year in Arizona. Friday, 12:10 pm
    Player Note
    Daniel Descalso Ari - 1B,2B,3B,OF
    Not Active
  • Report: Padres have discussed Profar
    Dennis Lin of The Athletic reports that the Rangers and Padres have discussed a deal involving Jurickson Profar.

    Advice: Lin cautions there is nothing imminent. Profar has been the discussion of several trade rumors this winter, as the former top prospect finally had a breakout season at the age of 25 with a .253/.335/.458 line along with 20 homers and 10 steals. He's also shown versatility to play in several spots, but he would make the most sense as a third baseman for the Padres. San Diego just happens to have the best system in baseball, so you'd have to think there's a match to be made here, if both parties are motivated. Thursday, 2:25 pm
    Player Note
    Jurickson Profar Tex - 1B,2B,3B,SS,OF
  • DIckerson re-signs with Padres on minors deal
    Padres re-signed OF Alex Dickerson to a minor league contract.

    Advice: Dickerson elected free agency in November after being outrighted off the 40-man roster. He has missed the last two years with elbow and back injuries, but is expected to be ready for spring training. He'll have a chance to compete for a bench spot, but faces an uphill battle because of the lost time. Thursday, 1:11 pm
    Not Active
  • Mets select Braxton Lee in Rule 5 Draft
    Mets selected OF Braxton Lee from the Marlins in the minor league portion of the Rule 5 Draft.

    Advice: The Marlins talked up Lee as a future contributor last spring, but he posted a weak .233/.316/.294 batting line over three different levels of their minor league system in 2018 and went 3-for-17 (.176) over his first eight major league games. The 25-year-old will be organizational outfield depth for the Mets. Thursday, 11:06 am
    Not Active
  • Indians pick up Jake Bauers from the Rays
    Indians acquired 1B/OF Jake Bauers from the Rays as part of a three-team trade.

    Advice: Bauers made his major league debut this past year at age 22 and batted .201/.316/.384 with 11 home runs, 48 RBI, and six stolen bases over his first 96 big-league games. He'll presumably play left field for the Indians, pending their other offseason moves, and could be of value in AL-only fantasy leagues. Bauers was ranked a top-70 prospect by multiple services leading into the 2018 campaign. Thursday, 10:25 am
    Player Note
    Jake Bauers Cle - 1B,OF
  • Tribe get Carlos Santana in three-team deal
    Indians acquired 1B/DH Carlos Santana from the Mariners as part of a three-team trade.

    Advice: The Indians will send Edwin Encarnacion to Seattle and Yandy Diaz to Tampa Bay. There are other elements to this deal too. Santana is said to be thrilled about heading back to Cleveland after spending one year with the Phillies, who dealt him to the Mariners earlier this month as part of the Jean Segura trade. The 32-year-old played the first eight years of his career with the Tribe. Thursday, 10:14 am
    Player Note
    Carlos Santana Cle - 1B,3B,OF
  • Reinsdorf has spoken to Boras about Harper
    According to USA Today's Bob Nightengale, White Sox owner Jerry Reinsdorf has spoken twice over the phone to Bryce Harper's agent Scott Boras.

    Advice: The White Sox and Phillies have been very public about their desire to land Harper (or Manny Machado) this winter, while other clubs seem to prefer a laying-in-the-weeds approach. We'll include the Dodgers, Yankees, Cardinals, and Cubs in that second group, and there has been plenty of chatter about mystery teams potentially emerging. There was no tangible movement on Harper or Machado during this week's Winter Meetings in Las Vegas. Nightengale writes that Harper "is expected to receive a deal that may eclipse $400 million." Thursday, 7:33 am
    Not Active
  • Phils, McCutchen finalize 3-yr, $50M contract
    Phillies signed OF Andrew McCutchen to a three-year, $50 million contract with a $15 million club option for 2022.

    Advice: That option comes with a $3 million buyout. McCutchen did quite well for himself here, and the Phillies added a steady veteran presence who is capable of hitting near the top of their lineup -- at least in the first couple years of the deal. The power and speed have both been in decline for a while, but Cutch should be good for 20-plus homers and something close to an .800 OPS in Philly next season. He posted a .421 on-base percentage and .892 OPS in 114 plate appearances with the Yankees to finish out the 2018 regular season. Wednesday, 5:42 pm
  • Mets did not meet in-person with Adam Jones
    Mike Puma of the New York Post clarifies that the Mets did not have an in-person meeting with Adam Jones this week.

    Advice: It's a correction of a previous report. Puma notes that the Mets do have interest in Jones and there has been "communication between the two sides," but it seems to be just one of many avenues the team is exploring. Jones hit .281/.313/.419 with 15 home runs and 63 RBI over 145 games with the Orioles in 2018. The 33-year-old outfielder may have to settle for a one-year contract this winter. Wednesday, 3:43 pm
    Not Active
  • Padres showing interest in Marwin Gonzalez
    According to Ken Rosenthal and Dennis Lin of The Athletic, the Padres are among the teams with interest in free agent Marwin Gonzalez.

    Advice: Gonzalez is a fit for just about every club in the major leagues because of his ability to play all over the diamond defensively. Rosenthal says the Padres are looking for someone who can play shortstop until top prospect Fernando Tatis Jr. is ready and then shift into more of a utility role. Gonzalez had a down year with the Astros in 2018, but the versatile 29-year-old batted .303/.377/.530 with 23 home runs and 90 RBI over 134 games in 2017. Wednesday, 3:40 pm
    Player Note
    Marwin González Hou - 1B,2B,3B,SS,OF
    Not Active
  • Trout likely to bat second for Angels
    New Angels manager Brad Ausmus has Mike Trout penciled into the second spot in his lineup.

    Advice: Trout hit second in the first half of last year before sliding back down to third for most of the final three months. Justin Upton, Albert Pujols, and Shohei Ohtani, in some order, will likely occupy the third-through-fifth spots in the order. Wednesday, 2:42 pm
  • Braves have discussed outfielder A.J. Pollock
    According to David O'Brien of The Athletic, the Braves "have discussed possibly making an offer" to free agent outfielder A.J. Pollock.

    Advice: O'Brien adds, however, that "it remains to be seen if the Braves would make anywhere near the multi-year offer Pollock is expected to command." Reading between the lines on this report, the Atlanta front office seems to be monitoring Pollock's market at a distance for now. The 31-year-old center fielder is also known to be drawing interest from the Mets and Reds, among others. He's said to be seeking something close to the five-year, $80 million free agent contract that Lorenzo Cain signed last winter with the Brewers. Wednesday, 10:28 am
    Not Active
  • Dodgers talking Jose Martinez with Cardinals
    According to Ken Rosenthal of The Athletic, the Dodgers are talking to the Cardinals about Jose Martinez.

    Advice: Martinez doesn't make a ton of sense on paper for the Dodgers given his struggles defensively at first base and in the outfield, but perhaps they would promptly flip him to an American League team. The 30-year-old can certainly hit -- he's posted an .850 OPS in 270 games over the last three seasons with St. Louis. Martinez seems certain to be traded somewhere this winter. Tuesday, 9:13 pm
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