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Player Notes

  • Rangers pursuit of Zack Greinke 'pretty dead'
    According to Jon Heyman of FanRag Sports, the Rangers' pursuit of Diamondbacks starter Zack Greinke is "said to be pretty dead."

    Advice: USA Today's Bob Nightengale reported earlier this week that the Rangers were offering only "marginal prospects" for the Arizona ace, and the Diamondbacks are not interested in a straight salary-dump. Heyman says there are three other teams in the mix. It is believed that one of them is the Phillies. Greinke finished fourth in the NL Cy Young balloting in 2017, but he's owed a whopping $126.5 million over the next four seasons and the Diamondbacks want to free up some cash to re-sign J.D. Martinez. 22 minutes ago
  • Bucs grab Damien Magnifico in Rule 5 draft
    Pirates selected RHP Damien Magnifico from the Angels in the Triple-A phase of the Rule 5 draft.

    Advice: Magnifico has made appearances at the major league level in each of the last two seasons, but he's never been able to stick around for very long. The 26-year-old right-hander will operate as organizational relief depth for Pittsburgh in 2018. Today, 9:42 am
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  • Twins sign Fernando Rodney to $4.5M deal
    Craig Mish of Sirius XM reports that the Twins have signed Fernando Rodney to a one-year, $4.5 million contract.

    Advice: The one-year deal also includes $1.5 million in performance-based bonuses, so it could be worth as much as $6 million. Rodney also drew heavy interest from the Tigers, Rangers, Mets, and Diamondbacks this winter before deciding to head to Minnesota -- where he should get a chance to serve as the primary closer. The 40-year-old right-hander posted some rather underwhelming overall numbers in 2017, but he had a 2.38 ERA and 52/19 K/BB ratio over his final 45 1/3 innings and tallied 39 total saves. Today, 8:34 am
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  • Diamondbacks pick Albert Suarez in Rule 5
    Diamondbacks selected RHP Albert Suarez from the Giants with the 14th pick in the Rule 5 draft.

    Advice: Suarez has pitched in the big leagues for parts of the last two seasons, though the results haven't been all that great. The 28-year-old right-hander will be competing for a long relief spot in Diamondbacks camp next spring. Today, 7:36 am
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  • Rangers sign Kevin Jepsen to minors deal
    Rangers signed RHP Kevin Jepsen to a minor league contract with an invitation to spring training.

    Advice: Jepsen got off to a late start in 2017 because of a quad injury and then posted an ugly 5.32 ERA in 23 2/3 innings of relief with the Triple-A affiliate of the Nationals. The 33-year-old right-hander will have to really put on a show in the Cactus League next spring to have a shot of cracking the Opening Day roster with the Rangers. Today, 6:55 am
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  • Astros, Nationals in on RP Hector Rondon
    Hector Rondon is drawing free agent interest from the Astros and Nationals, per Chris Cotillo of SB Nation.

    Advice: It sounds like a deal could be close to completion with one of those two teams. Rondon was non-tendered by the Cubs on December 1 after posting a 4.24 ERA, 1.22 WHIP, and 69/20 K/BB ratio over 57 1/3 innings of relief in 2017. The 29-year-old right-hander will be a pretty good bounceback candidate in 2018. Today, 6:48 am
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  • Royals acquire RHP Keller in Rule 5 draft
    Reds selected RHP Brad Keller from the Diamondbacks with the fifth pick in the Rule 5 draft and traded him to the Royals.

    Advice: Keller, a sinkerballer, went 10-9 with a 4.68 ERA, a 111/57 K/BB ratio and just seven homers allowed in 130 2/3 innings in Double-A last year. Given his groundball tendencies, he really made more sense for the Reds in their park than the Royals in theirs. Still, he'll compete for a spot at the back of the rotation. Today, 6:47 am
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  • Cubs in agreement with reliever Steve Cishek
    Ken Rosenthal of The Athletic reports that the Cubs are in agreement on a contract with free agent reliever Steve Cishek.

    Advice: ESPN's Jerry Crasnick says it's a two-year deal in the $12-14 million range. Cishek dealt with some durability issues in 2017, but when healthy the 31-year-old sidearmer delivered a 2.01 ERA, 0.896 WHIP, and 41/14 K/BB ratio in 44 2/3 innings between the Mariners and Rays. He'll add a unique presence to the back end of the Chicago bullpen. Today, 6:20 am
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  • TEX 'strongly pursuing' Kelvin Herrera trade
    According to Bob Nightengale of USA Today, the Rangers are "strongly pursuing" Royals closer Kelvin Herrera.

    Advice: Kansas City appears poised for an organizational rebuild, so Herrera -- a free agent next winter -- can probably be had with the right match of young talent. Joel Sherman of the New York Post reported on the first day of the Winter Meetings that the Royals were at least "fielding interest" in the 27-year-old right-hander. Herrera struggled to a 4.25 ERA over 59 2/3 innings in 2017, but he put up a dominant 2.30 ERA with 209 strikeouts in 211 2/3 innings between 2014-2016. Today, 12:45 am
  • Kintzler returning to Nats with two-year deal
    Brandon Kintzler has agreed to a two-year free agent contract with the Nationals, per Ken Rosenthal of The Athletic.

    Advice: Kintzler finished the 2017 season in Washington and will return to a setup role with the defending NL East champs after fielding interest from several other teams this winter -- some of whom might have given him a chance to close. His new agreement with the Nats carries a $10 million guarantee and it can jump to $16 million if certain incentives are reached and an option is exercised, per USA Today's Bob Nightengale. Kintzler owns a sharp 3.08 ERA in 125 2/3 innings since the beginning of the 2016 campaign, though the 33-year-old right-hander has never generated many swing-and-misses. Yesterday, 10:30 pm
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  • Asking price too high for Reds RP Iglesias
    Jon Heyman of FanRag Sports reports that the asking price of Raisel Iglesias has caused teams to "give up" on acquiring him this offseason.

    Advice: Iglesias is 27 and has shown flashes of brilliance in his time with the Reds while saving 28 games for the club last year, so it certainly makes sense that Cincinnati would ask for a substantial package for the right-hander, especially considering his extremely friendly contract. With the Reds unlikely to be anywhere near the playoffs in 2018, we'll see if teams become more active in pursuing Iglesias during the regular season. Yesterday, 5:26 pm
  • Cardinals, Gregerson finalize 2-yr, $11M deal
    Cardinals signed RHP Luke Gregerson to a two-year, $11 million contract with a club option for 2020.

    Advice: The deal was agreed upon Sunday and then officially announced by the Cardinals on Wednesday after Gregerson passed his physical. The 33-year-old right-hander struggled with the Astros in 2017, but he had a 2.84 ERA and 537 strikeouts in 538 innings between 2009-2016. St. Louis drafted him out of college back in 2006 and he figures to work in a setup role in his return to the organization. Yesterday, 2:40 pm
  • Phils finalize 2-yr, $16.25M deal with Neshek
    Phillies signed RHP Pat Neshek to a two-year, $16.25 million contract.

    Advice: The deal was agreed to on the first day of the Winter Meetings and then finalized Wednesday after Neshek passed his physical. The veteran right-hander opened the 2017 season with the Phillies and pitched terrifically in a setup role before they traded him to the Rockies on July 26 for three minor leaguers. He should resume that setup gig in the Philadelphia bullpen in 2018. Yesterday, 2:25 pm
  • Pitt looking for youth in possible Cole move
    According to Bill Brink of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, the Pirates are looking for "young, controllable players" in exchange for Gerrit Cole.

    Advice: Brink also reports that the Yankees are also looking into possible offers for Chris Archer and Michael Fulmer in their quest to fill the starting rotation. Cole is coming off a disappointing 2017 season, but the 27-year-old right-hander is still one of the more talented right-handed pitchers in baseball, and offers big-time upside. Any of these pitchers would be a tremendous upgrade to add to their already explosive lineup. Yesterday, 2:22 pm
  • Marlins release RHP Edinson Volquez
    Marlins released RHP Edinson Volquez.

    Advice: Volquez underwent Tommy John surgery in August and is doubtful to pitch anywhere next season. Miami simply made this move to clear space on the 40-man roster. Volquez, 34, is owed $13 million in 2018 from a two-year, $22 million deal he signed last offseason and the Marlins will still be on the hook for that. He's coming off a 2017 campaign that saw him go 4-8 with a 4.19 ERA, 1.42 WHIP, and 81/53 K/BB ratio in 92 1/3 innings. Yesterday, 1:37 pm
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  • Alcantara part of return package for Ozuna
    Cardinals pitching prospect Sandy Alcantara is part of the return package for Marcell Ozuna, according to Jon Heyman of FanRag Sports.

    Advice: Alcantara was also floated in the failed Giancarlo Stanton trade talks between St. Louis and Miami. The hard-throwing 22-year-old right-hander posted a 4.31 ERA, 1.43 WHIP, and 106/54 K/BB ratio across 125 1/3 innings at Double-A Springfield in 2017. He then made his MLB debut as a September callup, yielding six runs -- four earned -- in 8 1/3 innings of relief. Yesterday, 11:13 am
  • Mets sign Anthony Swarzak to two-year deal
    According to Marc Carig of Newsday, the Mets have signed free agent reliever Anthony Swarzak to a two-year, $14 million deal.

    Advice: That is a very palatable price in this market for a guy who posted an excellent 2.33 ERA, 1.03 WHIP, and 91/22 K/BB ratio across 77 1/3 innings of relief in 2017. Swarzak, a well-traveled 32-year-old right-hander, is likely to operate in a setup role with the Mets. This deal is pending a physical. Yesterday, 8:37 am
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  • NYY interested in Arizona's Corbin, Drury
    Joel Sherman of the New York Post reports that the Yankees have spoken to the Diamondbacks about starter Patrick Corbin and infielder Brandon Drury.

    Advice: Sherman notes that the Yankees' priority right now is to deepen their starting rotation, thus the Corbin interest, but they also view Drury as a potential hole-filler at either second or third base. Corbin, 28, registered a 4.03 ERA (119 ERA+) and 178 strikeouts in 189 2/3 innings this past season with Arizona. He can become a free agent next winter. Drury, a 25-year-old with four more years of club control, batted .267/.317/.447 with 13 home runs and 63 RBI over 135 games in 2017. Yesterday, 8:13 am
  • Jake McGee has agreement to return to COL
    Jake McGee has a deal in place to return to the Rockies, per Joel Sherman of the New York Post.

    Advice: Ken Rosenthal of The Athletic was first to suggest that an agreement might be close. Jon Heyman of FanRag Sports hears it's a three-year deal with a fourth-year option and will carry around $27 million guaranteed. McGee, 31, registered a 3.61 ERA, 1.099 WHIP, and 58/16 K/BB ratio in 57 1/3 innings this past season with Colorado, tallying 20 holds and three saves. The left-hander figures to work in a setup role in 2018, with newcomer Bryan Shaw possibly serving as the Rockies' closer. Yesterday, 7:23 am
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  • Glasnow could open 2018 in Bucs' bullpen
    Tyler Glasnow could open the 2018 season in the Pirates' bullpen.

    Advice: "I don't want to single him out, but we are more open to one, maybe two young starters being in the bullpen to start the season, with the idea in the long term we believe they're starting pitchers," Pirates general manager Neal Huntington said Tuesday at the Winter Meetings. Glasnow posted excellent numbers as a starter this past season at Triple-A Indianapolis, but at the major league level he got hammered to the tune of a 7.69 ERA in 13 starts and two relief appearances. Yesterday, 5:57 am
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