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  • Indians payroll low enough to keep Kluber?
    Jon Heyman of Fancred reports that the Indians' recent payroll-shedding trades have reduced their motivation to trade starting pitchers Corey Kluber and Trevor Bauer.

    Advice: The Indians have traded away Edwin Encarnacion, Yonder Alonso and Yan Gomes this offseason -- moves that have reduced their 2019 payroll by $18 million even after accounting for the addition of Carlos Santana. Both Heyman and Anthony Castrovince of MLB.com are hearing the team may have shaved the payroll down enough to where they don't need to make any more financially-driven moves. This may make it harder for other teams to pry away one or both of the Indians' ace pitchers. Both Corey Kluber and Trevor Bauer have been made available on the trade market but they might be more likely to stay put as things now stand. Rotoworld.com Yesterday, 9:58 am
  • Reds, Nationals, Braves in on Anibal Sanchez
    John Morosi of MLB Network reports the Reds, Nationals and Braves are interested in free agent starting pitcher Anibal Sanchez.

    Advice: The 34-year-old put up one of the best seasons of his career this year for the Braves with a 7-6 record, a 2.83 ERA and 1.08 WHIP in 24 starts and one relief appearance. However he is only one year removed from a 2017 season that saw him go 3-7 with an atrocious 6.41 ERA in 17 starts and 11 relief appearances with the Tigers. Sanchez broke into the league in 2006 with the Marlins and became one of the more reliable starters in baseball for nearly a decade, but then had a three-year slump from 2015 through 2017 in which he combined for a 20-30 record and a 5.67 ERA over those three seasons. Teams will have to decide if his fantastic 2018 season was a return to his former self or merely a fluke. Rotoworld.com Yesterday, 7:47 am
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  • Mike Fiers draws interest from multiple teams
    Jon Morosi of MLB Network reports that free agent right-hander Mike Fiers is drawing interest from multiple teams.

    Advice: Morosi lists the Reds, Giants, Nationals and Rangers among the suitors for the 33-year-old hurler. Fiers is coming of of a terrific season where he compiled a 3.56 ERA, 1.18 WHIP and 139/37 K/BB ratio across 172 innings between the Tigers and Athletics. Given the numerous clubs in play here, Fiers should have no problem landing a multi-year contract worth considerably more than the $6 million he settled for last winter. Rotoworld.com Friday, 8:28 pm
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  • Phillies interested in acquiring Mike Minor
    Scott Lauber of the Philadelphia Inquirer reports that the Phillies are interested in acquiring left-hander Mike Minor from the Rangers.

    Advice: The Rangers have been fielding inquiries for the 30-year-old southpaw who is on a very team-friendly contract that will pay him only $19 million over the next two seasons. If the Phillies can't find the rotation upgrade that they're looking for via free agency, Minor could become a nice low-cost alternative. Rotoworld.com Friday, 6:11 pm
    Player Note
    Mike Minor Tex - SP,RP
  • Padres have interest in Dallas Keuchel
    Dennis Lin of The Athletic reports that the Padres have interest in Dallas Keuchel.

    Advice: However, Lin notes that Keuchel's asking price is "currently prohibitive" for the Padres. The veteran left-hander has been connected to numerous teams -- the Nationals, Phillies, Braves, Reds and Blue Jays among them -- but might not sign for a while given that he's a Scott Boras client and the best free agent starter left on the market. Rotoworld.com Friday, 2:21 pm
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  • Cards could consider Reyes (lat) at closer
    Derrick Goold of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch reports that the Cardinals will consider Alex Reyes (lat) as an option to be their closer.

    Advice: Reyes will come to spring training as a starter as he works his way back from lat surgery, but the Cards have numerous rotation options and they might ultimately decide Reyes could help most in relief, perhaps in a high-leverage role. The righty has thrown only 27 innings over the last two seasons due to Tommy John surgery in addition to the lat operation, so the club will have to be careful with his workload regardless of what role he fills. Reyes will be a guy to keep a close eye on this spring. Rotoworld.com Friday, 6:42 am
  • Rockies discussed Gray, Desmond at meetings
    Thomas Harding of MLB.com reports that the Rockies discussed trades for Jon Gray at the Winter Meetings.

    Advice: Gray is coming off a very disappointing statistical season, finishing with a 5.12 ERA and he was left off the team's playoff roster against the Brewers in the NLDS. That being said, he's also shown electric stuff in the past, and the analytics say that Gray had some bad luck in 2018. His fantasy value would increase exponentially if he was playing for a different club next season. Rotoworld.com Thursday, 3:56 pm
  • Royals acquire Rule 5 pick Ellis
    Rangers selected RHP Chris Ellis from the Cardinals with the seventh pick in the Rule 5 draft and traded him to the Royals.

    Advice: Ellis is joining his third organization, having been traded from the Angels to the Braves in the Andrelton Simmons deal and the Braves to the Cardinals for Jaime Garcia in 2016. He was 10-4 with a 3.93 ERA and a 124/37 K/BB ratio in 132 2/3 innings between Double- and Triple-A last season. The stuff is decent enough to maybe make him a fourth or fifth starter in the majors. He'll compete with fellow Rule 5 pick Sam McWilliams, among others, for a spot at the back of the Royals rotation. Rotoworld.com Thursday, 9:34 am
  • Jake Thompson signs with KBO's Lotte Giants
    Jake Thompson has agreed to a deal with the Lotte Giants of the Korea Baseball Organization.

    Advice: Thompson had a 4.96 ERA, 1.53 WHIP, and 14/11 K/BB ratio in 16 1/3 innings of relief this past season with the Phillies. The former top prospect should get another chance to work as a starting pitcher in the KBO. He's only 24 years old, so we wouldn't rule out an eventual return to Major League Baseball. Rotoworld.com Thursday, 5:56 am
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  • D'backs may wait for summer to deal Greinke
    According to Bob Nightengale of USA Today, the Diamondbacks "believe they’ll get a better return for Zack Greinke at the trade deadline instead of now."

    Advice: It's no secret that the Diamondbacks have been shopping Greinke -- in fact, Nightengale wrote in November that they were "highly likely" to trade the veteran right-hander this winter -- but there is understandably some hesitation from opposing clubs given that he's still owed $104.5 million on a contract that runs through 2021. That will be his age-37 season. Greinke, who posted a 3.21 ERA, 1.079 WHIP, and 199 strikeouts over 207 2/3 innings in 2018, might fetch more in terms of prospects when teams get desperate in the summer. Rotoworld.com Wednesday, 10:13 pm
  • O's willing to trade Alex Cobb in right deal
    MASN's Roch Kubatko writes that the Orioles have "definitely made it known" that they would move Alex Cobb in the right deal.

    Advice: Cobb had a dreadful first half in Baltimore this past season, but he did register a 2.59 ERA over his final 66 innings (11 starts) between July 13 and September 23. The 31-year-old right-hander is entering the second year of a four-year, $57 million contract. He's still owed $43 million of that. Kubatko notes that the O's would probably have to eat some money to get a substantial return. Rotoworld.com Wednesday, 8:16 pm
  • Mets talked extension with deGrom's agent
    According to Anthony DiComo of MLB.com, the Mets had preliminary talks with Jacob deGrom's agents this week about a possible contract extension.

    Advice: The 2018 National League Cy Young Award winner is under the Mets' control for the next two seasons via salary arbitration, but there is clearly openness on both sides to discussing something long-term. Whether the two sides can ultimately agree on the length and price of a new deal is a different story, though it should perhaps be noted that new Mets GM Brodie Van Wagenen used to personally represent deGrom at CAA. DiComo writes that it's "unlikely anything happens soon, and certainly possible nothing ever happens." Rotoworld.com Wednesday, 7:07 pm
  • Nationals are considering SP Wade Miley
    Ken Rosenthal of The Athletic hears that the Nationals are considering free agent left-hander Wade Miley.

    Advice: Washington has also been connected to free agent starter Anibal Sanchez in the hours since trading Tanner Roark to the Reds for a big-armed controllable reliever in Tanner Rainey. Miley struggled with injuries as a member of the Brewers in 2018, but he posted a shiny 2.57 ERA over 16 starts when healthy. The 32-year-old had a 5.61 ERA in 157 1/3 innings with the Orioles in 2017. Rotoworld.com Wednesday, 6:06 pm
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  • Happ to sign with NYY for 2 yrs plus option
    According to MLB.com's Mark Feinsand, the Yankees "have agreed to the structure on a contract" with J.A. Happ that would be for two years with an option for 2021.

    Advice: Joel Sherman of the New York Post reports that the deal will be worth $34 million guaranteed, with the option carrying a $17 million value if Happ reaches certain innings-pitched thresholds. Happ drew interest from several other teams over the last month-plus, including the Phillies and Astros, but it sounds like none of them were willing to offer a third year (even on an option) to the 36-year-old left-hander. He posted a sharp 3.65 ERA and 193/51 K/BB ratio in 177 2/3 innings this past season between the Blue Jays and Yanks. Rotoworld.com Wednesday, 5:29 pm
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  • Reds acquire starter Tanner Roark from Nats
    Reds acquired RHP Tanner Roark from the Nationals for RHP Tanner Rainey.

    Advice: A classic Tanner-for-Tanner swap. Roark registered an uninspiring 4.50 ERA over 361 2/3 innings in his last two seasons with the Nats, but he's been an effective starter in the past and should be an upgrade to the Cincinnati rotation in 2019. He's due to become a free agent next winter. The Reds are probably still on the hunt for at least one more starting pitcher. They've been connected to several. Rotoworld.com Wednesday, 4:12 pm
  • Rangers sign Lance Lynn for 3 years, $30M
    Lance Lynn has agreed to a three-year, $30 million deal with the Rangers, per MLB.com's Mark Feinsand.

    Advice: MLB.com's T.R. Sullivan was first to report that an agreement was close. It's a big commitment to a guy who finished the 2018 season with a 4.77 ERA and 1.53 WHIP in 156 2/3 innings, but Lynn did produce a 3.38 ERA over his first six years in the majors -- a span of 977 2/3 innings -- and he's only 31 years old. Texas will hope he can bounce back to that form he showed in St. Louis. Rotoworld.com Wednesday, 4:03 pm
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  • Report: Dodgers, Reds continue to talk trade
    The Reds and Dodgers are still talking about a trade, one that could involve Homer Bailey and Matt Kemp.

    Advice: The Dodgers' motivation here would likely involve the luxury tax. They don't want Bailey, of course, but they could take him on if there's a deal that ultimately lowers their payroll for tax obligations. Alex Wood is one name perhaps also in the mix here, and we might see a larger three-team deal involving Yasiel Puig or others. Rotoworld.com Wednesday, 1:24 pm
  • Rays, Morton agree to 2 yr, $30 million deal
    Charlie Morton will get a two-year, $30 million deal from the Rays, according to Yahoo's Jeff Passan.

    Advice: That's pretty much what he expected to get going into the winter. He'll join a rotation that should include Blake Snell and Tyler Glasnow. Ryan Yarbrough, Yonny Chirinos and Jalen Beeks could serve as bulk guys behind openers. Morton, 35, posted a stellar 3.13 ERA and 201/64 K/BB ratio over 167 innings (30 starts) with the Astros in 2018. Rotoworld.com Wednesday, 12:58 pm
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  • Johnny Cueto aims for September return
    Johnny Cueto is hoping to return from Tommy John surgery next September, agent Bryce Dixon told MLB Trade Rumors.

    Advice: Cueto just had the procedure in August, so if he were a younger pitcher, he'd almost surely be ruled out for 2019. Cueto, though, might be allowed to come back and throw some innings for the Giants in the final month of the year, provided that his rehab goes smoothly. Rotoworld.com Wednesday, 12:36 pm
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  • Reds ask about Stroman, Gray
    The Reds are talking to the Blue Jays about Marcus Stroman and the Yankees about Sonny Gray, according to MLB Network's Jon Morosi.

    Advice: Stroman would likely be more expensive to acquire, but with his groundball ability, he'd be a particularly good fit in Cincinnati. The Reds also haven't ruled out Corey Kluber, but he'd be quite a bit more difficult to land. Rotoworld.com Wednesday, 12:17 pm
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