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Player Notes

  • 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. Yesterday, 5:46 pm
    New Player Note
    José Osuna Pit - 1B,3B,OF
  • Molina notes that Yankees, Mets, others interested
    In an interview with Mas Que Pelota, free agent catcher Yadier Molina mentioned that the Yankees, Mets, Padres and Angels have shown interest this offseason. 

    Advice: Molina, 38, also notes that he would like to return to St. Louis, and that he wants to play two more seasons. This comes a couple weeks after a report from Jon Heyman of MLB Network noting that there were 3-f4 other teams long with the Yankees, Mets and Cardinals were interested in the backstop. It still seems very likely that the potential Hall of Famer stays in St. Louis, but it doesn't appear it will be from a lack of interest. Yesterday, 1:12 pm
  • Report says no charges coming for Randy Arozarena
    According to the Mexican newspaper PorEsto, Randy Arozarena has been released after a 48-hour hold and will not face charges for a domestic incident involving his daughter and his daughter's mother.

    Advice: Arozarena was detained in Mexico's Yucatan state on Tuesday on allegations of domestic violence and a disagreement over custody of the young child. His lawyer, Carlos Chable, told PorEsto that "there were not enough elements to bring it to trial" (translated from Spanish) and that "there is no longer a crime to prosecute" (also translated). Arozarena could still be subject to some sort of discipline from Major League Baseball once the commissioner's office completes its own investigation into the incident, which was partially caught on video. Yesterday, 9:34 am
  • Wander Franco being evaluated for arm injury
    Rays SS prospect Wander Franco is headed back to the United States for further evaluation of an arm injury.

    Advice: Franco came down with discomfort in his right biceps earlier this week while playing for Leones del Escogido of the Dominican Winter League, and there's at least some level of concern that it might be serious. The 19-year-old shortstop, widely considered the top overall prospect in baseball, had batted .350/.435/.500 with one home run and one stolen base through five games (23 plate appearances) this winter in the DOWL. Yesterday, 7:31 am
  • Brian O'Grady released by Rays
    Rays released 1B/OF Brian O'Grady.

    Advice: O'Grady had been designated for assignment and is now a free agent after clearing waivers. The 28-year-old will probably have to settle for a minor league contract. Wednesday, 2:12 pm
  • Renfroe now on the market after clearing waivers
    Rays released OF Hunter Renfroe.

    Advice: Renfroe cleared waivers after being designated for assignment last week and is now officially a free agent. The 28-year-old is coming off a rotten 2020 campaign which saw him post a .156/.252/.393 batting line, and the Rays didn't want to give him a raise in arbitration. Renfroe doesn't hit righties very well, but he crushes lefties and is a solid defender who also comes with three years of team control. He'll have suitors. Wednesday, 12:59 pm
  • 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. Wednesday, 12:18 pm
  • 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. Wednesday, 12:10 pm
  • Orioles claim Chris Shaw off waivers from SF
    Orioles claimed 1B/OF Chris Shaw off waivers from the Giants.

    Advice: Thomas Eshelman has been designated for assignment by Baltimore in a corresponding roster move. Shaw, 27, has put up strong numbers in the upper minors but is a career .153/.244/.222 hitter at the MLB level. Wednesday, 12:03 pm
  • Rangers claim catcher Aramis Garcia from SF
    Rangers claimed C Aramis Garcia off waivers from the Giants.

    Advice: Garcia was designated for assignment by San Francisco last week amid a big 40-man roster purge. The 27-year-old is a career .229/.270/.419 hitter in 111 plate appearances at the major league level. Wednesday, 12:01 pm
  • Rockies acquire Jameson Hannah in four-player deal
    Rockies acquired OF Jameson Hannah and RHP Robert Stephenson from the Reds for RHP Jeff Hoffman and RHP Case Williams.

    Advice: Cincinnati picked up Hannah from the Athletics last summer as part of the Tanner Roark trade. The 23-year-old former second-round pick was robbed of key development time during MLB's shortened 2020 campaign and had a rather underwhelming .274/.339/.369 batting line in 491 plate appearances between High-A Stockton and High-A Daytona in 2019. Williams probably carries more perceived upside of the two minor leaguers included in this four-player swap given that he's 18 years old and was just drafted in the fourth round this past June. Wednesday, 11:06 am
  • LG Twins looking to re-sign slugger Roberto Ramos
    Jeeho Yoo of Yonhap News confirms that the LG Twins will aim to re-sign Roberto Ramos.

    Advice: Ramos joined on with the LG Twins in late January and then absolutely lit up the KBO, delivering a .954 OPS with 38 home runs and 86 RBI in 117 games. The 25-year-old slugger -- and former Rockies prospect -- might wait until the dust settles on MLB's designed hitter rule before making a decision on where to sign this winter. Tuesday, 7:13 pm
  • Astros, O's, Red Sox considering FA Yasiel Puig's Mark Feinsand reports that the Astros, Orioles, and Red Sox are among the teams showing interest in free agent outfielder Yasiel Puig.

    Advice: Puig changed agents earlier this month -- from Dan Horwits and Cesar Suare of the Beverly Hill Sports Council to Rachel Luba of Luba Sports -- as he looks to get back into Major League Baseball following a lost 2020 season. He struck a reported deal with the Braves in mid-July, but it fell apart shortly thereafter after Puig tested positive for COVID-19. The 29-year-old had a pretty good showing in 2019 with the Reds and Indians, and Feinsand notes that other teams "could also be in the mix" beyond Houston, Baltimore, and Boston. Tuesday, 6:52 pm
  • Report: Blue Jays have interest in J.T. Realmuto
    Craig Mish of SportsGrid reports that the Blue Jays are one of the teams expected to pursue free agent catcher J.T. Realmuto this offseason.

    Advice: Mish also offered his opinion of Realmuto's top suitors, with Blue Jays on even-footing with the Mets, Phillies, and Astros. He also speculates that the Yankees and Rangers could be among the other teams involved. The Blue Jays have an excellent defensive catcher in Danny Jansen, but his lack of progress at the plate could have them looking at alternatives. Realmuto would be a great one, but he's going to be costly. He's on track to top Joe Mauer's record $23 million AAV for a catcher this offseason, almost certainly topping $100 million in total value. The Jays might not be able or willing to hang with some of the big spenders. Tuesday, 10:17 am
  • Thames has interest from MLB, NPB, KBO teams
    According to Jon Morosi of, free agent Eric Thames is drawing interest from MLB, NPB, and KBO teams.

    Advice: Thames struggled to a .203/.300/.317 batting line in 41 games this past season with the Nationals, who then declined his $4 million option for 2021 late last month. But the 34-year-old slugger should do pretty well for himself this winter given all the avenues he's open to for possible offers. Thames spent the 2014-2016 seasons in the Korea Baseball Organization (KBO) before joining the Brewers ahead of the 2017 campaign. Monday, 3:42 pm
    Player Note
    Eric Thames Was - 1B,OF
  • 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. Sunday, 7:15 pm
  • Amed Rosario could play multiple positions in 2021
    According to Joel Sherman of the New York Post, it's "likely in the cards" that Amed Rosario will be playing different positions in 2021.

    Advice: That could mean that the club considers Andres Gimenez as the front-runner to be the team's starting shortstop and that they're planning on utilizing Rosario in more of a utility role. It could also mean that they plan on making a run at acquiring Francisco Lindor. Or, it could just be smoke and doesn't really mean anything. The 24-year-old slashed .252/.272/.371 with four homers, 15 RBI and a 34/4 K/BB ratio in 147 plate appearances during the 2020 season. Saturday, 3:32 pm
  • 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. Saturday, 3:12 pm
  • Twins add Ben Rortvedt to 40-man roster on Friday
    Twins purchased the contract of C Ben Rortvedt.

    Advice: The move protects the 23-year-old backstop from being taken in the Rule-5 draft. Rortvedt -- who was the Twins' second round pick in the 2016 draft -- struggled with the bat in 2019, slashing just .238/.334/.379 with seven homers and 29 RBI in 320 plate appearances between High-A Fort Myers and Double-A Pensacola. Saturday, 1:22 pm
  • Schebler inks minor league deal with Angels
    Angels signed OF Scott Schebler to a minor league contract.

    Advice: Schebler will make $900,000 if he makes the big club, per USA Today's Bob Nightengale. The 30-year-old logged just one at-bat in 2020 and has just 96 major-league plate appearances over the past two seasons, a far cry from his 30-homer season in 2017. Saturday, 10:12 am
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