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Player Notes

  • TEX re-signs Hanser Alberto to minors deal
    Rangers re-signed INF Hanser Alberto to a minor league contract with an invitation to spring training.

    Advice: Alberto was non-tendered by the Rangers on December 1 after being limited to five minor league games in 2017 because of a shoulder injury that eventually required surgery. The hope is he'll be fully recovered by the opening of camp in February, though that still won't guarantee him a spot on the MLB roster. 16 minutes ago
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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. 19 minutes ago
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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. 26 minutes ago
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  • Reds acquire RHP Keller in Rule 5 draft
    Reds selected RHP Brad Keller from the Diamondbacks with the fifth pick in the Rule 5 draft.

    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. His ceiling isn't particularly high, but he'll be a viable contender for the fifth spot in the Reds' rotation. 27 minutes ago
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  • Cardinals 'keep pushing for' Josh Donaldson
    According to Ken Rosenthal of The Athletic, the Cardinals "keeping pushing for" Blue Jays third baseman Josh Donaldson.

    Advice: Rosenthal adds, however, that the Blue Jays "remain disinclined to move Donaldson" because they want to compete in 2018. The asking price is high and there is no indication that a deal is close. St. Louis has its toe in the water on a bunch of different potential upgrades and it sounds like there might be a better match with the Rays. Evan Longoria, Alex Colome, and Chris Archer are the names the Cardinals have discussed with Tampa Bay. 44 minutes ago
  • 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. 54 minutes ago
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  • Padres 'clear-cut favorites' for Eric Hosmer
    USA Today's Bob Nightengale writes that the Padres have become the "clear-cut favorites" for free agent Eric Hosmer.

    Advice: Nightengale says the Padres have had two face-to-face meetings with Hosmer and his camp, presumably at this week's Winter Meetings in Orlando. But this of course will all come down to money and agent Scott Boras offered no indication Wednesday in his annual scrum with the media that Hosmer has lowered his sky-high asking price. Nightengale notes that the Red Sox are also "lurking" on the 28-year-old first baseman, who posted a career-best .318/.385/.498 batting line with 25 home runs and 94 RBI over 162 games for the Royals in 2017. He also earned his fourth career Gold Glove, though advanced defensive metrics aren't as kind to him as the folks who vote on those awards. Today, 5:55 am
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  • Padres have inquired on OF Christian Yelich
    Dennis Lin of the San Diego Union-Tribune hears the Padres are among the teams that have inquired about Marlins outfielder Christian Yelich.

    Advice: Jon Heyman of FanRag Sports reported Wednesday that the Marlins intend to keep Yelich with the intention of structuring their rebuild around the 26-year-old outfielder, who is under control through 2021 with a club option for 2022. But there are rumblings that Yelich wants out of Miami after watching Giancarlo Stanton, Marcell Ozuna, and Dee Gordon all get shipped off to other teams over the last week. San Diego has the prospects to get it done, though there would be offers coming in from a range of clubs -- both contending and non-contending -- if the Marlins decide to open up the bidding.'s Joe Frisaro reported Tuesday that the Braves and Diamondbacks have expressed interest. Today, 4:10 am
  • Twins are 'still strongly in mix' for Rodney
    According to Mike Berardino of the St. Paul Pioneer-Press, the Twins are "still strongly in the mix" for free agent reliever Fernando Rodney.

    Advice: Anthony Fenech of the Detroit Free Press reported late Wednesday night that there is mutual interest between Rodney and the Tigers, one of the 40-year-old right-hander's former teams. But if Rodney would prefer to pitch for a contender in 2018 -- what could be his final MLB season -- Minnesota obviously makes a lot more sense. There is also said to be some level of interest from the Rangers and Mets, and the Diamondbacks have discussed a possible return. Today, 3:37 am
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  • O's could trade Manny Machado this week?
    USA Today's Bob Nightengale reports that the Orioles "are moving aggressively on Manny Machado trade talks and now believe they can move him by the end of the week."

    Advice: Ken Rosenthal of The Athletic wrote late Wednesday night that the White Sox have emerged "as the most aggressive suitor" for Machado and Nightengale confirms that the Pale Hose have presented the strongest offer so far to Baltimore, however the Cardinals, Giants, Red Sox, Phillies, and Yankees are also in the mix on this. Machado is an elite-level talent and he is only 25 years old, but the star third baseman can become a free agent after the 2018 season and the Orioles clearly don't think they can afford to lock him up to a long-term deal. A trade of Machado might kick off a larger rolling rebuild effort for the O's front office. Brad Brach, Zach Britton, and Adam Jones are all entering walk years. Today, 1:01 am
  • 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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  • Report: A's, Cardinals agree to Piscotty swap
    According to Jon Heyman of FanRag Sports, the Athletics have reached an agreement to acquire outfielder Stephen Piscotty from the Cardinals.

    Advice: The Cardinals are expected to receive two minor leaguers in return. Piscotty signed a six-year, $33.5 million contract extension with the Cardinals last April after a promising beginning to his major league career, but he took a step back this past season while dealing with injuries and an ALS diagnosis for his mother Gretchen. Piscotty is a Bay Area native and Stanford graduate, so hopefully getting closer to home will help him in general. Yesterday, 9:07 pm
  • Angels officially acquire Kinsler from Tigers
    Angels acquired 2B Ian Kinsler from the Tigers for OF Troy Montgomery and RHP Wilkel Hernandez.

    Advice: Ken Rosenthal of The Athletic was the first to report the deal. Kinsler, 35, hit .236/.313/.425 for the Tigers in 2017 while tallying 22 homers and stealing 14 bases in 139 games. The right-handed-hitting second baseman had to waive his no-trade clause in order for Detroit to execute this move. He could hit at or near the top of the lineup with the Angels in 2018 and greatly improves their situation at the keystone. Yesterday, 8:40 pm
  • Prospects Gallen and Castano in Ozuna deal
    Clark Spencer of the Miami Herald reports that RHP prospect Zac Gallen and LHP prospect Daniel Castano are also heading to the Marlins in the Marcell Ozuna trade.

    Advice: It appears the full deal is now Gallen, Castano, outfield prospect Magneuris Sierra and right-handed pitching Sandy Alcantara. Gallen is the better prospect of the two newest names -- a third-round pick out of North Carolina in 2016 who has shown three above-average pitches and pounds the strike zone with them. Castano is a left-hander who was taken in the 19th round in 2016, and projects as a back-end starter or reliever at the next level. Yesterday, 3:05 pm
  • D'Backs sign Cesar Puello to minors deal
    Diamondbacks signed OF Cesar Puello to a minor league contract with an invitation to spring training.

    Advice: Puello struggled at the major league level with the Angels and Rays in 2017, but he put up a promising .327/.377/.526 batting line with 13 home runs and 18 stolen bases in 87 games during his time spent at Triple-A. The 26-year-old outfielder could prove to be a nice find for Arizona. Yesterday, 12:58 pm
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  • Rockies, Holland 'just talking' at the moment's Mark Feinsand hears there is nothing imminent between the Rockies and Greg Holland.

    Advice: Jon Heyman of FanRag Sports reported earlier that Colorado was closing in on an agreement to bring Holland back for the 2018 season and beyond, but a source tells Feinsand that the two sides are "just talking" at the moment. Thomas Harding, the Rockies beat writer for, is hearing the same thing as Feinsand. A new deal could happen at some point between Holland and the Rockies, but it sounds like the 32-year-old free agent right-hander is still shopping around for the time being. Yesterday, 9:54 am
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  • Nats, Harper had preliminary extension talks
    Bryce Harper's agent Scott Boras told the media Wednesday at the Winter Meetings that he had "preliminary discussions" about an extension for his client last month with the Nationals.

    Advice: Harper is on course to score a record-breaking contract in free agency next offseason, so the Nats would probably have to go well out of their comfort zone to make something happen before then. The 25-year-old superstar batted .319/.413/.595 with 29 home runs and 87 RBI in 111 games this past summer. He could have challenged for his second National League MVP if he didn't hurt his knee in mid-August when he slipped on a wet first base bag. Yesterday, 8:06 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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