Players News

Orioles shortstop Richie Martin is likely to begin the 2020 season in the minor leagues.
Nov 09   1:51 PM

The Orioles grabbed Martin from the Athletics in the Rule 5 draft last winter and were required to keep him on their major league roster for the entire season or offer him back to Oakland. They won't have that restriction in the upcoming season and will have the option to send Martin to the minors without losing him. Baltimore general manager Mike Elias said that Martin's bat wasn't ready for the major leagues. The 24-year-old former first-round draft pick struggled badly at the plate, slashing just .208/.260/.322 with six homers and 23 RBI in 120 games. His .582 OPS was the third-lowest in the majors (min. 300 PAs). The Orioles are in the market for a veteran shortstop to hold down the fort until Martin's bat develops.

Orioles starter Alex Cobb (knee, hip) is expected to be ready to pitch when spring training starts.
Nov 09   1:51 PM

Cobb lasted just three starts into the 2019 season before going down with a back injury. While recuperating from the sore back he underwent surgeries on his hip and knee. The Orioles need Cobb to anchor their rotation and provide veteran leadership to their rebuilding young team. Cobb is quite capable of being more than an innings-eater when healthy -- he has a career 3.85 ERA in 146 starts with the Rays and Orioles over the past nine years. Cobb has two years and $29 million remaining on his contract.

Athletics' third baseman Matt Chapman was named as the Rawlings Platinum Glove Award winner in the American League for the second consecutive season.
Nov 08   11:13 PM

Chapman continues to win every defensive honor that he's up for -- and for very good reason. The 26-year-old led all MLB third baseman in defensive runs saved (18), total chances (466), putouts (146), fielding percentage (.981), and zone rating (.834) while making countless unbelievable plays look nearly effortless.

Jon Heyman of MLB Network reports that former Padres' manager Andy Green is expected to be named as the Cubs' bench coach.
Nov 08   9:25 PM

Green has long been rumored as one of the top candidates for the position. It makes a good deal of sense for a first-time manager like David Ross to have someone with managerial experience like Green as his right-hand man. Green was let go by the Padres in September after going 274-366 in his three-plus seasons at the helm in San Diego.

According to Mark Feinsand of MLB.com, the Phillies have expressed interest in third baseman Josh Donaldson.
Nov 08   7:41 PM

Donaldson is expected to decline the Braves' one-year qualifying offer and become a free agent next week. The 33-year-old had a terrific 2019 season with the Braves, slashing 259/.369/.509 with 37 homers and 94 RBI. Most importantly, he was able to avoid the disabled list and appear in 155 games. The Rangers have already expressed interest in his services as well, and the Braves are believed to have a desire to re-sign him as well.

Giants released RHP Ricardo Pinto.
Nov 08   7:41 PM

The 25-year-old hurler had been designated for assignment earlier in the week. He's now free to look for work elsewhere after registering a 4.23 ERA and 111/54 K/BB ratio over 123 1/3 innings between Double-A and Triple-A during the 2019 campaign.

Brewers signed 1B Luis Castro to a minor league contract.
Nov 08   7:16 PM

The 24-year-old spent the first seven seasons of his minor league career in the Rockies' organization. He enjoyed a breakout season offensively in 2019, slashing .304/.419/.552 with 27 homers and 105 RBI in 126 games between Double-A Hartford and Triple-A Lancaster. Given the Brewers' current depth chart at the position, there's a decent chance that Castro makes his big league debut with the Brewers during the upcoming season.

Brewers signed OF Alexander Palma to a minor league contract.
Nov 08   7:16 PM

Palma, 24, spent the first seven seasons of his professional career in the Yankees' organization. He's coming off of a nice 2019 campaign where he slashed .313/.356/.558 with 10 homers and 36 RBI in 47 games across four minor league levels -- ultimately finishing at Double-A Trenton. He'll add minor league outfield depth for the Brewers.

Jeff Passan of ESPN reports that Drew Pomeranz is a "hot name in the relief market."
Nov 08   5:43 PM

Passan expects Pomeranz to land "a multiyear deal at a strong AAV." Pomeranz's move to the bullpen looks like it could be a career-changer, as he posted a dominant 2.39 ERA with 45 strikeouts over 26 1/3 innings in relief.

Braves re-signed RHP Darren O'Day to a one-year, $2.25 million contract with a $3.5 million club option for 2021.
Nov 08   5:43 PM

O'Day has been limited to just 28 appearances over the last two seasons due to hamstring and forearm injuries, but he pitched well down the stretch of the regular season and NLDS. The veteran reliever turned 37 last month.

Ken Rosenthal of The Athletic reports that Ben Cherington has emerged as a candidate to be the Pirates' head of baseball operations.
Nov 08   5:17 PM

Cherington used to be the Red Sox' general manager and is currently the Blue Jays' VP of baseball operations. He's also a New Hampshire native and Amherst College alum, much like former Pirates GM Neal Huntington.

Jon Heyman of MLB Network reports that the Mets will interview Jerry Narron for their bench coach job.
Nov 08   4:58 PM

Narron was most recently the Diamondbacks' bench coach. There's also talk about former Mets manager Terry Collins joining new skipper Carlos Beltran's staff as bench coach, although it's unclear whether he's officially a candidate at this point.

Jon Heyman of MLB Network reports that Neftali Soto is drawing interest from major league teams.
Nov 08   1:35 PM

Soto has played for the Yokohama BayStars in Japan the last two years and cranked over 40 home runs in both seasons. The 30-year-old is under contract with the BayStars for one more year but could be a candidate for a major league contract after that.

Ken Rosenthal of The Athletic reports that the Padres have hired Larry Rothschild as their new pitching coach.
Nov 08   12:56 PM

The long-time pitching coach had been with the Yankees for the past nine seasons and the Cubs, Marlins, Braves and Reds prior to that. Rothschild is replacing Darren Balsley on new manager Jayce Tingler's staff.

Jim Salisbury of NBC Sports Philadelphia reports that the Phillies will interview Nationals assistant hitting coach Joe Dillon for their hitting coach job.
Nov 08   11:26 AM

Dillon is the assistant hitting coach under Kevin Long, who used to be on new Phils manager Joe Girardi's coaching staff with the Yankees. Girardi recently hired Bryan Price as his new pitching coach and Juan Castro as his new infield coach.

Jon Morosi and Todd Zolecki of MLB.com report that the Phillies have hired Juan Castro to be their new infield coach.
Nov 08   9:49 AM

Castro had been managing in Mexico. He was previously the Dodgers' minor league infield coordinator.

The Hiroshima Carp of Japan’s Nippon Professional Baseball has announced that second baseman Ryosuke Kikuchi will be posted this offseason.
Nov 08   9:27 AM

Kikuchi has posted an uninspiring .271/.315/.391 batting line in eight seasons for the Carp, but he's a premiere defender who has won seven straight Gold Gloves. He might not be able to land more than a minor league contract.

Bobby Nightengale of the Cincinnati Enquirer writes that "all signs point" toward the Reds making a "serious run" at Yasmani Grandal this offseason.
Nov 08   9:27 AM

The Reds haven't signed a major league free agent to a deal worth more than $3 million since 2013 (although, they did trade for Sonny Gray last winter and immediately signed him to a $38 million extension), but it sounds like they're ready to do some spending this offseason. Grandal wound up settling for a one-year contract last winter but should land a multi-year deal this offseason. Playing in Great American Ball Park would obviously be good news for his fantasy value. Nightengale also lists Nicholas Castellanos and Marcell Ozuna as potential targets for the Reds.

Ryan Tepera has elected free agency.
Nov 08   8:50 AM

It's a bit surprising that Tepera cleared waivers after being designated for assignment by the Blue Jays, but he did and is now free to sign elsewhere. The veteran reliever struggled in 2019, but his previous track record will land him a job.

Padres released RHP Eric Yardley.
Nov 08   8:50 AM

Yardley cleared waivers after being designated for assignment and the Padres decided to cut him loose. He's now free to sign elsewhere.

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