Mets not interested in dealing Conforto
Sun, Dec 9, 2018, 3:57 PMJon Heyman on Twitter
Jon Heyman of Fancred reports that the Mets do not want to include the combination of Michael Conforto and Brandon Nimmo in any proposed deal with the Marlins for J.T. Realmuto.
Analysis: The Mets are in the market for a catcher, so naturally they have been talking to the Marlins about the top backstop available, but so far the Marlins are asking for the moon. Heyman also indicated that the Mets have no intention whatsoever of trading Amed Rosario in any trade.
Reds ink Kyle Wren to minors deal
Sun, Dec 9, 2018, 2:00 PMJim Goulart on Twitter
Reds signed OF Kyle Wren to a minor league contract.
Analysis: It's unclear whether he was given an invitation to spring training. Wren, 27, batted just .263/.333/.363 with three homers and 10 steals at the Triple-A level in 2018.
Report: NYM Realmuto, Thor, Kluber talks cool
Sun, Dec 9, 2018, 1:33 PMSNY.tv
Andy Martino of SNY.tv reports that the Mets' trade talks involving J.T. Realmuto, Noah Syndergaard and Corey Kluber "have lost a degree of momentum."
Analysis: Martino says that the Mets are "highly motivated" to acquire J.T. Realmuto, but the Marlins' big asking price -- which may include Amed Rosario and Brandon Nimmo -- has the Mets feeling "less optimistic" something will get done. He adds that the Mets feel they need to get a "slam-dunk return" in order to consider trading Syndergaard and they "have been unable to get close to a match with Cleveland on Kluber." This could all just be posturing, of course, and Martino notes that it's possible the lost momentum is "temporary." We will surely hear plenty of rumors involving the Mets at this week's Winter Meetings.
Cubs telling teams Schwarber isn't available
Sun, Dec 9, 2018, 1:19 PMBob Nightengale on Twitter
USA Today's Bob Nightengale reports that several teams have inquired on Kyle Schwarber but have been told by the Cubs that he is not available.
Analysis: Schwarber is getting a little more expensive as he reaches arbitration eligibility for the first time this offseason. However, he is under team control through 2021 and the Cubs evidently aren't interested in seeing what he would fetch in a trade. Schwarber has batted .225/.336/.467 with 56 home runs over the last two seasons.
Reds re-sign Aristides Aquino to minors deal
Sun, Dec 9, 2018, 12:09 PMMatt Eddy on Twitter
Reds re-signed OF Aristides Aquino to a minor league contract with an invitation to spring training.
Analysis: Aquino was non-tendered by the Reds last month but has found his way back into the organization. The 24-year-old batted .240/.306/.448 with 20 homers at the Double-A level in 2018 and struck out in his lone plate appearance in the majors.
Miguel Montero 'pretty much retired'
Sun, Dec 9, 2018, 8:54 AMArizona Republic
Miguel Montero told Nick Piecoro of the Arizona Republic that he's "pretty much retired."
Analysis: Montero hasn't played anywhere since electing free agency following an outright assignment by the Nationals last April. He's already in the midst of a new career as a baseball agent and is the CEO of ZT Sports. Montero, 35, was a two-time All-Star and a career .256/.340/.411 hitter who will finish with 126 home runs.
Brewers sign Guerra to minor league contract
Sat, Dec 8, 2018, 5:14 PMAdam McCalvy on Twitter
Brewers signed RHP Deolis Guerra to a minor league contract with an invitation to spring training.
Analysis: Guerra, 29, spent the entire 2018 season with the Rangers' Triple-A affiliate, owning a 3.79 ERA and 71/16 K/BB ratio over 40 appearances, including four starts. It's a low-risk move for the Brewers, who could benefit from the organizational depth if nothing else.
Report: Cahill has multiyear offers on table
Sat, Dec 8, 2018, 4:31 PMJon Heyman on Twitter
Free agent Trevor Cahill has "multiyear opportunities," according to Jon Heyman of Fancred.
Analysis: Heyman also recently reported that four or five teams have shown interest in the 30-year-old right-hander. Cahill put up a 3.76 ERA, 1.19 WHIP and 100/41 K/BB ratio over 110 innings of work last year and showed that he's still got what it takes to be an effective starter at the major league level. The A's have known interest, but the rest of his suitors -- and who's offering what -- remain unknown.
Mike Napoli announces his retirement
Sat, Dec 8, 2018, 2:23 PMMike Napoli on Twitter
Mike Napoli announced his retirement as a player on Saturday.
Analysis: He posted a long letter on Twitter to announce that his playing days are over. He retires with a career .246/.346/.475 slash line with 267 home runs and 744 RBI. His career began in 2006 with the Angels and he went on to become one of the best catchers to own in the fantasy game. He eventually moved out from behind the plate and became predominantly a first baseman and designated hitter. In addition to the Angels he played for the Rangers, Red Sox and Indians during his 12 seasons in the majors. His most impressive campaign came in 2011 when he slugged .320/.414/.631 with 30 homers and 75 RBI in just 113 games. He last appeared in the majors in 2017 with the Rangers and missed all of the 2018 season after suffering a severe knee injury in April while playing for the Indians' Triple-A affiliate.
Mariners seeking to bolster bullpen
Sat, Dec 8, 2018, 12:33 PMMLB.com
Greg Johns of MLB.com reports the Mariners' primary goal over the next few weeks is to replenish their depleted bullpen.
Analysis: Of the 10 relievers who pitched 20 or more innings for the Mariners this past season, only two of them remain on the roster -- Chasen Bradford and Dan Altavilla. Closer Edwin Diaz was traded to the Mets, set-up man (and former Rays' closer) Alex Colome was traded to the White Sox, and finally James Pazos and Juan Nicasio were traded to the Phillies. Nick Vincent was released. Zach Duke, Adam Warren and David Phelps left via free agency. The Mariners acquired reliever Anthony Swarzak in the deal with the Mets but he is not guaranteed to make the team considering he registered a 6.15 ERA in 29 appearances in 2018. Expect general manager Jerry Dipoto to continue his wheeling-and-dealing ways this winter as he tries to build a bullpen from scratch.
Johnson signs with Hanshin Tigers of NPB
Sat, Dec 8, 2018, 12:13 PMPierce Johnson on Twitter
Pierce Johnson signed a free agent contract with the Hanshin Tigers of Nippon Professional Baseball.
Analysis: He announced the move himself on Twitter. Contract terms have not been released. He pitched for the Giants as a rookie in 2018, notching a 5.56 ERA in 37 relief outings. He registered a sub-par 36:22 strikeout-to-walk ratio in 43 2/3 innings. The Giants outrighted him off their 40-man roster in November and he opted for free agency. The 27-year-old will take the paycheck from Hanshin and perhaps build up his resume for an eventual return to the majors.
Molina to undergo minor knee surgery
Sat, Dec 8, 2018, 10:17 AMSt. Louis Baseball Weekly
Brian Stull of the St. Louis Baseball Weekly reported that Yadier Molina will undergo knee surgery next week.
Analysis: It is expected to be a minor clean-up procedure with a rapid recovery time. Cardinals President of Baseball Operations John Mozeliak said Molina would be sidelined for only a few days. The 36-year-old Molina remains one of the top catchers on the fantasy landscape after batting .261/.314/.436 with 20 home runs and 74 RBI this past season. ESPN's Player Rater ranked Molina second among all catchers behind only J.T. Realmuto in 2018.
Indians sign LHP Gose to minors contract
Sat, Dec 8, 2018, 9:57 AMPaul Hoynes on Twitter
Indians signed LHP Anthony Gose to a minor league contract.
Analysis: Paul Hoynes of Cleveland.com reports the deal does not include an invitation to spring training. Gose played in the majors as an outfielder for five years from 2012 to 2016. After it was apparent his hitting days were over he switched to the mound and has shown some strikeout potential. He fanned 38 batters in 36 2/3 innings in the minors the past two seasons -- unfortunately he issued 31 walks and turned in a 5.89 ERA over that span. He reportedly put on an impressive display in winter ball over the last few weeks, so the Indians will give him a shot to prove his mettle.
Mariners sign LHP Milone to minors deal
Sat, Dec 8, 2018, 9:39 AMPete Kerzel on Twitter
Mariners signed LHP Tommy Milone to a minor league contract.
Analysis: The 31-year-old left-hander started four games and made one relief appearance for the Nationals in 2018, posting a 5.81 ERA with 23 strikeouts in 26 1/3 innings. He didn't pitch after August 21 this year due to discomfort in his left shoulder. He has been a fringe major leaguer for nearly a decade, shuffling back-and-forth between the majors and minors since 2011. He has a 46-37 career record with a 4.42 ERA in 130 starts and 21 relief appearances.
Cahill attracting interest from several teams
Fri, Dec 7, 2018, 9:51 PMFancred
Jon Heyman of Fancred reports that Trevor Cahill has attracted interest from "four or five" teams.
Analysis: The 30-year-old hurler had a nice bounce-back season in 2018, registering a 3.76 ERA, 1.19 WHIP and 100/41 K/BB ratio across 110 innings in 21 appearances (20 starts) with the Athletics. The only team known to have interest in Cahill so far is the A's, who have already expressed their desire to bring him back.
White Sox interested in Marwin Gonzalez
Fri, Dec 7, 2018, 9:45 PMFancred
According to Jon Heyman of Fancred, the White Sox are one of many clubs that have expressed interest in Marwin Gonzalez.
Analysis: The 29-year-old jack-of-all-trades would probably be best served winding up as a super utility player on a contending team, but he would represent an upgrade at several positions for a team like the White Sox. Given the early buzz that he has generated this offseason, he should wind up with a pretty lucrative deal.
Garrett Richards gets $15.5 million from Pads
Fri, Dec 7, 2018, 7:10 PMJon Heyman on Twitter
Jon Heyman of Fancred reports that Garrett Richards will earn $15.5 million over his two-year contract with the Padres.
Analysis: The right-hander will earn $7 million in 2019 and $8.5 million in 2020. He'll also have the chance to earn an additional $2.5 million if he makes more than 20 starts, $250,000 for every start made from 21-30. Richards will be a nice asset for the Padres in 2020, but can be ignored this season in redraft leagues as he's expected to miss the majority of the season while recovering from Tommy John surgery.
Braves ink Andres Blanco to minor league deal
Fri, Dec 7, 2018, 7:04 PMJon Heyman on Twitter
Braves signed INF Andres Blanco to a minor league contract with an invitation to spring training.
Analysis: Jon Heyman of Fancred reports that Blanco will earn $850,000 if he cracks the big league roster. The 34-year-old spent the 2018 season in the minor leagues, where he slashed .271/.362/.435 with nine homers, 47 RBI and six swipes in 96 games at Triple-A Colorado Springs. He'll try to secure a utility job on the Braves' Opening Day roster.
Giants sign Cameron Rupp to minors contract
Fri, Dec 7, 2018, 6:58 PMJon Heyman on Twitter
Giants signed C Cameron Rupp to a minor league contract with an invitation to spring training.
Analysis: Jon Heyman of Fancred notes that Rupp will earn $750,000 if he makes the big league roster. The 30-year-old backstop and longtime former Phillie is a career .234/.298/.407 hitter with 39 homers in 1127 plate appearances at the big league level for his career. He'll add catching depth for the Giants behind Buster Posey.
Padres designate Carlos Asuaje for assignment
Fri, Dec 7, 2018, 5:51 PM
Padres designated INF Carls Asuaje for assignment.
Analysis: The team needed to clear a spot on the 40-man roster for Garrett Richards, and the 27-year-old infielder was the odd-man out. After a breakout 2017 campaign, Asuaje hit just .196/.286/.280 with a pair of homers and 19 RBI in 218 plate appearances at the big league level in 2018. With a plethora of top prospects in the middle infield on the cusp of joining the major league roster, Asuaje was easily expendable for the Padres. He could attract interest on waivers.