Content provided by Player News - Wednesday, November 25th, 2015
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|Erik Johnson on track to earn rotation spot||11-25-2015|
|Erik Johnson P CWS|
White Sox GM Rick Hahn indicated that Erik Johnson's a front-runner to be part of the White Sox rotation in 2016.
|Said Hahn, "So if Opening Day were today, then I think Johnson is penciled in to that spot in the rotation right now. In all probability, once we get closer to spring, there will be some competition for him to earn that spot." The spot in question is the one vacated by free agent starter Jeff Samardzija. Chris Sale, Jose Quintana, Carlos Rodon and John Danks are already slotted into the rotation. Johnson, 25, made six starts for the White Sox in 2015 and held a 3.34 ERA, 1.40 WHIP and 30/17 K/BB ratio across 35 innings.|
|Braves sign Bud Norris to one-year contract||11-25-2015|
|Bud Norris P SD|
Braves signed RHP Bud Norris to a $2.5 million one-year contract.
Atlanta Braves on Twitter
|Norris was designated for assignment by the Orioles in early August and finished out the 2015 campaign in a Padres uniform. Between the two clubs, the 30-year-old right-hander held a bloated 6.72 ERA and 1.57 WHIP across 83 innings. He appeared in 38 games overall, with 11 starts in that mix. Norris has had serviceable seasons in the past, but there's no real fantasy upside here.|
|Brandon Gomes elects free agency||11-25-2015|
|Brandon Gomes P TB|
Brandon Gomes has elected free agency.
Roger Mooney on Twitter
|Gomes, who was designated for assignment last week, chose free agency after refusing an outright assignment to Triple-A Durham. The 31-year-old is coming off a 4.27 ERA and 44/15 K/BB ratio over 59 innings this past season and will hope to find a bullpen job elsewhere.|
|Gordon has talked to Marlins about extension||11-25-2015|
|Dee Gordon 2B MIA|
Dee Gordon said on MLB Network's "Hot Stove" show Wednesday morning that his agent has been in discussions with the Marlins about a contract extension.
|"My agent is doing the talking," said Gordon. "They're just keeping me in the loop. I think it's going pretty well right now. We'll see how that goes. I'm just playing the waiting game. We're going to do the right thing." Joe Frisaro of MLB.com hears that talks only recently started and are in the preliminary stages. Gordon is arbitration-eligible for the second time this winter and is under team control through 2018.|
|Orioles have been in touch with Gallardo||11-25-2015|
|Yovani Gallardo P TEX|
CBS Sports' Jon Heyman reports that the Orioles have reached out to the representatives for free agent right-hander Yovani Gallardo.
|Gallardo declined a $15.8 million qualifying offer from the Rangers, so signing him would require giving up a first-round pick. While the Orioles like him, they might not be willing to go there. Gallardo is coming off a solid season where he posted a 3.42 ERA and 121/68 K/BB ratio over 184 1/3 innings. The Diamondbacks and Tigers are among the other teams who have reportedly expressed interest.|
|CHC, STL, LAD, SF, BOS top suitors for Price||11-25-2015|
|David Price P TOR|
FOX Sports' Ken Rosenthal reports that the Cubs, Cardinals, Dodgers, Giants and Red Sox have the most interest in free agent left-hander David Price.
|For what it's worth, the Blue Jays aren't expected to be a major factor. ESPN's Buster Olney reported earlier Wednesday that there's a "high expectation" among executives involved in the bidding for Price that the Red Sox will have the highest offer. However, Rosenthal notes that Price "values comfort even more than most players" and Boston might not be his ideal fit. That could obviously change if Boston blows him out of the water with an offer, but with the number of teams involved in the bidding, it would be a shock if he doesn't land a contract north of $200 million.|
|Rays outright Gomes to Triple-A||11-25-2015|
|Brandon Gomes P TB|
Rays sent RHP Brandon Gomes outright to Triple-A Durham.
Marc Topkin on Twitter
|Gomes cleared waivers after being designated for assignment last week. He has three days to decide whether to accept the minor league assignment or refuse and test free agency. The 31-year-old posted a 4.27 ERA and 44/15 K/BB ratio over 59 innings this past season.|
|Daniel Nava elects free agency||11-25-2015|
|Daniel Nava RF TB|
Daniel Nava has elected to become a free agent.
MLB Roster Moves on Twitter
|Nava cleared waivers after being designated for assignment last week and ultimately refused a minor league assignment. The 32-year-old figures to land a spring training invite somewhere.|
|Cubs acquire Rex Brothers from Rockies||11-25-2015|
|Rex Brothers P CHC|
|Cubs acquired LHP Rex Brothers from the Rockies for LHP Wander Cabrera.||Brothers was designated for assignment by the Rockies last week. The 27-year-old was once thought of as a future closer, but control problems have been a major issue for him. Getting out of Colorado should be a good thing for him, as well as hooking up with Cubs pitching coach Chris Bosio. It's a smart flier for Chicago.|
|Indians designate Choice for assignment||11-25-2015|
|Michael Choice RF CLE|
|Indians designated OF Michael Choice for assignment.||Choice gets the boot off the 40-man roster after Wednesday's acquisition of Kirby Yates. The former top prospect was acquired from the Rangers back in August and could soon be with his third organization in the past four months.|
|Indians acquire Kirby Yates from Rays||11-25-2015|
|Kirby Yates P CLE|
|Indians acquired RHP Kirby Yates from the Rays for cash considerations.||Yates was designated for assignment last week after posting an ugly 7.97 ERA in 20 appearances with the Rays this season while allowing 10 home runs in just 20 1/3 innings. The 28-year-old was much better in 2014 and the Indians will try to get him back on track.|
|Mariners outright LHP Hultzen to Triple-A||11-25-2015|
|Danny Hultzen P SEA|
|Mariners sent LHP Danny Hultzen outright to Triple-A Tacoma.||Hultzen cleared waivers after being designated for assignment last Friday. While the 2011 No. 2 overall pick is a familiar name, it's not surprising that he's staying put. Shoulder problems have limited him to just 43 2/3 innings over the past three seasons.|
|A's still see Semien as their shortstop||11-25-2015|
|Marcus Semien SS OAK|
Athletics general manager David Forst indicated Wednesday that he still sees Marcus Semien as their starting shortstop.
Joe Stiglich on Twitter
|With Jed Lowrie back in Oakland, it's only natural that Forst would be asked about Semien, who led the majors with 35 errors this past season. However, it appears that they didn't acquire Lowrie with shortstop in mind. It's possible he could play second base or third.|
|A's release RHP A.J. Griffin||11-25-2015|
|A.J. Griffin P OAK|
|Athletics released RHP A.J. Griffin.||Griffin was designated for assignment last week after the Athletics signed free agent left-hander Rich Hill. The 27-year-old showed promise from 2012-2013, but required Tommy John surgery in April of 2014 and encountered numerous setbacks while trying to make in back this past season. Someone will surely take a chance on him, but he might have to settle for a minor league deal at this point.|
|Athletics designate Coulombe for assignment||11-25-2015|
|Daniel Coulombe P OAK|
|Athletics designated LHP Daniel Coulombe for assignment.||The move clears a spot for the newly-acquired Jed Lowrie on the 40-man roster. Coulombe was just claimed off waivers from the Dodgers in September after spending mos of the 2015 season in the minors.|
|Report: Wei-Yin Chen aims for 5-yr, $85M deal||11-25-2015|
|Wei-Yin Chen P BAL|
CBS Sports' Jon Heyman reports that Wei-Yin Chen is seeking a deal worth $85 million over five years.
|It sounds crazy on the surface, but Chen owns a 3.72 ERA (110 ERA+) over his first four seasons in the majors while calling the American League East home. The 30-year-old is arguably the second-best left-handed starter on the market behind David Price. Chen's agent Scott Boras will surely remind teams of this as he attempts to reach the lofty asking price.|
|Report: Dodgers have contacted Ryan Madson||11-25-2015|
|Ryan Madson P KC|
CBS Sports' Jon Heyman reports that the Dodgers have contacted free agent reliever Ryan Madson.
|While Kenley Jansen is an excellent closer, the bridge to the ninth inning proved to be a shaky one in 2015. The Dodgers have been mentioned as a possible trade partner for Aroldis Chapman and a fit for Darren O'Day in free agency, but Madson makes for an appealing alternative after reviving his career with a 2.13 ERA and 58/14 K/BB ratio over 63 1/3 innings with the Royals this season. The Long Beach, California native could land a multi-year deal in a weak market for relievers.|
|Athletics reunited with Jed Lowrie in trade||11-25-2015|
|Jed Lowrie SS OAK|
|Athletics acquired INF Jed Lowrie from the Astros for RHP Brendan McCurry.||Lowrie signed a three-year contract with the Astros last winter, but he's headed back to Oakland after just one season. The 31-year-old got off to a great start in 2015 before suffering a thumb injury in late April and just couldn't get back on track with the bat after returning during the second half. It's unclear what the Athletics have in mind for him, but he's likely to receive regular playing time in 2016.|
|O's designate Wilkins for assignment||11-25-2015|
|Andy Wilkins 1B BAL|
Orioles designated 1B Andy Wilkins for assignment.
Roch Kubatko on Twitter
|The move clears a spot for L.J. Hoes for assignment. Wilkins was claimed off waivers from the Dodgers in September and now he could be on the move once again.|
|O's acquire L.J. Hoes from Astros||11-25-2015|
|L.J. Hoes LF BAL|
Orioles acquired OF L.J. Hoes from the Astros for cash considerations.
Roch Kubatko on Twitter
|Hoes was designated for assignment by the Astros last week and the Orioles jumped at the opportunity at a reunion. The 25-year-old has struggled in sporadic opportunities in the majors, but he's coming off a strong season in Triple-A where he batted .295/.383/.400 over 99 games. He figures to compete for a bench job in the spring.|
|White Sox sign Alex Avila to one-year deal||11-25-2015|
|Alex Avila C CWS|
|White Sox signed C Alex Avila to a one-year, $2.5 million contract.||CBS Sports' Jon Heyman passed along the contract details. Avila, who turns 29 in January, struggled through injuries this season while batting just .191 with four home runs and a .626 OPS over 67 games. However, he's a gamble at this price. Avila figures to share playing time behind the plate with Tyler Flowers in 2016.|
|Pirates acquire Allen Webster from D'Backs||11-25-2015|
|Allen Webster P PIT|
|Pirates acquired RHP Allen Webster from the Diamondbacks for cash considerations.||Webster was designated for assignment last week after a disastrous season between the majors and the minors. Still, he won't be 26 until February and isn't far removed from being considered a top prospect. He'll be an intriguing project for Pirates pitching coach Ray Searage, who obviously has a number of success stories at this point. If there's any chance of him meeting his potential, it's probably here.|
|Report: A's acquire Jed Lowrie from Astros||11-25-2015|
|Jed Lowrie SS OAK|
Jane Lee of MLB.com reports that the Athletics have acquired Jed Lowrie from the Astros.
Jane Lee on Twitter
|No word yet on who is headed back to Houston. Lowrie, who previously played with the Athletics from 2013-2014, batted .222 with nine home runs and a .712 OPS in 69 games this past season. He's owed $7.5 million in 2016 and $6.5 million in 2017 while his contract includes a $6 million club option or $1 million buyout for 2018. He's yet another moving part for Oakland's infield.|
|Braun (back) expects to be 100 pct. by spring||11-25-2015|
|Ryan Braun RF MLW|
Ryan Braun (back) said Wednesday that he expects to be 100 percent when spring training begins in February.
Milwaukee Journal Sentinel
|"That's the plan," explained Braun, who underwent surgery in October to repair a herniated disc in his lower back. "All the rehab stuff is something I'll probably incorporate every day when it comes to my preparation and routine. I'll figure it out as I go. It's obviously still new to me. As I get back into baseball stuff, I'll figure out which exercises I'll want to continue to do and be a part of my routine." Braun underwent a cryotherapy procedure on his right thumb last October and again this June, but there are no plans for another one this offseason unless he feels discomfort when he begins swinging a bat in January.|
|Pirates sign 1B/OF Jake Goebbert||11-25-2015|
|Jake Goebbert 1B SD|
|Pirates signed 1B/OF Jake Goebbert to a one-year contract.||No word on the terms involved, but he has been added to the team's 40-man roster. Goebbert, 28, batted .294/.392/.452 with 10 home runs and 62 RBI over 122 games this season with the Padres' Triple-A affiliate. He appeared in 51 games with the Padres back in 2014. With his experience between first base and the outfield, Goebbert figures to compete for a bench spot in the spring.|
|Report: Pirates' Pedro Alvarez open to trade||11-25-2015|
|Pedro Alvarez 1B PIT|
CBS Sports' Jon Heyman reports that Pedro Alvarez would be open to a trade.
|It's a real possibility, as the Pirates are shopping him, as well as Neil Walker and Mark Melancon. While there's nothing to indicate that they are interested, Heyman speculates that the Orioles could be a fit. Alvarez turns 29 in February and batted .243/.318/.469 with 27 home runs and 77 RBI over 150 games this past season. He made $5.75 million in 2015 and will be arbitration-eligible for the final time this winter.|
|Bradley penciled in as CF in 2016||11-25-2015|
|Jackie Bradley Jr. RF BOS|
Red Sox manager John Farrell indicated on WEEI's "Hot Stove Show" on Tuesday night that Jackie Bradley is penciled in as the starting center fielder for 2016.
|What Bradley brings defensively can't be questioned, so the Red Sox are hoping that the progress he showed with the bat down the stretch is for real. The 25-year-old continues to pop up in trade rumors, but assuming he stays put this winter, Farrell envisions having Mookie Betts in right field and Rusney Castillo in left.|
|Report: 'Nothing is imminent' on Ozuna trade||11-25-2015|
|Marcell Ozuna CF MIA|
Joe Frisaro of MLB.com reports that "nothing is imminent" on a possible trade involving Marcell Ozuna.
Joe Frisaro on Twitter
|This comes on the heels of a report from ESPN's Jerry Crasnick on Tuesday night that the Mariners are working on a trade for Ozuna, who has fallen out of favor with Marlins owner Jeffrey Loria. Nothing is close, but the Marlins are reportedly willing to move him for a young starter. It's hard to imagine that Ozuna will begin 2016 with the team given all of the drama that has occurred until now, so it's highly likely he's moved at some point soon. Stay tuned.|
|Report: Cardinals interested in Ben Zobrist||11-25-2015|
|Ben Zobrist 2B KC|
CBS Sports' Jon Heyman reports that the Cardinals are interested in Ben Zobrist.
Jon Heyman on Twitter
|Really, who isn't these days? Zobrist would be a great fit for just about anyone, with teams like the Nationals and Mets reportedly among the most aggressive. The Cardinals already have their infield in place, so they are presumably looking at him as a super utility-type. Zobrist, who turns 35 next May, appears likely to land a three- or four-year deal this winter.|
|Jays agree to send Hague to Japanese team||11-25-2015|
|Matt Hague 1B TOR|
According to Ben Nicholson-Smith of Sportsnet.ca, the Blue Jays have agreed to send Matt Hague to the Hanshin Tigers of Japan's Central League for $300,000.
|The deal is not yet official, but Hague has been removed from Toronto's 40-man roster. Hague earned a September call-up with the Blue Jays this season after winning the International League MVP Award by batting .338/.416/.468 with 11 home runs and 92 RBI over 136 games with Triple-A Buffalo. He turned 30 in August.|
|Red Sox expected to have high offer for Price||11-25-2015|
|David Price P TOR|
ESPN's Buster Olney reports that there's a "high expectation" among executives involved in the bidding for David Price that the Red Sox will have the highest offer.
Buster Olney on Twitter
|There's a strong belief that Price will end up with a deal in excess of $200 million, which could give him the biggest free agent contract of the offseason. The Red Sox have an obvious need at the top of their rotation and new team president Dave Dombrowski has acquired him before with the Tigers, so it's a logical fit. However, teams like the Cubs and Dodgers have been considered the early favorites until now. With these kind of numbers being thrown around, a return to Toronto sounds unlikely.|