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Content provided by Rotoworld Player News - Tuesday, January 10th, 2017

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Athletics sign free agent INF Trevor Plouffe 01-10-2017
Trevor Plouffe 3B OAK
According to FOX Sports' Ken Rosenthal, free agent infielder Trevor Plouffe has agreed to a one-year deal with the Athletics.

Ken Rosenthal on Twitter
There are no financial terms available yet, but Rosenthal says the agreement is only pending a physical. Plouffe was outrighted off the Twins' 40-man roster in November after batting .260/.303/.420 with 12 home runs and 47 RBI over 84 games in 2016. He missed time with a fractured rib and an intercostal strain. The 30-year-old corner infielder figures to see starts against left-handed pitchers in Oakland while operating primarily as a bench bat. He'll carry no relevance in standard fantasy leagues.
Rockies considering Blanton, Holland 01-10-2017
Joe Blanton P LAD
Rockies general manager Jeff Bridich told the Denver Post on Tuesday that Joe Blanton is among the free agent relievers the club is considering.

Denver Post
Greg Holland is another possibility for Colorado. "As I have said before, we have checked in on a lot of guys, those guys included," Bridich said. "There are multiple teams interested in those types of guys." Blanton got lit up by the Cubs in the 2016 NLCS, but he registered an impressive 2.48 ERA and 80/26 K/BB ratio across 80 innings for the Dodgers during the regular season.
Rockies, Arenado have not talked extension 01-10-2017
Nolan Arenado 3B COL
Rockies GM Jeff Bridich said Tuesday that there have not been any negotiations toward a contract extension with star third baseman Nolan Arenado.

Denver Post
Arenado is projected to make close to $13 million in 2017 -- his second year of salary arbitration -- after batting .294/.362/.570 with 41 home runs and an MLB-high 133 RBI in 160 games last season. "We will work on trying to get a one-year deal done and if things come up, just like anything else, we are going to keep an open mind to anything," Bridich told the Denver Post. Arenado, 25, is currently under the Rockies' control through 2019.
Dodgers finalize 5-yr, $80M deal with Jansen 01-10-2017
Kenley Jansen P LAD
Dodgers re-signed RHP Kenley Jansen to a five-year, $80 million contract. The deal was agreed to back on December 12 -- nearly a full month ago -- but there was no hurry to take the physical and sign the necessary paperwork given the familiarity between all of the involved parties. It is now officially official. Jansen will return as the Dodgers' closer for 2017 and beyond after posting a brilliant 1.83 ERA, 0.67 WHIP, and 104/11 K/BB ratio across 68 2/3 innings last year in that role. He also drew serious free agent interest from the Marlins and Nationals, among others.
Dodgers DFA infielder Micah Johnson 01-10-2017
Micah Johnson 2B ATL
Dodgers designated INF Micah Johnson for assignment. Johnson logged just six plate appearances at the major league level in 2016 and hit .261/.321/.356 in 516 plate appearances with the Dodgers' Triple-A affiliate.
Sanchez could pitch for Mexico in WBC 01-10-2017
Aaron Sanchez P TOR
Jon Morosi of MLB Network reports that Aaron Sanchez could pitch for Mexico in the World Baseball Classic.

Jon Morosi on Twitter
A new rule enables teams to add aces in the middle of the WBC, so Sanchez would likely only pitch if Mexico advances out of the group stage. The Blue Jays protected the young right-hander's workload last season and surely don't want him pushing himself too early.
Athletics outright Max Muncy to Triple-A 01-10-2017
Max Muncy 1B OAK
Athletics sent INF/OF Max Muncy outright to Triple-A Nashville. Muncy cleared waivers after being designated for assignment last week. The 26-year-old owns a lowly .195/.290/.321 batting line over 245 plate appearances in the majors and will stick around to give the A's some depth in the minors.
Report: Twins checked in on Jose Bautista 01-10-2017
Jose Bautista RF TOR
Rhett Bollinger of MLB.com reports that the Twins have met with the agent for free agent slugger Jose Bautista.

Twins.mlb.com
The exact level of interest is unclear, but the Twins are at least doing their due diligence as Bautista's market continues to drag. There's a chance he could be had on a one-year deal, which opens the door for a surprise landing spot. The Twins would certainly qualify, as they don't appear close to contention, but their first-round pick is protected in 2017 and Bautista could be a useful insurance policy for young outfielders Eddie Rosario, Byron Buxton, and Max Kepler. He could also make for a natural trade candidate later this summer. It's probably a long shot, as Bautista figures to find a more attractive situation.
Tigers ink 1B Pill to minors deal 01-10-2017
Brett Pill 1B SF
Tigers signed 1B Brett Pill to a minor league contract with an invitation to spring training. Pill, 32, played for the KIA Tigers of the Korea Baseball Organization last season and batted .317/.359/.521 with 20 homers and 86 RBI over 126 games. He hasn't appeared in the majors since 2013 as a member of the Giants and figures to serve as organizational depth in his return to the states.
Twins, Dodgers at 'impasse' in Dozier talks 01-10-2017
Brian Dozier 2B MIN
FOX Sports' Ken Rosenthal reports that the Twins and Dodgers are at an "impasse" in talks on a Brian Dozier trade.

Ken Rosenthal on Twitter
The two sides have been linked for weeks now, but Rosenthal writes that there's "no momentum" toward a deal. Pitching prospect Jose De Leon has been mentioned as a centerpiece all along, but they apparently haven't made progress on the other pieces. This doesn't mean that a deal won't still happen, but the Twins were hoping to have some resolution on the matter soon. They could always keep him around for the start of the season, though there's a strong argument to deal him after a career year.
Report: Four teams engaged on Chris Carter 01-10-2017
Chris Carter 1B NYY
Chris Cotillo of SB Nation reports that four teams remain engaged on free agent slugger Chris Carter.

Chris Cotillo on Twitter
Carter's agent, Dave Stewart, said just prior to the holidays that he expected things to heat up with his client once Edwin Encarnacion signed. That hasn't happened and now the belief is that the market is waiting on Mark Trumbo and Jose Bautista. Carter tied Colorado's Nolan Arenado for first in the NL with 41 homers in 2016, but he became a free agent last month after being non-tendered by the Brewers.
Indians release LHP Edwin Escobar 01-10-2017
Edwin Escobar P CLE
Indians released LHP Edwin Escobar. Escobar was designated for assignment last week when the Edwin Encarnacion signing was made official. The southpaw is expected to pursue an opportunity in Japan.
Keuchel (shoulder) playing catch regularly 01-10-2017
Dallas Keuchel P HOU
Dallas Keuchel (shoulder) has been playing catch three times a week over the last couple of weeks.

Jake Kaplan on Twitter
Kuechel, who didn't pitch after August 27 last season due to shoulder inflammation, has thrown from a distance of 110-115 feet and reports feeling good. "I've been telling some of the guys it kind of feels weird to actually feel good," said Kuechel. "First time in a long time I feel 100 percent." After winning the AL Cy Young Award in 2015, Keuchel regressed to the tune of a 4.55 ERA last season. The Astros are banking on a rebound with improved health.
Reds ink Louis Coleman to minors deal 01-10-2017
Louis Coleman P LAD
Reds signed RHP Louis Coleman to a minor league contract with an invitation to spring training.

Mark Sheldon on Twitter
This confirms what was reported by Jon Heyman of FanRag Sports. After adding Drew Storen last week, the Reds continue to try to bolster their bullpen. Coleman, who turns 31 in April, has compiled a 3.51 ERA over 213 relief appearances in the majors. There's a decent chance he'll end up winning a bullpen spot in the spring.
Coleman signs minor league deal with Reds 01-10-2017
Louis Coleman P LAD
Jon Heyman of FanRag Sports reports that the Reds have signed Louis Coleman to a minor league contract.

Jon Heyman on Twitter
The deal presumably includes an invitation to major league spring training, but it hasn't been officially announced by the team. Coleman was non-tendered by the Dodgers last month after posting a 4.69 ERA, 1.44 WHIP and 45/24 K/BB ratio over 48 innings. He could earn a spot as a middle reliever in the spring.
Dodgers, Vidal Nunez avoid arbitration 01-10-2017
Vidal Nuno P BAL
Dodgers and LHP Vidal Nuno avoided arbitration by agreeing to a one-year, $1.125 million contract.

Jon Heyman on Twitter
Nuno, who was acquired from the Mariners for Carlos Ruiz back in November, was arbitration-eligible for the first time this winter. The 29-year-old posted a 3.53 ERA and 51/11 K/BB ratio over 58 2/3 innings last season and figures to pitch in middle relief for Los Angeles.
Realmuto under consideration for USA roster 01-10-2017
J.T. Realmuto C MIA
J.T. Realmuto is "under consideration" for the Team USA roster in the World Baseball Classic, reports Jon Morosi of MLB Network.

Jon Morosi on Twitter
Buster Posey has already been confirmed to participate, so Realmuto would give Team USA a capable backup. It's worth noting that pool play begins in Miami, so it would be a convenient arrangement for all involved. Realmuto, who turns 26 in March, batted .303/.343/.428 with 11 homers, 48 RBI, and 12 steals over 137 games last season.
Freeman likely to play for Canada in WBC 01-10-2017
Freddie Freeman 1B ATL
According to Jon Morosi of MLB Network, Freddie Freeman is "increasingly likely" to play for Team Canada in the upcoming World Baseball Classic.

Jon Morosi on Twitter
Freeman was born in the United States, but his parents were born in Canada and he has said in the past that he would like to honor his late mother. Joey Votto has already said that he won't participate in the WBC, so securing Freeman would provide a big boost to Canada's lineup.
Cron (thumb) cleared for baseball activity 01-10-2017
C.J. Cron 1B LAA
C.J. Cron (thumb) has been cleared for all baseball activity, according to Angels general manager Billy Eppler.

Orange County Register
Cron required surgery to repair a fractured left hand back in July, but he felt some lingering discomfort in his thumb and had another surgery in October. Assuming the hand issues are behind him, the Angels are hoping he'll take another step forward in 2017. The 26-year-old batted .278/.325/.467 with 16 home runs and 69 RBI in 116 games last season.
Calhoun (core muscle) cleared for activity 01-10-2017
Kole Calhoun RF LAA
Kole Calhoun (core muscle surgery) has been cleared for all baseball activity, per Angels general manager Billy Eppler.

Orange County Register
Calhoun underwent surgery in October to repair a bilateral core muscle injury. He's had plenty of time to rest up and should be 100 percent for spring training. The 29-year-old is coming off a strong season where he batted .271/.348/.438 with 18 home runs, 75 RBI, and 91 runs scored over 157 games.
Sadler (Tommy John) to throw bullpen session 01-10-2017
Casey Sadler P PIT
Casey Sadler (elbow) will throw a bullpen session Tuesday.

Rob Biertempfel on Twitter
He's slated to throw 15-20 fastballs. Sadler missed the entire 2016 season while in rehab mode from Tommy John surgery. The Pirates brought him back in October on a minor league contract in October and he'll likely function as organizational depth this year if he's back to full health. The 26-year-old has made seven appearances in the majors in his career and posted a 4.22 ERA over 13 starts at the Triple-A level in 2015.
Lee (lat) plays catch from 140-150 feet 01-10-2017
Chris Lee P BAL
Chris Lee (lat) played catch from a distance of 140-150 feet on Monday.

Roch Kubatko on Twitter
Lee was limited to just eight appearances (including seven starts) in Double-A last season due to a lat injury, but he's feeling good now. The plan calls for him to begin throwing off a mound in a week or two. The 24-year-old was acquired from the Astros in 2015 and entered last year with some buzz as one of the Orioles' better pitching prospects. He'll try to get back on track in 2017.
Pujols (foot) has begun physical therapy 01-10-2017
Albert Pujols DH LAA
Angels general manager Billy Eppler said Albert Pujols (foot) has begun physical therapy.

Orange County Register
Pujols underwent surgery in December on his right plantar fascia. He's expected to be limited for the start of spring training and might not be ready for Opening Day. Pujols turns 37 next week and batted .268/.323/.457 with 31 homers and 119 RBI over 152 games last season. He's now halfway through his megadeal with the Angels, but he's still owed $140 million over the next five years.
Orioles ink LHP Tim Berry to minors deal 01-10-2017
Tim Berry P MIA
Orioles signed LHP Tim Berry to a minor league contract.

MASN Sports
Berry, who turns 26 in March, was originally drafted by the Orioles in 2009 and was claimed off waivers by the Marlins last offseason. He posted a rough 6.32 ERA and 59/47 K/BB ratio over 88 1/3 innings in the minors in 2016 between the Marlins and Padres. He didn't pitch above Double-A. He'll function as organizational depth in his return to the Orioles.
O's have 'no movement' toward Trumbo deal 01-10-2017
Mark Trumbo RF BAL
According to Roch Kubatko of MASN Sports, there's been "no movement" toward a deal with free agent slugger Mark Trumbo.

MASN Sports
Kubatko adds that it's becoming "less likely" that the Orioles will end up signing him. There's still interest here, but previous talks hit a wall and there hasn't been enough progress made in renewed talks to leave either side optimistic about a reunion. As Orioles executive vice president Dan Duquette hinted on MLB Network Radio over the winter, the club is prepared to let him walk and take the draft pick. This could obviously be posturing, but assuming the Orioles are out of the mix, Trumbo's market is a bit of a mystery. The Athletics emerged as a surprise last week and the Rockies are a possibility, though they'd have to make a trade to clear the logjam.
Orioles remain interested in Michael Bourn 01-10-2017
Michael Bourn CF BAL
FOX Sports' Ken Rosenthal reports that the Orioles remain interested in Michael Bourn.

FOX Sports
In other words, nothing has changed from a month ago. Bourn, 34, made a favorable impression with the Orioles down the stretch last season by batting .283/.358/.435 with two home runs, eight RBI and two steals in 24 games. The club just acquired Seth Smith in recent days and remain interested in bringing back Mark Trumbo, so Bourn would likely be more of a fourth outfielder and backup center fielder.