Recent MLB Player News

Cleveland signs Rajai Davis to a minor league contract

The Cleveland Indians have signed outfielder Rajai Davis to a minor league contract with a non-roster invite to spring training.

What It Means:

Davis will compete for a roster spot as a reserve outfielder in spring training. Last season, he hit .235/.293/.348 with 29 stolen bases over 366 plate appearances for the Oakland Athletics and Boston Red Sox.

Entering his age-37 season, Davis only posted a .279 wOBA in 2017, but is still a threat on the base paths if he can make Cleveland's roster.

Rangers will not sign Seung Hwan Oh

The Texas Rangers reportedly had a contract agreement in place with Seung Hwan Oh last week, but they have decided not to sign the free agent pitcher.

What It Means:

Last week, Oh and the Rangers reportedly agreed to a one-year, $2.75 million contract with a $4.5 million club option for 2019, but the deal is off. Texas reportedly didn't like something they saw in Oh's physical. He will remain a free agent and try to sign with another team.

In 2017, Oh posted a 4.10 ERA with 54 strikeouts over 59 1/3 innings for the St. Louis Cardinals.

Giants sign Tony Watson to three-year deal

The San Francisco Giants have signed pitcher Tony Watson to a three-year, $7 million contract.

What It Means:

The left-hander will bolster the Giants bullpen while reportedly remaining under the luxury tax. In 2017, Watson posted a 3.38 ERA and 1.38 WHIP with 53 strikeouts in 66 1/3 innings for the Los Angeles Dodgers and Pittsburgh Pirates.

Watson saw his strikeout rate drop to 18.2% in 2017 -- the lowest mark of his career -- but only allowed a 22.5% hard-hit rate.

Rangers sign Edinson Volquez to two-year minor league deal

The Texas Rangers have signed pitcher Edinson Volquez to a two-year minor league contract.

What It Means:

Volquez is expected to miss the 2018 season after undergoing Tommy John surgery last summer. Last season, Volquez posted a 4.19 ERA and 1.42 WHIP over 17 starts for the Miami Marlins. He also threw a no-hitter against the Arizona Diamondbacks.

Volquez compiled a 5.19 SIERA and 13.4% walk rate in 2017, indicating his 4.19 ERA may have been on the lucky side.

Twins sign Anibal Sanchez to one-year deal

The Minnesota Twins have signed free agent pitcher Anibal Sanchez on a one-year, $2.5 million contract.

What It Means:

Sanchez can also earn another $2.5 million in incentives. He's coming off a rough season with the Detroit Tigers, compiling a 6.41 ERA and 1.59 WHIP over 105 1/3 innings.

Sanchez had a reasonable 4.16 SIERA, 21.6% strikeout rate, and 6.0% walk rate in 2017, but also allowed a poor 37.4% hard-hit rate. Across the last three seasons with the Tigers, he's only put together a 5.67 ERA.

Source: Jon Heyman

Mets reportedly agree to deal with Jason Vargas

Per Jon Heyman of FanRag Sports, the New York Mets have agreed to terms with free agent pitcher Jason Vargas.

What It Means:

The deal is pending a physical and is for two years, $16 million, with a club option for 2020. After spending four straight seasons with the Royals, Vargas should slide into the five-spot as the only southpaw in the Mets' rotation.

In 2017, Vargas went 18-11 with a 4.16 ERA and 4.67 FIP in 32 starts and 179 2/3 innings.

Rockies' Gerardo Parra (hands) undergoes surgery to remove hamate bone

According to Rockies.com's Thomas Harding, Colorado Rockies outfielder Gerardo Parra underwent surgery last week to remove the hamate bone from his right hand.

What It Means:

Parra has said that he expects to return around March 10th. That would be a fairly aggressive timetable, but if he's able to be back then he'd have no trouble getting in enough time to be ready for Opening Day on March 29th. At this time, the 30-year-old seems likely to start in right field in 2018.

Over 115 games, Parra tallied 10 home runs, 71 RBI and 56 runs while slashing .309/.341/.452 a season ago.

Blue Jays sign Jaime Garcia to one-year, $8 million contract

The Toronto Blue Jays have signed pitcher Jaime Garcia to a one-year, $8 million contract with a club option for 2019.

What It Means:

Garcia bounced around as a starter between three different clubs last year, finishing the season with a 4.41 ERA, 1.41 WHIP, and 129 strikeouts over 157 innings. He's expected to round out the Blue Jays rotation.

Garcia produced a 4.54 SIERA last season, suggesting we probably shouldn't expect any major improvements in his 2018 ERA, but he did maintain a strong 54.8% ground-ball rate.

Indians' Danny Salazar (shoulder inflammation) 'a couple weeks behind'

Cleveland Indians starting pitcher Danny Salazar "experienced an onset of right shoulder rotator cuff inflammation in mid-January," according to a press release from the Indians.

What It Means:

Per the release, Salazar started throwing again and is "progressing well," but remains "a couple weeks behind" the other Indians pitchers at camp this spring. This creates some doubt about whether or not the 28-year-old right-hander will be ready by Opening Day.

Salazar twirled a 4.28 ERA, 1.34 WHIP, 33.0 strikeout percentage, and 10.0 walk percentage with a 5-6 record (19 starts) across 103 innings last season.

Orioles sign Andrew Cashner to a two-year, $16 million contract

The Baltimore Orioles have signed free agent pitcher Andrew Cashner to a two-year, $16 million contract, according to Roch Kubatko of MASN.

What It Means:

Cashner will join an Orioles rotation that lacks much depth entering the season. In 2017, Cashner logged 166 2/3 innings over 28 starts for the Texas Rangers, while compiling a 3.40 ERA and 1.32 WHIP with 86 strikeouts.

Cashner had a solid ERA last season, but a 5.52 SIERA, 12.2% strikeout rate, and 9.1% walk rate doesn't bode well for a repeat in 2018.

Mariners' Ryon Healy down 4-6 weeks following hand surgery

Seattle Mariners infielder Ryon Healy is expected to miss 4-6 weeks after undergoing surgery Thursday to remove a bone spur from his right hand.

What It Means:

It's possible that Healy returns for the tail end of spring training but he's likely going to open the season on the Mariners' disabled list. The 26-year-old was acquired from the Oakland Athletics in November.

Healy slashed .271/.302/.451 with 25 home runs, 66 runs scored, and 78 RBI across 605 plate appearances last season.

Yankees' Aaron Judge says left shoulder 'right on schedule'

New York Yankees outfielder Aaron Judge said Wednesday in Yankees camp that his surgically-repaired left shoulder "feels good, feels right on schedule."

What It Means:

Judge underwent a relatively minor procedure on his shoulder in November but there's no concern about his availability for Opening Day.

Judge slashed .284/.422/.627 with 52 home runs, 128 runs scored, 114 RBI, and 9 steals across 678 plate appearances last season.

Source: Bryan Hoch

Mariners' Ryon Healy undergoing tests for hand injury

Seattle Mariners infielder Ryon Healy is undergoing tests for a hand injury.

What It Means:

Healy has been dealing with a lingering hand issue since the beginning of offseason work and the Mariners are awaiting further information on the extent of the injury. The 26-year-old was acquired from the Oakland Athletics in November.

Healy slashed .271/.302/.451 with 25 home runs, 66 runs scored, and 78 RBI across 605 plate appearances last season.

Jeurys Familia expected to get 'majority of saves' for Mets

New York Mets reliever Jeurys Familia "will probably get the majority of the saves," pitching coach Dave Eiland said at spring training on Wednesday.

What It Means:

New Mets manager Mickey Callaway had previously suggested the club would utilize a committee approach in the ninth inning, but it sounds like Familia is the man to own.

The 28-year-old right-hander recorded a 4.38 ERA, 1.46 WHIP, 22.5 strikeout percentage, and 13.5 walk percentage while converting 6-of-7 saves across 24 2/3 innings.

Charlie Blackmon may be moved to middle of Rockies' order this season

Colorado Rockies outfielder Charlie Blackmon could be moved to the middle of the order this season, manager Bud Black said.

What It Means:

Blackmon has been the leadoff man for 716-of-725 career plate appearances, but after he hit a career-high 37 home runs last season, the Rockies want to experiment with their rotation a bit. The 31-year-old outfielder will hit in the heart of the order in Cactus League games, with David Dahl, Raimel Tapia, and Ian Desmond all viewed as potential replacements for leadoff duties.

In addition to the 37 taters, Blackmon slashed .331/.399/.601 with 137 runs scored, 104 RBI, and 14 steals. across 725 plate appearances.

Chase Utley re-signs with the Dodgers on a 2-year deal

The Los Angeles Dodgers and second baseman Chase Utley have agreed to a two-year deal, per Jon Heyman of MLB Network.

What It Means:

The 39-year-old Utley earned the multi-year deal because of his clubhouse presence and ability to play multiple infield positions. He is expected to remain in a utility man/pinch hitter role, earning starts spelling Logan Forsythe at second and Cody Bellinger at first.

Utley batted .236 with a .316 wOBA, 8 home runs, 6 steals, and 43 runs scored in 353 plate appearances in 2017.

Nats' Adam Eaton (knee) cleared for spring training, hopes to be ready Opening Day

Washington Nationals outfielder Adam Eaton (knee) has been cleared to participate in spring training.

What It Means:

Eaton completely tore his ACL on April 28 but progressed far enough in the offseason that he is ready to play in spring training, possibly in a limited fashion. The Nats have already pegged the outfielder as their leadoff man, and without any setbacks, he should be ready for Opening Day.

The 29-year-old was off to a hot start in 2017, batting .297 with a .367 wOBA and 24 runs scored in 107 plate appearances (23 games) before the knee injury.

Trevor Plouffe and Texas agree to a minor league deal

The Texas Rangers have agreed to a minor league deal with infielder Trevor Plouffe.

What It Means:

The 31-year-old Plouffe will get a shot to make the opening day roster as a backup infielder. The Rangers could use him at either corner infield spot (behind Adrian Beltre and Joey Gallo) or as a designated hitter.

Plouffe batted .198 with 9 homers and 19 RBI in 313 plate appearances with the Tampa Bay Rays and Oakland A's last season.

Joey Gallo will be the Rangers' starting first baseman in 2018

Texas Rangers first/third baseman Joey Gallo will begin the 2018 season as the team's everyday starting first baseman.

What It Means:

Gallo started 52 games at first base but spent the rest of the year split between left field and third. However, with Adrain Beltre healthy and locked into third base, Gallo will get some certainty and start at first in 2018.

Gallo batted just .209 but cranked 41 homers with 80 RBI and 7 steals in 532 plate appearances in 2017.

Bud Norris and Cardinals agree to one-year deal

The St. Louis Cardinals and free agent pitcher Bud Norris have agreed to a one-year, $3M deal, pending a physical, per Ken Rosenthal of The Athletic.

What It Means:

Despite primarily being used in relief last season with the Los Angeles Angels, the Cardinals are expected to give Norris a shot at earning a spot in the rotation. The veteran pitcher had started 33 games the previous 3 seasons.

Norris finished 2017 with 19 saves, 3.66 xFIP, 1.34 WHIP, and 74 strikeouts in 62 innings pitched.

Cubs sign Yu Darvish to six-year, $126 million contract

Pitcher Yu Darvish has come to an agreement with the Chicago Cubs on a six-year, $126 million contract, according to Ken Rosenthal of The Athletic.

What It Means:

The deal is pending a physical, but we finally have one of the biggest free agents off the board in what has mostly been a quiet baseball offseason. Darvish will also have a chance to make as much as $150 million through incentives. The Cubs are set to enter the season with a rotation of Darvish, Jon Lester, Jose Quintana, Kyle Hendricks and Tyler Chatwood. Perhaps this will set the wheels in motion for other free agent signings.

Last season, Darvish pitched 186 2/3 innings with a 3.86 ERA, 1.16 WHIP, and 209 strikeouts.

Twins' Ervin Santana out 10-to-12 weeks after surgery on finger

Minnesota Twins starting pitcher Ervin Santana underwent surgery on the middle finger of his throwing hand and will miss 10-to-12 weeks, per Rhett Bollinger, of MLB.com.

What It Means:

Terrible blow to the Twins' rotation as Santana was projected to fill the team's top spot. A 10-to-12 week timetable would rule the starter out until late-April/early-May. The news could push the Twins into increasing their offer to free agent Yu Darvish, who they had been pursuing this winter.

Santana owned solid numbers in 2017, posting a 16-8 record with a 3.28 ERA, 1.13 WHIP, and 167 strikeouts in 211 1/3 innings pitched.

Rangers sign Bartolo Colon to a minor league contract

The Texas Rangers signed free-agent starting pitcher Bartolo Colon to a minor league contract with an invitation to spring training.

What It Means:

The 44-year-old Colon has a chance to make the Rangers' rotation but will need a strong showing in spring training to grab the last starting spot. The 20-year veteran pitched for both the Atlanta Braves and Minnesota Twins last season.

Colon finished 2017 with a 7-14 record, 5.14 xFIP, 1.59 WHIP, and 89 strikeouts in 143 innings pitched.

New York Mets sign Todd Frazier to 2-year/$17M deal

The New York Mets have signed free-agent third baseman Todd Frazier to a two-year, $17M deal.

What It Means:

Frazier fills a significant need at third base for the Mets, allowing Asdrubal Cabrera to shift over to second, his ideal position. Jose Reyes now moves to a reserve utility man role, backing up Frazier, Cabrera, and Amed Rosario at short. Frazier brings another power bat to a potent Mets' lineup.

Frazier has a down season with the Chicago White Sox and New York Yankees, batting .213 with 27 homers, 76 RBI, and a .335 wOBA in 576 plate appearances.

Diamondbacks sign Alex Avila to two-year deal

The Arizona Diamondbacks have signed free agent catcher Alex Avila to a two-year, $8.25 million deal, reports The Athletic's Ken Rosenthal.

What It Means:

The deal is pending a physical, which should take place some time in the next week. Avila, who finished last season with the Chicago Cubs, after starting the year with the Detroit Tigers. He will share starts with Jeff Mathis and Chris Herrmann, but he should see a boost at Chase Field.

In 2017, Avila hit 14 home runs with 49 RBI, a .264 average and .364 wOBA over 112 games.

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