Wednesday, December 17th, 2014
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Content provided by Rotoworld Player News - Wednesday, December 17th, 2014

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Royals, Volquez close to two-year agreement 12-17-2014
Edinson Volquez P PIT
Chris Cotillo of MLB Daily Dish reports that the Royals are close to a deal with Edinson Volquez.

Chris Cotillo on Twitter
Rays, Padres, Nats agree on Wil Myers trade 12-17-2014
Wil Myers RF TB
According to Jim Bowden of ESPN and SiriusXM, the three-team Wil Myers trade is "done."

Jim Bowden on Twitter
FOX Sports' Ken Rosenthal has the breakdown of who's heading where: Padres shortstop prospect Trea Turner and pitching prospect Joe Ross will go to the Nationals. Myers, Ryan Hanigan, and minor league pitcher Jose Castillo will go to the Padres. Steven Souza, Travis Ott, Rene Rivera, Burch Smith, and Jake Bauers will go to the Rays (with Souza and Ott coming from the Nats). All the players involved need to pass physicals before the trade can be made official.
Nick Markakis undergoes fusion neck surgery 12-17-2014
Nick Markakis RF ATL
Nick Markakis underwent fusion surgery Wednesday to repair a herniated disk in his neck.

Atlanta Braves on Twitter
The expectation is that Markakis will be able to begin baseball-related activities by mid-February, but the Braves are probably going to take it easy on him in camp this spring just to be safe. The 31-year-old outfielder signed a four-year, $44 million free agent contract with Atlanta in early December. He'll be the team's leadoff man and right fielder in 2015.
Rays 'down to two scenarios' on Miley trade 12-17-2014
Wil Myers RF TB
According to Marc Topkin of the Tampa Bay Times, the Rays are "down to two scenarios" for a Wil Myers trade.

Marc Topkin on Twitter
One of those scenarios involves the Nationals, but the Rays are still waiting to hear if they're in or out. Topkin says Tampa Bay will give up Myers, Ryan Hanigan, and two lower-level minor leaguers to get Rene Rivera, Burch Smith, and Jake Bauers back from the Padres. Then some some more players would be moved in a third branch of the deal.
Martin Perez (elbow) ready around A-S break 12-17-2014
Martin Perez P TEX
Rangers GM Jon Daniels expects Martin Perez (elbow) to be ready around the 2015 All-Star break.

Anthony Andro on Twitter
Daniels watched video of Perez throwing on Wednesday and noted that the left-hander was making progress in his recovery from Tommy John surgery. Perez had the procedure in May, and full recovery usually takes close to 15 months. He could carry some fantasy value in the second half of the 2015 season.
Blue Jays sign Ryan Kalish to minors deal 12-17-2014
Ryan Kalish LF TOR
Blue Jays signed OF Ryan Kalish to minor league contract with invitation to spring training. Kalish elected to become a free agent at the beginning of November. A month-and-a-half later he's found himself a landing spot. The outfielder is a career .245/.293/.350 hitter over 412 plate appearances at the major league level. He'll serve as organizational depth and a possible bench bat for the Blue Jays.
B.J. Upton's contract might scare teams 12-17-2014
B.J. Upton CF ATL
David O'Brien of the Atlanta Journal Constitution reports that it's "unlikely" that B.J. Upton will be traded this offseason, as teams do not want to pay the remainder of his contract.

David O'Brien on Twitter
It's understandable, as Upton is owed $46.35 million over the next three years. This, coupled with the fact that he hit just .198/.279/.314 over the last two seasons, makes Upton an incredibly difficult candidate to move. Compounding matters is the fact that according to O'Brien, the Braves don't want to "give away [catcher Evan] Gattis to get rid of [Upton]."
Marlins sign OF Michael Morse 12-17-2014
Michael Morse LF MIA
Marlins signed INF/OF Michael Morse to a two-year, $16 million contract. Morse hit .279/.336/.475 with 16 homers and 61 RBI in 131 games for the Giants last season. While he is 32 years old, Morse has shown a consistent bat when he's healthy and at a cheap price, he should provide nice numbers and veteran leadership for a Marlins offense that's coming together this off-season.
Multiple teams showing interest in Cabrera 12-17-2014
Asdrubal Cabrera SS WAS
CBS Sports' Jon Heyman wrote that the Giants, A's, Mets, Cardinals and Twins were among the teams interested in free agent infielder Asdrubal Cabrera.

Jon Heyman on Twitter
Cabrera's positional flexibility is attractive to a number of clubs. He's capable of playing second and third base in addition to his natural position at shortstop. Cabrera has experience at short and second, though less at third. Cabrera's numbers weren't spectacular last season, as he hit just .241/.307/.387 between the Indians and Nationals last season.
Ross deciding between Red Sox, Cubs, Padres 12-17-2014
David Ross C BOS
According to WEEI's Rob Bradford, free agent catcher David Ross is deciding between the Red Sox, Cubs and Padres.

Rob Bradford on Twitter
The Cubs are notable because a signing there would reunite Ross with buddy Jon Lester. Ross is 37 years old and his best days are behind him, but as a veteran backstop on a cheap deal, he provides a nice defensive presence.
Giants re-sign Sergio Romo to two-year deal 12-17-2014
Sergio Romo P SF
According to the sources of Fox Sports' Ken Rosenthal, the Giants have re-signed Sergio Romo to a two-year, $15 million deal.

Ken Rosenthal on Twitter
Romo had an up-and-down 2014 season, ending the year with a 3.72 ERA, 0.95 WHIP and 59/12 K/BB ratio over 58 innings. While he drew interest from multiple big-market teams, he's apparently decided that he's most comfortable remaining with the reigning champs. They'll be getting him on a relatively cheap deal in comparison to other relievers this off-season.
Braves exploring packages for Johnson, Upton 12-17-2014
Justin Upton LF ATL's Mark Bowman reports that the Braves are looking to package Chris Johnson with Justin Upton or Evan Gattis in possible trade scenarios.

Mark Bowman on Twitter
A week ago, the Padres were a team that Bowman cited as being interested in Justin Upton. With their near-trades for Matt Kemp and Wil Myers, it appears unlikely that they would still be in the market for the outfielder. Bowman wrote that the Braves were holding court with five other teams. It would be palatable for the team if they could package Johnson or Gattis in with Upton, though it would obviously be tougher for them to complete a trade if they were attaching extra weight to the deal. The Braves are also reportedly looking to deal B.J. Upton.
Kipnis undergoes surgery on injured finger 12-17-2014
Jason Kipnis 2B CLE
Jason Kipnis injured his left ring-finger during a workout and underwent surgery on Tuesday.

Paul Hoynes on Twitter
According to beat writer Paul Hoynes, Kipnis should be ready to go for Spring Training. He had a down 2014 campaign which was marred by a nagging oblique injury. When healthy, Kipnis is one of the most dynamic infielders in the game. His 2013 season, in which he batted .284/.366/.452, is indicative of the kind of bat Kipnis has when he's right.
Giants continue to show interest in Shields 12-17-2014
James Shields P KC
Fox Sports' Ken Rosenthal reported that the Giants were exploring a "wide-range" of pitching options, including James Shields.

Ken Rosenthal on Twitter
The Giants were in on Jon Lester last month and continue to search for a big-name starter to fill out their rotation. The team met with Shields last week and according to Rosenthal, continues to show interest. The Giants have also been attached to Max Scherzer, though it's reasonable to assume that Scherzer might be beyond their price range if he really is seeking a $200 million deal.
Longoria not currently in Rays' trade talks 12-17-2014
Evan Longoria 3B TB
Marc Topkin of the Tampa Bay Times reported that neither Ben Zobrist nor Evan Longoria have been part of the Rays' trade discussions.

Marc Topkin on Twitter
The Rays are looking at Nationals' outfielder Steven Souza as they work to complete a trade of Wil Myers to the Padres, but for the time being, it seems that they are more likely to trade out of prospect depth than they are to trade from their stable of major league talent. Longoria is the face of the franchise and while the Rays have shown a willingness to move any talent in the right deal, it would probably take quite a bit to bid farewell to their perennial All Star.
Zobrist not likely to be traded to Nationals 12-17-2014
Ben Zobrist 2B TB
The New York Post's Joel Sherman wrote that according to his sources, the Nationals would not be targeting INF/OF Ben Zobrist in a potential trade.

Joel Sherman on Twitter
The Rays are showing interest in outfield prospect Steven Souza. While Zobrist would fit a positional need, Sherman reported that he had been told that the Nationals and Rays are looking at options that don't include the versatile infielder. The Rays picked up Zobrist's option in late October, but it's likely that they'll be open to moving him at some point given that he is set to hit the free agent market next winter.
Rays looking at Souza if Myers deal completed 12-17-2014
Steven Souza Jr. RF WAS
Joel Sherman of the New York Post writes that if the Rays trade Wil Myers to the Padres, they would then target Nationals' OF Steven Souza.

Joel Sherman on Twitter
Souza hit .350/.432/.590 with 18 home runs in 357 at-bats for Triple-A Syracuse. He also stole 26 bases. In order to acquire the speedy slugger, the Rays would flip one or more of the prospects they received in the proposed Myers-to-Padres deal.
Padres meeting to discuss Kemp physical 12-17-2014
Matt Kemp CF LAD
USA Today's Bob Nightengale reported that the Padres are meeting to discuss the results of Matt Kemp's physical.

Bob Nightengale on Twitter
This confirms a report from FOX Sports' Ken Rosenthal. According to Nightengale, the Padres "believe that [Kemp's] physical is fine," but are "still waiting for final details." Should the trade go through, the pieces expected to head to the Dodgers are Yasmani Grandal, Joe Wieland and Zach Eflin. Eflin is then expected to be flipped to the Phillies in the Jimmy Rollins deal. In addition to the Kemp situation, the team is also in the midst of discussing a trade with the Rays for Wil Myers.
Angels' negotiations with Beckham stall 12-17-2014
Gordon Beckham 2B LAA
The Orange County Register's Jeff Fletcher reported that negotiations between the Angels and INF Gordon Beckham are not currently progressing.

Jeff Fletcher on Twitter
Fletcher wrote that the Angels were still looking to bring back Beckham. The most obvious reason as to why negotiations have hit a snag is that Beckham is presumably looking for a guaranteed starting role in the majors. Given his .226/.271/.348 slash-line in 2014, it's probably not realistic that Beckham will have consistent starting at-bats next season.
Rangers sign RHP Mitch Atkins 12-17-2014
Mitch Atkins P WAS
Rangers signed RHP Mitch Atkins to a minor league contract. Atkins hasn't appeared in the majors since 2011. The 29-year-old was most recently in the Braves system. He holds a 6.75 ERA in 22+ career innings at the MLB level, though again, it's been quite some time since he appeared in a game.
Cubs, Mariners agree on Ruggiano deal 12-17-2014
Justin Ruggiano RF SEA
According to Paul Sullivan of the Chicago Tribune, the Cubs have agreed to send OF Justin Ruggiano to the Mariners in exchange for RHP Matt Brazis.

Paul Sullivan on Twitter
Tim Brown of Yahoo Sports first broke the talks. Any hitter traveling to Safeco is at risk of losing a little offensive pop to the dimensions of the ballpark, but Ruggiano hit .281/.337/.429 over 81 games in 2014. When healthy, he provides a quality bat. Health will be the primary concern with Ruggiano, though, as he underwent ankle surgery near the end of the 2014 campaign.
Red Sox to acquire Varvaro from Braves 12-17-2014
Anthony Varvaro P BOS
Fox Sports' Ken Rosenthal reported that the Red Sox are set to acquire RHP Anthony Varvaro from the Braves.

Ken Rosenthal on Twitter
Varvaro was designated for assignment several days ago. He's been a solid bullpen contributor, posting a 2.99 ERA over 153 appearances in the last four seasons. In 2014, he put up a 2.63 ERA. He should serve as a quality arm and supply the Red Sox with a nice depth piece.
Hedges not part of Myers deal says Bowden 12-17-2014
Austin Hedges C SD
ESPN's Jim Bowden reported that catching prospect Austin Hedges would not be part of a rumored Wil Myers-to-Padres trade.

Jim Bowden on Twitter
Hedges is a defensive stud behind the plate, though his bat has a ways to go before it is ready for the next level. He was initially rumored to be a possible trade candidate as the Padres heated up negotiations with the Rays for Myers, but the suspected players involved now that the trade is closer to completion include the likes of Jake Bauers, Burch Smith and Joe Ross, with Hedges remaining in the Padres' organization.
Kemp's physical could hold up trade to Padres 12-17-2014
Matt Kemp CF LAD
Bleacher Report's Will Carroll hears that "rumors....are starting to get louder" about a possible failed physical by OF Matt Kemp.

Will Carroll on Twitter
Kemp was all set to be traded to the Padres for Yasmani Grandal, Joe Wieland and Zach Eflin pending a physical. It's important to note that nothing is official, but the silence on the situation is curious. Kemp has suffered numerous over the course of his career. When he's healthy, he's been an elite bat.
No timetable for Myers trade completion 12-17-2014
Wil Myers RF TB
The Tampa Bay Times' Marc Topkin wrote that there was no timetable for the completion of the Rays' trade of Wil Myers to the Padres.

Marc Topkin on Twitter
According to Topkin, "talks remain ongoing" and the deal's finalization could come "[Wednesday] or carry on to Thursday." The trade talks could take slightly longer simply because of the large number of pieces involved. ESPN's Jim Bowden reported that the players coming back to the Rays for Myers would include Jake Bauers, Joe Ross, Burch Smith and "two others." It is also being reported that one or more of these prospects could subsequently be traded to another team.
Mariners showing interest in Ruggiano 12-17-2014
Justin Ruggiano RF SEA
Yahoo Sports' Tim Brown reported that the Cubs and Mariners had discussed a possible trade involving OF Justin Ruggiano.

Tim Brown on Twitter
Ruggiano hit .281/.337/.429 in 81 games during the 2014 season, though he was hampered by an ankle injury that required surgery in late August. When healthy, he provides a serviceable depth bat. The Mariners have also been connected to Marlon Byrd, though the team is on Byrd's no-trade list.
Rays working on 'multitude of things' 12-17-2014
Wil Myers RF TB
Fox Sports' Ken Rosenthal reported that according to his sources, the Rays were working on a "multitude of thing" with "a lot of moving parts."

Ken Rosenthal on Twitter
The largest of this multitude would appear to be a trade of outfielder Wil Myers to the Padres, which is reportedly nearing completion. Beyond that, ESPN's Jerry Crasnick wrote that he thought it was possible that the Rays would end up trading at least one of the prospects the team received in the deal. Rosenthal didn't specify whether everything the Rays were working on hinged on Myers being dealt, or if they were also looking toward moves independent of the young slugger's movement.
Report: Rays, Padres close on Wil Myers trade 12-17-2014
Wil Myers RF TB
ESPN's Jerry Crasnick reported that the Rays and Padres were "nearing the finish line" on a trade involving Wil Myers.

Jerry Crasnick on Twitter
No word on if there's a third team involved in the possible trade, though Crasnick tweeted that he was hearing that it was a two-team trade with the possibility of the Rays flipping a prospect later. Among the prospects who could possibly be shifting from the Padres to the Rays are the likes of Austin Hedges, Matt Wisler, Burch Smith and/or R.J. Alvarez. Myers struggled in 2014, hitting just .222/.290/.320 with six home runs and 35 RBI in 87 games. Despite his struggles, the 24-year-old Myers is a unique talent who is under contractual control until 2019.
Siegrist throws from 60 feet in rehab 12-17-2014
Kevin Siegrist P STL
Fox Sports' Ken Hayes reported that Kevin Siegrist was "feeling really good" after throwing from 60 feet this week.

Jim Hayes on Twitter
Siegrist is in the process of rehabbing from various injuries to his throwing arm. The lefty is still a 25-year-old with talent, but the injury-marred 2014 campaign resulted in poor numbers, as he posted a 6.82 ERA and 1.58 WHIP in 37 appearances.
Byrd not currently on Mariners' radar 12-17-2014
Marlon Byrd RF PHI
ESPN's Jerry Crasnick wrote that the Phillies had not approached outfielder Marlon Byrd about waiving his no-trade clause to go to the Mariners.

Jerry Crasnick on Twitter
The Mariners are one of the teams that Byrd would have to approve for a trade to work. Earlier this month, Fox Sports' Ken Rosenthal reported that the Orioles were showing interest in the 37-year-old. Despite his age, Byrd still packs a wallop in his bat, having hit .264/.312/.445 with 25 home runs in the 2014 season.
Harvey may be held out until home opener 12-17-2014
Matt Harvey P NYM
Mets manager Terry Collins told the New York Post that in order to conserve innings, Matt Harvey might not pitch until the team's first home game.

New York Post
The Mets' home opener falls on April 13th. Harvey's recovering from Tommy John surgery, having missed the 2014 season. While he's expected to be fully healthy for the 2015 campaign, the team would like to limit his innings and keeping him under wraps until the home opener would work toward that cause. It's also possible that they skip a few starts throughout the season. In 2013, Harvey struck out 191 in 178+ innings while posting a 2.27 ERA.
Albers reportedly still weighing options 12-17-2014
Andrew Albers P MIN
USA Today's Ben Nicholson-Smith wrote that LHP Andrew Albers had not yet made a decision on where he planned on signing.

Ben Nicholson-Smith on Twitter
This counteracts a report from late Tuesday night by Robert Murray, which indicated that Albers had signed a contract with the Blue Jays. Nicholson-Smith wrote that talks of a signed contract were "premature." Albers spent 2014 with the Hanwha Eagles of Korea, but the club declined his 2015 option. The 29-year-old posted a 4.05 ERA in 2013 for the Twins. He may well end up signing with the Blue Jays, but it's not set in stone quite yet.