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Content provided by Rotoworld Player News - Wednesday, December 18th, 2013

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Cubs ink Jonathan Sanchez to minors deal 12-18-2013
Jonathan Sanchez P CHC
Cubs signed LHP Jonathan Sanchez to a minor league contract.

Chicago Tribune
Sanchez has fallen a long way since throwing a no-hitter in 2009, posting an 11.85 ERA over 13 2/3 innings with the Pirates this past season. He was eventually released by Pittsburgh in early May, later catching on with the Dodgers and pitching in their system. It's a low-risk move for the Cubs, as Sanchez' deal includes incentives that only kick in if he makes it to the majors. The southpaw turned 31 in November.
Angels and Ibanez agree on one-year contract 12-18-2013
Raul Ibanez LF KC
The Angels and Raul Ibanez have agreed on a one-year, $2.75 million deal, according to Bill Shaikin of the Los Angeles Times.

Los Angeles Times
The deal includes incentives that could make the contract worth up to $5 million. The 41-year-old will serve as the Angels' primary designated hitter with Mark Trumbo gone. The left-handed Ibanez experienced a career revival in 2013, hitting 29 home runs as a member of the Mariners.
Padres aren't actively looking to move Street 12-18-2013
Huston Street P LAA
The Padres aren't actively looking to move Huston Street in the wake of signing Joaquin Benoit, Corey Brock of MLB.com reports.

Corey Brock on Twitter
The Padres now have two pitchers who saved over 23 games last season, but the addition of Benoit doesn't necessarily spell the end of Street's time in San Diego. The 30-year-old had a 2.70 ERA and 1.02 WHIP in 56 2/3 innings this past season despite allowing 12 home runs. He'll likely enter spring as the team's closer, with Benoit serving in a setup role.
Mariners designate RHP Ruffin for assignment 12-18-2013
Chance Ruffin P SEA
Mariners designated RHP Chance Ruffin for assignment. Ruffin, 25, owned a 3.91 ERA and 1.23 WHIP in 112 2/3 innings between Double-A and Triple-A this past season. The former first-round pick was cleared from the 40-man roster to make room for Franklin Gutierrez.
Ka'aihue staying with Hiroshima Carp in 2014 12-18-2013
Kila Ka'aihue 1B ARZ
Japan's Hiroshima Carp have picked up their option on Kila Ka'aihue, according to MLB Daily Dish's Chris Cotillo.

Chris Cotillo on Twitter
Ka'aihue was cut loose by the Diamondbacks this past June and landed in Japan. The 29-year-old may resurface with an MLB team before it's all said and done.
Greg Reynolds signs with Japan's Seibu Lions 12-18-2013
Greg Reynolds P CIN
Greg Reynolds has signed with the Seibu Lions of Japan's Pacific League, the Denver Post's Troy Renck reports.

Troy Renck on Twitter
Reynolds was a first-round pick just a few years ago in 2006, but the right-hander struggled to find success in the majors with the Rockies and Reds. The 28-year-old had a 5.52 ERA in 29 1/3 innings this past season for the Reds.
Scott agrees to deal with KBO's SK Wyverns 12-18-2013
Luke Scott DH TB
Luke Scott has agreed to a deal with SK Wyverns of the Korean Baseball Organization, a source tells Chris Cotillo of MLB Daily Dish.

Chris Cotillo on Twitter
The terms of the deal weren't known. It's a bit surprising that Scott couldn't find a job with an MLB team after batting .241/.326/.415 in 253 at-bats with the Rays last season. Scott will turn 36 in June.
Rangers agree to minors deal with OF Tanaka 12-18-2013
Kensuke Tanaka LF TEX
Per the Japanese newspaper Sponichi, the Rangers and OF Kensuke Tanaka have agreed upon a minor league contract.

Patrick Newman on Twitter
The deal includes an invitation to spring training, according to NPB Tracker's Patrick Newman. The 32-year-old Tanaka, not to be confused with the phenom pitcher of the same surname, slashed .267/.353/.267 in 30 at-bats with the Giants this past season. He'll be organizational depth for the Rangers.
Brewers interested in Young for 1B opening 12-18-2013
Michael Young 3B LAD
The Brewers are showing interest in Michael Young for their first base opening, sources tell FOX Sports' Ken Rosenthal.

Ken Rosenthal on Twitter
The Brewers have also been linked to Ike Davis as they continue to search for a replacement for the departed Corey Hart. Young isn't a prototypical first baseman, but the Brewers don't project to go far this upcoming season and could just be looking for a stopgap for 2014 at this point. The Dodgers and Rockies are also still in the mix for the 37-year-old.
Martinez getting extra work in winter league 12-18-2013
Carlos Martinez P STL
Carlos Martinez is pitching in the Dominican Winter League as a way to get some extra work in this offseason.

Cardinals.mlb.com
Fall and winter leagues are usually reserved for guys who missed time during the regular season, but in Martinez' case the fact that he was used primarily out of the bullpen by the Cardinals this past season meant he finished the year with a lighter workload than usual. The Cardinals gave the 22-year-old their blessing but are monitoring his workload, and it's not expected to have any effect on his role next season. Martinez is expected to contend for a spot in the rotation in spring.
Padres acquire INF Ryan Jackson from Astros 12-18-2013
Ryan Jackson 2B KC
Padres acquired INF Ryan Jackson from the Astros for OF Jesus Guzman. Jackson was claimed off waivers earlier this winter from the Cardinals, so his stay in Houston was brief. The 25-year-old hit .278/.352/.346 with Triple-A Memphis this past season. He's able to play both middle infield spots and will contend for a bench role next spring.
Marlins designate Skipworth for assignment 12-18-2013
Kyle Skipworth C MIA
Marlins designated C Kyle Skipworth for assignment. Skipworth was a first-round pick of the Marlins, sixth overall, in 2008, but he hasn't panned out as hoped. The 23-year-old hit just .188 with a .639 OPS for Triple-A New Orleans this past season and had only a cup of coffee with the major league club in May. Skipworth was removed from the 40-man roster to make room for the newly signed Casey McGehee.
Franklin drawing 'strong' interest from teams 12-18-2013
Nick Franklin SS TB
Nick Franklin is drawing "strong interest" from multiple teams, per Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports.

Ken Rosenthal on Twitter
The Mariners have reason to listen on Franklin, as they signed Robinson Cano to play second base and are said to prefer fellow youngster Brad Miller at shortstop. Franklin failed to impress in his major league debut last season, but he's still just 22 and was ranked as the No. 79 prospect in baseball heading into the 2013 season by Baseball America. It wouldn't be surprising if he was on another roster come Opening Day.
Padres trade Guzman to Astros for INF Jackson 12-18-2013
Jesus Guzman 1B HOU
Astros acquired OF Jesus Guzman from the Padres for INF Ryan Jackson. The 29-year-old Guzman has split time between first base and corner outfield in recent years, owning a career .259/.324/.418 line over four seasons with the Padres. Jackson changes teams after being claimed off waivers from the Cardinals by the Astros earlier this offseason. The infielder slashed .278/.352/.346 with Triple-A Memphis this past season. Both players are likely destined for reserve roles with their new clubs.
Mariners have 'continued interest' in Santana 12-18-2013
Ervin Santana P MIN
According to FOX Sports' Jon Morosi, the Mariners are showing "continued interest" in Ervin Santana.

Jon Morosi on Twitter
Rays left-hander David Price is apparently out of reach, so the M's will look to make a rotation upgrade in free agency. Santana posted a fantastic 3.24 ERA, 1.14 WHIP and 161/51 K/BB ratio across 211 innings this past year for Kansas City. He's said to be seeking a five-year, $112 million contract, but that price should soon drop.
Mariners finalize $1M contract with Gutierrez 12-18-2013
Franklin Gutierrez CF SEA
Mariners re-signed OF Franklin Gutierrez to a one-year, $1 million contract. It's a big pay cut for the 30-year-old outfielder, who made $7 million in 2013 but appeared in just 41 games. He's as injury-prone as it gets but the Mariners will hope to use him regularly against left-handers in 2014. Gutierrez is doubtful to carry fantasy value.
Phillies sign Chris Bootcheck to minors deal 12-18-2013
Chris Bootcheck P PHI
Phillies signed RHP Chris Bootcheck to a minor league contract.

Chris Cotillo on Twitter
The deal does not come with a spring training invite, so Bootcheck will be on the minor league side of Phillies camp. The 35-year-old right-hander has a 6.55 career ERA in 91 appearances at the major league level.
Karstens to work out for teams in January 12-18-2013
Jeff Karstens P PIT
Jeff Karstens (shoulder) is planning to work out for interested major league teams in January.

Jon Heyman on Twitter
Karstens is on his way back from shoulder surgery but should head into spring training with a clean bill of health. The 31-year-old right-hander has a 4.44 career ERA and 1.33 career WHIP in 592 1/3 MLB frames.
Royals acquire Valencia from the Orioles 12-18-2013
Danny Valencia 3B TOR
Royals acquired INF Danny Valencia from the Orioles for OF David Lough.

Roch Kubatko on Twitter
Valencia posted an impressive .304/.335/.553 batting line with eight home runs and 23 RBI in 52 games this past season for Baltimore, but history shows that to be unsustainable production for the 29-year-old, who owns a .263 career batting average and .714 career OPS. He'll serve as a backup at first base and third base for the Royals. A platoon with Mike Moustakas would make sense.
Orioles get Lough from Royals for Valencia 12-18-2013
David Lough LF BAL
Orioles acquired OF David Lough from the Royals for INF Danny Valencia.

Roch Kubatko on Twitter
Report: Twins, Cubs and M's pursue Suzuki 12-18-2013
Kurt Suzuki C MIN
The Twins, Cubs and Mariners are interested in free agent catcher Kurt Suzuki, according to Fox Sports' Ken Rosenthal.

Ken Rosenthal on Twitter
The Twins opened up a potential roster spot for a backup catcher by shipping Ryan Doumit to the Braves on Wednesday, though they could hand the gig to Chris Herrmann instead. The Mariners could definitely use a veteran backup to Mike Zunino, but we don't see a fit with the Cubs, who already acquired George Kottaras this offseason to tutor Welington Castillo. Suzuki posted a .232/.290/.337 line in 285 at-bats between the A's and Nationals this past season.
Marlins sign McGehee away from Japan 12-18-2013
Casey McGehee 3B MIA
Marlins signed 3B Casey McGehee to a one-year, $1.1 million contract. The deal includes incentives, which haven't yet been announced. McGehee had to move across the ocean after a few terrible major league seasons, but he pumped life back into a career being read its last rites by slashing .289/.371/.512 with 27 homers in Japan's Pacific League in 2013. For the Marlins, McGehee represents a no-risk, medium-reward transaction. He should slot into the last half of Miami's 2014 lineup and carries some NL-only intrigue.
Rays' Tim Beckham undergoes ACL surgery 12-18-2013
Tim Beckham SS TB
Marc Topkin of the Tampa Bay Times reports that Tim Beckham underwent surgery on Tuesday to repair a torn right ACL.

Marc Topkin on Twitter
Tampa Bay announced that Beckham will miss 6-8 months. The first overall pick in 2008, Beckham batted .276/.342/.387 with four homers, 51 RBI and 17 stolen bases in 122 games at Triple-A this season. This is a tough break, as Beckham reached the majors in September and would have been in the running for a bench spot next spring.
Braves acquire Ryan Doumit from Twins 12-18-2013
Ryan Doumit C ATL
Braves acquired C/OF Ryan Doumit from the Twins for LHP Sean Gilmartin. Atlanta will use Doumit as a third catcher, backup outfielder/first baseman and bench bat. In accepting the trade, the Braves agreed to assume all of Doumit's $3.5 million commitment next season. Doumit limped to a .247/.314/.396 slash line while dealing with concussion issues in the latter stages of 2013. Doumit is one of the game's worst defensive backstops. Atlanta is banking on the return of his bat, which collected a sizzling .283/.330/.466 slash line with 26 homers and 105 RBI over 764 plate appearances between 2011-'12.
Report: Chavez re-signs with Diamondbacks 12-18-2013
Eric Chavez 3B ARZ
Eric Chavez has re-signed with the Diamondbacks, according to CBS Sports' Jon Heyman.

Jon Heyman on Twitter
The 36-year-old, given up for dead years ago, has revitalized his career over the past two seasons with the Diamondbacks and Yankees. Since 2012, he's slashed 281/.341/.488 with 25 homers in 567 plate appearances. Chavez attracted league-wide interest on the open market, but he preferred to stay close to his Phoenix home. He'll back up both corner infield spots in 2014.
Harrison (back, shoulder) nearing mound work 12-18-2013
Matt Harrison P TEX
Matt Harrison (back, shoulder) hopes to start throwing off a mound next week.

Anthony Andro on Twitter
"I think he's a big key for us," Rangers GM Jon Daniels said during a recent radio spot. "The year before he was a 220-inning workhouse. He was huge for the team. When you look at the profile in our ballpark of a left-hander who keeps the ball on the ground, really utilizes the strength of our team with Elvis [Andrus] and [Adrian] Beltre on the left side, you knew every fifth day that he was going to go out there and compete and keep us in the game and more often than not win it." Harrison made just two starts in 2013 before going under the knife to repair a herniated disc in his back. He expects to be ready for spring training.
Rangers sign Germano to minor league deal 12-18-2013
Justin Germano P SEA
Rangers signed RHP Justin Germano to a minor league contract with an invitation to spring training. The 31-year-old right-hander appeared in just one game for the Blue Jays this past season. He'll head south to act as organizational depth for a new club.
Report: Braves close to trade for Doumit 12-18-2013
Ryan Doumit C ATL
The Braves are close to acquiring Ryan Doumit from the Twins, according to Yahoo! Sports' Jeff Passan.

Jeff Passan on Twitter
No word yet on Minnesota's return. Doumit swings a solid bat, is signed for reasonable money, and can handle both corner outfield positions and first base defensively, in addition to catcher. The bad news is that he's horrific in the field no matter where you put him and fell to a .247/.314/.396 slash line in 2013, unacceptable for a no-defense bat. The 32-year-old will back up Evan Gattis in Atlanta.
Indians get Outman from Rox for Stubbs 12-18-2013
Josh Outman P NYY
Indians acquired LHP Josh Outman from the Rockies for OF Drew Stubbs. The 29-year-old replaces Rich Hill as Cleveland's left-handed specialist, a role Outman proved himself equipped for in 2013 when he held same-sided swingers to a .198/.278/.261 slash line. Terry Francona will want to limit Outman's use, as right-handed hitters teed off on Outman (.883 OPS). The southpaw collected a 4.33 ERA and 1.46 WHIP in 61 appearances for the Rockies this past season.
Rockies acquire OF Stubbs from Indians 12-18-2013
Drew Stubbs CF COL
Rockies acquired OF Drew Stubbs from the Indians for LHP Josh Outman. Stubbs is going to be a popular NL-only sleeper pick, but don't get ahead of yourselves. His speed and power are a nice fit in Coors Field, but Stubbs is currently slated for the bench, or the possible short side of a platoon with Corey Dickerson. Stubbs hits southpaws hard and struggles mightily against right-handers, so the latter plan would work well. The 29-year-old, projected by MLBTradeRumors.com to make $3.8 million in arbitration, slashed .233/.305/.360 with the Indians in 2013.
Red Sox acquire 2B Herrera in Morales deal 12-18-2013
Jonathan Herrera SS CHC
Red Sox acquired 2B Jonathan Herrera from the Rockies for LHP Franklin Morales and RHP Chris Martin. Herrera has slashed a ho-hum .265/.325/.332 over 1,100-plus plate appearances the past five seasons in Colorado. The 29-year-old gives Boston a cheap utility infielder who plays outstanding defense at multiple positions for two more team-controlled years. He's not fantasy relevant.
Rockies re-acquire LHP Morales from Red Sox 12-18-2013
Franklin Morales P COL
Rockies acquired LHP Franklin Morales and RHP Chris Martin from the Red Sox for 2B Jonathan Herrera. Morales returns to where he was once one of baseball's top prospects. That was years ago, of course (pre-2008, to be exact, when Baseball America tabbed Morales the eighth-best prospect in the galaxy), and control problems have relegated Morales to being a fungible bullpen arm. He offered Boston a decent 3.90 ERA over 134 innings the past three years.
Astros claim RHP McHugh from Rockies 12-18-2013
Collin McHugh P HOU
Astros claimed RHP Collin McHugh off waivers from the Rockies. The Rockies designated McHugh for assignment earlier this week to clear a 40-man roster spot for new left-handed reliever Boone Logan. Then, on Wednesday, Colorado made space in the bullpen for Logan by swapping southpaw Josh Outman for Drew Stubbs. Thanks to Houston, the transactions now have a certain symmetry. The 26-year-old McHugh, acquired from the Mets for Eric Young Jr. in June, owns an awful 8.94 ERA over 47 1/3 career innings at the major league level. He'll have to show something in spring training to avoid another trip to the waiver wire.
Report: Indians acquire Outman for Stubbs 12-18-2013
Josh Outman P NYY
The Indians will receive left-hander Josh Outman from the Rockies in exchange for Drew Stubbs, reports the Denver Post's Troy Renck.

Troy Renck on Twitter
This is a trade of inconveniences, as Cleveland signed David Murphy to replace Stubbs, and Colorado signed Boone Logan to replace Outman. Some writers objected to both signings under the premise that the deposed were better players than their respective teams gave them credit for being. Now, they've been swapped for each other, giving both an opportunity at small-scale vengeance. The 29-year-old Outman posted a 4.33 ERA and 1.46 WHIP over 61 relief appearances in 2013. Those numbers aren't relevant to Cleveland. These are: Outman was flogged by right-handed hitters to the tune of an .883 OPS this past season, but the southpaw held left-handed swingers to an awful .198/.278/.261 slash line. He'll replace Rich Hill as Cleveland's LOOGY.
Report: Marlins sign 3B McGehee to 1-yr deal 12-18-2013
Casey McGehee 3B MIA
The Marlins have signed free agent third baseman Casey McGehee to a one-year deal, according to Clark Spencer of the Miami Herald.

Clark Spencer on Twitter
The 31-year-old punished pitchers across the sea this past season, slashing 289/.371/.512 with 27 homers in Japan's Pacific League. McGehee, who was Masahiro Tanaka's teammate with the Rakuten Golden Eagles, will join a lineup in South Florida that includes Rafael Furcal, Christian Yelich, Giancarlo Stanton, Garrett Jones and Jarrod Saltalamacchia. NL-only owners should keep an eye on the former Brewer this spring.
Report: Rockies acquire Stubbs from Indians 12-18-2013
Drew Stubbs CF COL
The Rockies have acquired Drew Stubbs from the Rockies, according to Fox Sports' Ken Rosenthal.

Ken Rosenthal on Twitter
After the Indians signed David Murphy, the writing was on the wall for Stubbs' exit. Cleveland, then, did well to get something for him, though we don't yet know what package is heading to Ohio. MLBTradeRumors.com projects Stubbs will make $3.8 million in what will be his second year of arbitration this winter. The 29-year-old slashed a sickly .233/.305/.360 in 2013. Colorado is targeting Stubbs because he possesses a few talents that fit very well in Coors Field: He's a superb defender capable of sliding easily between all three spots, and he has good pop. It wouldn't be a shock if Stubbs played well enough in spring training that Colorado was convinced to move off its plan of shifting Carlos Gonzalez to center field. If he can't pull that off, Stubbs is likely slated to be Colorado's fourth outfielder.
Trout not expected to lead off for Angels 12-18-2013
Mike Trout CF LAA
Angels manager Mike Scioscia "pretty much said" that Mike Trout isn't going to lead off, according to Jeff Fletcher of the Orange County Register.

Jeff Fletcher on Twitter
Fletcher guessed at Scioscia's preferred lineup, tweeting: "Calhoun 9, Trout 8, Pujols 3, Hamilton 7, Ibanez DH, Kendrick 4, Freese 5, Iann/Cong 2, Aybar 6." Calhoun surprised with a sparkling .282/.347/.462 slash line in 2013, but Rotoworld's Los Angeles lineup would feature Trout's own .323/.432/.557 line at the top each and every day.
Cubs end talks with Heyward or Upton request 12-18-2013
Jeff Samardzija P CWS
MLB.com's Mark Bowman reports that the Cubs asked the Braves for either Jason Heyward or Justin Upton as headliners in trade talks for Jeff Samardzija.

MLB.com
"While thoughts of landing [David] Price might have only existed in the fantasy world, the Braves were genuinely interested in finding out what it would take to bring Samardzija to Atlanta," wrote Bowman. "That interest quickly died when the Cubs indicated they would be looking for a return package that included either Jason Heyward or Justin Upton." Additionally, Bowman passes along that the Rays asked Atlanta for Alex Wood and Christian Bethancourt in a package for Price, and the White Sox were "looking for a return that rivaled what the Rays wanted for Price" to begin a discussion about Chris Sale. Two things are clear: Atlanta is doing its due diligence on top-flight available starting pitching, and the cost of that commodity is exceedingly high in the current marketplace.
Phillies add OF Sappelt as organization depth 12-18-2013
Dave Sappelt CF PHI
Phillies signed OF Dave Sappelt to a minor league contract with an invitation to spring training. Sappelt appeared in 31 games for the Cubs in 2013, slashing .269/.280/.549 with no homers, four RBI and three stolen bases in 75 at-bats. The 26-year-old is a decent defender, so he'll be usable in a pinch if Philly's outfield is wrecked by injuries in 2014.
Phils add O'Sullivan on minor league contract 12-18-2013
Sean O'Sullivan P PHI
Padres signed RHP Sean O'Sullivan to a minor league contract. The deal includes a spring training invite. The 26-year-old had a 3.83 ERA over 115 innings this past season at the Triple-A level. O'Sullivan's problems begin when he's asked to take to a major league hill, where he's been taxed with a 5.89 ERA over 50 career appearances (37 starts). He'll need a big spring to win a roster spot.
Phillies sign Marson to minor league contract 12-18-2013
Lou Marson C PHI
Phillies signed C Lou Marson to a minor league contract with an invitation to spring training. This is a homecoming for Marson, who was once a highly-regarded Phillies prospect. Philadelphia, you might recall, shipped him to Cleveland in July, 2009 along with Jason Knapp, Carlos Carrasco and Jason Donald for Cliff Lee and Ben Francisco. Marson slashed just .217/.308/.295 in five seasons with the Indians and was limited to three games this past season due to a neck injury. Marson will compete with Wil Nieves for the right to be Carlos Ruiz's understudy.
Phillies sign Gwynn to minor league contract 12-18-2013
Tony Gwynn Jr. CF PHI
Phillies signed OF Tony Gwynn Jr. to a minor league contract with an invitation to spring training. Gwynn is a career .244/.312/.318 hitter over 1,671 big league plate appearances. Most players of his skill level don't get that amount of MLB playing time, but it pays to be named Tony Gwynn. The younger Gwynn rebounded from year's of offensive strife to slash .300/.393/.384 at Triple-A Albuquerque in 2013, though the Dodgers didn't trust the 31-year-old enough to promote him to the active roster.
Report: Choo rejected Yankees' 7-year offer 12-18-2013
Shin-Soo Choo LF TEX
Shin-Soo Choo rejected a seven-year, $140 million contract offer from the Yankees, reports Yahoo! Sports' Jeff Passan.

Yahoo! Sports
Choo's agent Scott Boras countered that he was looking for "Ellsbury money," according to the report. New York signed Jacoby Ellsbury to a seven-year, $148 million contract earlier this month. Passan reports that the Astros are one team with an offer on the table to Choo. If Houston can pull off the stealthy signing, they could field an impressive outfield of Dexter Fowler, George Springer and Choo in 2014. Choo, 31, hit .285/.423/.462 with 21 home runs and 20 stolen bases in 154 games this past season for the Reds.
Report: VandenHurk to re-sign in Japan 12-18-2013
Rick van den Hurk P PIT
CBS Sports' Jon Heyman reports that Rick VandenHurk plans to re-sign with the Samsung Lions of the Korean Baseball Organization.

Jon Heyman on Twitter
VandenHurk's contract with the three-time defending Korean Series winners is pending a physical. VandenHurk, your prototypical Quadruple-A hurler, pitched very well for the Pirates' Triple-A affiliate in 2012, posting a 2.92 ERA and 113/35 K/BB ratio in 123 1/3 innings of work.
Pirates sign Ishikawa to minor league deal 12-18-2013
Travis Ishikawa 1B SF
Pirates signed 1B Travis Ishikawa to a minor league contract with an invitation to spring training. Ishikawa, who won a World Series ring in 2010 with the Giants, has slashed just .240/.311/.392 in 194 plate appearances between the Brewers, Orioles and Yankees the past few years since leaving the Bay Area. It makes sense that he chose Pittsburgh, as Gaby Sanchez's grip on the first base throne is tenuous at best.
Bucs ink LHP Schlereth to minor league pact 12-18-2013
Daniel Schlereth P BAL
Pirates signed LHP Daniel Schlereth to a minor league contract with an invitation to spring training. Not so long ago, the son of ESPN NFL analyst Mark Schlereth was a prized prospect in both Arizona and Detroit. Tendinitis in his throwing shoulder began wreaking havoc on his career in 2012 and the Tigers pulled the plug on Schlereth last winter. The 27-year-old was only healthy enough to complete 11 innings for Triple-A Norfolk (Orioles) in 2013, though he only allowed one earned run in those 12 relief appearances.
Pirates sign LHP Wilk to minor league pact 12-18-2013
Adam Wilk P PIT
Pirates signed LHP Adam Wilk to a minor league contract. Wilk received a spring training invite. The southpaw, who made three appearances as a spot starter with the Tigers in 2012 and didn't appear in the bigs last season, owns an ominous 6.66 career ERA over 24 1/3 frames. The 26-year-old spent last season in Korea.
Pirates re-sign McPherson to minors deal 12-18-2013
Kyle McPherson P PIT
Pirates re-signed RHP Kyle McPherson to a minor league contract. He also received a spring training invite. Earlier this winter, Pittsburgh designated McPherson for assignment and then released him. Having found the free market to be no more forgiving of a pitcher on the mend, McPherson returns home. McPherson underwent Tommy John surgery in July and won't be recovered until the middle of the 2014 season.
Bucs ink RHP Ramirez to minors contract 12-18-2013
Elvin Ramirez P NYM
Pirates signed RHP Elvin Ramirez to a minor league contract. He received an invite to spring training. Ramirez, traded to Angels by the Mets last spring for cash, collected an awful 5.46 ERA with a 49/45 K/BB ratio at the Triple-A level this past season. The 25-year-old with a live arm will provide injury insurance.
Report: Angels close to deal with Raul Ibanez 12-18-2013
Raul Ibanez LF KC
The Angels "seem close" to a deal with Raul Ibanez, according to MLB Daily Dish's Chris Cotillo.

Chris Cotillo on Twitter
Given his poor defense, it was wise for Ibanez to remain in the American League. The 41-year-old is likely relegated to a DH role at this point in his career. With that caveat out of the way, this could prove to be a nice under-the-radar signing by Jerry Dipoto. Ibanez, who collected 29 homers and a .793 OPS in just under 500 plate appearances while playing in a pitcher's park this past season, should provide cheap pop to the Angels lineup. Orange County Register Angels' beat writer Jeff Fletcher reported that the contract is one-year, $2.75 million and could be finalized as soon as Wednesday.
Benoit and Padres have contract agreement 12-18-2013
Joaquin Benoit P SD
Jeff Passan of Yahoo! Sports reports that the Padres and free agent reliever Joaquin Benoit have agreed on contract terms.

Jeff Passan on Twitter
The deal is awaiting a physical. We'll soon find out if the terms match the two-year, $14 million offer Passan reported that San Diego offered last week (CBS' Jon Heyman reported Wednesday morning that the pact is actually worth $15 million over two years). This move evaporates just about all of Benoit's mixed league fantasy value, but he does become one of MLB's best eighth-inning pitchers (again) and a highly-intriguing reliever for NL-only owners to consider in the latter stages of their drafts. Remember that closer Huston Street is about as brittle as they come and San Diego's spacious Petco Park is a nice thematic fit. Benoit collected a 2.01 ERA and 73/22 K/BB ratio over 67 innings as Detroit's closer in 2013.
Report: Mariners ink Gutierrez to 1-yr deal 12-18-2013
Franklin Gutierrez CF SEA
ESPN Deportes' Enrique Rojas reports that the Mariners will re-sign Franklin Gutierrez to a one-year, $1 million contract.

Enrique Rojas on Twitter
He could potentially earn an additional $2 million in incentives. Gutierrez slashed a disappointing .248/.273/.503 in 141 plate appearances this past season, losing time to a pair of hamstring injuries. The last time Seattle signed Gutierrez, they were announcing a four-year, $20.5 million extension upon completion of his stellar 2009 campaign (.283/.339/.425 with 18 homers, 16 stolen bases and outstanding defense). Injuries have eroded the veteran's production to the point that Seattle opted to decline his $7.5 million option last month and bring him back on a huge discount. If Gutierrez remains healthy -- and, to be fair, the odds aren't great -- this contract is a steal. Gutierrez has averaged just 57 games played over the last three seasons, but he's still a superb defensive center fielder who is a pain for southpaws to deal with in the batter's box.
Phillies make Hernandez signing official 12-18-2013
Roberto Hernandez P LAD
Phillies signed RHP Roberto Hernandez to a one-year, $4.5 million contract. The 31-year-old could earn an additional $1.5 million via incentives. Hernandez, formerly known as Fausto Carmona, collected a 4.89 ERA and 113/38 K/BB ratio in 151 innings over 24 starts and eight relief appearances this past season with the Rays. He should keep Philly's infield defense busy with a ground ball rate north of 50 percent. Hernandez, who will occupy a back-end rotation slot, holds NL-only fantasy relevancy.
Royals GM: Butler rumors merely 'rhetoric' 12-18-2013
Billy Butler DH OAK
Royals general manager Dayton Moore said on Tuesday that Billy Butler trade rumors are "just all Hot Stove rhetoric."

Kansas City Star
"It's not different than you hear other players throughout the league who are potentially going to be moved," Moore said. Butler, who is owed an $8 million salary in 2014 and and $12 million in 2015, slashed .289/.374/.412 with 15 homers and 82 RBI in 162 games this past summer for Kansas City. The 27-year-old designated hitter smacked 29 homers in 2012. "We think Billy has been a terrific hitter, and Billy is a terrific hitter," Moore said. "And he's going to continue to hit. That's what Billy does."
Is Garza's elbow stopping long-term offers? 12-18-2013
Matt Garza P MLW
La Velle E. Neal III of the Minneapolis Star Tribune writes that "there's concern around the league about giving [free agent starter Matt] Garza a four- or five-year deal because of injury concerns (he has a screw near his elbow)."

Minneapolis Star Tribune
"I also don't think Bronson Arroyo is going to get a three-year deal like he wants," Neal added in the report, stating that he didn't believe the Twins were in play for either anymore. Garza, 30, posted a 3.82 ERA and 136/42 K/BB ratio over 155 1/3 innings this past season between the Cubs and Rangers. Because Texas wasn't allowed to offer him arbitration, Garza is not tied to draft pick compensation.
Brewers' GM won't panic into Davis deal 12-18-2013
Ike Davis 1B OAK
Milwaukee Brewers GM Doug Melvin will remain patient in his pursuit of Mets first baseman Ike Davis.

Milwaukee Journal Sentinel
"Ike Davis is the one player people talk about," Melvin said. "Other than that, there's not much available. ... We all have our own searches going on to try to have a complete team. Ours is at first base. We keep plugging away at it, but we might have to mix and match with some of our own players. ... It's interesting how many first basemen started at other positions. We've talked about a lot of guys in the American League, but because of the DH a lot of them haven't played that much at first base. We'll keep looking, but I'm not anticipating anything right now." The 27-year-old Davis' market is suppressed because he struggled for a second consecutive year in 2013, slashing .205/.326/.334 while also spending some time with Triple-A Las Vegas.
Report: Benoit and Padres nearing a contract 12-18-2013
Joaquin Benoit P SD
ESPN's Jerry Crasnick reports that talks are "heating up" between the Padres and free agent reliever Joaquin Benoit.

Jerry Crasnick on Twitter
Jeff Passan of Yahoo! Sports reported earlier this month that both San Diego and Cleveland had offered Benoit identical two-year, $14 million contracts. Benoit could have closed if he'd accepted the Indians' agreement before that team moved on to John Axford, but it's hard to argue with taking the same amount of money to set the table for somebody else (Huston Street) and live in San Diego. This moves really hurts Benoit's mixed league fantasy value, but he's good enough to retain NL-only relevancy. The veteran reliever put up a 2.01 ERA and 73/22 K/BB ratio over 67 innings with the Tigers in 2013.