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Content provided by Rotoworld Player News - Friday, December 20th, 2013

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Phillies have talked to O's about Papelbon 12-20-2013
Jonathan Papelbon P WAS
Roch Kubatko of MASN Sports reports that the Orioles and Phillies have discussed potential trades involving closer Jonathan Papelbon.

Roch Kubatko on Twitter
Kubatko is quick to note however that a deal isn't imminent and that the Phillies would have to eat a large portion of the $39 million that Papelbon has remaining on his contract over the next three seasons. If the two sides are able to strike a deal, Papelbon also has a limited no-trade clause and may need to approve a trade. The O's are scouring the market after they backed out of their deal with Grant Balfour on Friday.
Rays in on Balfour after deal with O's nixed 12-20-2013
Grant Balfour P TB
The Rays are in on Grant Balfour, sources tell Jim Bowden of ESPN and SiriusXM Radio.

Jim Bowden on Twitter
Balfour seemed to be off the market after he came to a two-year, $15 million agreement with the Orioles, but some concerns about his physical caused the Orioles to nix the deal at the last minute. The Rays are in the market for a closer after losing Fernando Rodney to free agency, so it's not surprising that they'd have renewed interest in the soon-to-be 36-year-old. It's unclear what the Orioles' concerns will do to Balfour's price tag, as the Rays are notoriously thrifty when it comes to free agent signings.
Orioles not interested in signing Chris Perez 12-20-2013
Chris Perez P MLW
Despite their deal with Grant Balfour falling through, MASN's Roch Kubatko says the Orioles aren't interested in Chris Perez for the team's closer role.

Roch Kubatko on Twitter
Kubatko also said the O's are likely to pursue Fernando Rodney or just find an in-house candidate to fill the position. Perez hasn't drawn a ton of interest this offseason after being cut loose by the Indians. The right-hander might have to settle for a middle relief job -- complete with a middle relief salary -- and hope to re-establish some value.
Grant Balfour considering filing grievance 12-20-2013
Grant Balfour P TB
FOX Sports' Ken Rosenthal reports that Grant Balfour will discuss with the player's union whether to file a grievance following his contract fallout with the Orioles.

Ken Rosenthal on Twitter
The O's pulled Balfour's two-year, $15 million offer due to concerns about his shoulder, but the reliever has since been given a clean bill of health by two doctors. However, since Balfour never signed anything, he probably doesn't have much of a case. That doesn't mean he didn't get a raw deal here.
Orioles reaching out to Fernando Rodney 12-20-2013
Fernando Rodney P ARZ
Yahoo! Sports' Tim Brown reports that the Orioles have "reached out" to Fernando Rodney's agent, Dan Lozano, following the collapse of the Grant Balfour deal.

Tim Brown on Twitter
Dan Connolly of the Baltimore Sun also reported earlier Friday that Rodney appeared to be next on the Orioles' closer wish list. Assuming the O's don't find anything they don't like on Rodney's physical, it's possible something could come together quickly between them and the former Rays closer.
Rangers re-sign Ryan Feierabend 12-20-2013
Ryan Feierabend P TEX
Rangers re-signed LHP Ryan Feierabend to a minor league contract with an invitation to spring training. Feierabend posted a 3.70 over 148 1/3 innings between Double- and Triple-A for the Rangers last season. He hasn't appeared in the majors since 2008 and is merely organizational depth.
Grant Balfour says he's '100 percent fine' 12-20-2013
Grant Balfour P TB
Grant Balfour told Susan Slusser of the San Francisco Chronicle after the Orioles pulled their two-year offer that he's "100 percent fine" physically.

Susan Slusser on Twitter
The O's called off the $15 million deal due to concerns about Balfour's right shoulder, but the reliever said MRIs on the shoulder look the same now as they did three years ago. "I'm the All-Star pitcher I was last season," Balfour said. "My shoulder is fine, everything is fine. I'm ready to come out there in the ninth inning, do what I do." Baltimore is known for putting players through extremely extensive physicals prior to signing them, so this could be a case of them being overly cautious. Still, it might wind up costing Balfour a decent chunk of change.
Carlos Santana's work at 3B 'encouraging' 12-20-2013
Carlos Santana 1B CLE
Indians general manager Chris Antonetti said Friday that reports of Carlos Santana's work at third base in the Dominican Winter League have been "encouraging."

Cleveland Plain Dealer
"It's still very early in the process," said Antonetti. "(Indians infield coach Mike Sarbaugh) has been down there for a few days with Carlos. He's made a couple of errors, but so far the reports have been encouraging. He made two errors in one game, but he also made a nice diving play." With Yan Gomes taking over as the regular catcher, Santana is ticketed for DH duty in 2014. However, if he proves to be adequate at the hot corner, he could be used there at least on occasion. Santana hasn't played third since 2006 in the minors.
Ziegler inks two-year extension with D'Backs 12-20-2013
Brad Ziegler P MIA
Diamondbacks and RHP Brad Ziegler avoided arbitration by agreeing to a two-year, $9.5 million contract extension.

Ken Rosenthal on Twitter
The deal also includes a $5.5 million club option for 2016 or a $1 million buyout. Ziegler was in his final year of arbitration eligibility, so the D'Backs have bought out at least one year of free agency. The side-arming right-hander has posted a 2.35 ERA over the last two seasons for Arizona and will help set up for them again in 2014.
Daric Barton, A's avoid arbitration 12-20-2013
Daric Barton 1B TOR
Athletics avoided arbitration with 1B Daric Barton by agreeing to a one-year contract. The financials of the deal aren't yet known, but he should receive a modest raise over last year's $1.1 million salary. Barton batted .269/.350/.375 with three homers and 16 RBI in 104 at-bats last season for the A's.
Pedro Figueroa released by A's 12-20-2013
Pedro Figueroa P TEX
Athletics released LHP Pedro Figueroa. The move was made in order to clear room on the 40-man roster for the addition of Chris Gimenez. Figueroa held a 4.10 ERA, 1.52 WHIP and 49/33 K/BB ratio over 59 1/3 innings at Triple-A in 2013.
O's call off two-year deal with Grant Balfour 12-20-2013
Grant Balfour P TB
Orioles executive VP of baseball operations Dan Duquette announced Friday that the club has called off its two-year, $15 million deal with Grant Balfour.

Dan Connolly on Twitter
Duquette noted that he's "disappointed" something couldn't be worked out, but the O's weren't satisfied with how Balfour's shoulder looked during his physical and will "turn (their) attention elsewhere." Dan Connolly of the Baltimore Sun reported previously that Fernando Rodney is next on the Orioles' wish list. It will be interesting to see what kind of deal Balfour gets now given the injury red flag.
Jordany Valdespin to sign with Marlins 12-20-2013
Jordany Valdespin 2B DET
J.J. Cooper of Baseball America reports that the Marlins are expected to sign Jordany Valdespin to a minor league contract Friday.

J.J. Cooper on Twitter
The Mets non-tendered Valdespin earlier this month even though he wasn't arbitration-eligible yet after he batted just .188/.250/.316 in 144 plate appearances in 2013. He's versatile and has speed, though, so it's no surprise that it didn't take him long to find a new home.
De Vries getting interest from four teams 12-20-2013
Cole De Vries P MIN
Cole De Vries told Mike Berardino of the St. Paul Pioneer Press that he's weighing offers from the Red Sox, Rangers, Orioles and Reds.

St. Paul Pioneer Press
Two of the clubs have offered an invitation to spring training, though De Vries wouldn't say which two they were. De Vries holds a 5.08 ERA over 102 2/3 innings at the big league level but has a bit tidier 4.12 mark in the minors.
Kyle Skipworth outrighted to Triple-A 12-20-2013
Kyle Skipworth C CIN
Marlins sent C Kyle Skipworth outright to Triple-A New Orleans.

Keith Law on Twitter
Skipworth was designated for assignment Wednesday but has cleared waivers and will remain in the organization. The 23-year-old hit just .188 with a .639 OPS for Triple-A New Orleans this past season.
J.P. Howell re-signs with Dodgers 12-20-2013
J.P. Howell P TOR
Dodgers re-signed LHP J.P. Howell to a two-year, $11 million contract. The deal also includes a $6.25 million club option for 2016 with a $250,000 buyout. Howell put up a 2.03 ERA and 1.05 WHIP across 62 innings this past season for Los Angeles. He'll be used as the club's primary left-handed setup man again.
Eric Chavez's deal becomes official 12-20-2013
Eric Chavez 3B ARZ
Diamondbacks re-signed INF Eric Chavez to a one-year contract. There's no word on the financials of the deal. Chavez has revitalized his career over the past two seasons batting .281/.341/.488 with 25 homers in 567 plate appearances. It's not a great spot for him, as he'll be a backup at third and first base, but Chavez preferred to stay close to his Phoenix home.
Kevin Youkilis signs with Japanese club 12-20-2013
Kevin Youkilis 3B NYY
Nikkan Sports has reported that Kevin Youkilis has signed a contract with Japan's Rakuten Golden Eagles.

Nikkan Sports
WEEI.com's Alex Speier has confirmed the report. Youkilis' OPS has dropped for three straight seasons all the way down to .648 in 2013, when he was limited to just 28 games due to injury. Still, it's a bit surprising that no major league team was willing to give him a shot. The 34-year-old is coming off of June back surgery but should be healthy by now.
Troy Patton suspended 25 games for PEDs 12-20-2013
Troy Patton P SD
Major League Baseball has suspended Troy Patton for 25 games for testing positive for amphetamines. He'll serve the suspension at the beginning of next season. It's a blow to the Orioles' left-handed relief corps, as Patton boasts a 3.05 across 130 appearances over the last three seasons. The O's will still have Brian Matusz and T.J. McFarland as southpaw options for the 'pen.
A's claim Chris Gimenez off waivers 12-20-2013
Chris Gimenez C CLE
Athletics claimed UTIL Chris Gimenez off waivers from the Rays. Gimenez is a career .199/.292/.293 across parts of five seasons, but his versatility can be useful, as the 31-year-old can play five different positions. With Josh Jaso, Derek Norris and Stephen Vogt already around Gimenez will have to show off that versatility if he wants a shot at making the Opening Day roster.
Orioles turning attention to Fernando Rodney? 12-20-2013
Fernando Rodney P ARZ
Dan Connolly of the Baltimore Sun hears that the Orioles "seem to be turning their attention" to Fernando Rodney with Grant Balfour's deal "in limbo and likely collapsing."

Dan Connolly on Twitter
Balfour's two-year, $15 million contract was supposed to be announced by now, but concerns over his shoulder have left the deal as a longshot at this point. Connolly notes that the O's had discussions earlier this offseason about Rodney, "but negotiations didn't progress." Rodney blew eight saves last season for the Rays but has converted 85 of 95 over the last two years.
Beltran likely to retire at end of Yanks deal 12-20-2013
Carlos Beltran RF HOU
Carlos Beltran said during his Yankees introductory press conference Friday that he's likely to retire when his three-year deal with New York expires.

Daniel Barbarisi on Twitter
It's certainly no surprise, as Beltran will play most of the 2016 season at 40 years old. The veteran outfielder noted that getting a third year in his contract was important to him as he tried to build up his Hall of Fame resume. Beltran is expected to share the right field and designated hitter duties with Alfonso Soriano.
Yamaico Navarro to sign with Korean club 12-20-2013
Yamaico Navarro 2B NYY
ESPN Deportes' Enrique Rojas reports that Yamaico Navarro is nearing an agreement with Korea's Samsung Lions.

Enrique Rojas on Twitter
Navarro inked a minor league deal with the Yankees last month, but they'll let him break that pact in order to pursue a better opportunity overseas. The 26-year-old is a career .206/.258/.267 hitter across parts of four big league seasons.
Kurt Suzuki agrees to terms with Twins 12-20-2013
Kurt Suzuki C ATL
Susan Slusser of the San Francisco Chronicle reports that the Twins have agreed to terms with Kurt Suzuki on a one-year contract.

Susan Slusser on Twitter
The deal will become official later Friday assuming Suzuki passes his physical. FOX Sports' Ken Rosenthal says it's for $2.75 million, with more possible in incentives. The Twins were looking for a veteran backstop to pair with youngster Josmil Pinto and they now have one in Suzuki. The 30-year-old's offense has declined the last few years (he batted just .232/.290/.337 in 2013), but he offers a strong glove and has a reputation as a good clubhouse guy.
Gutierrez feels better after being diagnosed 12-20-2013
Franklin GutiƩrrez RF LAD
Franklin Gutierrez said he's "feeling good" since taking medication following a diagnosis of ankylosing spondylitis.

Tacoma News Tribune
Gutierrez has dealt with joint pain for a long time and now knows why. "When I say I'm feeling good, it's because, well, everybody knows what I have right now," he said. "It was very important for me to find out what I had, so now I have to try to manage this." It's certainly good news that Gutierrez will be able to combat his joint pain now, but he remains a major injury risk going forward. The Mariners hope he can stay healthy enough to be used regularly against left-handed pitchers in 2014.
Nationals hope to extend Zimmermann, Desmond 12-20-2013
Jordan Zimmermann P DET
The Nationals are expected to discuss extensions with Jordan Zimmermann and Ian Desmond this offseason.

Washington Post
Zimmermann said he "got offered a couple contract extensions" during spring training last year, "but they weren't the best deal we were looking for." The righty has a number in mind that the Nats will have to hit if they want to keep him from free agency after the 2015 season. "I don't think there's a way to explain it without spilling the beans," he said. "We kind of have a number we want and we want to get to."
Todd Coffey to hold showcase next month 12-20-2013
Todd Coffey P LAD
Chris Cotillo of MLBDailyDish.com reports that Todd Coffey is tentatively scheduled to hold a showcase for teams on January 17.

Chris Cotillo on Twitter
Coffey has missed the last year and a half of action while recovering from Tommy John surgery. He last pitched for the Dodgers in 2012, posting a 4.66 ERA over 23 appearances. The 33-year-old would make sense for someone on a no-risk, minor league deal.
Yankees officially sign Carlos Beltran 12-20-2013
Carlos Beltran RF HOU
Yankees signed OF Carlos Beltran to a three-year, $45 million contract. The deal has become official after Beltran passed his physical. The Yankees were unable to re-sign Robinson Cano, but they're hoping Beltran and Jacoby Ellsbury will make up for some of that lost production. Beltran is expected to see most of his time in right field but should also be used in the DH spot plenty in an effort to save his legs.
Belisario inks one-year deal with Chicago 12-20-2013
Ronald Belisario P BOS
White Sox signed RHP Ronald Belisario to a one-year, $3 million contract. The deal was reported a couple weeks ago and is now official after Belisario passed a physical. The 30-year-old has put up a 3.24 ERA over the last two seasons while striking out 118 across 139 frames. It's possible that he'll be in the mix for saves with the White Sox' closer gig up in the air.
Eric Surkamp designated for assignment 12-20-2013
Eric Surkamp P TEX
Giants designated LHP Eric Surkamp for assignment. The move was made in order to clear room on the 40-man roster for the arrival of Michael Morse. Surkamp, 26, hasn't fared well in his seven starts at the big league level, but he boasts a career 2.84 ERA with 541 strikeouts over 484 2/3 minor league frames. Someone figures to scoop him up on waivers.
Indians won't give up draft pick to sign SP 12-20-2013
Ervin Santana P MIN
ESPN's Buster Olney reports that the Diamondbacks are "among many teams" that won't give up a draft pick to sign Ervin Santana or Ubaldo Jimenez.

Buster Olney on Twitter
The D'Backs met with Santana's representatives at the Winter Meetings, but it appears things won't go any farther than that. They've already traded away three young players in recent weeks, so signing someone like Matt Garza (who won't cost a draft pick) might be Arizona's best option as they look to add a starter.