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Content provided by Rotoworld Player News - Wednesday, January 11th, 2017

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Gillaspie, Giants manage to avoid arbitration 01-11-2017
Conor Gillaspie 3B SF
Giants and 3B Conor Gillaspie avoided arbitration by agreeing to a one-year, $1.4 million contract.

Jon Heyman on Twitter
Gillaspie saw the field in 101 games this past season, slashing .262/.307/.440 with six homers and 25 RBI during the regular season. He proceeded to play brilliantly in the postseason, posting a .421 batting average and 1.105 OPS in 19 Wild Card Game and NLDS at-bats. The 29-year-old third baseman has not seen more than 240 at-bats since the 2014 campaign and figures to play in a part-time role once again in 2017. Eduardo Nunez is expected to serve as the Giants' starting third baseman this coming season.
Report: A's sign Casilla to two-year contract 01-11-2017
Santiago Casilla P SF
Susan Slusser of the San Francisco Chronicle reports that the A's have agreed to a two-year contract with Santiago Casilla.

Susan Slusser on Twitter
The move hasn't been made official as of yet, but it looks like Casilla will be heading back where he began his MLB career. The veteran reliever previously played for the A's from 2004-2009. He had been with the Giants ever since. Casilla posted a 3.57 ERA and a 65/19 K/BB ratio in 58 innings last season, but the wheels fell off the bus down the stretch and he lost his gig as closer in September. The 36-year-old finished the season having converted 31-of-40 save opportunities. With Casilla's signing, the A's have pieced together a nice little bullpen behind closer Ryan Madson.
Kenley Jansen not planning on playing in WBC 01-11-2017
Kenley Jansen P LAD
Kenley Jansen said that he would not be playing for Team USA in the World Baseball Classic.

Bill Plunkett on Twitter
Jansen -- who re-upped with the Dodgers on a five-year, $80 million contract on Tuesday -- isn't the only member of his squad that will be skipping the World Baseball Classic. Kenta Maeda is expected to likewise tell Team Japan that he will not be participating. In addition, president of baseball operations Andrew Friedman said that Clayton Kershaw was unlikely to pitch in the event.
Report: A's closing in on deal with Casilla 01-11-2017
Santiago Casilla P SF
Robert Murray of FanRag Sports reports that the A's are nearing a two-year contract agreement with Santiago Casilla.

Robert Murray on Twitter
Casilla started out the 2016 season as the Giants' closer, but he lost that job in the closing weeks of the campaign. For the year as a whole, the 36-year-old reliever held a 3.57 ERA, 1.19 WHIP and 65/19 K/BB ratio across 58 innings. He closed a respectable 31 games, though he also blew nine save opportunities along the way (hence why he lost his job). With the A's, he would likely serve as a set-up option behind closer Ryan Madson.
Thompson (back) might not be ready for ST 01-11-2017
Trayce Thompson CF LAD
Dodgers president of baseball operations Andrew Friedman said that Trayce Thompson (back) is a question mark for the beginning of spring training.

Eric Stephen on Twitter
Friedman explained that while Thompson has been moving toward taking part in baseball activities as his rehab progresses, his availability for spring training remains dodgy. He has not yet swung a bat this offseason. The 25-year-old outfielder missed the second half of the 2016 campaign due to a pair of stress fractures in his back. In 80 games played last season, he hit .225/.302/.436 with 13 homers and five steals.
Maddon can see Schwarber (knee) leading off 01-11-2017
Kyle Schwarber LF CHC
Cubs manager Joe Maddon said that he would consider batting Kyle Schwarber (knee) leadoff.

Jesse Rogers on Twitter
This is, of course, all very early and tentative, with plenty of time for tinkering. Just doing some early January spitballing, Maddon tossed out a possible lineup against a right-handed starter in which Schwarber led off, followed up by Kris Bryant, Anthony Rizzo and Ben Zobrist. Schwarber has batted leadoff just twice in his career. 51 of his 61 games started have come out of the two-hole. The slugger made a bit cameo in the World Series and should be ready to rock and roll come spring training after suffering a torn ACL last April. One additional note -- Maddon indicated that if he did bat Schwarber at the front of the lineup, he would consider hitting his pitcher eighth.
Mets avoid arbitration with Zack Wheeler 01-11-2017
Zack Wheeler P NYM
Mets and RHP Zack Wheeler avoided arbitration by agreeing to a one-year, $800,000 contract.

Jon Heyman on Twitter
Wheeler began his Mets career with much promise, turning in sub-3.55 ERAs in 2013 and 2014. During that 2014 season, the right-hander held a 3.54 ERA, 1.32 WHIP and 187/79 K/BB ratio across 185 1/3 frames covering 32 starts. He hasn't seen the major-league mound since. In March of 2015, he underwent Tommy John surgery and subsequently was hit with several setbacks in his rehab which ultimately prevented him from pitching in 2016. He is expected to be a contributing member for the Mets this coming season, though whether he returns to the rotation or moves to the bullpen remains to be seen. Wheeler has said that he is open to either option.
Rays opt to designate right-hander Floro 01-11-2017
Dylan Floro P TB
Rays designated RHP Dylan Floro for assignment. With the Rays scooping up outfielder Jason Coats off waivers from the White Sox on Wednesday, Floro becomes the roster casualty. He posted mixed results in 12 MLB appearances last season, pitching to a 4.20 ERA with a 14/5 K/BB ratio over 15 innings. He surrendered 23 hits in that space. The 26-year-old right-hander held a more respectable 2.88 earned run mark in 50 innings at Triple-A Durham.
Rays claim OF Jason Coats off waivers 01-11-2017
Jason Coats RF TB
Rays claimed OF Jason Coats off waivers from the White Sox. Coats was designated for assignment on January 6. The 26-year-old outfielder had his fair share of success at Triple-A Charlotte last season -- posting a .330/.394/.519 triple-slash -- but those results did not transfer over to the big-league club when he was given the opportunity. In 50 at-bats with the Sox this past season, Coats managed just a .200/.298/.340 batting line.
Rays acquire Mallex Smith in Smyly trade 01-11-2017
Mallex Smith CF TB
Rays acquired OF Mallex Smith, INF Carlos Vargas, and LHP Ryan Yarbrough from the Mariners for LHP Drew Smyly. Smith's contributions in Seattle will be remembered fondly. The Rays already have a Gold Glover in center field with Kevin Kiermaier, but Smith improves their defense further and provides a real threat on the basepaths. The Rays added Colby Rasmus this week and have Steven Souza projected to play right field, so they have some moving pieces with this outfield in the short-term.
Mariners acquire LHP Drew Smyly from Rays 01-11-2017
Drew Smyly P SEA
Mariners acquired LHP Drew Smyly from the Rays for OF Mallex Smith, INF Carlos Vargas, and LHP Ryan Yarbrough. Smith's stay in Seattle was ultimately a brief one, as Jerry Dipoto only acquired him to use as a chip to secure Smyly. The 27-year-old left-hander is coming off a disappointing 4.88 ERA and 167/49 K/BB ratio over 175 innings and has had major issues with the home run ball over the past two seasons, but making the move to Seattle could be good for him. The Mariners project to enter 2017 with a rotation consisting of Smyly, Felix Hernandez, Hisashi Iwakauma, James Paxton, and Yovani Gallardo.
Mariners designate Cody Martin for assignment 01-11-2017
Cody Martin P SEA
Mariners designated RHP Cody Martin for assignment. The move clears a spot on the 40-man roster after the additions of Mallex Smith and Shae Simmons. Martin, 27, made nine appearances with the Mariners in 2016 and posted a 3.62 ERA and 114/30 K/BB ratio over 114 1/3 innings at the Triple-A level. There's a chance he'll be claimed on waivers.
Report: Mariners could move Mallex Smith 01-11-2017
Mallex Smith CF TB
According to Jerry Crasnick of ESPN.com, Mariners general manager Jerry Dipoto is working on another deal which could include Mallex Smith.

Jerry Crasnick on Twitter
That didn't take long. The Mariners gave up prospects Luiz Gohara and Thomas Burrows to land Smith and Shae Simmons from the Braves on Wednesday, but it appears that he might have made the trade with another deal in mind. Crasnick notes that the Mariners have talked with the Rays of late. Dipoto has already made 35 trades in 16 months since taking over as M's general manager. We could soon be adding another one.
Mariners acquire Shae Simmons from Braves 01-11-2017
Shae Simmons P SEA
Mariners acquired RHP Shae Simmons from the Braves in the Mallex Smith deal. Simmons appeared in seven games with the Braves last season after making his return from Tommy John surgery. The 26-year-old showed intriguing stuff as a rookie in 2014 before going down and could be an impact late-inning arm for Seattle.
Mariners acquire Mallex Smith from Braves 01-11-2017
Mallex Smith CF TB
Mariners acquired OF Mallex Smith and RHP Shae Simmons from the Braves for LHPs Luiz Gohara and Thomas Burrows.
Hughes ready for bullpen session 01-11-2017
Phil Hughes P MIN
Phil Hughes (thoracic outlet syndrome) will throw a bullpen session on Wednesday.

Phil Hughes on Twitter
Hat-tip to Phil Hughes, who had the scoop first. The 30-year-old right-hander underwent surgery last July for thoracic outlet syndrome, but the expectation is that he'll be ready for the start of 2017. Hughes has disappointed with a 4.83 ERA (85 ERA+) in 36 starts and three relief appearances over the past two seasons.
Bethancourt throws in Panama Winter League 01-11-2017
Christian Bethancourt C SD
Christian Bethancourt recently threw a scoreless inning in the Panama Winter League.

AJ Cassavell on Twitter
Bethancourt, who made two relief appearances with the Padres in 2016, threw 17 pitches and sat in the 93-96 mph range with his fastball. He's also serving as a DH and outfielder in the Panama Winter League. The Padres are kicking around the idea of using him as a pitcher/outfielder/catcher hybrid moving forward, so this will be an interesting situation to follow.
Ji-Man Choi elects free agency 01-11-2017
Ji-Man Choi 1B LAA
Ji-Man Choi has elected to become a free agent. Choi cleared waivers after being designate for assignment before the holidays, but he has opted to test free agency rather than accept an assignment to Triple-A. The 25-year-old batted just .170/.271/.339 over 129 plate appearances with the Angels in 2016.
David Ortiz not interested in playing in WBC 01-11-2017
David Ortiz DH BOS
Dominican Republic manager Moises Alou told Jon Morosi of MLB Network that David Ortiz hasn't expressed interest in playing in the World Baseball Classic.

Jon Morosi on Twitter
Ortiz said back in December that he wasn't interested in playing in the WBC and despite some recent buzz and speculation, nothing has changed. His playing career is over.
Padres and Carter Capps avoid arbitration 01-11-2017
Carter Capps P SD
Padres and RHP Carter Capps avoided arbitration by agreeing to a one-year, $987,500 contract.

Jon Heyman on Twitter
It's the same salary he made in 2016. Capps missed all of last season following Tommy John surgery, but he could be contribute in the Padres' bullpen in 2017. Acquired from the Marlins in the Andrew Cashner deal, Capps could be a big asset for the Padres if healthy.
Tanner Roark to pitch for Team USA 01-11-2017
Tanner Roark P WAS
Tanner Roark has committed to pitch for Team USA in the upcoming World Baseball Classic, reports Jon Morosi of MLB Network.

Jon Morosi on Twitter
Roark was invited prior to the finger injury to his teammate Max Scherzer. The 30-year-old thrived in his return to Washington's rotation in 2016 by posting a 2.83 ERA and 172/73 K/BB ratio over 210 innings.
Yankees haven't talked extension with Tanaka 01-11-2017
Masahiro Tanaka P NYY
Yankees general manager Brian Cashman said Tuesday the club hasn't discussed an extension with Masahiro Tanaka.

New York Daily News
Tanaka is about to enter the fourth year of his seven-year, $155 million contract with the Yankees, but he has the ability to opt out and test free agency after 2017. The club intends to wait things out for now. Tanaka, 28, owns a 3.12 ERA (132 ERA+) over his first 75 starts in the majors.
Yankees, Eovaldi have talked new deal 01-11-2017
Nathan Eovaldi P NYY
Yankees general manager Brian Cashman said Tuesday that the club has discussed a new deal with Nathan Eovaldi.

Newark Star-Ledger
Eovaldi was released by the Yankees in November after undergoing Tommy John and flexor tendon surgeries in August. The hard-throwing right-hander is expected to miss the entire 2017 season, but that hasn't stopped the Yankees from talking to his agent "several times." He's also weighing his options elsewhere. Eovaldi turns 27 in February and makes for an intriguing gamble for those willing to wait out his rehab process.
Holland seeks two-year deal with opt-out 01-11-2017
Greg Holland P KC
According to Jon Heyman of FanRag Sports, free agent reliever Greg Holland is seeking a two-year deal with an opt-out after the first year.

FanRag Sports
The structure would allow him to test free agency again if he has a big 2017 in his return from Tommy John surgery. It's unclear how many teams are open to such a deal, but Heyman writes that Holland is drawing interest from the Dodgers, Nationals, Rockies, Brewers, and Reds, among others. The Dodgers have a firmly established closer with Kenley Jansen, but Holland could see save chances in the other locations if he proves his health and effectiveness in the spring. He was reportedly clocked in the 88-91 mph range during a showcase in November, but the belief is that he'll be closer to normal as he rebuilds arm strength.
Report: Angels considering run at Wieters 01-11-2017
Matt Wieters C BAL
The Angels have had internal talks about free agent catcher Matt Wieters, reports Jon Heyman of FanRag Sports.

FanRag Sports
That ultimately doesn't tell us much. Their level of interest is unclear and it's unknown whether they've actually talked to Wieters' agent. Either way, it's easy to see him as an upgrade over their current situation, which includes Carlos Perez and Martin Maldonado behind the plate. The market for Wieters has been quiet this winter after he batted .243/.302/.409 with 17 home runs and 66 RBI in 124 games last season.
Rangers have checked in on Mark Trumbo 01-11-2017
Mark Trumbo RF BAL
According to Jon Heyman of FanRag Sports, the Rangers have checked in on free agent slugger Mark Trumbo.

FanRag Sports
It was reported about a week ago that the Rangers were close to a deal with Mike Napoli, but Heyman writes that the two sides are "at a seeming impasse on talks." It makes sense that the Rangers would look at Trumbo as an alternative, though the level of interest is unclear. It's worth noting that Trumbo would cost a draft pick while Napoli wouldn't. The Orioles haven't been ruled out for a reunion with Trumbo, but Roch Kubatko of MASN Sports wrote Tuesday that it's becoming "less likely" they'll end up signing him.
Maness (elbow) a week away from mound-work 01-11-2017
Seth Maness P STL
Seth Maness (elbow) is about a week away from returning to the mound.

St. Louis Post-Dispatch
It's a rapid turnaround. Maness underwent an alternative to Tommy John surgery last August called "primary repair," which involves "repair and buttressing" of the existing ligament at the bone, not reconstruction of the ligament. He's the first established major league pitcher to have the new procedure, which was performed by Dr. George Paletta. Tommy John surgery typically sidelines pitchers for at least one year, but Maness expects to be ready for Opening Day, which would leave him about seven and a half months removed from his surgery. He still has some hurdles to cross, but his success could have major ramifications within the game.
Twins ink RHP Tepesch to minors deal 01-11-2017
Nick Tepesch P KC
Twins signed RHP Nick Tepesch to a minor league contract with an invitation to spring training.

Minneapolis Star Tribune
After missing all of 2015 due to elbow issues and thoracic outlet syndrome, Tepesch made one appearance with the Dodgers last season and posted a 3.96 ERA and 62/28 K/BB ratio over 116 innings in Triple-A in between stops with the Rangers, Athletics, Royals, and Dodgers. The 28-year-old is another depth piece for Minnesota.
Twins ink RHP Ryan Vogelsong to minors deal 01-11-2017
Ryan Vogelsong P PIT
Twins signed RHP Ryan Vogelsong to a minor league contract with an invitation to spring training.

Minneapolis Star-Tribune
Vogelsong missed over two months last season after being hit in the face by a pitch and posted a 4.81 ERA and 61/41 K/BB ratio over 82 1/3 innings with the Pirates. The 39-year-old provides some veteran insurance for the rotation and will attempt to win a roster spot in the spring.