Expert Cappers Picks
Major League Baseball
MLB News Wire
  • Report: Ichiro considering return to Japan
    By Field Level Media / Tuesday, January 16, 2018

    Receiving little interest from Major League Baseball teams as a free agent this offseason, outfielder Ichiro Suzuki could end up returning to Japan to finish his career.

    • "I don't really like to think about that," Ichiro's agent, John Boggs, told MLB.com on Tuesday. "As every day goes by, I keep holding out hope that somebody will realize that he would be a tremendous asset for any organization."

      Ichiro, 44, wants to continue playing baseball in some form. With the Miami Marlins last season, he hit .255 with a .318 on-base percentage, a .332 slugging percentage, three home runs and 20 RBIs in 196 at-bats across 136 games as a reserve outfielder and pinch hitter. He had 27 pinch hits, falling one short of tying the single-season record set by John Vander Wal in 1995.

      The Marlins' new ownership paid $500,000 to buy Ichiro out of his $2 million club option for 2018, thus making him a free agent. Boggs told MLB.com that he has had extensive conversations with the Seattle Mariners, where Ichiro was a 10-time All-Star and Gold Glove winner, and the San Diego Padres, but both teams have moved on.

      "We had great hopes at the beginning of all this that the Mariners would bring him back," Boggs said. "I wish there was more activities with clubs. I understand there are a lot of outfielders still out there."

      Ichiro said last year that he hopes to play baseball until he is at least 50 years old. He was asked about the possibility of returning to play in Japan when speaking with Japanese reporters last week.

      "When you use the word possibility, there are many things ... it means anything is possible as long as it's not zero." Suzuki said, per the Kyodo news agency.

      "I feel like a big dog at a pet shop that hasn't been sold. Of course, I want to play baseball next year."

      Ichiro has 3,080 hits across his 17-year major league career, which began as American League MVP and Rookie of the Year with the Mariners in 2001. In his Japanese career, spent with the then-Orix BlueWave of the Japan Pacific League from 1992-2000, he registered 1,278 hits, giving him an all-time professional record of 4,358 hits.

      "We're just waiting for the next shoe to drop," Boggs said. "We keep being told, 'Check back, check back,' and I can say that with a half-dozen teams."

      --Field Level Media

  • Yelich's agent: Relationship with Marlins 'irretrievably broken'
    By Field Level Media / Tuesday, January 16, 2018

    Miami Marlins outfielder Christian Yelich was "unhappy" with the team following several big trades earlier this offseason and wished to receive an explanation from the front office.

    • Now, whether that meeting happened or not, Yelich's agent, Joe Longo, tells ESPN that the relationship between his client and the Marlins is "irretrievably broken."

      "They have a plan," Longo said Tuesday. "I respect that plan, but that plan shouldn't include Christian at this point in his career. He's in the middle of the best years of his career, and having him be part of a 100-loss season is not really where [we] want to see him going.

      "The relationship between player and team is irretrievably broken. It's soured. He's part of the old ownership regime. The new ownership regime needs to get new parts into this plan and move forward, and he needs to get on with his career where he's got a chance to win. The big issue is him winning and winning now.

      Since October under the new ownership group that includes CEO Derek Jeter, the Marlins traded National League MVP Giancarlo Stanton, two-time All-Star second baseman Dee Gordon and All-Star outfielder Marcell Ozuna to reduce payroll.

      As a result, Yelich, catcher J.T. Realmuto and second baseman Starlin Castro have all reportedly requested to be traded.

      Marlins general manager Michael Hill has been fielding trade offers for Yelich in recent weeks, according to the ESPN report, and the Atlanta Braves, Toronto Blue Jays, Los Angeles Dodgers and Angels, San Diego Padres, Arizona Diamondbacks and Philadelphia Phillies have at least inquired about the 26-year-old.

      Yelich has won a Gold Glove (2014) and Silver Slugger (2016). The outfielder hit .282 with 18 home runs, 81 RBIs and 16 stolen bases this year. He owns a .290/.369/.432 across five seasons in Miami.

      Yelich has four years left on a team-friendly multiyear contract that will pay him a guaranteed $44.5 million through 2021.

      "It was a completely different climate at the time," Longo said of when Yelich signed his extension. "They were built to win immediately. And that's something Christian wanted to be a part of. The climate there when he signed was to win -- with a long-term vision. It's completely changed now, and I don't see him buying into the new business plan.

      "Each of the players [traded] was a good friend of his off the field. He understands this is a business. But with the depth of the talent that was traded off -- he was very shocked and saddened to see these people leave."

      Longo added that Yelich might be ready to speak publicly on the matter "soon." Yelich has been invited to the team's FanFest on Feb. 10 but has yet to say if he will attend.

      --Field Level Media

  • MLB notebook: Cardinals C Molina to retire after 2020 season
    By Field Level Media / Tuesday, January 16, 2018

    Cardinals catcher Yadier Molina said he plans to play out the three years remaining on his contract and retire from baseball at the end of the 2020 season.

    • "Three more years, that's it," Molina said at the Cardinals' Winter Warmup Fanfest.

      Molina, who evolved into the face of the St. Louis franchise as a defensive pillar and All-Star, signed a three-year extension worth $20 million per season last March. Molina, 35, previously said it would be his final contract.

      The eight-time All-Star and eight-time Gold Glove winner is working closely with his heir apparent, Carson Kelly, and is expected to gradually shift to a shared or platoon role. Molina is entering his 15th season with the Cardinals. He will be 38 when his current contract ends.

      --Former American League MVP Justin Morneau will make his retirement official during a news conference with the Minnesota Twins at Target Field on Wednesday and join the team's front office as a special assistant.

      Morneau spent 11 of his 14 MLB seasons with the Twins, where his big league career began in 2003. He won the MVP in 2006 and was a four-time All-Star as a member of the team from 2007-10. In his career, Morneau hit .281/.348/.481 with 247 home runs and 985 RBIs. He hit .321 with 34 homers and 130 RBIs during his 2006 MVP campaign.

      Following his time with the Twins, Morneau found success with the Colorado Rockies, with whom he won the National League batting title in 2014. He also spent a short stint with the Pittsburgh Pirates in 2013 and Chicago White Sox in 2016, the last MLB team he played for.

      --Kansas City Royals ace Danny Duffy has pleaded guilty to driving under the influence in a Kansas City suburb and has been placed on one-year probation.

      Duffy entered the plea last week and will pay $1,220 in fines and court fees, said Sean Reilly, a spokesman for the city of Overland Park, Kan. Duffy must report to a probation officer once a month, abstain from using drugs and alcohol and will be subject to random breath, urine or blood screenings.

      Duffy was cited for a DUI in Overload Park in late August after returning to Kansas City to undergo an MRI on his pitching elbow while the team was in Cleveland facing the Indians. The left-hander was the Royals' Opening Day starter last season and went 9-10 with a 3.81 ERA and 130 strikeouts in 146.1 innings.

      --Pittsburgh Pirates utility man Josh Harrison said he would rather be traded than play for a rebuilding team in the wake of the Gerrit Cole and Andrew McCutchen trades.

      "While I love this game, the reality is that I just lost two of my closest friends in the game," Harrison said in a statement to The Athletic. "Cole and Cutch were not just friends, they were the best pitcher and best position player on the Pittsburgh Pirates. Now, I am the most tenured member of the Pirates, I want to win, I want to contend, I want to win championships in 2018, 2019 and beyond. ... If indeed the team does not expect to contend this year or next, perhaps it would be better for all involved, that I also am traded. I want what is best for the organization that gave me a chance to be a Big Leaguer."

      Harrison, 30, is due $10.25 million in the final guaranteed season of a four-year extension he signed in 2015. A two-time All-Star, including last season, Harrison hit .272/.339/.432 with 16 home runs, 47 RBIs and 12 stolen bases in 128 games for the Pirates in 2017.

      --The New York Yankees and left-hander Wade LeBlanc agreed to a minor league contract.

      The deal calls for LeBlanc to receive an invitation to spring training. If LeBlanc is added to the 40-man roster, he will receive a one-year, $1 million contract.

      The 33-year-old LeBlanc was 5-2 with a 4.50 ERA in 50 relief appearances for the Pittsburgh Pirates last season. Pittsburgh declined his $1.25 million option for 2018.

      --Field Level Media

  • Pirates' Harrison prefers trade over rebuild
    By Field Level Media / Tuesday, January 16, 2018

    Pittsburgh Pirates utility man Josh Harrison said he would rather be traded than play for a rebuilding team in the wake of the Gerrit Cole and Andrew McCutchen trades.

    • Harrison released a statement to The Athletic on Tuesday, one day after McCutchen was dealt to the San Francisco Giants. Cole was shipped to the Houston Astros on Saturday.

      "While I love this game, the reality is that I just lost two of my closest friends in the game," Harrison said. "Cole and Cutch were not just friends, they were the best pitcher and best position player on the Pittsburgh Pirates. Now, I am the most tenured member of the Pirates, I want to win, I want to contend, I want to win championships in 2018, 2019 and beyond.

      "If indeed the team does not expect to contend this year or next, perhaps it would be better for all involved, that I also am traded. I want what is best for the organization that gave me a chance to be a Big Leaguer."

      Harrison, 30, is due $10.25 million in the final guaranteed season of a four-year extension he signed in 2015. His contract includes club options for 2019 ($10.5 million) and 2020 ($11.5 million).

      A two-time All-Star, including last season, Harrison hit .272/.339/.432 with 16 home runs, 47 RBIs and 12 stolen bases in 128 games for the Pirates in 2017. He primarily plays second base for Pittsburgh, though he has seen time at every position except first base, center field and catcher during his major league career.

      Harrison made his MLB debut with the Pirates in 2011 and has been with the team since.

      "My passion for Pittsburgh, what it has MEANT to me, what it MEANS to me, can never be questioned," Harrison said in his statement. "I love this city, I love the fans, I love my teammates."

      The New York Mets, New York Yankees and Milwaukee Brewers are among teams to reportedly have interest in Harrison.

      The small-market Pirates finished 75-87 last season, failing to make the postseason for the second consecutive year after doing so from 2013-15.

      --Field Level Media

  • Yankees sign LHP LeBlanc to minor league deal
    By Field Level Media / Tuesday, January 16, 2018

    The New York Yankees and left-hander Wade LeBlanc agreed to a minor league contract on Tuesday.

    • The deal calls for LeBlanc to receive an invitation to spring training.

      If LeBlanc is added to the 40-man roster, he will receive a one-year, $1 million contract.

      The 33-year-old LeBlanc was 5-2 with a 4.50 ERA in 50 relief appearances for the Pittsburgh Pirates last season. Pittsburgh declined his $1.25 million option for 2018.

      LeBlanc is 30-35 with a 4.40 ERA in 176 appearances (79 starts) over nine big-league campaigns. He has spent time with the San Diego Padres (2008-11), Miami Marlins (2012-13), Houston Astros (2013), Yankees (2014), Los Angeles Angels (2014), Seattle Mariners (2016) and Pittsburgh.

      --Field Level Media

  • Royals' Duffy pleads guilty to DUI
    By Field Level Media / Tuesday, January 16, 2018

    Kansas City Royals ace Danny Duffy has pleaded guilty to driving under the influence in a Kansas City suburb and has been placed on one-year probation.

    • Duffy entered the plea last week and will pay $1,220 in fines and court fees, Sean Reilly, a spokesman for the city of Overland Park, Kan., said Tuesday.

      Duffy must report to a probation officer once a month, abstain from using drugs and alcohol and will be subject to random breath, urine or blood screenings.

      Duffy was cited for a DUI in Overload Park in late August after returning to Kansas City to undergo an MRI on his pitching elbow while the team was in Cleveland facing the Indians. He was sent to the disabled list, returned for three starts in September and went on to have surgery on the elbow in early October. He is expected to be ready for spring training.

      Duffy, 29, was the Royals' Opening Day starter last season. The left-hander went 9-10 with a 3.81 ERA and 130 strikeouts in 146.1 innings.

      --Field Level Media

  • Former MVP Morneau to retire, join Twins front office
    By Field Level Media / Tuesday, January 16, 2018

    Former American League MVP Justin Morneau will make his retirement official during a news conference with the Minnesota Twins at Target Field on Wednesday and join the team's front office as a special assistant.

    • Morneau spent 11 of his 14 MLB seasons with the Twins, where his big league career began in 2003. He won the MVP in 2006 and was a four-time All-Star as a member of the team from 2007-10.

      Following his time with the Twins, Morneau found success with the Colorado Rockies, with whom he won the National League batting title in 2014. He also spent a short stint with the Pittsburgh Pirates in 2013 and Chicago White Sox in 2016, the last MLB team he played for.

      The 36-year-old didn't play in the majors in 2017, though he did represent Canada in the World Baseball Classic, going 0-for-11 with five strikeouts in three games.

      A season-ending concussion he suffered in July 2010 posed a frequent issue for Morneau in the twilight of his career, saying the head injury is "something that will always be with me" in spring training of 2015.

      In his career, Morneau hit .281/.348/.481 with 247 home runs and 985 RBIs. He hit .321 with 34 homers and 130 RBIs during his 2006 MVP campaign.

      The Twins confirmed Morneau's retirement plans Monday.

      --Field Level Media

  • Cardinals C Molina plans to retire in 2020
    By Field Level Media / Tuesday, January 16, 2018

    Cardinals catcher Yadier Molina said he plans to play out the three years remaining on his contract and retire from baseball at the end of the 2020 season.

    • "Three more years, that's it," Molina said at the Cardinals' Winter Warmup Fanfest.

      Molina, who evolved into the face of the St. Louis franchise as a defensive pillar and All-Star, signed a three-year extension worth $20 million per season last March. Molina, 35, previously said it would be his final contract.

      The eight-time All-Star and eight-time Gold Glove winner is working closely with his heir apparent, Carson Kelly, and is expected to gradually shift to a shared or platoon role.

      Molina in entering his 15th season with the Cardinals. He will be 38 when his current contract ends.

      The Cardinals drafted Molina in the fourth round of the 2000 draft.

      --Field Level Media

  • Report: Granderson to join Blue Jays on one-year deal
    By Field Level Media / Monday, January 15, 2018

    Outfielder Curtis Granderson is putting off retirement to join the Toronto Blue Jays, according to a USA Today report.

    • The three-time All-Star, who will be 37 when the season starts, is said to be receiving a one-year deal worth $5 million, according to a high-ranking baseball official.

      The deal is said to be pending a physical before it can be completed.

      Granderson spent time with the New York Mets and Los Angeles Dodgers last season, his 14th in MLB. He had a .212 batting average, but hit 26 home runs and drove in 64 runs for the season. The Dodgers left him off their World Series roster after he struggled in the playoffs, going just 1-for-15 at the plate.

      For his career, Granderson has a .252 average and has hit 319 home runs.

      Before joining the Mets in 2014, he had spent his entire career with the Detroit Tigers and New York Yankees in the American League.

      --Field Level Media

  • MLB notebook: Pirates reportedly trade McCutchen to Giants
    By Field Level Media / Monday, January 15, 2018

    The San Francisco Giants agreed to acquire 2013 National League MVP Andrew McCutchen from the Pittsburgh Pirates, according to multiple reports Monday.

    • The deal for the veteran outfielder is pending a medical review. It was not immediately clear what the Pirates will receive in return for McCutchen, who is due $14.75 million in the final year of his contract.

      McCutchen, 31, hit .279 with 28 home runs and 88 RBIs last season. McCutchen compiled a .291 average with 203 home runs and an .866 OPS for the Pirates from 2009-17. He helped Pittsburgh reach the postseason three consecutive years beginning in 2013 and appeared in five straight All-Star Games beginning in 2011.

      News of the McCutchen deal comes just two days after the Pirates traded starting pitcher Gerrit Cole to the Houston Astros.

      --The Washington Nationals and Howie Kendrick have agreed to a two-year, $7 million contract, according to multiple reports. The deal is pending a physical.

      The Nationals acquired Kendrick, 34, from the Phillies on July 28 last season. In 52 regular-season games with the team, he hit .293 with an .837 OPS -- both higher than his career averages. He also filled a variety of roles in Washington's lineup, playing second base and outfield and also serving as the team's top right-handed bat off the bench.

      Kendrick is a career .291 hitter with 104 home runs, 636 RBIs and 123 stolen bases in 12 seasons. He spent his first nine seasons with the Angels, making the 2011 All-Star Game.

      --The Minnesota Twins officially signed right-hander Addison Reed to a two-year, $16.75 million deal, the team announced.

      The 29-year-old Reed agreed to terms on Saturday, according to multiple reports. Reed was 2-3 with a 2.84 ERA, 1.05 WHIP, 19 saves and 76 strikeouts in 76 innings between the New York Mets and Boston Red Sox last season.

      Overall, Reed is 18-21 with a 3.40 ERA and 125 saves over seven seasons with the Chicago White Sox, Arizona Diamondbacks, Mets and Red Sox. He was originally a third-round pick in 2010 by the White Sox out of San Diego State.

      --Hall of Fame umpire Doug Harvey died on Saturday at the age of 87, the Hall announced.

      One of just 10 umpires enshrined in Cooperstown, Harvey worked the National League for 31 years, 18 of those as a crew chief. The Hall said Harvey had been in hospice care recently in Visalia, Calif. and had died of natural causes.

      From 1962 through 1992, Harvey worked five World Series and 4,673 games during the regular season.

      --Field Level Media

  • Twins officially add RHP Reed
    By Field Level Media / Monday, January 15, 2018

    The Minnesota Twins officially signed right-hander Addison Reed to a two-year, $16.75 million deal, the team announced on Monday.

    • The 29-year-old Reed agreed to terms on Saturday, according to multiple reports.

      Reed was 2-3 with a 2.84 ERA, 1.05 WHIP, 19 saves and 76 strikeouts in 76 innings between the New York Mets and Boston Red Sox last season.

      Overall, Reed is 18-21 with a 3.40 ERA and 125 saves over seven seasons with the Chicago White Sox, Arizona Diamondbacks, Mets and Red Sox. He was originally a third-round pick in 2010 by the White Sox out of San Diego State.

      Reed will be one of the leading candidates to be the Twins' closer next season, along with fellow recent signee Fernando Rodney. Rodney said at the time of his signing last month that he was told he was going to be the guy in the ninth inning, but his numbers last year (4.23 ERA, 1.19 WHIP) are worse than Reed's.

      Rodney, 41, converted 39 of his 45 save chances for the Arizona Diamondbacks in 2017.

      Reed received a good deal of time as the Mets' closer last season with Jeurys Familia suspended to start the year and injured in May. Reed converted 19 of his 21 save chances for New York before being dealt to the Red Sox prior to the trade deadline. In Boston, he primarily served as a setup man for All-Star closer Craig Kimbrel.

      Minnesota also designated left-hander Buddy Boshers for assignment. Boshers was 1-0 with a 4.89 ERA in 38 games for the Twins last season.

      --Field Level Media

  • Pirates trade OF McCutchen to Giants
    By Field Level Media / Monday, January 15, 2018

    The San Francisco Giants agreed to acquire 2013 National League MVP Andrew McCutchen from the Pittsburgh Pirates on Monday.

    • The deal for the veteran outfielder is pending a medical review. It was reported the Pirates will receive two prospects from the Giants in return for McCutchen, who is due $14.75 million in the final year of his contract.

      The prospects the Pirates will receive are said to be outfielder Bryan Reynolds and right-hander Kyle Crick, according to MLB Pipeline, which also says the Pirates will receive $500,000 in their international bonus pool allotment.

      The Pirates are reportedly paying $2.5 million of McCutchen's salary in 2018, according to MLB Network's Ken Rosenthal.

      McCutchen, 31, hit .279 with 28 home runs and 88 RBIs last season.

      McCutchen compiled a .291 average with 203 home runs and an .866 OPS for the Pirates from 2009-17. He helped Pittsburgh reach the postseason three consecutive years beginning in 2013 and appeared in five straight All-Star Games beginning in 2011.

      He will join three-time All-Star third baseman Evan Longoria, acquired from the Tampa Bay Rays last month, as San Francisco looks to beef up its offense. The Giants were last in the National League in home runs and 13th in batting average in 2017.

      News of the McCutchen deal comes just two days after the Pirates traded starting pitcher Gerrit Cole to the Houston Astros.

      -- Field Level Media

  • Reports: Nationals, Kendrick agree on two-year, $7M deal
    By Field Level Media / Monday, January 15, 2018

    The Washington Nationals and Howie Kendrick have agreed to a two-year, $7 million contract, according to multiple reports.

    • The deal is pending a physical.

      The Nationals acquired Kendrick, 34, from the Phillies on July 28 last season. In 52 regular-season games with the team, he hit .293 with an .837 OPS -- both higher than his career averages. He also filled a variety of roles in Washington's lineup, playing second base and outfield and also serving as the team's top right-handed bat off the bench.

      During the Winter Meetings in December, Nationals general manager Mike Rizzo noted Kendrick's value in the clubhouse, as well. And with starting second baseman Daniel Murphy still recovering from offseason microfracture surgery in his right knee, Kendrick could serve as valuable insurance should Murphy not be ready by Opening Day.

      Kendrick is a career .291 hitter with 104 home runs, 636 RBIs and 123 stolen bases in 12 seasons. He spent his first nine seasons with the Angels, making the 2011 All-Star Game.

      --Field Level Media

  • Hall of Fame umpire Doug Harvey dead at 87
    By Field Level Media / Monday, January 15, 2018

    Hall of Fame umpire Doug Harvey died on Saturday at the age of 87, the Hall announced.

    • One of just 10 umpires enshrined in Cooperstown, Harvey worked the National League for 31 years, 18 of those as a crew chief.

      The Hall said he had been in hospice care recently in Visalia, Calif. and had died of natural causes.

      From 1962 through 1992, Harvey worked five World Series and 4,673 games during the regular season.

      "You always respected him because he came out to his job and (did it) with a lot of class," former manager Joe Torre once said of Harvey. "He was very consistent, and that's the highest compliment you can pay anybody."

      Torre was the first player ejected by Harvey during the umpire's rookie season in 1962.

      He was inducted to the Hall of Fame in 2010.

      --Field Level Media

  • 1B Gonzalez reportedly agrees to deal with Mets
    By Field Level Media / Sunday, January 14, 2018

    When the New York Mets signed free agent Jay Bruce on Wednesday, there was talk that the veteran outfielder might see some action at first base.

    • That plan might be moot, as the Mets agreed to a deal with free agent first baseman Adrian Gonzalez on Saturday, multiple media outlets reported.

      The Mets won't need to break the bank for Gonzalez. Last month, the 35-year-old veteran was traded from the Los Angeles Dodgers to Atlanta as part of a multi-player deal, and the Braves promptly released him.

      Atlanta remains on the hook for virtually all of Gonzalez's guaranteed $21.5 million salary in 2018, with the Mets needing to pay only the minimum salary of $545,000.

      Gonzalez will be a free agent after the upcoming season.

      Gonzalez missed most of last season due to a herniated back disk. He didn't see action in the playoffs, and National League Rookie of the Year Cody Bellinger spent much of the year playing first base while belting 39 homers.

      The result was the deal that sent Gonzalez, right-hander Brandon McCarthy, infielder Charlie Culberson, left-hander Scott Kazmir and cash to the Braves in exchange for outfielder Matt Kemp.

      Gonzalez played just 71 games in 2017, the first time he didn't play at least 156 games since 2005. He hit .242 with a .287 on-base percentage, a .355 slugging percentage, three homers and 30 RBIs.

      For his career, Gonzalez has a .288/.359/.488 batting line with 311 home runs and 1,176 RBIs in 1,875 games. He played for the Texas Rangers, San Diego Padres and the Boston Red Sox before joining the Dodgers in midseason in 2012.

      He is a five-time All-Star and a four-time Gold Glove winner.

      In New York, Gonzalez's likeliest competition for playing time at first base is Dominic Smith, who struggled as a rookie in 2017. Smith hit .198/.262/.395 with nine homers and 26 RBIs in 49 games.

      --Field Level Media

  • Pirates trade RHP Cole to Astros
    By Field Level Media / Saturday, January 13, 2018

    A day after reaching a one-year agreement with the Pittsburgh Pirates to avoid arbitration, right-hander Gerrit Cole was traded to the Houston Astros.

    • Houston sent right-handers Joe Musgrove and Michael Feliz, third baseman Colin Moran and outfielder Jason Martin to Pittsburgh in the deal.

      Trade speculation swirled around Cole earlier this week, with the Astros and New York Yankees rumored to have interest prior to the 27-year-old reaching a one-year, $6.75 million agreement with the Pirates.

      Cole went 12-12 with a 4.26 ERA and 196 strikeouts in 33 starts in 2017. He has a 59-42 record with a 3.50 ERA in parts of five seasons with the Pirates. The No. 1 overall choice in the 2011 draft finished fourth in the National League Cy Young balloting in 2015 when he went 19-8 with a 2.60 ERA and made his lone All-Star team.

      He has one year of arbitration eligibility remaining.

      Musgrove, 25, went 7-8 with a 4.77 ERA in 38 games in 2017, his second major league season, splitting his year between the rotation and the bullpen.

      Feliz, 24, went 4-2 with a 5.63 ERA in 46 relief appearances with the Astros last season, drawing his career numbers to 12-3 with a 5.13 ERA in parts of three seasons in Houston.

      Moran, 25, went 4-for-11 with a homer and three RBIs in seven games for the Astros in 2017. He had his season interrupted due to facial fractures he sustained after getting hit in the face with a foul ball, missing two months.

      Martin, 22, split his season between Class A Buies Creek and Double-A Corpus Christi, hitting .278 with 18 home runs and 66 RBIs in 125 games.

      --Field Level Media

  • MLB notebook: Sosa still not welcome at Cubs events
    By Field Level Media / Saturday, January 13, 2018

    Chicago Cubs owner Tom Ricketts has drawn a line in the sand for franchise home-run leader Sammy Sosa if he wishes to ever be welcomed back by the team.

    • Ricketts, speaking at the Cubs' annual fan convention Saturday, said Sosa must "put everything on the table" in regards to alleged performance-enhancing drug use during his playing days in order to begin repairing his relationship with the club.

      Sosa hasn't been invited back to take part in any official Cubs-related activities since he retired in 2007. Sosa never officially tested positive for steroids during his career. However, he was one of the players to be listed as testing positive in baseball's 2003 anonymous survey on PED use, the results of which were revealed by the New York Times in 2009.

      "Players from that era owe us a little bit of honesty," Ricketts said. "The only way to turn that page is to put everything on the table. "I think we have to be sympathetic to that era ... but the players owe us some honesty, too."

      --The San Diego Padres and left-hander Brad Hand have agreed to a three-year extension, according to the MLB Network's Ken Rosenthal.

      The agreement covers Hand's final two years of arbitration eligibility and includes a fourth-year team option, according to the report. Hand is expected to receive guaranteed money in the range of $18-20 million.

      Hand went 3-4 with 21 saves, a 2.16 ERA and 104 strikeouts in 79 1/3 innings last season, when he was named to his first All-Star team. He posted career-bests with 11.8 strikeouts per nine innings and a 5.20 strikeout-to-walk ratio.

      --The Minnesota Twins and free-agent reliever Addison Reed agreed to a two-year, $17 million contract, according to multiple reports.

      Reed had a 2.84 ERA, 1.05 WHIP, 19 saves and 76 strikeouts in 76 innings between the New York Mets and Boston Red Sox last season. The right-hander will be one of the leading candidates to be the Twins' closer next season, along with fellow recent signee Fernando Rodney.

      Reed, 29, received a good deal of time as the Mets' closer last season with Jeurys Familia suspended to start the year and injured in May. Reed converted 19 of his 21 save chances for New York before being dealt to the Red Sox prior to the trade deadline. In Boston, he served primarily as a setup man for All-Star closer Craig Kimbrel.

      --Field Level Media

  • Cubs' Ricketts: Sosa must come clean before being welcomed back
    By Field Level Media / Saturday, January 13, 2018

    Chicago Cubs owner Tom Ricketts has drawn a line in the sand for franchise home run leader Sammy Sosa if he wishes to ever be welcomed back by the team.

    • Ricketts, speaking at the Cubs' annual fan convention Saturday, said Sosa must "put everything on the table" in regards to alleged performance-enhancing drug use during his playing days in order to begin repairing his relationship with the club.

      Sosa hasn't been invited back to take part in any official Cubs-related activities since he retired in 2007.

      "Players from that era owe us a little bit of honesty," Ricketts said. "The only way to turn that page is to put everything on the table.

      "I think we have to be sympathetic to that era ... but the players owe us some honesty, too."

      Sosa never officially tested positive for steroids during his career. However, he was one of the players to be listed as testing positive in baseball's 2003 anonymous survey on PED use, the results of which were revealed by the New York Times in 2009.

      According to a report from the Chicago Tribune last February, Ricketts and the Cubs closed the door on any potential Sosa reconciliation following comments the slugger made comparing himself to Jesus Christ in an interview with blogger Chuck Wasserstrom. In that same interview, Sosa said he would say yes if the Cubs invited him back.

      Sosa hit 545 of his 609 career home runs as a member of the Cubs, where he spent 13 seasons of his 18-year career. The 49-year-old continues to receive little Hall of Fame support, receiving just 8.6 percent of the vote in his fifth year of eligibility in 2017.

      --Field Level Media

  • Twins, reliever Reed agree to 2-year deal
    By Field Level Media / Saturday, January 13, 2018

    The Minnesota Twins and free-agent reliever Addison Reed agreed to a two-year, $17 million contract, according to multiple reports Saturday.

    • Reed had a 2.84 ERA, 1.05 WHIP, 19 saves and 76 strikeouts in 76 innings between the New York Mets and Boston Red Sox last season.

      The right-hander will be one of the leading candidates to be the Twins' closer next season, along with fellow recent signee Fernando Rodney. Rodney said at the time of his signing with the team last month that he was told he was going to be the guy in the ninth inning, but his numbers last year (4.23 ERA, 1.19 WHIP) are worse than Reed's.

      Rodney, 41, converted 39 of his 45 save chances for the Arizona Diamondbacks in 2017.

      Reed, 29, received a good deal of time as the Mets' closer last season with Jeurys Familia suspended to start the year and injured in May. Reed converted 19 of his 21 save chances for New York before being dealt to the Red Sox prior to the trade deadline. In Boston, he primarily served as a setup man for All-Star closer Craig Kimbrel.

      The Twins opened the 2017 season with Brandon Kintzler as their closer before trading him to the Washington Nationals midsummer. Matt Belisle took over from there, converting nine of his 13 save chances down the stretch.

      Belisle is still a free agent, while Kintzler re-signed with the Nationals on a two-year contract worth at least $10 million.

      --Field Level Media

  • Report: Padres agree to 3-year extension with All-Star Hand
    By Field Level Media / Saturday, January 13, 2018

    The San Diego Padres and left-hander Brad Hand have agreed to a three-year extension, according to the MLB Network's Ken Rosenthal.

    • The agreement covers Hand's final two years of arbitration eligibility and includes a fourth-year team option, according to the report. Hand is expected to receive guaranteed money in the range of $18-20 million.

      Hand went 3-4 with 21 saves, a 2.16 ERA and 104 strikeouts in 79 1/3 innings last season, when he was named to his first All-Star team. He posted career-bests with 11.8 strikeouts per nine innings and a 5.20 strikeout-to-walk ratio.

      Hand has recorded a 2.56 ERA with 190 strikeouts in 168 2/3 innings since San Diego selected him off waivers from the Marlins in 2016.

      --Field Level Media

  • Unresolved MLB arbitration roundup: OFs Betts, Springer highlight group
    By Field Level Media / Friday, January 12, 2018

    The deadline for teams to avoid arbitration with their eligible players was 1 p.m. EST on Friday, and the majority of cases were resolved. However, a good deal of notable players still don't have a contract in place for 2018.

    • All-Star outfielders Mookie Betts (Boston Red Sox) and George Springer (Houston Astros) headline the group of players set to head to an arbitration hearing with their respective clubs next month. Any player who didn't reach a deal Friday can still do so before a hearing is necessary.

      Here is a roundup of unsigned players and the reported gap in negotiations between them and their respective clubs. All monetary details courtesy Jon Heyman of FanRag Sports unless noted otherwise:

      2B Jonathan Schoop, Orioles: Filed at $9 million, Baltimore countered at $7.5 million (via Bob Nightengale of USA Today)

      RHP Kevin Gausman, Orioles: Filed at $6,225,000, Baltimore countered at $5.3 million

      RF Mookie Betts, Red Sox: Filed at $10.5 million, Boston countered at $7.5 million

      RHP Jake Odorizzi, Rays: Filed at $6.3 million, Tampa Bay countered at $6.05 million

      SS Adeiny Hechavarria, Rays: Filed at $5.9 million, Tampa Bay countered at $5.35 million

      RHP Marcus Stroman, Blue Jays: Filed at $6.9 million, Toronto countered at $6.5 million (via Bob Nightengale of USA Today)

      RHP Roberto Osuna, Blue Jays: Filed at $5.8 million, Toronto countered at $5.3 million

      OF Avisail Garcia, White Sox: Filed at $6.7 million, Chicago countered at $5.85 million

      RHP Trevor Bauer, Indians: Filed at $6.525 million, Cleveland countered at $5.3 million

      SS Jose Iglesias, Tigers: Filed at $6.8 million, Detroit countered at $5.6 million

      RHP Brandon Maurer, Royals: Filed at $3.5 million, Kansas City countered at $2.95 million

      RHP Kyle Gibson, Twins: Filed at $4.55 million, Minnesota countered at $4.2 million

      OF George Springer, Astros: Filed at $10.5 million, Houston countered at $8.5 million

      RHP Ken Giles, Astros: Filed at $4.6 million, Houston countered at $4.2 million

      RHP Collin McHugh, Astros: Filed at $5 million, Houston countered at $4.55 million

      RHP Kendall Graveman, Athletics: Filed at $2.6 million, Oakland countered at $2.36 million

      RHP Mike Foltynewicz, Braves: Filed at $2.3 million, Atlanta countered at $2.2 million

      C J.T. Realmuto, Marlins: Filed at $3.5 million, Miami countered at $2.9 million

      RHP Dan Straily, Marlins: Filed at $3.55 million, Miami countered at $3.37 million (via Barry Jackson of Miami Herald)

      1B Justin Bour, Marlins: Filed at $3.4 million, Miami countered at $3 million

      RHP Zack Wheeler, Mets: Filed at $1.9 million, New York countered at $1.5 million (via Ken Davidoff of New York Post)

      RHP Justin Grimm, Cubs: Filed at $2.475 million, Chicago countered at $2.2 million

      2B Scooter Gennett, Reds: Filed at $5.7 million, Cincinnati countered at $5.1 million

      3B Eugenio Suarez, Reds: Filed at $4.2 million, Cincinnati countered at $3.75 million (via Mark Sheldon of MLB.com)

      LHP Felipe Rivero, Pirates: Filed at $2.9 million, Pittsburgh countered at $2.4 million

      RHP Shelby Miller, Diamondbacks: Filed at $4.9 million, Arizona countered at $4.7 million

      --Field Level Media

  • Nationals avoid arbitration with Rendon, Roark, Taylor
    By Field Level Media / Friday, January 12, 2018

    After meeting the Friday 1 p.m. EST deadline to exchange salary figures, the Washington Nationals reached one-year deals with all three of their arbitration-eligible players: third baseman Anthony Rendon, right-hander Tanner Roark and center fielder Michael Taylor.

    • Rendon's deal is worth $12.3 million, while Roark and Taylor will make $6,475,000 and $2,525,000, respectively, according to multiple reports.

      Rendon, 27, made $5.8 million last season and had a career year, finishing sixth in National League MVP voting after hitting .301 with 25 homers, 100 RBIs, a .403 on-base percentage and a .533 slugging percentage, all personal bests. With the slugger two seasons away from free agency, Rendon, agent Scott Boras and Washington general manager Mike Rizzo have each expressed willingness to discuss an extension.

      Roark, 31, made $4.3 million in 2017 and finished 13-11 with a career-worst 4.67 ERA in 30 starts. He was scheduled to start Game 4 of the NL Division Series against the Chicago Cubs, but the Nationals made a late change to Stephen Strasburg, who had been under the weather.

      Taylor, 26, is in his first year of arbitration eligibility. He posted career bests in batting average (.271) and homers (19) across 118 games last season.

      --Field Level Media

  • White Sox, 1B Abreu avoid arbitration with $13M deal
    By Field Level Media / Friday, January 12, 2018

    The Chicago White Sox and first baseman Jose Abreu avoided arbitration by agreeing to a one-year, $13 million deal Friday.

    • Abreu was arbitration eligible for the second time this offseason after exercising his right to opt in to the process as part of his original six-year, $68 million contract signed in 2013. The deal allowed Abreu to go through arbitration when he became eligible by MLB standards (after first three seasons), and he made $10.825 million in 2017.

      The 30-year old had a season reminiscent of his 2014 Rookie of The Year campaign, slashing .304/.354/.552 and hitting 33 home runs while driving in 102 runs. Across his four years with the White Sox, the Cuban slugger has 124 home runs and 410 RBIs, driving in at least 100 runs in every season.

      Abreu is under contract with the White Sox through the 2019 season.

      Also avoiding arbitration with Chicago on Friday are left-handers Luis Avilan ($2.45 million) and Carlos Rodon ($2.3 million) and infielder Leury Garcia ($1.175 million), per a club announcement.

      The White Sox were unable to come to terms on a deal for 2018 with outfielder Avisail Garcia ahead of Friday's deadline. Garcia filed at $6.7 million, while the White Sox countered with $5.85 million, according to a report from FanRag Sports.

      Garcia, 26, enjoyed a breakout 2017 season, posting career highs in batting average (.330), home runs (18) and RBIs (80).

      --Field Level Media

  • Red Sox avoid arbitration with 9; OF Betts still unsigned
    By Field Level Media / Friday, January 12, 2018

    The Boston Red Sox avoided arbitration with all but one of their eligible players on Friday -- star outfielder Mookie Betts.

    • The team announced that it agreed to terms with nine players on one-year contracts: shortstop Xander Bogaerts, outfielder Jackie Bradley Jr., utility man Brock Holt, catchers Sandy Leon and Christian Vazquez, left-handers Drew Pomeranz and Eduardo Rodriguez and right-handers Joe Kelly and Brandon Workman.

      Rodriguez, Vazquez and Workman were eligible for the first time and will make $2.375 million, $1.45 million and $835,000, respectively, according to multiple reports. Bogaerts ($7.05 million), Bradley ($6.1 million), Holt ($2.225 million) and Leon ($1.95 million) were in their second year of eligibility, while Pomeranz ($8.5 million) and Kelly ($3.825 million) were in their third. Pomeranz and Kelly are set to become free agents next offseason.

      The Red Sox are set for an arbitration hearing with Betts next month after failing to reach a deal prior to Friday's deadline to do so. Betts is eligible for arbitration for the first time in his career this offseason and has filed at $10.5 million. The Red Sox countered at $7.5 million, according to a report from FanRag Sports.

      Betts' desired $10.5 million is just short of the record deal the Chicago Cubs handed third baseman Kris Bryant (one year, $10.85 million) on Friday in his first year of eligibility.

      Betts, 25, doesn't have an MVP to his name like Bryant, but finished second in the American League voting for the award in 2016. The outfielder regressed some last season, slashing .264/.344/.459 but still hit 24 home runs, drove in 102 runs and stole 26 bases.

      The two-time All-Star is also an elite defender in right field, winning Gold Gloves each of the last two seasons.

      The Red Sox exercised their right to renew Betts' contract last offseason after they were unable to agree to a one-year deal with him. They gave him $950,000, at the time the second-highest amount awarded to a player with less than three years of MLB service time behind Mike Trout's $1 million from the Los Angeles Angels in 2014. Bryant later set a new record in receiving $1.05 million from the Cubs.

      --Field Level Media

  • O's avoid arbitration with 3B Machado, closer Britton
    By Field Level Media / Friday, January 12, 2018

    The Baltimore Orioles agreed to one-year deals with third baseman Manny Machado and injured closer Zach Britton on Friday, thus avoiding arbitration.

    • Machado's deal is for $16 million, while Britton will earn $12 million, according to multiple reports. Both players will be free agents at the end of the 2018 season.

      Britton is likely to miss several months of the regular season after rupturing his Achilles tendon in December. The initial timeline for his return was set at six months.

      Reports earlier Friday had the O's heading to an arbitration hearing with Machado after failing to agree by the 1 p.m. ET deadline. However, the two sides were able to find common ground. Machado made $11.5 million in 2017.

      The 25-year-old Machado, whom the Orioles are considering moving back to shortstop next season, hit .259 with 33 home runs and 95 RBIs in 2017. The three-time All-Star began the year in a lengthy slump (.230 batting average in first half) before hitting .290 down the stretch to salvage his season.

      Britton, 29, was limited to 38 games while battling an MCL sprain in his left knee and had a 2.89 ERA and 15 saves. The left-hander was the best reliever in baseball in 2016, posting a 0.54 ERA and going 47-for-47 in save chances on his way to finishing fourth in the American League Cy Young vote.

      Britton earned $11.4 million in 2017.

      Both Machado and Britton have been the subject of trade rumors this offseason, with talks surrounding the latter quieting down following his injury.

      Baltimore also agreed to terms on a one-year deal with right-handed reliever Brad Brach worth $5.165 million, according to a report from MASN Sports. Brach, 31, had a 3.18 ERA while picking up in 18 saves in place of Britton last season.

      Shortstop Tim Beckham agreed to a $3.35 million deal for 2018, according to a report from The Baltimore Sun. The 27-year-old former No. 1 draft pick hit .306 with 10 home runs and 26 RBIs in 50 games with the O's after being acquired from the Tampa Bay Rays ahead of last year's trade deadline.

      Catcher Caleb Joseph agreed for $1.25 million, according to a report from BaltimoreBaseball.com. Joseph, 31, hit .256 with eight home runs and 28 RBIs in 2017.

      Other arbitration-eligible Orioles players include second baseman Jonathan Schoop and right-hander Kevin Gausman.

      --Field Level Media