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Report: Giants, Rockies, Padres interested in Gee

A handful of West Coast teams are reportedly interested in trading for Mets starter Dillon Gee, according to FOXSports.com‘s Ken Rosenthal.

The Rockies, Giants and Padres are all “looking at” a trade for the right-hander, who is arbitration-eligible this year. Gee, 28, went 7-8 last year with a 4.00 ERA. He has spent his entire five-year career with the Mets.

According to the report, the Rockies are also inquiring about free agent Ryan Vogelsong.

– Joey Nowak

Report: Cardinals considering moves for top-line SPs

The Cardinals may not yet be done wheeling and dealing this winter, with FOXSports.com‘s Jon Morosi and Ken Rosenthal reporting that St. Louis is “exploring” trades for Cole Hamels and David Price, and considering signing free agent Max Scherzer.

The report cautions that “no deal appears close on any front” but says that it’s a reflection of the team’s lack of confidence in the rotation beyond veteran Lance Lynn. Still, the Cards also have Adam Wainwright, John Lackey, Michael Wacha, and Jaime Garcia returning from injury. Marco Gonzales and Carlos Martinez will also likely factor in.

Hamels is set to make $23.5 million each of the next four seasons with the Phillies before a $20 million team option/$24 million vesting option/$6 million buyout comes into play. Price, a fellow left-hander, is arbitration eligible and his contract status with the Tigers could be determined by Scherzer’s free agent status. Scherzer (a Missouri native) has spent the last five seasons with Detroit, but it’s been unclear where the highly sought-after right-hander will sign this offseason.

– Joey Nowak

Report: Rays have interest in Rasmus, could deal Zobrist

Outfielder Colby Rasmus remains one of the top free agent targets left on the market, and the Rays appear to be interested.

FOXSports.com‘s Jon Morosi tweeted that the Rays “have had discussions” with the free agent, and could be especially willing to add the outfield bat if they trade Ben Zobrist.

Rasmus, 28, appeared in 104 games for the Blue Jays last year, batting .225 with a .735 OPS.

The Rays currently have an outfield depth chart that features Desmond Jennings in center field, David DeJesus in left, Stephen Souza (recently acquired from the Nats) in right and Zobrist — who can play multiple positions — at second base.

– Joey Nowak

Report: Red Sox agree to Minor League deal with Boggs

The Red Sox have reportedly reached an agreement for a Minor League deal with right-handed reliever Mitchell Boggs, according to WEEI.com‘s Rob Bradford.

Boggs, 30, has pitched out of the back end of the St. Louis bullpen for the majority of his career (and nine games for the Rockies in 2013). The right-hander didn’t pitch in the Majors last season, though he spent time with the White Sox and Giants organizations.

Over his career, Boggs is 13-15 with a 4.12 ERA. His best season came in 2012 with the Cardinals, when he posted a 2.21 ERA over 78 games.

– Joey Nowak

Phillies sign veteran Harang

The Phillies have signed right-hander Aaron Harang, one of the biggest standout surprises in baseball last season, to a one-year, $5 million contract.

Harang, 36, went 12-12 with a 3.57 ERA for the Braves last year, and gave up more than two earned runs in just two of his first 12 starts of the season. He logged 200+ innings for the fourth time in his career (204 1/3 last year).

“Aaron brings a wealth of experience and durability to our rotation,” Phillies GM Ruben Amaro said in a statement.  “He had a very solid season for the Braves last year and will complement the left-handers in our rotation nicely.”

The contract also includes performance and awards bonuses.

– Joey Nowak

Report: Bonifacio, White Sox agree for 1 year

Emilio Bonifacio is reportedly returning to Chicago, having agreed to terms on a one-year contract with the White Sox.

FOXSports.com’s Jon Morosi first reported the deal, which he says is worth $4 million. Bonifacio spent 69 games in Chicago last year with the Cubs, then was traded to the Braves on July 31.

CBSSports.com‘s Jon Heyman reported the deal also includes a club option for 2016.

In that time with Chicago, he hit .279 with two homers, 18 RBIs, 35 runs and a .692 OPS.

The veteran utility man has played for seven teams in his eight-year career, batting .262 with a .660 OPS.

– Joey Nowak

Market for James Shields thinning?

The Red Sox reportedly have not had much recent discussion with free agent starting pitcher James Shields, according to ESPN and Sirius XM’s Jim Bowden, leaving the remaining market for the sought-after right-hander largely unknown.

After the Boston Globe’s Nick Cafardo reported in late December that the Giants and Red Sox were still “in the picture” for the right-hander, Bowden has reported this week that the Giants are out on the him and the Red Sox now do not seem to be significant players in the sweepstakes.

Bowden tweeted Saturday night that the “Red Sox met with James Shields at the Winter Meetings but haven’t had substantive talks with him or his agent.”

Shields, 33, had a 3.21 ERA in 34 starts (227 innings) last year for Kansas City, helping the Royals to the playoffs.

– Joey Nowak

Report: Royals agree with Madson on Minor League deal

The Royals have reportedly agreed to terms with reliever Ryan Madson on a Minor League contract, according to ESPN.com’s Jerry Crasnick.

Madson, 34, hasn’t pitched since the 2011 season because of elbow injuries but saved 32 games for the Phillies that year. He signed with the Reds for $6 million before the 2012 season and with the Angels for $3.25 million before the 2013 season but did not appear in a game for either team.

His deal with the Royals reportedly comes with an invitation to Major League Spring Training.

Over nine seasons with Philadelphia, Madson went 47-30 with a 3.59 ERA primarily out of the bullpen. He saved 52 games, but will be fighting for a spot in Kansas City’s formidable bullpen.

– Joey Nowak

Reports: Orioles an option for Swisher, Rasmus

As the Orioles get set to enter the 2015 season with a lineup that doesn’t feature Nick Markakis or Nelson Cruz, the team is on the lookout for offensive pieces to fill those voids.

They’re reportedly speaking with outfielder Colby Rasmus – “among other left-handed-hitting outfield options,” FOX Sports‘ Jon Morosi reports – who is a free agent and could help to take Markakis’ place.

Rasmus, 28, has appeared in 373 games for the Blue Jays over the last three full seasons and has hit .234 with a .728 OPS over his four seasons in Toronto. He has played center field there, but would likely have to agree to a corner outfield change to fit in Baltimore.

The Orioles are also among the teams interested in Nick Swisher, who is reportedly being shopped by the Indians since the acquisition of Brandon Moss from the A’s

The Boston Globe‘s Nick Cafardo has reported that the Rays, Blue Jays, Orioles, Padres, Brewers, and Cubs are teams that would be interested in Swisher for the right price (he’s set to make $15 million each of the next two years, with a $14 million vesting option for 2017).

Swisher, 34, was signed by the Indians prior to the 2013 season and has hit .231 with 30 homers and 105 RBIs in the last two years (he batted just .208 with eight homers and 42 RBIs in 97 games last year).

– Joey Nowak

Padres at it again, this time landing Upton

The Padres continue to be the busiest team in baseball this offseason, and now have reportedly traded for Braves outfielder Justin Upton.

That places Upton in a significantly upgraded lineup that now includes former MVP candidate Matt Kemp, All-Star Derek Norris and former AL Rookie of the Year Wil Myers.

Multiple outlets reported that a trade was close on Friday morning, and Ken Rosenthal first reported that the mystery team to land Upton was the Padres. Rosenthal tweeted that the Braves’ return in the deal figured to include “at least one of three top prospects.”

It obviously creates a bit of a logjam in the Petco Park outfield, with incumbents Will Venable and Carlos Quentin in the mix with Myers, Upton and Kemp.

– Joey Nowak

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