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A’s land Davis from Bucs

The A’s acquired first baseman Ike Davis and international bonus slot 86 from the Pirates on Sunday in exchange for international bonus slot 27.

The A’s are hoping the addition of Davis can add depth to their infield, along with some extra pop. Davis hit 32 home runs for the Mets in 2012. He finished the ’14 season hitting .233 with 11 home runs with 51 RBIs.

Davis was designated for assignment by the Pirates on Thursday. He played the first 12 games of the season with the Mets before being traded to Pittsburgh.

The A’s designated outfielder Andrew Brown for assignment to clear a spot on the 40-man roster.

Quinn Roberts

Rangers interested in Justin Upton

With reports surfacing over the last few days that the Braves are shopping Justin Upton, the Rangers look to be one of the teams interested in acquiring the outfielder.

Ken Rosenthal of and Joel Sherman of the New York Post reported on Sunday that the Rangers have spoken with the Braves regarding Upton. According to Rosenthal, this isn’t the first time the Rangers have shown interest in him.The Braves already traded away a piece of their outfield this off-season when they sent Jason Heyward to St. Louis in exchange for Shelby Miller and Tyrell Jenkins.

Upton will make $14.5 million in 2015 and then become a free agent. In 2014, he hit .270 with 29 home runs and 102 RBI.

– Quinn Roberts

Hot Stove Roundup 2/14

Several more teams reported to Spring Training on Friday. However, the Hot Stove was still as busy as ever.

Some of the biggest news of the day came out of Atlanta, where the Braves and Julio Teheran agreed to a six-year, $32.4 million extension that includes an option for the 2020 season.

“We are excited to sign Julio to a long-term contract,” Braves general manager Frank Wren said. “He is one of the best young pitchers in the National League and one of our core of players we expect to be together for a number of years.”

Here’s a look at some of the other top stories:

• The Rangers and designated hitter Mitch Moreland avoided arbitration, agreeing to a one-year contract worth $2.65 million.

• Texas also signed free-agent pitcher Tommy Hanson to a one-year contract. The deal is worth $2 million plus incentives.

• The Cardinals confirmed that right-hander Jake Westbrook is retiring after 13 years in the Major Leagues. Westbrook, 36, was 7-8 with a 4.63 ERA in 21 games for St. Louis last season.

• Jeff Samardzija would not discuss the possibility of a long-term contract with the Cubs or his name being mentioned in trade rumors.

“We’re not really going to talk about that,” Samardzija said. “We’re worried about the season and getting ready to compete and win some ballgames. We don’t want any distractions, whether it’s with [contract talk] or with trade talks or this or that. For me, it’s a no comment.

“Like I’ve said before, [I want to] put no doubt in anyone’s minds about who I am and what I can be for this organization.”

• Angels owner Arte Moreno confirmed that the club is in talks with Mike Trout on a long-term contract. The team would like to sign the 22-year-old center fielder to a long-term deal shortly after Opening Day, so they don’t have to go through the complex arbitration process next year and his new contract doesn’t count against the team’s Collective Balance Tax payroll until 2015.

• The Nationals and right-hander Josh Roenicke agreed to a Minor League contract with an invitation to Spring Training.

Quinn Roberts

Hot Stove Roundup 1/31

Plenty of important news came out of the Hot Stove on Friday, most notably in Chicago. According to FOX Sports, the Cubs have signed free-agent pitcher Jason Hammel to a one-year, $6 million contract.

Hammel, 31, had a break out year in 2012. The right-hander went 8-6 with a 3.43 ERA in 118 innings over 20 starts for the Orioles. However, he took a step back in 2013, finishing with a 7-8 record and 4.97 ERA in 26 appearances. He was on the disabled list during the season with tenderness in his right forearm.

Yet, it wasn’t just Hammel. Plenty of others news occurred throughout the league. Here’s a look at some of the top stories:

* The Tigers avoided arbitration with catcher Alex Avila, signing him to a one-year, $4.15 million contract that includes an option for 2015. The deal finished the Tigers’ arbitration dealings.

* The Angels avoided arbitration with their final two eligible players, agreeing on a $5.05 million contract with third baseman David Freese and a $1,462,500 contract with reliever Kevin Jepsen.

* The Royals signed relief pitcher Aaron Crow to a one-year, $1.475 million contract to avoid arbitration. He asked for $1.7 million, while the Royals offered $1.28 million, the same salary he earned in 2013.

* Not only did the Cubs reportedly sign Jason Hammel, the team signed pitcher James McDonald to a Minor League contract that includes an invitation to Spring Training.

* The Marlins added Reed Johnson into their mix of outfielders, signing the veteran to a Minor League deal with an invitation to Spring Training. Johnson played in 74 games for the Braves last season.

* The Angels signed Yorvit Torrealba to a Minor League contract with an Invitation to Spring Training. The catcher would provide Minor League depth along with Luis Martinez and John Hester.

* Veteran shortstop Alex Gonzalez, who will enter his 16th season, signed a Minor League deal with the Orioles that includes an invitation to Spring Training. He spent the last two seasons with the Brewers, but appeared in only 65 games.

* Roger Bernadina became the Reds latest Minor League signing, inviting the outfielder to Spring Training as a non-roster player. If he makes it out of Reds camp, Bernadina will earn a $1 million salary in 2014.

* Switch-hitting veteran Wilson Betemit agreed to a Minor League deal with the Rays, according to The club has yet to confirm the deal.

* After spending the 2013 season in Japan, first baseman Matt Clark and the Mets agreed to a Minor League contract with an invitation to Spring Training.

Quinn Roberts

Hot Stove Roundup 1/25

While the Hot Stove was quite busy on Friday, things were relatively calm on Saturday. However, a few tasty tidbits did come up.

Here’s a look at some of the day’s news and notes from around the league:

* Rangers general manager Jon Daniels told ESPN Dallas’ Richard Durrett that it is unlikely the team will sign former infielder Michael Young. He said the team will look for players within the organization to fill the utility spot.

* If starter Ubaldo Jimenez is unable to get a multi-year contract, Paul Hoynes of the Cleveland Plain Dealer writes he could return to the Indians for a one-year deal at or below $14 million.

* While Tigers general manager Dave Dombrowski won’t address the team’s interest in outfielder Nelson Cruz, he did tell Jason Beck of that he’d be “surprised if we made any major moves”.

* The Brewers signed outfielder Jeremy Hermida and infielder Joe Thurston to minor league deals on Saturday. Hermida played the entire 2013 season with Triple-A Columbus in the Indians organization. Thurston last appeared in the Majors in 2010 and played in Mexico in 2013.

* Pitcher Barry Enright tweeted that he signed a minor league deal with the Phillies. Enright struggled in 2013, posting a 7.12 ERA in 1161/3 innings for Triple-A Salt Lake in the Angels organization.

Quinn Roberts

Hot Stove Roundup 1/24

The Hot Stove saw a lot of action on Friday, most notably a multiyear contract extension for White Sox manager Robin Ventura. Though the club did not release the terms of the agreement, the extension comes with Ventura entering the final season of his original three-year deal.

While Ventura’s immediate future has been secured, there remains some uncertainty surrounding free agents Matt Garza and Tyler Colvin, each of whom appeared to have contracts in place this week.

Here’s a look at Friday’s news from around the league:

* Garza technically remains a free agent despite reports on Thursday that the right-hander and the Brewers agreed in principle to a four-year, $52 million contract. There appears to be a holdup with the deal and a source familiar with the negotiations said on Friday to “stay tuned.”

* In a similar development, the Orioles had a potential deal with Colvin fall through because of a back issue during the outfielder’s physical. Baltimore wants to reduce the contract to a Minor League deal.

* The Giants acquired left-handed pitcher David Huff from the Yankees in exchange for cash considerations. Huff had been designated for assignment on Wednesday after New York signed coveted Japanese right-hander Masahiro Tanaka.

* The Phillies avoided salary arbitration with Ben Revere, agreeing to a one-year contract with the center fielder. Philadelphia has now signed all of its arbitration-eligible players.

* The Cubs inked left-hander Travis Wood to a one-year contract, avoiding arbitration and leaving them with three arbitration-eligible players in second baseman Darwin Barney, outfielder Justin Ruggiano and right-hander Jeff Samardzija.

* The Dodgers officially announced the signing of veteran utility man Chone Figgins to a Minor League deal with an invitation to Major League Spring Training.

* The Red Sox reportedly signed Jose Mijares to a Minor League deal, and invited the left-hander reliever to Major League Spring Training.

* Daisuke Matsuzaka returned to the Mets on a Minor League deal, which includes an invitation to Major League Spring Training. Dice-K will likely compete with John Lannan and Jenrry Mejia for a spot in the rotation.

* Freddy Garcia will have another opportunity to make an impact with the Braves, as the veteran right-hander agreed to a Minor League contract with an invitation to Major League Spring Training, according to multiple sources.

* The Mariners agreed to Minor League deals with veteran left-handed reliever Joe Beimel and right-hander Mark Rogers, inviting both to Major League Spring Training.

* Following years of success against the Marlins, veteran infielder Ty Wigginton will try to make an impact for Miami this season. Wigginton signed a Minor League contract with an invitation to Major League Spring Training, as the club looks to potentially add an experienced bat off the bench. He’s posted a .286 average against Miami during a 12-year big league career.

Austin Laymance

Hot Stove Roundup 1/18

While plenty of news came out of the Hot Stove on Friday thanks to the arbitration deadline, Saturday was much quieter in comparison. However, a few interesting tidbits did pop up.

Here’s a look at some of the day’s news and notes from around the league:

* Five teams have reportedly submitted formal offers for Japanese pitcher Masahiro Tanaka, who is expected to make his decision by next Friday. The teams include the Cubs, White Sox, Yankees, Dodgers and D-backs. All of the bids were believed to be more than $100 million and over six years.

* The Rangers signed left-hander Rafael Perez to a Minor League deal with an invitation to Spring Training. He last appeared in the Majors with the Indians in 2012. Pitching for Minnesota and Boston minor league affiliates last season, Perez combined to go 3-2 with a 2.60 ERA and six saves in 29 relief appearances for Triple-A Rochester and Double-A Portland.

* The Mets inked New York native John Lannan to a Minor League contract with an invitation to Spring Training. The left-hander is expected to compete with Jenrry Mejia and prospects Rafael Montero and Jacob deGrom for the fifth starter role. The team also agreed to terms with shortstop Omar Quintanilla on a Minor League deal.

* The Mariners and Indians are the apparent frontrunners to land starting pitcher Scott Baker, according to Chris Cotillo of MLB Daily Dish. Between five and seven teams are interested in the right-hander.

* According to Tim Brown of Yahoo! Sports, left-handed reliever Joe Beimel has agreed to a Minor League contract with the Mariners with an invitation to Major League camp. Beimel hasn’t pitched in the Majors since 2011 and had Tommy John surgery in ’12.

* The Phillies, Red Sox and Royals are among the teams interested in reliever Ryan Madson, according to Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports. However, it is unlikely that he will sign with anyone until after teams watch him pitch in February.

Quinn Roberts

Hot Stove Roundup 1/12

What is the Yankees’ infield going to look like this season? That was the big question on the Hot Stove a day after an arbitrator ruled that Alex Rodriguez will be suspended for the entire 2014 season.

With Rodriguez and Robinson Cano gone and Derek Jeter and Mark Teixeira coming off major injuries, New York has collected a handful of options but also faces plenty of uncertainty. It reportedly added another name to the mix on Sunday, agreeing to a Minor League deal with Scott Sizemore, who could provide an offensive boost if he is able to move past the knee injuries that caused him to miss most of the past two seasons.

Another newcomer who could chip in at multiple positions is Kelly Johnson, a versatile veteran who says he will be ready to help out wherever the Yankees need him.

In other news from around the league:

* Agent Scott Boras told Nick Cafardo of the Boston Globe that he has “actively talked” to “five or six” clubs about free-agent shortstop Stephen Drew. Cafardo reports that the Red Sox want Drew back but prefer a one-year deal, while Boras is gunning for two years.

* Cafardo also reports that two new teams have become involved in the bidding for free-agent right-hander Bronson Arroyo and that Arroyo is getting closer to the three-year offer he wants.

* Former All-Star infielder Chone Figgins, who didn’t play last season after the Marlins released him in March, is attempting a comeback. According to ESPN’s Jerry Crasnick, Figgins will work out for teams this week in Tampa. Figgins, who turns 36 later this month, hit only .185 in 147 games for the Mariners from 2011-12.

Andrew Simon

Hot Stove Roundup 12/31

On the final day of 2013, the Hot Stove was relatively quiet. However, the biggest news of the day came out of Houston. The Astros agreed to a one-year contract with right-hander Jesse Crain to help bolster their bullpen.

Crain, an All-Star in 2013, posted a 0.74 ERA in 38 games with the White Sox. He didn’t pitch after being traded to the Rays on July 29 because of biceps tendinitis that eventually required surgery. However, he could still be ready for Opening Day.

The right-hander played at the University of Houston and lives in the area with his family.

“It’s exciting,” Crain said. “I don’t know what I’m getting myself into with family and friends and all that. We’re real excited to spend time at home. Having three young kids definitely played a huge decision in signing here.”

Here’s a look at some of Tuesday’s other news and notes from around the league:

* The Indians don’t have any interest in Jake Westbrook, according to Paul Hoynes of the Cleveland Plain Dealer. Westbrook pitched for Cleveland from 2001-10, but has received little interest from teams after the Cardinals bought out his 2014 option.

* The Braves aren’t pursuing Angels second baseman Howard Kendrick, according to David O’Brien of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution. While many believed that Kendrick was on the trade block earlier this offseason, moves by the Halos since then have nearly silenced that possibility.

* Peter Gammons reports that the Yankees will not sign infielder Stephen Drew. Having re-signed Derek Jeter and Brendan Ryan, while also adding Brian Roberts and Kelly Johnson, New York already has a plethora of infielders.

Quinn Roberts

Hot Stove Roundup 12/30

With the days ticking down until the new year, the Hot Stove was relatively quiet on Monday. However, a few attention grabbing tidbits popped up.

Here’s a look at some of the day’s news and notes from around the league:

* Free-agent infielder Yuniesky Betancourt continues to draw interest from a number of teams. It’s even possible he could start, according to Zach Links of Betancourt had drawn interest from the Marlins earlier in the offseason, but with the signing of Casey McGehee, the team no longer has a need for him.

* The National re-signed second baseman Will Rhymes to a minor-league deal with an invitation to Spring Training. Rhymes hit .274 for Triple-A Syracuse last season. In his career with the Tigers and Rays, Rhymes hit .266 with 29 RBIs in 130 games.

* The Pirates acquired first baseman Chris McGuiness from the Rangers in exchange for right-hander Miles Mikolas. McGuiness was designated for assignment on Friday to make room for Shin-Soo Choo on Texas’ 40-man roster. Mikolas, who ranked third in the Pacific Coast League with 26 saves for Tucson last season, was added to Texas’ 40-man roster and will compete for the closer’s job after free agent Joe Nathan signed with Detroit.

* The Braves are still in talks with reliever Eric O’Flaherty, according to David O’Brien of the Atlanta Journal Constitution. O’Flaherty had Tommy John surgery last May and is expected to miss the beginning of the upcoming season.

* The Yankees continue to show their interest in Japanese right-hander Masahiro Tanaka, contacting his representatives. New York is one of the first clubs to make contact with Tanaka’s agent Casey Close and could make an offer sometime this week.

Quinn Roberts


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