Padres eyeing Myers in trade with Rays?

It’s no secret that the Padres are in the market for another bat, and according to FOXSports.com’s Ken Rosenthal, they could be looking into a potentially “significant trade” with Tampa Bay for 24-year-old outfielder Wil Myers.

It’s hard to gauge how serious these talks are, but Yahoo! Sports’ Jeff Passan says there is optimism a deal gets done and that the two sides are very close. Myers certainly fits the profile of what the Padres are looking for —  an outfielder with some pop who will remain under team control for the foreseeable future. Myers will be arbitration-eligible in 2017, and he won’t become a free agent until after the ’19 season.

After winning the American League Rookie of the Year Award in 2013, Myers struggled mightily this past season. He hit just .222/.294/.320 with six home runs in 87 games, and he missed nearly three months with a wrist injury. Myers returned to the Rays in late August and hit .213 with only five extra-base hits in 34 contests.

It’s unclear whether those poor splits were simply residual effects of the injury. But as ugly as his numbers were in 2014, Myers is only one year removed from his .293/.354/.478 season in ’13 that had many projecting him as one of the best young outfielders in the game.

Myers, once the centerpiece of the deal that sent James Shields and Wade Davis to Kansas City, would be the Padres’ second major outfield acquisition this offseason. They landed Matt Kemp in a deal with the Dodgers at last week’s Winter Meetings, and they’ve been linked in trade talks with Atlanta for outfielder Justin Upton — though a trade for Myers would most likely put a halt to those.

There have been no reports as to who the Padres have offered the Rays for Myers, but it’s a safe bet that a 24-year-old outfielder with lots of team control won’t come cheap. Padres top prospect Austin Hedges and No. 2 prospect Matt Wisler could be less than a year away from making contributions at the big league level and figure to be at the forefront of any team looking to make a trade with new Padres general manager A.J. Preller.

-AJ Cassavell

Yankees holding off on Scherzer?

Max Scherzer is the top starting pitcher available in free agency. The Yankees could use an ace in their rotation. But that doesn’t mean the two sides are a great fit.

Scherzer, a Scott Boras client, is reportedly seeking a deal with at least $200 million guaranteed and close to Clayton Kershaw’s $215 million extension with the Dodgers, according to Newsday’s David Lennon.

The high asking price is sure to drive off many teams, though the Yankees are not typically in that category. However, Yankees general Brian Cashman said Monday that Scherzer’s number is on “a higher level than we’d like to play in right now.”

On Tuesday, Andrew Marchand of ESPN New York said he’s been told the Yanks are “absolutely not” pursuing Scherzer.

New York added to its pitching staff Tuesday, signing left-hander Chris Capuano to a one-year deal worth $5 million. The Bronx Bombers still need an elite pitcher such as Scherzer, but it appears as if they are holding off on that front for now.

It will be interesting to see if the Yankees change their tune moving forward.

–Austin Laymance

Indians sign Gavin Floyd

The Indians are betting on a bounce-back for former White Sox innings-eater Gavin Floyd.

Cleveland on Tuesday signed Floyd to a one-year contract for 2015, adding more potential depth to a starting rotation competition that was already at least seven pitchers deep. The 31-year-old Floyd posted double-digit victories while making 29-plus starts for the Sox from 2008-12 before running into injury troubles.

The Indians did not release financial details, but Chris Cotillo of SB Nation reported that Floyd would receive a $4 million salary, with $6 million more available based on innings pitched.

In 2013, Floyd made only five starts before undergoing Tommy John surgery on his right elbow. In 2014, he was 2-2 with a 2.65 ERA for the Atlanta Braves before suffering a fracture in the same elbow and missing the rest of the season.

Floyd was the fourth overall pick in the 2001 First-Year Player Draft by the Phillies and was eventually traded to the White Sox prior to 2007. He’s pitched parts of seven seasons in the American League Central.

-Adam McCalvy

Giants a good fit for Shields?

The Giants did not win the bidding war for Jon Lester, but San Francisco is not giving up on its pursuit of a premier starting pitcher and has reportedly focused in on James Shields.

There haven’t been many rumors involving Shields of late, but a number of folks around baseball seem to believe the Giants are the best fit for the free-agent right-hander, tweets ESPN’s Jerry Crasnick. The Boston Globe’s Nick Cafardo reported Sunday that San Francisco is “now going hard” for Shields after losing out on Lester and third baseman Pablo Sandoval.

Shields and Max Scherzer are the top starting pitchers available in free agency. Scherzer is reportedly looking for a guaranteed $200 million, according to Jon Morosi of FOX Sports. The price for Shields should be considerably less, and the Giants have money to spend after offering Lester $150 million over six years.

While the Giants appear to have interest in Shields, the club could fill out its rotation by bringing back either Jake Peavy or Ryan Vogelsong, writes MLB.com’s Chris Haft.

–Austin Laymance

Dodgers designate Brian Wilson for assignment

The Dodgers shook up their bullpen on Tuesday and designated right-hander Brian Wilson for assignment, reports MLB.com’s Ken Gurnick.

Wilson, 32, had a disappointing season in 2014 after an impressive return from Tommy John surgery in ’13. He had a guaranteed contract for next year worth $9.5 million. The Dodgers have 10 days to either waive, trade or release Wilson.

As the Dodgers’ set-up man this year, Wilson was 2-4 with a 4.66 ERA over 61 appearances and seemed to lack life on his fastball. He was much more effective in 2013 after joining the Dodgers in August, going 2-1 with a 0.66 ERA in 18 appearances. A three-time All-Star as a closer with San Francisco, Wilson helped the Giants win the World Series in 2010.

Wilson’s departure is the latest in a roster overhaul for the Dodgers under new management.

Last week at the Winter Meetings, new president of baseball operations Andrew Friedman traded away outfielder Matt Kemp, second baseman Dee Gordon, starter Dan Haren, shorstop Miguel Rojas, catcher Tim Federowicz and pitching prospect Tom Windle. The return netted second baseman Howie Kendrick from the Angels and reliever Chris Hatcher from the Marlins. The Dodgers also acquired shortstop Jimmy Rollins from the Phillies and signed free-agent starter Brandon McCarthy.

–Austin Laymance

Rangers sign Fujikawa

The Rangers have signed free-agent right-hander Kyuji Fujikawa to a one-year deal with a club option for 2016, the club announced on Tuesday.

Texas also signed first baseman Kyle Blanks and infielder Tommy Field to Minor League deals with invitations to Major League Spring Training.

Fujikawa, 34, made his big league debut with the Cubs in 2013. Over two seasons in Chicago, he was limited to 27 total appearances due to Tommy John surgery on his right elbow in June 2013. He’s been effective when healthy, though, striking out 31 in 25 career innings.

Blanks, 28, split time with the Padres and A’s last season. He hit a combined .309 with two home runs in 26 games. In 260 career games in the big leauges, Blanks has a .234 average with 30 homers.

Field was in Triple-A in 2014 with both the Angels and Pirates organizations. The 27-year-old appeared in 33 games with the Rockies and Angels from 2011-12.

–Austin Laymance

Angels trade Jepsen to Rays for Joyce

The Angels traded homegrown reliever Kevin Jepsen to the Rays for outfielder Matt Joyce, the latest in a string of moves this offseason.

Joyce, a 30-year-old left-handed hitter with experience at both outfield corners, is one year away from free agency and projected to make roughly $5 million. Jepsen was in his third of four arbitration years and projected to make about $2.5 million.

Joyce has batted .252/.341/.428 over the last four years, hitting 63 homers, driving in 233 runs and stealing 26 bases while averaging 136 games in that stretch. On the Angels, Joyce projects as a fifth outfielder who can platoon with the right-handed-hitting C.J. Cron at designated hitter.

Jepsen, originally a second-round Draft pick by the Angels in 2002, is coming off a breakout season, one that saw the 30-year-old right-hander post a 2.63 ERA and strike out 10.4 batters per nine innings in 74 games. But on an Angels team with lots of right-handed-relief depth, Jepsen was no more than a seventh-inning guy, making him expendable in their quest to make up for the loss of Howie Kendrick.

With Jepsen gone, Fernando Salas and Mike Morin look like the leading candidates to take over the seventh inning.

– Alden Gonzalez

Rockies sign Descalso

The Rockies have signed infielder Daniel Descalso to a two-year contract, the club announced on Tuesday.

Descalso’s deal includes $3.6 million in guaranteed money over two years and an additional $500,000 each year in performance bonuses, reports ESPN’s Jerry Crasnick.

Descalso, 28, became a free agent when he was non-tendered by the Cardinals earlier this month. He had a .242/.333/.311 slash line with St. Louis over 104 games in 2014. He has played all over the infield during five seasons in the Majors, but has seen the most action at third base and second.

“We are extremely excited to welcome Daniel to the Rockies family,” Rockies senior vice president/general manager Jeff Bridich said in a statement released by the team. “We believe his versatile skill set, his experience level and his veteran leadership will be great additions to our Major League process.”

Descalso has appeared in 44 postseason games over his career with the Cardinals, helping the team win the World Series in 2011.

The Rockies’ 40-man roster is now full.

–Austin Laymance

Report: Brad Penny signs with White Sox

Brad Penny is back in baseball. The veteran right-hander has agreed to a Minor League contract with the White Sox, according to multiple reports.

Penny, 36, finished the 2014 season with the Marlins, posting a 6.88 ERA over eight appearances (four starts) after signing with Miami in June. He was out of baseball in ’13.

Primarily a starter over a 14-year career in the Majors, Penny pitched exclusively out of the bullpen with the Giants in 2012. It’s unclear if the White Sox will give him a look as a starter. Penny has a lifetime 4.29 ERA and has won 121 games since debuting with the Marlins in 2000.

Chicago’s current rotation includes Chris Sale, Jeff Samardzija, Jose Quintana, John Danks and Hector Noesi.

–Austin Laymance

Yankees bring back Capuano

The Yankees and left-hander Chris Capuano have agreed to a one-year, $5 million contract, reports Jack Curry of the YES Network.

Capuano finished the 2014 season with the Yankees, going 2-3 with a 4.25 ERA over 12 starts. He began the year with the Red Sox and had a 4.55 ERA over 28 relief appearances before being released in July.

Capuano provides overall depth to the Yankees’ staff, and versatility as both a starter and reliever. Over 10 seasons in the Majors, he is 76-87 with a 4.28 ERA.

–Austin Laymance

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