Results tagged ‘ braves ’

Royals sign Kris Medlen

The Royals and right-hander Kris Medlen agreed Thursday to a two-year deal with a mutual option for 2017.

Terms of the deal were not disclosed.

Medlen, 29, spent 2014 rehabbing from Tommy John surgery after suffering an elbow injury in Spring Training with the Braves.

Medlen’s lone season as a starter came in 2013, when he blossomed into the one of the game’s best. He was 15-12 with a 3.11 ERA and finished the season going 4-0 with a 1.00 ERA and .197 average against in his final five starts.

He is 34-20 with a 2.95 ERA in 152 career (61 starts).

–Cash Kruth

Red Sox acquire Varvaro from Braves

The Braves traded right-handed reliever Anthony Varvaro to the Red Sox on Wednesday in exchange for Minor League right-hander Aaron Kurcz and cash considerations.

Varvaro, who compiled a 2.74 ERA in 123 appearances over the last two seasons, was somewhat surprisingly designated for assignment earlier this week to clear a spot for recently acquired infielder Alberto Callaspo. The hard-throwing righty also racked up 50 strikeouts over 54 2/3 innings this past season.

As for Kurcz, the 24-year-old tallied a 2.14 ERA in 34 appearances this past season for Double-A Portland, while striking out 54 batters over 42 innings.

Given that there was almost zero chance Varvaro was going to pass through waivers unclaimed after being designated earlier this week, it was only a matter of when, not if, the Braves were going to work out a trade inolving the 30-year-old reliever.

– Paul Casella

Ervin Santana signs with Twins

The Twins have agreed to terms with free-agent starting pitcher Ervin Santana on a four-year contract worth $54 million, a source confirmed to MLB.com’s Rhett Bollinger.

The deal will pay Santana $13.5 million each year. It also includes an option for a fifth year that would vest depending on innings pitched, tweets Jeff Passan of Yahoo Sports.

Santana, 31, was 14-10 with a 3.95 ERA over 31 starts with the Braves in 2014. The right-hander has been dependable throughout his 10-year career and has made at least 30 starts in each of the last five seasons dating back to 2010.

Santana’s decision to turn down a qualifying offer appears to have paid off this time. He declined a $15.3 qualifying offer from the Braves in November. In 2013, he declined a qualifying offer from the Royals and eventually inked a one-year deal with Atlanta during Spring Training in March.

–Austin Laymance

Braves getting plenty of calls on J. Upton, Gattis

The Braves are continuing to receive calls from a number of teams regarding both outfielder Justin Upton and catcher/outfielder Evan Gattis, according to Joel Sherman of the New York Post.

The report indicates that the Giants, Rangers, Royals and Padres are interested in both players, while the Mariners have been in contact solely about Upton.

Given the apparent market interest, coupled with the Braves’ willingness to move Upton, it seems inevitable that Upton will be moved somewhere this offseason. Though Atlanta already traded away outfielder Jason Heyward earlier this offseason, they were still interested in finding a new home for Upton even before signing fellow outfielder Nick Markakis last week.

The Padres have been closely linked to Dodgers outfielder Matt Kemp, but they could turn their focus toward Upton or Gattis if those talks fall through. The Rangers and Mariners, meanwhile, were interested in Kemp initially, but are reportedly no longer part of those discussions.

– Paul Casella

Drew garnering broad interest

Free agent shortstop Stephen Drew is drawing varying amounts of interest from at least 10 teams, according to CBS Sports’ Jon Heyman.

The list of teams that have tossed around the idea of signing Drew reportedly includes the Yankees, Mets, Astros, A’s, Braves, Padres, Dodgers, Blue Jays, Nationals and Marlins. The lack of shortstop depth on the free agent market this offseason has certainly played a part in the vast amount of interested teams.

Despite his struggles this past season, Drew is garnering significantly more interest this offseason than he did a year ago due to the fact that he is not tied to a compensatory draft pick this time around. He went unsigned last winter after rejecting a qualifying offer from the Red Sox before ultimately returning to Boston in late May.

– Paul Casella

Rangers not willing to part with top pitching prospects

The Rangers have expressed interest in Braves catcher/outfielder Evan Gattis, though MLB.com’s T.R. Sullivan reports that Texas considered it a “deal breaker” when Atlanta asked for top pitching prospect Alex Gonzalez in return.

Gattis would figure to be a good fit for the Rangers, though they’re understandably unwilling to part with Gonzalez to make it happen. Gonalez, the 23rd overall pick in the 2013 First-Year Player Draft, went 12-6 with a 2.66 ERA over 26 combined outings this past season between Class A Myrtle Beach and Double-A Frisco.

The Rangers could continue talks with the Braves regarding Gattis, or even outfielder Justin Upton, but they refuse to give up their top young pitchers in exchange.

Texas is also apparently unwilling to part with second baseman Rougned Odor. In a separate tweet, Sullivan mentions that the Rangers have also reached out to the Nationals regarding Jordan Zimmermann, but adds that the Nats are more inclined to discuss a deal involving Doug Fister. Either way, Adam Kilgore of the Washington Post reports that the Nats asked for second baseman Rougned Odor in return and were told he is off limits.

– Paul Casella

Braves close to signing Callaspo

The Braves are reportedly close to signing infielder Alberto Callaspo to fill their current void at second base, according to ESPN’s Jim Bowden.

Though he struggled this past season with the A’s, Callaspo could be a good fit for the Braves in the sense that he can hold down the second base job until top prospect Jose Peraza is deemed ready for the Major Leagues. The 20-year-old Peraza hit a staggering .339 with 60 stolen bases across two levels in the Minors this past season, including .335 with 25 steals over 44 games with Double-A Mississippi.

Signing Callaspo would allow the Braves to plug in a veteran player at second base without committing to anyone other than Peraza long-term. Atlanta, of course, is in the market for a second baseman after trading Tommy La Stella to the Cubs earlier this offseason.

– Paul Casella

Upton rumors heating up

The Braves are continuing to field offers for outfielder Justin Upton, with the Orioles, Rangers and Padres among the teams showing interest, according to MLB.com’s Mark Bowman.

The Mariners could also enter the picture if they end up not signing free agent oufielder Melky Cabrera, according to David O’Brien of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, though they would be unlikely to give up a “top young pitcher” for a one-year rental such as Upton.

It’s unclear how far talks have gotten with any of the aforementioned teams, but the Braves are not believed to have received a substantial offer yet. While nothing seems imminent, an Upton trade would certainly make sense, especially after the Braves signed free agent outfielder Nick Markakis to a four-year deal last week.

Upton is owed $14.5 million next season, the final year in his current contract. With the Braves currently hovering around a rebuilding state, they’ll likely try to get what they can for Upton this offseason as opposed to letting him walk away next year and getting nothing in return.

– Paul Casella

Braves sign Jim Johnson to one-year deal

The Braves added to their bullpen mix on Wednesday, agreeing to terms with free-agent right-hander Jim Johnson on a one-year deal, the club announced.

Johnson, 31, split last season between the A’s and Tigers. He made 54 appearances and went 5-2, but had a 7.09 ERA. However, last season was more of an outlier, as he had a 3.11 ERA with the Orioles from 2006-13.

With Atlanta, Johnson projects to share set-up duties with David Carpenter, tweets MLB.com’s Mark Bowman.

A nine-year veteran and former All-Star, Johnson led the Majors with back-to-back 50-save seasons in 2012 (51) and ’13 (50) with the O’s.

–Austin Laymance

Potential suitors lining up for Markakis

With multiple reports surfacing in recent days that a Nick Markakis return to the Orioles is no longer inevitable, multiple teams including the Braves, Blue Jays and Giants are beginning to express interest in the free agent outfielder, according to CBS Sports’ Jon Heyman.

Each of those three teams has an obvious need for either an outfielder or another strong bat in the lineup. The 31-year-old Markakis is coming off a season in which he posted a .276/.342/.386 line with the O’s, while also winning his second career Gold Glove Award for his defense in right field.

The Braves already traded away outfielder Jason Heyward and are said to be listening to offers for fellow outfielder Justin Upton. That leaves an obvious opening in the Atlanta outfield, while the Braves could also be an interesting fit for Markakis off the field, as he grew up in nearby Woodstock, Ga., went to college in-state at Young Harris College and has a home in Georgia.

The Jays, meanwhile, are known to be in the market for at least one outfielder this offseason, with both Melky Cabrera and Colby Rasmus testing free agency. Toronto is still open to re-signing Cabrera, though recent reports indicate Cabrera would prefer to sign elsewhere. Assuming Markakis indeed listens to other offers, the Jays could make a strong push for him, especially considering an already thin free agent class got even thinner this week with the Mariners signing Nelson Cruz.

As for the Giants, their interest in Markakis will largely depend on what ultimately happens with Jon Lester. The Giants aren’t necessarily in the market for a top free agent outfielder, but they could use the money saved by Pablo Sandoval leaving for Boston to add another bat in an attempt to compensate offensively for Sandoval’s departure.

The Orioles still remain very much in the mix, especially after losing Cruz on Monday, but it appears that other teams now at least have a shot to lure away Markakis.

– Paul Casella

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