Jeff Passan of ESPN reports that Tyler Austin has signed a one-year contract with the Yokohama DeNA BayStars of the Japanese Central League.
Nov 14 10:17 PM
The 28-year-old appeared in 87 big leagues games in 2019 between the Brewers, Giants and Twins, slashing .188/.296/.409 with nine homers and 24 RBI. He'll try to re-establish his stock before a possible return stateside. He's likely to replace Yoshitomo Tsutsugo on the BayStars, as he's drawing strong interest from MLB clubs this offseason.
Rockies' general manager Jeff Bridich said Thursday that several teams have inquired about right-hander Jon Gray.
Nov 14 9:55 PM
Bridich had conversations with several clubs at the general managers meetings this week, though he wouldn't comment on the specifics of any of those talks. Gray is still under team control for the next two seasons -- though it would be wise for the Rockies to either lock him up with a long-term extension, or deal him away while his value is high.
After winning his third American League MVP Award on Thursday, Mike Trout indicated that his foot is back to 100-percent after his surgery and that he's expected to begin baseball activities soon.
Nov 14 8:51 PM
Trout had an operation in mid-September to remove a neuroma from his foot. He's still expected to have a normal offseason with no limitations from his regular routine. He'll enter spring training fully healthy and ready to defend his MVP award.
Bryan Hoch of MLB.com reports that the Yankees have spoken to the agent for catcher Austin Romine about a potential return for 2020.
Nov 14 8:51 PM
The 30-year-old is coming off an impressive season as the primary backup to Gary Sanchez, slashing .281/.310/.439 with eight homers and 35 RBI in 240 plate appearances. It's a tricky situation for the Bombers though, as they also believe that Kyle Higashioka is ready to fulfill that backup role and is out of minor league options.
Red Sox released RHP Jake Cosart.
Nov 14 4:54 PM
Cosart, 25, was the Red Sox third-round pick back in 2014. He at one point was considered one of the top relief pitching prospects in baseball, but his struggles with command and inconsistent results along with some injuries have seen that stock drop considerably.
Jon Heyman of MLB Network reports that the Nationals could be in on Gerrit Cole if they lose Stephen Strasburg.
Nov 14 4:22 PM
Heyman also lists teams like the Rangers, Phillies, Yankees and Phillies as teams that are interested in signing the 2019 Cy Young runner-up; with the Astros still a possibility, as well. The Nationals have spent heavily on pitching before, although they're infamous for deferring much of that salary. Heyman also notes that Cole is a "certainty" that Cole will set a record with his contract for a starting pitcher, and the only question is just how much he'll get. It's going to be a while until we find out, but Cole is about to be rewarded handsomely for his ridiculous 2019 campaign.
Phillies GM Matt Klentak indicated that Odubel Herrera will have to compete for a spot on the club in spring training.
Nov 14 11:06 AM
Herrera received an 85-game domestic violance ban in July. The Phillies would almost certainly prefer to just be done with him, but they're not going to be allowed to release him unless they have a baseball reason for doing so. Unless someone is willing to take him in a trade, which seems unlikely, he'll head to spring training with the Phillies.
Jon Heyman of MLB Network reports that the Padres have expressed interest in free agent left-hander Madison Bumgarner.
Nov 13 11:30 PM
The Padres' brass plans to meet with Bumgarner's agent -- Ed Cerulo -- at the general manager meetings. The Padres have also been linked to hometown hero Stephen Strasburg and to Gerrit Cole. It sounds like the Padres will be making a big splash on the pitching front this winter.
According to Jon Heyman of MLB Network, the Dodgers have superstar free agent Anthony Rendon on their radar.
Nov 13 9:17 PM
They've also been connected to Josh Donaldson this offseason, with current third baseman Justin Turner expressing a willingness to change positions if necessary to land either of them. The Rangers have also expressed early interest in the Texas native.
Jim Salisbury of NBC Philadelphia reports that the Phillies have touched base with Scott Boras regarding third baseman Mike Moustakas.
Nov 13 9:00 PM
They've also checked in on several of the starting pitchers that Boras represents, so they may have just been doing their due dilgence on Moustakas. It would seemingly make a lot of sense on the Phillies' side though, giving top prospect Alec Bohm more time to develop. Moustakas provided plenty of thump in the middle of the Brewers' lineup in 2019, slashing .254/.329/.516 with 35 homers and 87 RBI in 143 games.
Bryan Hoch of MLB.com reports that the Yankees have "checked in" on free agent hurler Zack Wheeler.
Nov 13 8:25 PM
It's not a secret that the Yankees are in the market for major upgrades to their starting rotation this offseason, as they have already been linked to Gerrit Cole and Stephen Strasburg among others. The most likely scenario, is that the Yankees wind up with a couple of starting pitchers.
According to Ken Rosenthal of The Athletic, the Phillies have checked in on free agent southpaw Madison Bumgarner.
Nov 13 7:50 PM
The Phillies join a lengthy list of suitors for the southpaw. The Braves and Yankees have already expressed interest in his services and there's likely to be plenty of others that get in the mix before all is said and done. The 30-year-old hurler posted a 3.90 ERA, 1.13 WHIP and 203/43 K/BB ratio over 207 2/3 innings for the Giants in 2019.
Marly Rivera of ESPN reports that the Blue Jays have met with free agent catcher Yasmani Grandal.
Nov 13 7:50 PM
The Reds are expected to make a "serious run" at the hard-hitting backstop, but Grandal should be a very popular commodity on the free agent market. He should be in line for a lucrative multi-year deal after batting .246/.380/.468 with 28 homers for the Brewers in 2019.
Scott Boras -- the agent for Cubs' third baseman Kris Bryant -- said that his client is open to discussing a long-term contract extension with the Cubs.
Nov 13 7:33 PM
"We have always said to them that has always been Kris’s philosophy with the team", Boras said Wednesday. Bryant, 27, is currently under team control through the 2021 season. He's coming off of another solid all-around season in which he slashed .282/.382/.521 with 31 homers, 77 RBI and 108 runs scored in 147 contests.
Jorge Castillo of the Los Angeles Times reports that the Dodgers are considering signing Josh Donaldson.
Nov 13 4:34 PM
Bringing in Donaldson would complicate things for the Dodgers, as it would mean moving Justin Turner to first and/or second base and further crowding their infield. Still, The club is wanting to add a right-handed bat and Donaldson is one of the best ones available. Donaldson is also known to have drawn interest from the Nationals, Braves, Rangers and Phillies, among others.
Gordon Wittenmyer reports that Brandon Morrow is interested in returning to the Cubs on a minor league deal.
Nov 13 4:34 PM
Morrow recently had his $12 million option for 2020 declined, with the Cubs paying $3 million in a buyout instead. The right-hander hasn't pitched in the majors since 2018 due to continued issues with his right elbow. It would make sense for the Cubs to bring him back on a non-guaranteed deal that was incentive-laden, as he could provide a bridge to Craig Kimbrel this summer.
Dodgers president of baseball operations Andrew Friedman reiterated Wednesday that he expects Julio Urias to be in the team's rotation in 2020.
Nov 13 4:10 PM
Urias made eight starts and 29 relief appearances for the Dodgers in 2019 in his first full season back from shoulder surgery, posting a 2.49 ERA, 1.08 WHIP and 85/27 K/BB ratio over 79 2/3 innings. He'll obviously be under workload restrictions in 2020 but still still hold plenty of fantasy appeal. Urias, Walker Buehler, Clayton Kershaw, and Kenta Maeda are locked into rotation spots for the Dodgers next season, with Ross Stripling currently lined up to compete for the No. 5 spot.
Erik Gonzalez had surgery Friday to repair a fractured left foot.
Nov 13 4:10 PM
Gonzalez suffered the injury while playing in the Dominican Winter League. He is expected to resume full baseball activities in 10-12 weeks, so he shouldn't have any limitations in spring training.
The Twins have signed chief baseball officer Derek Falvey and general manager Thad Levine to contract extensions through 2024.
Nov 13 3:33 PM
Both Falvey and Levine were already under contract through 2021, but their deals have now been redone and extended. The new contracts are well earned, as the Twins are coming off a 103-win season and haven't finished any lower than second in the AL Central in the three years under Falvey's and Levine's leadership.
Bo Bichette is no longer dealing with any concussion symptoms and is able to go through full offseason workouts.
Nov 13 2:58 PM
Bichette missed the final week and a half of the season after experiencing concussion symptoms following a hit by pitch in the head, but it would appear that he's over the issue at this point. The exciting young shortstop batted .311/.358/.571 with 11 homers in 46 games for the Blue Jays this season.
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