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MLB off season thread  Rating:  Rating
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 Posted: Fri Jan 3rd, 2014 05:25 pm
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lobo316



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CHICAGO (AP) The Chicago White Sox and veteran left-handed reliever Scott Downs have agreed to terms on a one-year, $4 million contract.

The 37-year-old Downs was 4-4 with a 2.49 ERA, 37 strikeouts and 26 holds in 68 appearances last season between the Angels and Atlanta. In 12 major league seasons, he is 38-36 with a 3.48 ERA, 550 strikeouts and 166 holds in 564 games (50 starts).

Downs registered a career-best 1.34 ERA with Los Angeles in 2011.

The deal, announced Thursday, includes a $4.25 million club option for 2015 with a $250,000 buyout. The team said Downs will receive $3.75 million in 2014.

To make room for Downs on the 40-man roster, the White Sox designated left-hander Santos Rodriguez for assignment.

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 Posted: Fri Jan 3rd, 2014 05:27 pm
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NEW YORK (AP) Los Angeles Angels catcher Carlos Ramirez has been suspended 100 games for a third positive test for a drug of abuse in violation of baseball's minor league drug program.

Ramirez is currently on the roster of Triple-A Salt Lake and the suspension, announced Thursday, will begin at the start of the Bees' season.

Ramirez, who will turn 26 in March, served a 50-game suspension for his second offense at the start of last season. Playing for Double-A Arkansas, he batted .206 with six homers and 22 RBIs in 48 games.

There were 60 suspensions last year under the minor league drug program and 16 under the major league program.

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 Posted: Sat Jan 4th, 2014 08:02 pm
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ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. (AP) First baseman James Loney has finalized a $21 million, three-year contract with the Tampa Bay Rays.

The deal announced Friday is the largest the budget-minded club has given a free agent since current ownership led by Stuart Sternberg took control after the 2005 season.

Loney hit a team-leading .299 with 13 homers and 75 RBIs for the Rays last season, his first with Tampa Bay. He also was a finalist for an AL Gold Glove.

The 29-year-old Loney appeared in 158 games in 2013 and led the major leagues with a club-record .351 road batting average.

In eight seasons with the Los Angeles Dodgers, Boston Red Sox and Rays, Loney has a .285 career average with 86 homers and 534 RBIs.

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 Posted: Sun Jan 5th, 2014 09:04 pm
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NEW YORK (AP) Minnesota Twins second baseman Eddie Rosario has been suspended 50 games for a second positive test for a drug of abuse in violation of baseball's minor league drug program.

Rosario is on the roster of Double-A New Britain and his suspension, announced Saturday, will begin at the start of the Rock Cats' season.

The 21-year-old Rosario was a fourth-round pick in 2010. He batted .302 with 10 homers and 73 RBIs in 122 games split between Class-A and Double-A last year.
He is the second player suspended for violating the minor league drug program this year, both for drugs of abuse. There were 60 suspensions last year under the minor league program and 16 under the major league program.

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 Posted: Tue Jan 7th, 2014 05:31 pm
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CLEVELAND -- Free agent reliever Scott Atchison has agreed to a minor league contract with the Cleveland Indians.

Atchison will report to major league spring training camp, where he'll have a chance to win a spot in Cleveland's bullpen. The 37-year-old appeared in 50 games for the Mets last season, interrupted by two trips to the disabled list. He became a free agent last month when New York failed to offer a 2014 contract.

The right-hander's best season was 2012, when he had a 1.42 ERA in 42 games for Boston. Atchison has a 10-10 record with one save and a 3.64 ERA in 205 major league appearances. He also has pitched for Seattle, San Francisco and Hanshin in Japan's Central League.

The Indians need help in the bullpen after losing Joe Smith and Matt Albers in free agency. They also released closer Chris Perez and extended a non-roster invite to free agent OF Jeff Francoeur, signing him to a minor league contract.

Francoeur, who turns 30 on Wednesday, will report to spring training camp in Arizona, where he'll try to win a job on Cleveland's 25-man roster. A .263 career hitter, Francoeur nearly signed with the Indians four years ago.

He played with Kansas City and San Francisco last season, batting a combined .204 with three homers and 17 RBIs in 81 games. Francoeur has driven in at least 75 runs four times, and he won a Gold Glove with Atlanta in 2007.

Francoeur has 140 career homers and 618 RBIs in 1,227 games for the Braves, Mets, Rangers, Royals and Giants. He was drafted in the first round in 2002 by Atlanta.

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 Posted: Tue Jan 7th, 2014 05:31 pm
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NEW YORK -- Catcher Taylor Teagarden has agreed to a minor league contract with the New York Mets.

He hit .167 with two homers and five RBIs in 60 at-bats last season for Baltimore, which designated him for assignment Sept. 1.

The 30-year-old catcher was on the disabled list from April 28 to June 4 after he dislocated his left thumb when hit by a foul ball.

Teagarden, whose deal was announced Monday, has a .206 average with 20 homers and 63 RBIs in six major league seasons. He figures to compete for a backup job behind Travis d'Arnaud.

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 Posted: Tue Jan 7th, 2014 05:32 pm
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PITTSBURGH -- The Pittsburgh Pirates have agreed to a minor league contract with outfielder Chris Dickerson that includes an invitation to major league spring training.

The 31-year-old Dickerson hit .238 with four home runs and 13 RBIs with Baltimore in 2013.

Dickerson is a .262 career hitter with 15 homers and 60 RBIs in 314 games for Cincinnati, Milwaukee, the New York Yankees and the Orioles.

The Pirates are looking for outfield depth and Dickerson has experience at all three outfield positions.

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 Posted: Tue Jan 7th, 2014 05:33 pm
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SEATTLE -- The Mariners have added depth behind the plate, agreeing to a minor league contract with catcher Humberto Quintero.

Seattle said Monday that Quintero will attend major league spring training camp, where pitchers and catchers arrive Feb. 12 at Peoria, Ariz.

Quintero signed with Seattle last July 26 and appeared in 22 games for the Mariners. He batted .224 with two homers.

He started last season with Philadelphia and between the Phillies and Mariners threw out 36.4 percent of attempted base stealers. Quintero, 34, should be in the competition to back up Mike Zunino on Seattle's roster.

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 Posted: Tue Jan 7th, 2014 05:34 pm
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ST. LOUIS (AP) The St. Louis Cardinals added an outfield prospect to the 40-man roster, claiming 22-year-old Rafael Ortega on waivers from the Texas Rangers.

The left-handed hitting Ortega, of Venezuela, was designed for assignment by Texas on Dec. 30. The Rangers had claimed him from the Rockies a month earlier.

Colorado signed Ortega as a non-drafted free agent in 2008 and he made his major league debut in September 2012, appearing in two games. Ortega batted .228 for Double-A Tulsa last year with one home run, 10 RBIs and nine steals in 13 attempts before a season-ending leg injury in late June.

The Cardinals have one spot remaining on the roster.

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 Posted: Tue Jan 7th, 2014 05:35 pm
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CLEVELAND (AP) Veteran outfielder Jeff Francoeur has agreed to a minor-league contract with the Indians.

Francoeur, who turns 30 on Wednesday, will report to spring training camp in Arizona, where he'll try to win a job on Cleveland's 25-man roster. A .263 career hitter, Francoeur nearly signed with the Indians four years ago.

He played with Kansas City and San Francisco last season, batting a combined .204 with three homers and 17 RBIs in 81 games. Francoeur has driven in at least 75 runs four times, and he won a Gold Glove with Atlanta in 2007.

Francoeur has 140 career homers and 618 RBIs in 1,227 games for the Braves, Mets, Rangers, Royals and Giants. He was drafted in the first round in 2002 by Atlanta.

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 Posted: Wed Jan 8th, 2014 05:52 pm
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The Los Angeles Dodgers have reached an agreement on a contract extension with manager Don Mattingly, sources with knowledge of the situation told ESPN.com on Tuesday.

The team is expected to announce the extension later this week.

Mattingly was already under contract for the 2014 season. Exact terms of the extension were unknown, although sources told ESPN that it covers the next three seasons.

Mattingly managed all of last season without assurances he would remain at the helm beyond this year. He revealed during a tense news conference after the season that his option for 2014 vested when the Dodgers made the NL Championship Series, and he displayed frustration at having been put in that position.

The Dodgers were surprised by the comments but quickly moved to assure Mattingly that he was viewed as part of their long-term future. The team initiated extension talks shortly thereafter.

While the process took several months, there was always a belief on both sides that an extension would be completed before spring training.

Mattingly is 260-225 in his three seasons as Dodgers manager. He finished second in NL Manager of the Year voting in 2013.

Mattingly came under fire last season as the Dodgers stumbled out of the gates and fell 9½ games out of first place on June 21. But the Dodgers always preferred to keep him, and allowed him the time to work the club through the struggles.

The Dodgers then went on a franchise-best 42-8 run over the next 50 games and wound up winning the NL West by 11 games before losing to the St. Louis Cardinals in the NLCS.

The Dodgers did not retain bench coach Trey Hillman, one of Mattingly's closest friends, after the season. However, that move had been decided before Mattingly's news conference at the end of the season, sources previously indicated to ESPN.

The team subsequently promoted highly regarded third-base coach Tim Wallach to bench coach, and retained the rest of Mattingly's staff.

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 Posted: Wed Jan 8th, 2014 05:55 pm
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TOKYO -- Japan's Rakuten Eagles have said Andruw Jones will return for another season after helping the Pacific League team win the Japan Series last year.

The 36-year-old former major leaguer has agreed to a one-year deal worth $3.8 million, Japanese media reported Wednesday.

Jones batted .243 while hitting 26 home runs and a team-high 94 RBIs as the Eagles won their first Japan Series championship.

Jones, a native of Curacao, hit 434 homers over 17 MLB seasons with the Atlanta Braves, Los Angeles Dodgers, Texas Rangers, Chicago White Sox and New York Yankees. The Eagles paid him $3.5 million on a one-year deal for the 2013 season.

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 Posted: Wed Jan 8th, 2014 05:57 pm
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KANSAS CITY, Mo. -- Former All-Star catcher Ramon Hernandez has agreed to a minor league contract with the Kansas City Royals.

The 37-year-old is a career .263 hitter in 15 seasons in the major leagues. His 757 RBIs since the start of the 1999 season are fifth among major league catchers during that span, and his 169 homers are seventh-most among big league catchers.

Hernandez played in 17 games last year for the Los Angeles Dodgers, batting .208 with two doubles, three home runs and six RBIs. He was released June 22.

He was an All-Star in 2003 with Oakland, hitting 21 home runs. He also has played for San Diego, Baltimore, Cincinnati and Colorado.

Kansas City announced the agreement Tuesday.

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 Posted: Wed Jan 8th, 2014 06:00 pm
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OAKLAND, Calif. (AP) Right-handed reliever Jesse Chavez has reached agreement on a $775,000, one-year contract with the Oakland Athletics.

The team made the announcement Tuesday. Chavez's deal is not guaranteed.

He went 2-4 with a career-low 3.92 ERA and one save in 35 appearances over two 2013 stints with the two-time defending AL West champions. He made $500,000.

Oakland's remaining players eligible for arbitration include catcher John Jaso, new closer Jim Johnson, right fielder Josh Reddick, first baseman Brandon Moss and shortstop Jed Lowrie.

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 Posted: Wed Jan 8th, 2014 06:00 pm
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PITTSBURGH — Infielder Robert Andino has agreed to a minor league contract with the Pittsburgh Pirates.

The 29-year-old hit .302 with nine RBIs in 25 games with Triple-A Indianapolis last year after being acquired by the Pirates in July.

Andino has a .232 career big league batting average in nine seasons with the Marlins, Baltimore and Seattle. Andino appeared in 29 games with the Mariners last season, hitting .184 with four RBI.

His agreement was announced Tuesday.

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