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MLB Off Season Thread  Rating:  Rating
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 Posted: Mon Mar 28th, 2016 11:33 pm
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lobo316
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lobo316 wrote: Jesus Montero's time with the Seattle Mariners could potentially be coming to an end.

The Mariners have placed the first baseman on waivers, Jon Heyman of MLB Network reports.

The 26-year-old, who was out of options, can now be claimed by any club in the league.

Montero was competing to be the right-handed complement to Adam Lind for the Mariners in spring camp, but with Korean Dae-Ho Lee reportedly winning the job, there wasn't any room for the former prized prospect on the big-league squad.

In January 2012, Seattle acquired Montero from the New York Yankees in exchange for Michael Pineda in a much talked about four-player deal.

The former catcher was expected to be the backstop of the future for the club, and after a fine start in 2012, when he hit 15 home runs and added 62 RBIs, he's only appeared in 73 games over the last three seasons, amid poor production, injuries, and minor-league demotions.

Montero owns a .253/.295/.398 career slash line with 28 home runs and 104 RBIs across five major-league seasons.





The Toronto Blue Jays claimed catcher/first baseman Jesus Montero off waivers from the Seattle Mariners on Monday, and designated catcher A.J. Jimenez for assignment.
Once considered a top prospect in the New York Yankees system, Montero owns just 226 games of major league experience over the past five seasons. He hit .223/.250/.411 with five home runs and 32 strikeouts across 38 games in 2015.

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 Posted: Tue Mar 29th, 2016 02:04 am
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The Detroit Tigers have issued right-hander Bobby Parnell and infielder Casey McGehee their unconditional releases, the team announced Monday.

Both players were signed to minor-league deals in February, and will now be able to pursue other opportunities.

Detroit had a deadline of five days before the start of the regular season to either add the players to its big-league roster, pay a $100,000 retention bonus to keep them in the minors, or grant them their unconditional release.

Parnell, once a highly effective closer, experienced a dip in velocity after undergoing Tommy John surgery in 2014. His release is somewhat surprising, though, considering the Tigers' bullpen woes over the past couple of seasons.

McGehee, the 2014 National League Comeback Player of the Year, hit a miserable .198/.264/.274 in 109 games with the San Francisco Giants and Miami Marlins last season.

In another roster move, reliever Bruce Rondon was optioned to Triple-A Toledo.

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 Posted: Tue Mar 29th, 2016 05:19 pm
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lobo316
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The San Diego Padres have acquired right-hander Dan Straily from the Houston Astros for catcher Erik Kratz, the teams announced Tuesday.

Straily only appeared in four games with Houston last season, posting a 5.40 ERA over that span. The 27-year-old has struggled this spring, but threw four no-hit innings in his last spring outing with the Astros on Friday. He owns a career 13-13 record and 4.60 ERA over parts of four big-league seasons with the Astros, Athletics, and Cubs.

Kratz split 2015 between the Royals and Phillies, and was in San Diego's camp on a minor-league deal. A veteran of 14 professional seasons, he'll likely open the season as Houston's backup catcher.

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 Posted: Tue Mar 29th, 2016 11:38 pm
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Jeff Samardzija, who was drafted by the Cubs a decade ago and spent the first seven years of his MLB career on the North Side of Chicago, gets why Theo Epstein overhauled the organization after taking over the club's baseball operations department in 2011.

Doesn't mean he liked it, though.

"It was the easy thing to do," Samardzija told Bob Nightengale of USA Today. "You can always sell the future, and people always buy it. It’s a great way to rebuild, and I understand that.

"But as a veteran guy, it was becoming a joke."

Samardzija's enduring frustration, even after landing a five-year, $80-million contract from the San Francisco Giants earlier this winter, isn't all that surprising. After all, the 31-year-old right-hander - who grew up an hour's drive from Wrigley Field - endured the worst parts of the Cubs' rebuild and didn't get to reap the benefits of 2015.

In Epstein's first two seasons as president of baseball operations, the Cubs won a total of 127 games, with the front office focusing more on improving the club's prospect pool than winning games at the MLB level. For Samardzija, watching his team's top executives neglect the present for the sake of the future got tiring after a while.

“I just got so sick of hearing about it,’’ Samardzija said. “They had to do what they had to do, but as a professional, you always want to be competing, not hearing some rhetoric every year."

Though the Cubs wanted Samardzija to be part of their supposedly glorious future, the Notre Dame product wasn't interested when the club offered him a five-year, $80-million extension in the summer of 2014. So, that July, the Cubs shipped him and Jason Hammel to Oakland for Addison Russell, the former top prospect now entrenched at shortstop at Wrigley Field.

The next year, the Cubs finished 97-65 and made it all the way to the National League Championship Series. Samardzija, who was traded to the Chicago White Sox last winter, endured his worst season since becoming a full-time starter in 2012.

“It was a risky plan, right, counting on the draft and Cuban guys and things like that,’’ Samardzija said. “They spent money to get guys. They hit on the guy (Kris) Bryant who’s a difference maker. (Anthony) Rizzo came on. Now, they’re rolling."

Still, while he isn't thrilled about how his tenure in Chicago went down, Samardzija said he still has feelings for the Cubs.

"They will always be in my heart. I'll take pride in what they do because I'm a Chicago guy," he said. "You always want to see your boys do well, until we play against them."

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 Posted: Tue Mar 29th, 2016 11:39 pm
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lobo316
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Chicago White Sox right-hander Kameron Loe has been suspended 80 games after testing positive for a performance-enhancing drug for a second time, the pitcher tweeted Tuesday.

The team or Major League Baseball have not acknowledged the suspension at this point.

Loe, who inked a minor-league deal with the White Sox earlier this month, shared the following explanation on social media:

I am writing this to apologize to my family, friends, baseball fans, the White Sox, MLB and anyone else that I have let down. I bought a product from nutrition/supplement store, before I signed with the White Sox, made me test positive for performance enhancer. I made the decision to take this supplement knowing it was NSF certified for the sport. I took the product for only five days and then stopped. I was signed by the Sox five days after I stopped and was tested six days after that. I deeply regret this decision.

Loe was suspended for 50 games in January 2015 after testing positive for a drug of abuse.

The 34-year-old hasn't pitched in the majors since 2013, but plans to continue his baseball career after serving the ban.

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 Posted: Tue Mar 29th, 2016 11:41 pm
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San Diego Padres right-hander Philip Humber announced his retirement from baseball Tuesday after failing to crack the big-league roster.

Humber famously threw the 21st perfect game in major-league history on April 21, 2012 as a member of the Chicago White Sox. He spent parts of eight seasons in the bigs.

The 33-year-old hurler signed a minor-league deal with the Padres last December after brief stints with the Oakland Athletics and the Kia Tigers of the Korean Baseball Organization.

Humber had a 4.35 ERA over six spring outings, and hasn't pitched in the majors since 2013, when he went a miserable 0-8 with a 7.90 ERA for the Houston Astros.

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 Posted: Wed Mar 30th, 2016 05:21 pm
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The Toronto Blue Jays are sticking with the kid for the ninth inning.

Blue Jays manager John Gibbons announced Wednesday morning that 21-year-old right-hander Roberto Osuna will reprise his role as closer in 2016, getting the nod over newcomer Drew Storen following a superb rookie season in which he notched 20 saves with a 2.58 ERA and 0.92 WHIP in 68 appearances.

Long considered one of the club's top pitching prospects, Osuna cracked the Blue Jays' roster with a strong showing last spring, and grabbed hold of the closer's role in June amid the early-season struggles of Miguel Castro and Brett Cecil. Osuna, who had never pitched above High-A prior to 2015, ended up becoming the third pitcher in history to log at least 20 saves in his age-20 season, and finished the year with more WAR (1.3) than all but four rookie pitchers.

Storen, who was acquired from the Washington Nationals in exchange for Ben Revere in January, will serve as Toronto's setup man, Gibbons confirmed. Though his six-year stint in Washington was a bit turbulent, the 28-year-old boasts more saves since 2010 (95) than all but 10 National League closers. Last year, after losing the closer's role in 2014, Storen logged 29 saves with a 1.52 through his first 43 appearances before imploding down the stretch following the club's acquisition of Jonathan Papelbon, who supplanted him as closer.

Osuna and Storen will be joined in the bullpen by Cecil, Jesse Chavez, Gavin Floyd, Joe Biagini, Arnold Leon, and Ryan Tepera, as the Blue Jays will carry eight relievers to begin the campaign with Marco Estrada headed to the disabled list.

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 Posted: Wed Mar 30th, 2016 05:25 pm
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NEW YORK - The long-running television dispute between Baltimore Orioles and Washington Nationals is heading to mediation.

New York Supreme Court Justice Lawrence Marks said in an order filed Monday that the sides agreed to hold a mediation on April 12-13. A Feb. 24 letter from Nationals lawyer Stephen Neuwirth to Marks, which was posted to the case file Monday, said the sides agreed to have Boston-based Eric Green mediate.

In November, Marks threw out a decision by Major League Baseball's Revenue Sharing Definitions Committee that said the Mid-Atlantic Sports Network, which is controlled by the Orioles, owed the Nationals about $298 million for the team's 2012-16 television rights. The Orioles and MASN claim the rights fee should be far less.

MASN and the Orioles sued in New York State Supreme Court last year, claiming the arbitration was improper because the law firm Proskauer Rose, which represented the Nationals, at times worked for MLB and the teams of all three RSDC members.

Neuwirth said in his letter the Nationals offered to switch to Quinn Emanuel Urquhart & Sullivan as their counsel but MASN and the Orioles refused to have the matter re-heard by the RSDC, which includes three ownership level officials from other teams. Neuwirth also said in the letter the Nationals agreed to mediation ''under pressure,'' claiming Marks' clerk said she expected Marks to order mediation if the sides did not agree to it.

Marks set a briefing schedule that runs through June 17 on the Nationals' motion to compel another arbitration.

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 Posted: Wed Mar 30th, 2016 05:26 pm
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lobo316
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The Texas Rangers secured the catching depth they've been seeking Tuesday, acquiring Bryan Holaday from the Detroit Tigers in exchange for catcher Bobby Wilson and right-hander Myles Jaye, the teams announced.

Holaday, 28, appeared in 24 games for the Tigers last season, slashing .281/.292/.453 with two homers over 65 plate appearances. Selected by Detroit in the sixth round of the 2010 draft, Holaday returns to his home state of Texas where he played high school ball and starred for TCU in the College World Series during his senior year.

The Rangers had been targeting a catcher this offseason, and were consistently linked to Milwaukee Brewers All-Star Jonathan Lucroy, whose asking price was believed to be too high for Texas.

Holaday, owner of a career OPS of .622, is expected to backup catcher Robinson Chirinos on the Opening Day roster, according to T.R. Sullivan of MLB.com.

Wilson, 32, split the 2015 season between the Rangers and Tampa Bay Rays, posting a .505 OPS over 56 games.

Jaye, a minor-league right-hander who spent last year in Double-A, was drafted by the Toronto Blue Jays in 2010 and has yet to pitch in the majors. The 24-year-old managed a 3.29 ERA for Double-A Birmingham last season, notching 104 strikeouts over 147 2/3 innings.

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 Posted: Wed Mar 30th, 2016 09:09 pm
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The Seattle Mariners have acquired reliever Nick Vincent from the San Diego Padres in exchange for a player to be named later, announced A.J. Preller, the Padres' executive vice president and general manager on Wednesday.

In 23 innings pitched in 2016, Vincent posted a 2.35 ERA with 22 strikeouts. He has spent his entire four-year career in the big leagues with the Padres since being drafted by the team in 2008.

Vincent was out of options, meaning the Padres would have had to place the 29-year-old right-hander on waivers before being able to demote him to the minor leagues. The club's 40-man roster now currently sits at 39 players.

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 Posted: Wed Mar 30th, 2016 09:10 pm
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lobo316
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There's a new carbonated soft drink king in Queens.

After first striking a deal in December with the pop giant to replace Pepsi Co. at Citi Field, the New York Mets have completed their most visible obligation to Coca-Cola by constructing a new sign above the right field stands.

New signage in all its sweetness at @CitiField pic.twitter.com/FKCwLFvzLa

— Pete McCarthy (@PeteyMacWOR) March 30, 2016
Along with the new sign, Coca-Cola products are sporting Mets logos on their products to commemorate the club's success in 2015:

Goodbye @pepsi... Hello @CocaCola .. #Mets logo looking good there #LGM pic.twitter.com/WKTrUNnGye

— Mills (@MillManner) March 22, 2016

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 Posted: Thu Mar 31st, 2016 12:28 am
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HONOLULU - Maui prosecutors are moving to dismiss a domestic abuse charge against suspended Colorado Rockies shortstop Jose Reyes.

Deputy Prosecuting Attorney Kerry Glen said Wednesday she's dropping the case because Reyes' wife isn't cooperating.

"The complaining witness, Mr. Reyes' wife, is what we call an uncooperative witness," Glen told reporters, according to ESPN. "At this point, I have no other avenue for prosecution."

Reyes was scheduled to go to trial April 4. He pleaded not guilty to abusing a family or household member.

The former New York Mets shortstop was arrested Oct. 31 at the Wailea Four Seasons Resort. According to a recording of a 911 call released by police, a hotel security guard reported the woman had injuries to her leg and scratches on her neck.

Reyes was released after posting $1,000 bail and was ordered to stay away from his wife for three days.

He was placed on paid leave under Major League Baseball's domestic violence policy pending completion of the criminal proceedings.

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 Posted: Thu Mar 31st, 2016 12:28 am
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New York Yankees left-hander Andrew Miller exited Wednesday's exhibition contest after taking a line drive off his right wrist in the seventh inning, reports Jared Diamond of The Wall Street Journal, with the 30-year-old slamming his glove down and flinging his cap into the dugout as he left the game.

Shortly after Miller's departure, general manager Brian Cashman told reporters the veteran reliever had been diagnosed with a bruised wrist and will head back to Tampa Bay for an X-ray and CT scan.

Miller, who entered his club's game against the Atlanta Braves with a 3.18 ERA and 7:1 strikeout-to-walk ratio in six Grapefruit League outings, was seen squeezing his eyes tight and shaking his arm as he left the field, one spectator told Mark Feinsand of the New York Daily News. Still, fellow reliever Dellin Betances sounded confident Miller will be fine.

"It's a bruise, he'll laugh about it later," Betances told MLB.com's Bryan Hoch.

With newcomer Aroldis Chapman suspended for the first 30 games of the regular season, Miller is slated to open the campaign as New York's closer after logging a career-high 36 saves with a 2.04 ERA last year in his first season with the Yankees.

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 Posted: Thu Mar 31st, 2016 12:29 am
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With only a few days left until Opening Day, the Baltimore Orioles reportedly cut loose a major piece of the pitching staff from the last few seasons, handing veteran right-hander Miguel Gonzalez his unconditional release Wednesday, a source told Eduardo A. Encina of the Baltimore Sun.

Gonzalez, who made at least 26 starts for Baltimore in each of the last three seasons, will be on release waivers for the next 48 hours and will become a free agent if he goes unclaimed, or if he doesn't wish to join the team that successfully claims him. If the 31-year-old isn't claimed, the Orioles will be responsible for roughly $1.02 million of the $5.1-million salary he earned as a second-year arbitration-eligible player.

Despite logging more innings with Baltimore since 2012 than all but two pitchers, Gonzalez fashioned a career-worst 4.91 ERA last year - with a 6.55 ERA over his last 11 starts - and arrived at spring training without a guaranteed job. He wasn't able to endear himself to the Orioles this spring, though, stumbling to a 9.78 ERA and 2.12 WHIP in six Grapefruit League starts, and prompting the club to release him even with Kevin Gausman poised to open the season on the disabled list.

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 Posted: Thu Mar 31st, 2016 12:29 am
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The Tampa Bay Rays have told first baseman James Loney he won't be making the team, according to multiple reports.

Loney said the team informed him he'll either be traded or released in the coming days, reports Marc Topkin of the Tampa Bay Times.

The 31-year-old spent the last three seasons with the Rays, hitting .291/.337/.393 with 26 home runs and 176 RBIs.

Topkin also reported that former first baseman Dan Johnson, who was attempting to make the Rays as a knuckleball pitcher, was given his release Wednesday.

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