Washington Nationals – MLB Trade Rumors 2019-01-22T21:17:07Z https://www.mlbtraderumors.com/feed/atom WordPress Steve Adams <![CDATA[Nationals Outright Matt Reynolds]]> https://www.mlbtraderumors.com/?p=145092 2019-01-19T03:34:10Z 2019-01-19T03:30:22Z
  • The Nationals announced that infielder Matt Reynolds has cleared waivers after being designated for assignment. He was sent outright to Triple-A Fresno. Reynolds made just 14 plate appearances with Washington last season and has spent the bulk of his career with the Mets, for whom he batted .228/.300/.351 in 226 PAs from 2016-17. The 28-year-old Reynolds can handle shortstop, second base and third base, and he’s a career .283/.350/.420 hitter in nearly 1600 Triple-A plate appearances (although most of those came in an extremely hitter-friendly setting with the Mets’ former Las Vegas affiliate in the Pacific Coast League).
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    Jeff Todd <![CDATA[Nationals To Sign Vidal Nuno]]> https://www.mlbtraderumors.com/?p=145066 2019-01-17T23:33:07Z 2019-01-17T23:33:07Z The Nationals have agreed to a minor-league deal with southpaw Vidal Nuno, according to Jon Heyman of Fancred (via Twitter). He’ll receive an invitation to participate in MLB Spring Training as well as opt-out opportunities if he doesn’t earn a roster spot. Nuno would earn at a $1.3MM rate in the big leagues.

    Nuno, 31, turned in a sparkling 1.64 ERA in 33 frames last year for the Rays. His underlying peripherals, however, were not quite so promising as the bottom-line results would otherwise suggest. Nuno was helped along by a .216 batting average on balls in play and 100% strand rate.

    Teams clearly do not anticipate that Nuno will be capable of replicating his 2018 output; otherwise, he’d have been claimed when he was outrighted after the end of the season or would have commanded a MLB deal in free agency. Still, he seems to be a worthwhile depth piece, having compiled a 4.06 ERA with 7.5 K/9 and 2.5 BB/9 over nearly four hundred career frames at the game’s highest level.

    For the Nats, Nuno could represent both rotation and left-handed relief depth. He took ten starts at Triple-A last year but has mostly worked out of the pen in recent major league campaigns. Historically, Nuno has found much greater success against same-handed hitters, so he could compete for a LOOGY job in camp.

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    Jeff Todd <![CDATA[Dozier On Why He Chose To Sign With Nats]]> https://www.mlbtraderumors.com/?p=144936 2019-01-17T06:35:13Z 2019-01-17T03:57:59Z
  • Veteran second baseman Brian Dozier weighed some multi-year offers before he landed with the Nationals, as Mark Zuckerman of MASNsports.com writes. He and his wife ultimately preferred the fit in D.C., says Dozier, who says he spoke with Kurt Suzuki and Josh Willingham about their experiences in the nation’s capital before making his decision. Dozier ended up securing a $9MM guarantee for one season of work; in all likelihood, he’d have taken a lower annual salary if he went with a lengthier pact. The opportunity will also give him a shot, then, at returning to the market in search of a bigger contract. For both Dozier and the Nats, the bottom-line question is whether the 2018 season is merely a blip or the start of a decline for a player who had been a star-level performer for several prior seasons. Dozier says he’s fully recovered from a knee issue that may have led to “some bad habits,” calling his rough campaign “a good learning year.”
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    Steve Adams <![CDATA[Rendon Reportedly Seeking Contract Comparable To Altuve]]> https://www.mlbtraderumors.com/?p=144369 2019-01-14T16:06:28Z 2019-01-14T16:06:28Z It’s well known that the Nationals hope to work out a long-term deal with third baseman Anthony Rendon before he reaches free agency next winter, and Ken Rosenthal of The Athletic wrote over the weekend (subscription required) that Rendon and agent Scott Boras have been eyeing something in the vicinity of Jose Altuve’s extension from a year ago. Altuve was already under contract for two years and $12.5MM at the time he signed for an additional five years and $151MM, which brought his current contract to a total of $163.5MM over seven years. The Nats are already just a few million dollars shy of the luxury tax threshold, and bumping Rendon’s annual value from the reported $18.8MM figure to which he agreed on Friday would likely take them over the limit. The Nats have been willing to exceed that threshold for Bryce Harper, however, and perhaps the allure of keeping Rendon from reaching the open market would be incentive enough to do the same. As Rosenthal explores, the two situations are also somewhat related, as fitting both players onto the payroll would come with luxury repercussions — even when factoring in the likely stream of subsequent moves that would follow a new contract for Harper (e.g. trading a current outfielder).

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    Connor Byrne <![CDATA[Nationals Unlikely To Sign Another Starter To Guaranteed Deal]]> https://www.mlbtraderumors.com/?p=144299 2019-01-13T20:43:23Z 2019-01-13T20:43:23Z
  • While the Nationals have been connected to free-agent left-hander Wade Miley as a potential No. 5 starter, it’s doubtful they’ll add anyone else to their rotation on a guaranteed contract, Jamal Collier of MLB.com hears. That should rule out Miley and other free agents who are in line to receive major league deals, though Collier doesn’t close the door on the Nationals bringing in rotation candidates on minors pacts. Regardless, Washington’s starting staff is already in enviable shape, as the team has signed Patrick Corbin and Anibal Sanchez to accompany Max Scherzer, Stephen Strasburg and perhaps either Joe Ross or Erick Fedde.
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    Connor Byrne <![CDATA[Phillies Reportedly Favorites To Sign Bryce Harper]]> https://www.mlbtraderumors.com/?p=144277 2019-01-13T18:47:40Z 2019-01-13T18:40:27Z SUNDAY: The Phillies are “clear-cut” favorites to sign Harper, USA Today’s Bob Nightengale hears from multiple sources. The Nationals, on the other hand, are fading in the sweepstakes, and team executives are calling it a “long shot” that he’ll re-sign with them. Nightengale reports. Washington isn’t prepared to pay Harper more than $25MM per year, Nightengale suggests. The Phillies, meanwhile, haven’t submitted a formal offer to Harper yet, but that should change during the upcoming week, according to Nightengale.

    SATURDAY: After conducting a face-to-face meeting in Las Vegas with free-agent outfielder Bryce Harper on Saturday, the Phillies “remain optimistic” they’ll emerge from the offseason having signed him or free-agent infielder Manny Machado, Matt Breen of Philly.com reports. At the very least, the Phillies will be finalists for both Harper and Machado, Breen adds.

    The Phillies entered the winter with owner John Middleton declaring that money wouldn’t stand in the way of upgrading a team which has missed the playoffs seven years in a row. And signing either Harper or Machado has always stood out as the clearest path to improving the Phillies’ roster, as the two 26-year-old superstars are easily the premier players on the open market. Given both the Phillies’ financial might and their need for at least one of those players, it’s “likely” they’ll put forth the richest offers for both Harper and Machado, according to Breen.

    If the Phillies are only able to pick one, it’d be Machado, whom they “seem to prefer,” Breen writes. However, the Phillies have “signaled” to him that they are also interested in Harper – a move that Breen posits could pressure Machado to accept an offer from them. Notably, since the Phillies met with Machado in December, they’ve added one of his confidants to their staff, having hired former Orioles infield coach Bobby Dickerson in the same role. Dickerson was with the Orioles during Machado’s entire run with the team from 2012-18. Meanwhile, the White Sox – who look like the only other team seriously pursuing Machado – may have helped their chances this winter by acquiring the shortstop/third baseman’s brother-in-law, Yonder Alonso,  and his friend Jon Jay. But if money, not personal ties, ends up being the deciding factor in where Machado goes, signs are pointing to Philadelphia. After all, the White Sox’s only known offer to date was reportedly worth closer to $200MM than $300MM, and it may take a proposal nearer to the latter amount to lure Machado.

    As with Machado, Harper has fewer franchises going after him than expected this offseason. Still, at least four teams – the Phillies, White Sox, Nationals and Dodgers – look to be in the running. It seems the Nationals, with whom Harper has spent his whole career since going first overall in the 2010 draft, are particularly strong in the derby. As of earlier this week, the Nats were reportedly upping their efforts to re-sign Harper, to whom they’ve already extended at least one offer worth well north of $300MM. Reports have indicated the Dodgers aren’t keen on making a long-term commitment, on the other hand, meaning Harper may have to choose among the Phillies, White Sox and Nationals if he has any hope of landing a record-setting contract.

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    Connor Byrne <![CDATA[Nationals Designate Matt Reynolds]]> https://www.mlbtraderumors.com/?p=144309 2019-01-13T18:32:09Z 2019-01-13T18:25:20Z The Nationals have designated infielder Matt Reynolds for assignment, per Dan Kolko of MASN. His 40-man spot will go to just-signed second baseman Brian Dozier.

    Reynolds joined the Nationals last February in a minor trade with the division-rival Mets, though he only went on to accrue 14 major league plate appearances in 2018. The 28-year-old spent most of the season at the Triple-A level, where he hit a solid .265/.355/.424 in 355 plate appearances. Overall, Reynolds owns a .283/.350/.420 line in 1,589 PAs at the highest level of the minors. But the 2012 second-round pick of the Mets has batted just .223/.295/.340 in 240 attempts in the majors.

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    Steve Adams <![CDATA[Nationals Sign Brian Dozier]]> https://www.mlbtraderumors.com/?p=143653 2019-01-13T18:23:06Z 2019-01-13T18:23:59Z JAN. 13: Dozier has passed his physical, making his one-year, $9MM deal official, Jesse Dougherty of the Washington Post tweets.

    JAN. 10: An aggressive offseason for the Nationals continued Thursday, as the team reportedly agreed to a one-year contract with free-agent second baseman Brian Dozier. The All Bases Covered Sports Management client will reportedly receive a $9MM guarantee.

    Brian Dozier | Jordan Johnson-USA TODAY Sports

    Dozier, 31, was one of the game’s premier second basemen from 2014-17, hitting a combined .254/.338/.476 with 127 home runs, 137 doubles, 14 triples, 67 stolen bases and a Gold Glove Award all under his belt in that time. He suffered a bone bruise in his knee early in the 2018 campaign but played through the injury, which may have impacted him at the plate; in 632 PAs split between the Twins and Dodgers last season, Dozier hit just .215/.305/.391 — including an especially anemic .182/.300/.350 slash with the Dodgers following a July 31 trade.

    Washington represents something of a perfect fit for Dozier — a contending club that can offer everyday at-bats given the wide-open nature of their current second base situation. Prior to the agreement with Dozier, light-hitting Wilmer Difo and veteran Howie Kendrick looked to be in line for the lion’s share of work at the position.

    Now, with Dozier in the fold, they’ll presumably revert to reserve roles for a Nationals club that has been aggressive in addressing weaknesses this offseason. Additionally, the Nationals needn’t feel any pressure to rush top prospect and presumptive long-term second baseman Carter Kieboom to the Majors. At the same time, the one-year term of today’s agreement allows them to address the second-base need without placing a longer-term roadblock in Kieboom’s path to the big leagues. And Dozier, meanwhile, will have the opportunity to rebuild his stock after a down season in 2018 before returning to the open market next winter. From that vantage point, it’s very much a win-win scenario for both the organization and Dozier himself.

    If he’s able to bounce back to his previous levels of production, or even something close to it, he’ll provide the Nationals with a substantial upgrade over their incumbent options and deepen a lineup that has also added both Kurt Suzuki (a former teammate of Dozier’s) and Yan Gomes as options behind the plate. Washington has also signed the market’s best starter, Patrick Corbin, in addition to picking up righty Anibal Sanchez and adding relievers Trevor Rosenthal and Kyle Barraclough in what has been an exceptionally active offseason. The Nats reportedly haven’t entirely ruled out a reunion with Bryce Harper, either, so there could yet be some significant moves in the offing.

    The addition of Dozier at a $9MM rate brings the Nationals ever closer to the $206MM luxury tax threshold, though as Jason Martinez projects at Roster Resource, the Nats are still about $3.5MM shy of that mark. Obviously, bringing Harper back into the fray would mean completely shattering that mark, though ownership likely views Harper as an exception and will ultimately make a determination on whether it’s worth incurring that penalty in order to retain the franchise icon.

    Dozier entered free agency as a classic candidate to take a one-year “pillow” contract in an effort to restore his damaged stock, and the fit with the Nationals has long seemed a good one (as MLBTR noted when predicting that Dozier would land with the Nats on a one-year, $10MM deal at the outset of free agency). Now, with the Nationals just narrowly shy of the luxury threshold, he looks to be perhaps the final significant piece of the puzzle in D.C., barring a late push from ownership to re-sign Harper. The Nats have enough wiggle room that they could potentially add a particularly affordable reliever or bench piece if there’s a desirable veteran lingering on the market into Spring Training, but the team certainly can’t be keen on breaching the luxury tax barrier in order to add a complimentary piece.

    Ken Rosenthal of The Athletic first reported that the two sides were close to a deal (via Twitter), and Jeff Passan of ESPN tweeted the agreement and terms of the contract.

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    Ty Bradley <![CDATA[NL Notes: Kluber, Padres, Dodgers, Harper, Nats, Cubs, Boras/Phils]]> https://www.mlbtraderumors.com/?p=144239 2019-01-12T21:25:24Z 2019-01-12T21:24:06Z The Padres persist in their dogged pursuit of Indians ace Corey Kluber, per MLB.com’s JP Morosi, who notes that the club would prefer to hold on to each of its top five prospects. The Tribe reportedly “have interest” in lefty Adrian Morejon, who, despite his status as a consensus top 50-75 prospect, wouldn’t fall into the aforementioned category in a loaded Padre farm. Still, it’s tough to see a deal consummated without one of those players; Cleveland, after all, has been widely reported to be seeking a Chris Sale-esque return for Kluber, and wouldn’t likely settle for even high-grade chaff. If the club is still interested in dealing the 32-year-old ace, the Padres would be seem a perfect fit: the club is loaded not only with blue-chip prospects, but also sport a glut of young, if underperforming, outfielders at every position. Morosi lists Manuel Margot and Hunter Renfroe as options, though the Tribe may also have its eyes on Franmil Reyes and Franchy Cordero, in addition to the richly-paid Wil Myers.

    More from the Senior Circuit …

    • In the same article, Morosi reports that the Dodgers still “remain involved” in discussions for Kluber. The club certainly boasts its share of high-level farm talent – though it can’t match the San Diego riches – but thus far, under the tenure of Baseball Ops President Andrew Friedman, has been altogether opposed to dealing from the top of its farm. Multiple high-level departures would be an unequivocal sea change for the boys in blue, who may be feeling the pressure from a desperate fanbase after so many near-misses in the recent past. Adding Kluber to the top of the team’s rotation without a 25-man prune has to be tempting for even the most measured of front offices, but the slotted five (Clayton Kershaw, Walker Buehler, Hyun-Jin Ryu, Kenta Maeda, and Rich Hill) already rival any in the game.
    • Though many executives questioned the veracity of the Nationals’ reported 10-year, $300MM offer to Bryce Harper on the last day of the season, The Athletic’s Ken Rosenthal reports that the offer was “indeed real,” and that the two sides continue to negotiate. Harper, it seems, would very much like to surpass the $325MM guaranteed to Giancarlo Stanton, though doesn’t appear to have the wind-ranging market he once envisioned. Some interested teams continue to disguise their intentions, but not the Cubs, who Rosenthal notes “would love” a shot at Harper, if only the front office could get the “unlikely” go-ahead from ownership.
    • Jim Salisbury of NBC Sports Philadelphia details the Fightins’ unique relationship with agent Scott Boras over the years, which reached a tipping point over 1997’s bitter dispute with number two overall pick J.D. Drew. The Phillies, of course, are set to meet with Harper today in Las Vegas, and have long been considered the near-favorite for his services. Per Salisbury, the club plans to address recent reports that the 26-year-old star is not fond of Philadelphia, which would seem to strike a death knell to the team’s chances. Among all potential suitors with near-term competitive ambitions, the Phils have the greatest need – and, perhaps, the most available cash – for Harper, and perhaps the team’s recent amenability with Boras could tip the scales in its direction.
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    Steve Adams <![CDATA[Players Avoiding Arbitration: National League]]> https://www.mlbtraderumors.com/?p=143896 2019-01-12T18:50:18Z 2019-01-12T18:15:47Z The deadline for players and teams to exchange arbitration figures passed yesterday at 1pm ET, and there has been a landslide of settlements on one-year deals to avoid an arbitration hearing. We’ll track those settlements from the National League in this post. Once all of the day’s settlements have filtered in, I’ll organize them by division to make them a bit easier to parse.

    It’s worth mentioning that the vast majority of teams have adopted a “file and trial” approach to arbitration, meaning that once arbitration figures are exchanged with a player, negotiations on a one-year deal will cease. The two parties may still discuss a multi-year deal after that point, but the majority of players who exchange figures with their team today will head to an arbitration hearing.

    As always, all salary projections referenced within this post are courtesy of MLBTR contributor Matt Swartz, and we’ll also be updating our 2019 Arbitration Tracker throughout the day…

    Today’s Updates

    • Rounding out contract numbers for the St. Louis Cardinals, Dominic Leone will take home $1.26MM, Chasen Shreve will make $900K, and outfielder Marcell Ozuna will earn $12.25MM in his last season before free agency, per MLB.com’s Mark Feinsand (via Twitter). Ozuna has the most high-impact potential as he looks to rebound from a still-productive season in 2018 that saw his power output hindered at times by a balky shoulder. He still managed 23 home runs and a .280/.325/.433 slash line while playing just about every day outside of a 10-day DL stint late in August.
    • The Diamondbacks came to terms with a slew of players, per Feinsand (via Twitter), including Matt Andriese for $920K, Steven Souza Jr. for $4.125MM, shortstop Nick Ahmed for $3.6625MM, and potential closer Archie Bradley for $1.83MM.
    • The Rockies and starting pitcher Jon Gray have come to an agreement on a $2.935MM deal, per Feinsand (via Twitter). Gray had an up-and-down 2018 that is generally considered to be more promising than the optics of his 5.12 ERA make it seem.
    • The Pirates have come to terms on one-year deals with both of their arbitration eligible players, per Bill Brink of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. Left fielder Corey Dickerson signs for $8.5MM, and reliever Keone Kela takes home $3.175MM. It’s a small arb class for the Pirates, whose list will grow next season as players like Josh Bell, Jameson Taillon, and Joe Musgrove, among others, reach their first season of eligibility.
    • The Dodgers signed a couple of their remaining arbitration-eligible players yesterday, USA Today’s Bob Nightengale (Twitter links). Utility man Chris Taylor has a $3.5MM deal, while outfield Joc Pederson settled at $5MM.

    Earlier Updates

    Read more

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    Jeff Todd <![CDATA[Unresolved 2019 Arbitration Cases]]> https://www.mlbtraderumors.com/?p=144177 2019-01-12T15:29:32Z 2019-01-12T15:15:14Z Yesterday’s arbitration deadline wasn’t a firm date for agreeing to terms. Rather, it was the end of the period to negotiate before submitting numbers for possible hearings. Negotiations can continue thereafter, but teams and players will now have to defend their submission numbers if they can’t bridge the gap before a hearing. Baseball arb panels simply pick one side’s number; that aspect of the process is designed to force the parties to the bargaining table.

    [RELATED: MLBTR Arbitration Projections; MLBTR Arbitration Tracker]

    Here’s what we know thus far about the still-unresolved cases:

    Today’s Updates

    • The Yankees have yet to come to a deal with ace starter Luis Severino, and they may be heading to arbitration. The Yanks have submitted their bid at $4.4MM, while Severino has asked for $5.25MM, per USA Today’s Bob Nightengale (via Twitter).
    • Tommy Pham and the Rays have submitted their numbers for arbitration, per USA Today’s Bob Nightengale (via Twitter). Pham filed at $4.1MM while the Rays submitted a bid of $3.5MM. Pham has had no problem expressing his honest opinion about the Rays fanbase of late, and it will be interesting to see if he gets an equal portion of honest feedback in return in his arbitration hearing.
    • The Oakland A’s and their closer Blake Treinen have both submitted their numbers, with the team coming in at $5.6MM while Treinen files for $6.4MM, per Fancred’s Jon Heyman (via Twitter). It’s not a shock to see these sides far apart, given Treinen’s remarkable 2018 and how far above his usual standard of production last season’s numbers fell.
    • Washington Nationals filed at $1.725MM for newcomer Kyle Barraclough, who counters at $2MM, per Nightengale (via Twitter). The former Marlin was acquired in an uncommonly early offseason trade that sent international bonus pool money the Marlins’ way.
    • The Diamondbacks have only one player they did not reach an agreement with, lefty reliever T.J. McFarland. The Dbacks submitted a bid of $1.275MM, while McFarland is asking for $1.675MM, per Nightengale (via Twitter).
    • Alex Wood submitted $9.65MM for his 2019 salary, while his new club the Cincinnati Reds countered at $8.7MM, per Nightengale (via Twitter). Wood will be a free agent at season’s end.
    • The Detroit Tigers reached agreements with all of their arbitration eligible players except for right-handed starter Michael Fulmer. Fulmer comes in at $3.4MM with the team countering at $2.8MM, the difference being 600K, per Nightengale (via Twitter).
    • Ryan Tepera has filed for $1.8MM while the Blue Jays submitted their bid at $1.525MM, per Nightengale (via Twitter). Tepera has been a reliable bullpen arm for the Jays through his first four seasons. He has two more seasons of arbitration remaining, set to reach free agency in advance of the 2022 season.
    • Reserve outfielder Michael A. Taylor and the Washington Nationals are a 250K apart, per Nightengale (via Twitter). Seems like a rather small sum to quibble over in the grand scheme of things, but every cent counts right now in Washington, it seems. Taylor submitted a bid of $3.5MM, with the Nats countering at $3.25MM.

    Earlier Updates

    • Rockies star Nolan Arenado is headed for a record arb salary, unsurprisingly. The question is by how much. He has filed at a whopping $30MM, with the club countering at $24MM, per Ken Rosenthal of The Athletic (via Twitter). Even the lower figure would represent a record. It doesn’t seem as if the sides will go to a high-stakes hearing on this one; Jeff Passan of ESPN.com tweets that the odds are good they’ll find common ground. MLBTR and contributor Matt Swartz projected Arenado to earn $26.1MM, though he also explained that it’s not hard to see that number swaying in either direction based upon a close examination of the (few relevant) comps.
    • Despite a monster 2018 season, Phillies righty Aaron Nola isn’t seeking to set a record first-year arb starter salary. (That belongs to Dallas Keuchel, at $7.25MM, when he was coming off of a Cy Young season.) Nola did file at a hefty $6.75MM, per Jim Salisbury of NBC Sports Philadelphia (via Twitter), while the club entered just $4.5MM. It’ll be interesting to see how this one plays out. The Keuchel salary represented a sea change for young starters, but few others have tested the process since. MLBTR’s projection system spit out a $6.6MM figure for Nola.
    • Righty Gerrit Cole filed at $13.5MM, while the Astros countered at $11.425MM, according to Jon Heyman of Fancred (Twitter link). Teammates Carlos Correa and Chris Devenski have also yet to agree to terms. MLBTR projected Cole to earn $13.1MM in his final arb season, Correa to check in at $5.1MM in his first arb year, and Devenski to take home $1.4MM his first time through the process.
    • Indians righty Trevor Bauer is seeking a $13MM payday, while the club will argue instead for $11MM, per Paul Hoynes of the Plain Dealer (via Twitter). The Cleveland org has long utilized a file-and-trial approach on a case-by-case basis. It’s not totally clear whether that’ll be the approach here, but as Hoynes notes, the sides did go to a hearing already last year. (Bauer won.) MLBTR projected a $11.6MM payday; Swartz also explained why he thought the model was likely in the right ballpark for Bauer in a detailed post.
    • Passan provides a list of other players who have yet to agree to terms and who could therefore still end up before a panel. There are fifteen in total, including those already noted above as well as Kyle Barraclough and Michael Taylor (Nationals), Michael Fulmer (Tigers), T.J. McFarland (Diamondbacks), Tommy Pham (Rays), Luis Severino (Yankees), Ryan Tepera (Blue Jays), Blake Treinen (Athletics), and Alex Wood (Reds).
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    Jeff Todd <![CDATA[Nationals Avoid Arbitration With Anthony Rendon]]> https://www.mlbtraderumors.com/?p=144173 2019-01-12T01:07:03Z 2019-01-12T00:50:22Z The Nationals have avoided arbitration with star third baseman Anthony Rendon, the club announced. It’ll be a $18.8MM payday for Rendon, per Bob Nightengale of USA Today (Twitter link).

    Rendon had been projected to earn $17.6MM in his final season of arb eligibility. Instead, he’ll top that mark by a decent bit, landing a healthy $6.5MM raise over his 2018 salary.

    Of course, this may only be a prelude to a much larger contract. There have been indications all winter long that the sides are engaged in extension talks. Yesterday, Ken Rosenthal of The Athletic reported (subscription link) that Rendon is looking for a deal on the order of the $163.5MM pact the Astros agreed to with Jose Altuve last year.

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    Jeff Todd <![CDATA[Indians Claim A.J. Cole]]> https://www.mlbtraderumors.com/?p=144152 2019-01-11T22:49:28Z 2019-01-11T22:49:28Z The Indians have claimed righty A.J. Cole off waivers from the Yankees, per club announcements. Brandon Warne of Zone Coverage first tweeted the news.

    Cole, who recently turned 27, had failed to catch on with the Nationals before landing with the Yanks last year. He carved out a role in the New York bullpen, where he worked to a 4.26 ERA in 38 innings over 28 appearances. The out-of-options hurler could function as a long man for a Cleveland org that is looking for ways to improve on the cheap.

    There were certainly some positives last year, as Cole worked off of a mid-nineties fastball and logged 11.6 K/9 against 3.8 BB/9 with the Yankees. He continued to struggle with the long ball, though, and has allowed nearly two per nine innings during his 148 career innings in the majors.

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    Steve Adams <![CDATA[Players Avoiding Arbitration: Thursday]]> https://www.mlbtraderumors.com/?p=143737 2019-01-11T02:52:05Z 2019-01-11T02:51:58Z The deadline for teams and players to exchange arbitration figures is tomorrow afternoon at 1pm ET. With the vast majority of teams now adopting a “file-and-trial” approach to arbitration — that is, halting negotiations on one-year contracts once figures have been exchanged and simply going to a hearing at that point — there will be a deluge of arbitration agreements in the next 24 hours. It’s a minor deadline day in terms of newsworthiness — outside of the largest cases, at least — as few arbitration cases will have a significant impact on their team’s overall payroll picture. From a broader perspective, though, the exchange of arb figures is perhaps more notable. With most or all of their arbitration cases out of the way, teams can focus more heavily on the trade and free-agent markets.

    As always, it’s interesting to refer back to MLBTR’s annual arbitration projections. Here are the day’s deals:

    • The Tigers will pay Shane Greene $4MM for the coming campaign, Murray tweets. Entering his second year of eligibility, the 30-year-old had projected at $4.8MM, owing largely to his strong tally of 32 saves. Despite appealing K/BB numbers, though, Greene finished the season with an unsightly 5.12 ERA.
    • Righty Nick Tropeano settled with the Angels at $1.075MM. (That’s also via Murray, on Twitter.) That falls well shy of his $1.6MM projection. The first-year arb-eligible hurler was not terribly effective in his 14 starts last year and has just over two hundred career frames in the big leagues, due in no small part to a long rehab owing to Tommy John surgery.

    Earlier Updates

    • Newly acquired outfielder Domingo Santana will earn $1.95MM in his first season with the Mariners, Bob Nightengale of USA Today reports on Twitter. That’s just a touch below the $2.0MM that MLBTR & Matt Swartz had projected. The 26-year-old Santana swatted thirty long balls and had a productive overall 2017 season, but only received 235 plate appearances in the ensuing campaign — over which he hit five home runs and carried a .265/.328/.412 slash — before being dealt to Seattle.
    • The Angels are on the hook for $1,901,000 to rehabbing righty J.C. Ramirez, Robert Murray of The Athletic tweets. Ramirez will receive a nominal raise on his 2018 salary after requiring Tommy John surgery after just two starts.
    • Phillies righty Hector Neris has settled at $1.8MM, according to Jim Salisbury of NBC Sports Philadelphia (Twitter links). He had projected at $2.0MM but will settle for a bit less in his first season of arb eligibility. Right-handed starter Jerad Eickhoff, meanwhile, is slated to receive $975K. His projected first-year salary was much higher, at $1.7MM, but Eickhoff presented a tough case since he missed virtually all of his platform season with arm troubles.
    • Southpaw Ryan Buchter has agreed with the Athletics on a $1.4MM deal, Nightengale of reports on Twitter. That lands just a smidge over his $1.3MM projection. Soon to turn 32, Buchter worked to a sub-3.00 for the third-straight season in 2018, but only threw 39 1/3 innings while working as a lefty specialist.
    • Red Sox reliever Heath Hembree will receive a $1,312,500 salary next year, Alex Speier of the Boston Globe reports (Twitter link). Starter Steven Wright checks in just a shade higher, at $1.375MM, per Nightengale (via Twitter). Both players had projected in this range, with Swartz pegging $1.2MM for the former and $1.4MM for the latter. It’s Hembree’s first time through the process and Wright’s second.
    • First-time arb-eligible righty Scott Oberg settled with the Rockies for $1.3MM, according to Nightengale (via Twitter). It’s $100K over the projected rate for the 28-year-old hurler, who turned in far and away his most productive MLB season in 2018.
    • The Yankees have a $1.2MM deal in place with first baseman Greg Bird, Nightengale was first to tweet. Though he had projected a bit higher, at $1.5MM, Bird’s relatively robust number of home runs (31 total in 659 career plate appearances) were threatened to be overshadowed in a hypothetical hearing by his rough overall stats over the past two seasons. He’ll need to earn his way back into a larger share of playing time in 2019.
    • Infielder Travis Jankowski will earn $1.165MM with the Padres, per Murray (via Twitter). He projected at a heftier $1.4MM, but the Super Two qualifier will still earn a nice raise after his best season in the big leagues. Jankowski will be looking to crack 400 plate appearances for the first time in the season to come.
    • The Nationals have agreed to a $1MM contract with righty Joe Ross, Murray also tweets. Though Ross projected at $1.5MM for his first season of eligibility, that was based largely upon the innings he accumulated over the prior three seasons. Ross made it back from Tommy John surgery in time for only three outings in 2018.
    • A pair of backstops have also put pen to paper on new salaries. Curt Casali will earn $950K with the Reds, per Bobby Nightengale of the Cincinnati Enquirer (Twitter link). John Ryan Murphy has a $900K agreement with the Diamondbacks, the elder Nightengale tweets. Casali, a Super Two, had projected for a $1.3MM salary, while Murphy projected at $1.1MM in his first arb year.
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    Jeff Todd <![CDATA[Harper & Machado Rumors: 1/9/19]]> https://www.mlbtraderumors.com/?p=143397 2019-01-10T00:44:41Z 2019-01-10T00:28:22Z The free agent market as a whole is moving at a plodding rate. Somewhat surprisingly, perhaps, there also hasn’t been a ton of action surrounding superstar free agents Bryce Harper and Manny Machado. Of course, with so much money at stake, perhaps it shouldn’t come as a shock that both players are taking some time to work out new deals.

    The latest …

    • Heyman now indicates that Machado’s camp is looking not only for a $300MM+ offer but is still seeking a total guarantee that tops Giancarlo Stanton’s $325MM record (Twitter links). Furthermore, he adds that while there’s been no indication from the Yankees that they’re formally out of the running for Machado, New York has not yet made an offer and isn’t willing to go anywhere all that close to $300MM in order to sign Machado. Obviously, all of that can change quickly with one decision from ownership, but it’s not an encouraging update for Yankees fans hoping to see Machado in the Bronx in 2019 and beyond.

    Earlier Updates

    • Machado is still looking for an offer in excess of $300MM, according to Jon Heyman of Fancred (Twitter link). The White Sox and Phillies are the only two teams known to have made formal proposals, neither of which have reached that value. Of course, the Philadelphia organization is reportedly set to put in another offer, the details of which remain unknown. The Yankees have also still yet to officially put anything on the table for Machado, Heyman adds.
    • Will there be significant movement? If so, when and by what mechanism? MLB.com’s Mark Feinsand hears that the markets for Machado and Harper are “heating up.” As his sources have it, the Phillies are “turning up” their efforts for the former, while the Nationals have “momentum building” to bring back the latter. Bruce Levine of 670theScore.com also cites a sense of market movement, but he hears it’s the White Sox who are gaining “momentum” on Machado. Levine also mentions a fourth, unknown potential suitor for Machado, though Heyman claims there’s “still no word” of a shadowy pursuer.
    • Generally, there’s still a dearth of hard information on the various teams’ stances regarding these players. It’s still easy to imagine the negotiations evolving in any number of different ways. Still, it’s striking that so few teams appear to be involved. The entire situation is a “disgrace,” Jim Bowden of The Athletic argues (subscription link). He ticks through a variety of ballclubs that should be able to fit $30MM+ salaries and have cause to be involved, decrying a market situation in which “essentially just four teams [are] legitimately bidding for the game’s two best free agents.” On the same note, Jonah Keri of CBS Sports provides some anonymous opinions on the matter from well-placed league executives. There seems to be at least something of a consensus that teams are less interested than ever in exceedingly lengthy contracts, even for players of such relative youth, with a variety of other theories batted around regarding this duo in particular. The story also delves into broader market topics and is well worth a read.
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