Christian Yelich (knee) said he's "fully healthy" as spring training nears.
Jan 26 11:01 PM
"It’s good," Yelich said at the team's Brewers On Deck event over the weekend. "Finally, fully healthy, ready to go. Shouldn’t be any limitations this spring. It’s nice to be healthy again." Yelich missed the final three weeks of the team's season last September after fouling a ball off his right kneecap, suffering a fracture. The all-everything outfielder getting a clean bill of health is great news, and he should once again be one of -- if not the -- top players taken in fantasy drafts this spring.
Brian McTaggart of MLB.com hears A's quality control coach Mark Kotsay interviewed for the Astros' managerial job last week.
Jan 26 8:22 PM
McTaggart says the former player, who played for seven different organizations in his 17-year career, is one of nine candidates. McTaggart lists Dusty Baker, Joe Espada, John Gibbons, Buck Showalter, Will Venable, Brad Ausmus and Eduardo Pérez as the others vying for the job. It's a wide net at this point, but the Astros seem to be moving in the right direction and could have a manager in place by the time the team reports for spring training next month.
Lorenzo Cain said he's feeling good heading into spring training.
Jan 26 5:59 PM
Cain said the knee and ankle issues that plagued him throughout the 2019 season took until December to full clear up, but that he's feeling right with spring on the horizon. He did tell MLB.com's Adam McCalvy that he might another injection in his thumb -- another area of concern in recent years -- before the season but noted that it would be mainly precautionary and not to address anything that's bothering him now. After a down 2019 season due in large part to those nagging injuries, the 33-year-old is a nice bounceback candidate in 2020.
Corey Knebel (elbow) will resume throwing off a mound next week.
Jan 26 3:58 PM
Knebel is 10 months removed from undergoing Tommy John surgery and is finally ready to test things out from the bump again. The reliever is not expected to pitch in Cactus League games for the Brewers, but he should be ready to rejoin the big club's bullpen sometime in the first half.
Mets signed RHP Erasmo Ramirez to a minor league contract with an invitation to spring training.
Jan 26 3:33 PM
Ramirez, 29, struggled in his lone appearance with the Red Sox last season and wasn't great at Triple-A (4.74 ERA), either. He's been a useful swingman in the past, though, making him a worthy gamble on a minor league pact.
The Brewers will use both Corbin Burnes and Freddy Peralta as starting pitchers at the beginning of spring training.
Jan 26 1:42 PM
It's no surprise that the team wants to keep Burnes and Peralta stretched out as rotation depth. Realistically, though, they're probably either going to make the Opening Day roster as relievers or perhaps begin the year in the rotation at Triple-A San Antonio. Burnes struck out 70 batters over 49 innings with the Brew Crew last season but also served up a whopping 17 home runs.
Ryan Braun said Sunday that it's "definitely a possibility" he retires after the 2020 season.
Jan 26 12:25 PM
Braun and the Brewers have a $15 million mutual option for 2021 that's probably not going to be exercised, so he is likely to be entering his walk year. It seems unlikely that he'll retire, though, considering that he's remained pretty productive as a hitter when healthy. That said, Braun did turn 36 this offseason and is about to have his third child, so perhaps he will indeed considering hanging it up depending on how his year goes.
Henderson Alvarez threw a bullpen session in front of scouts for the Yankees, Royals and Marlins on Thursday.
Jan 26 11:23 AM
The free agent right-hander touched 95 mph with his fastball during the session. Alvarez, 29, has only pitched three games in the big leagues since 2015. He spent the 2019 season in the Nationals' organization where he compiled a 5.94 ERA, 1.62 WHIP and 37/18 K/BB ratio over 53 innings at Triple-A Fresno.
Rangers' general manager Jon Daniels said Saturday that it's unlikely they trade for Rockies' superstar third baseman Nolan Arenado.
Jan 26 10:21 AM
Despite the increased trade rumblings around Arenado, it doesn't look like the Rangers should be considered as a possible destination. Daniels did note however, that the Rangers are still looking to add another bat. The top name remaining on the free agent market is Nicholas Castellanos, though Daniels also said that if the club were to make another major addition that it would likely be via trade and not free agency.
Roch Kubatko of MASN Sports reports that Andrew Cashner is "one of the free agents under consideration" by the Orioles.
Jan 26 10:21 AM
Cashner posted a 3.83 ERA and 1.19 WHIP over 96 1/3 innings for the Orioles last season before flopping down the stretch after being traded to the Red Sox. The veteran right-hander should at least offer the O's someone who can eat innings, but expecting him to put up a sub-4.00 ERA again for them is probably asking too much.
Jesse Rogers of ESPN Chicago reports that the Marlins have agreed to a one-year, $3.25 million contract with free agent right-hander Brandon Kintzler.
Jan 26 12:08 AM
The deal also includes a $4 million option for 2021 with a $250,000 buyout. For those speculating on saves, there's a chance that Kintzler steps into the ninth-inning role for the Marlins, though they have also expressed interest in signing Pedro Strop. Jose Urena -- who finished the 2019 campaign in that role -- should also be in the mix.
Giants signed RHP Jesus Liranzo to a minor league contract.
Jan 25 11:29 PM
The 24-year-old hurler spent the last two seasons in the Pirates' organization. In 2019, he compiled a 5.03 ERA, 1.42 WHIP and 54/34 K/BB ratio over 59 innings between Double-A Altoona and Triple-A Indianapolis. He'll add minor league bullpen depth for the Giants.
Blue Jays signed OF Gabby Guerrero to a minor league contract.
Jan 25 11:29 PM
The 26-year-old spent the 2019 season in the Marlins' organization where he slashed .253/.270/.401 with 11 homers, 51 RBI and a jaw-dropping 104/7 K/BB ratio over 114 games between Double-A Jacksonville and Triple-A New Orleans. He'll add depth in the minor leagues for the Jays.
Nationals re-signed RHP Bryan Bonnell to a minor league contract.
Jan 25 11:29 PM
The 26-year-old hurler registered a 3.49 ERA, 1.13 WHIP and 66/17 K/BB ratio over 69 2/3 innings across three minor league levels in 2019. He'll continue to provide bullpen depth in the minor leagues for the Nationals.
Phillies signed RHP Carlos Bustamante to a minor league contract.
Jan 25 11:07 PM
The former Diamondbacks' farmhand spent the 2019 season pitching in the Mexican League, posting a 2.57 ERA, 1.18 WHIP and 67/16 K/BB ratio over 49 innings of work. He'll add minor league bullpen depth for the Phillies.
Padres signed OF Ray-Patrick Didder to a minor league contract.
Jan 25 11:07 PM
The 25-year-old spent the first seven seasons of his minor league career in the Braves' organization. In 2019, he slashed .203/.332/.285 with four homers, 23 RBI and 28 stolen bases in 114 games at Double-A Mississippi. He'll serve as outfield depth in the minor leagues for the Padres.
Yankees signed INF Kaleb Cowart to a minor league contract.
Jan 25 10:43 PM
The 27-year-old former first round pick of the Angels has struggled in his limited chances at the big league level, slashing a putrid .176/.238/.292 with six homers and 34 RBI in 406 plate appearances. Cowart spent most of the 2019 season at Triple-A Salt Lake, where he hit .289/.345/.453 with eight homers and 60 RBI in 85 games. He's an interesting low-cost depth signing for the Yankees.
Jon Heyman of MLB Network reports that the Marlins are closing in on a deal with free agent right-hander Brandon Kintzler.
Jan 25 10:04 PM
Craig Mish of FNTSY Sports Radio noted on Friday that the Marlins were "very much in pursuit" of Kintzler, and it appears that a deal could be nearing the finish line. The 35-year-old hurler posted a 2.68 ERA, 1.02 WHIP and 48/13 K/BB ratio across 57 innings for the Cubs in 2019. He has experience in the ninth inning, racking up 45 saves for the Twins during the 2016-2017 seasons and could be an option to assume the closer's role for the Marlins -- depending on how their pursuit of Pedro Strop ultimately plays out.
Dodgers signed OF Anthony Garcia to a minor league contract with an invitation to spring training.
Jan 25 10:04 PM
The 28-year-old outfielder spent the 2019 season in the Giants' organization where he slashed .284/.371/.426 with six homers and 25 RBI in 55 games. He'll add minor league outfield depth for the Dodgers.
Angels signed OF Eduard Pinto to a minor league contract.
Jan 25 9:16 PM
The former Rangers and Blue Jays farmhand spent the 2019 season playing for the Ottawa Champions in the independent Canadian-American Association where he hit .290/.352/.391 with three homers, 26 RBI and four stolen bases in 54 games. He'll add organizational outfield depth for the Angels.
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