Royals designated LHP Foster Griffin for assignment.
The move clears a spot for the newly-added Michael Taylor on the 40-man roster. Griffin memorably notched the win on his 25th birthday in his major league debut this past season, but he injured his elbow in the game and needed Tommy John surgery in early August. He's going to be in rehab mode next year.
Marlins designated RHP Jose Urena for assignment.
This move clears out a 40-man roster spot for reliever Adam Cimber, who was acquired from the Indians on Monday in exchange for cash considerations. Urena battled both COVID-19 and a non-displaced ulna fracture in his right forearm this year while struggling to the tune of a 5.40 ERA in five starts covering 23 1/3 innings. The 29-year-old right-hander put up a 3.90 ERA in 343 2/3 innings for Miami between 2017-2018, but he was probably going to be a non-tender candidate this winter given his rising cost in arbitration.
Hensley Meulens will not be brought back as the Mets' bench coach in 2021.
Meulens served as the Mets' bench coach for just one (abbreviated) season following a lengthy and highly successful stint as the hitting coach of the Giants. Bob Nightengale of USA Today notes that the 53-year-old native of Curacao should be a good fit for a number of open coaching positions around professional baseball given his past experience and ability to speak five different languages.
Robbie Erlin has agreed to a one-year contract with the Hokkaido Nippon-Ham Fighters of Japan’s Pacific League, per Ken Rosenthal of The Athletic.
There's no word yet on the financial framework of the deal, but it probably carries more guaranteed money than Erlin would have found in MLB-affiliated free agency. The 30-year-old former third-round pick of the Rangers struggled to an 8.10 ERA in 26 2/3 innings of work this past season between the Pirates and Braves.
Scott Oberg (shoulder) started a throwing program on Monday.
Oberg has required multiple procedures for blood clotting issues and also underwent thoracic outlet surgery on his right shoulder this past September, but he is currently aiming to be at full strength for the beginning of the 2021 season. The 30-year-old reliever registered a dominant 2.25 ERA over 56 innings for the Rockies in 2019 before having to sit out the condensed 2020 campaign due to the aforementioned health problems.
Brent Rooker (forearm) has been doing range-of-motion activities and began hitting on Monday.
Rooker needed surgery in mid-September for a fractured right forearm, but he is on a relatively normal offseason schedule now and should be 100 percent recovered by the opening of spring training. The 26-year-old posted an impressive .316/.381/.579 batting line over his first 21 major league plate appearances this past summer with the Twins and could take on a fairly significant role in Minnesota next season.
Rockies and C Elias Diaz avoided arbitration by agreeing to a one-year, $1.2 million contract.
The deal also carries $300,000 in performance-based incentives, per Bob Nightengale of USA Today. Diaz, 30, slashed just .235/.288/.353 over 73 plate appearances for the Rockies in 2020 and holds a weak .655 career OPS as a major leaguer. He projects to back up Tony Wolters behind the plate next season in Colorado.
Luis Perdomo has elected to become a free agent.
Perdomo was designated for assignment earlier this month and decided to test the open market after clearing waivers. The 27-year-old has shown some potential at times, but he's going to be in rehab mode next season after undergoing Tommy John surgery in October.
The Cubs have promoted Jeff Greenberg to assistant general manager and Craig Breslow to assistant general manager/VP of pitching.
New Cubs president of baseball operations Jed Hoyer is shuffling the baseball operations department following Theo Epstein's departure. These were among more than a dozen new titles announced on Monday. Greenberg and Breslow will join Randy Bush as assistant general managers. Breslow is the fastest riser here, most recently serving as director of pitching and special assistant to the GM and president. Hoyer said last week that he planned on going outside the organization for a new general manager. That search is presumably ongoing.
Jon Morosi of MLB.com reports that the Reds are "prioritizing" the addition of a starting shortstop.
The Reds are working multiple avenues, including Francisco Lindor and Trevor Story on the trade market and Marcus Semien, Andrelton Simmons, and Didi Gregorius on the free agent market. Of course, making a trade for Lindor or Story would cost prospects and cash while the free agent shortstops will only cost money. It's a question a few teams will have to ask themselves this offseason. Jose Garcia is probably the shortstop of the future for the Reds, but getting some more seasoning in the minors wouldn't be the worst thing. It's also possible he could be part of a possible return package for Lindor or Story.
Mets and RHP Jacob Barnes avoided arbitration by agreeing to a one-year, $750,000 contract.
The deal reportedly carries incentives worth $100,000. Barnes was claimed off waivers from the Angels in late October after posting a 5.50 ERA and 24/4 K/BB ratio over 18 innings this past season. He's had some control issues in his career, but has fanned 209 batters over 198 innings in the majors.
Spencer Kieboom quietly retired following the 2019 season.
Kieboom, 29, detailed his story to Jesse Dougherty of the Washington Post. He's now focused on being a dad while finishing his degree with a focus on his own business in retail. Kieboom appeared in 53 games with the Nationals (one in the 2016 season, 52 in the 2019 season), batting .232/.326/.320 with two home runs in 144 plate appearances. His brother, Carter, is currently trying to find his footing in the big leagues.
T.R. Sullivan of MLB.com reports that the Rangers have interest in Korean infielder Ha-seong Kim.
Sullivan notes that the Rangers "have a strong scouting presence in the Far East" and that Kim is a fit because he can play a few infield positions and the club potentially has playing time available at multiple infield spots. Kim is also seemingly a fit for Texas because they're likely at least a year or two away from contending, so if they're going to spend money it makes sense to do it on a 25-year-old. The Kiwoom Heroes reportedly were set to post Kim earlier this week.
Cy Sneed has signed with the Yakult Swallows of Japan’s Central League, per Ken Rosenthal of The Athletic.
Sneed spent parts of the last two seasons with the Astros but has found a better opportunity overseas. Houston now has an additional 40-man roster spot to play with.
Jon Morosi of MLB Network reports that the Blue Jays are showing interest in Kolten Wong.
Morosi writes that that the Blue Jays will make signing Wong their top priority if they're unable to land DJ LeMahieu. With LeMahieu likely re-signing with the Yankees -- as Morosi also notes -- it sounds like the Blue Jays will try and wrap this up quickly. Wong is a free agent after the Cardinals declines his $12.5 million option for the 2021 season, and hasn't ruled out a return to St. Louis. The Angels have also expressed interest in the slick-fielding second baseman, so it'll be interesting to see what kind of contract the 30-year-old will be looking at -- and what team will give it to him, of course.
Tim Dierkes of MLB Trade Rumors reports that Mel Rojas Jr. is drawing interest from three major league teams as well as three Japanese teams.
Rojas Jr. is in line to win the Korea Baseball Organization's MVP award after posting a ridiculous .349/.417/.680 batting line with 47 home runs and 135 RBI for the KT Wiz in 2020. The 30-year-old topped out in Triple-A in the states but has been a star in Korea over the last three and a half seasons. The Wiz would like to bring Rojas Jr. back and he has said that he will only go back to MLB if he gets a major league offer. He seems likely to be able to net one this winter.
Trevor Williams has elected free agency.
The 28-year-old right-hander refused his outright assignment to Triple-A Indianapolis and will instead peddle his wares on the open market. Williams served up a league-leading 15 home runs during the 2020 campaign, contributing to an underwhelming 6.18 ERA and 1.57 WHIP across 55 1/3 innings. Still, he has proven to be a valuable innings-eater over the past four seasons, so it's possible that he'll be able to land an incentive-laden major league deal this winter.
According to Ben Nicholson-Smith and Arden Zwelling of Sportsnet, the Blue Jays have expressed interest in free agent right-hander Garrett Richards.
The Blue Jays seem to be doing their due diligence on all available starting pitchers this off-season, so it doesn't come as a big surprise that they would check in on Richards. After missing out on Kevin Gausman, the Jays are still in the market for at least one -- and possibly more -- upgrades to their rotation. Richards stayed healthy during the 2020 season, compiling a 4.03 ERA, 1.25 WHIP and 46/17 K/BB ratio over 51 1/3 innings in 14 appearances (10 starts) with the Padres.
Nick Kingham has signed with the Hanwha Eagles of the Korea Baseball Organization.
Kingham spent the 2020 season in the KBO as well, where he posted a 6.75 ERA, 1.88 WHIP and 6/4 K/BB ratio across 10 2/3 innings for the SK Wyverns. The 29-year-old right-hander will earn a base salary of $250,000 along with a $100,000 signing bonus. He can also earn an additional $200,000 in incentives.
Ryan Carpenter has signed with the Hanwha Eagles of the Korea Baseball Organization.
The 30-year-old southpaw also pitched overseas in 2020, toeing the slab for the Rakuten Monkeys of the Chinese Baseball League. There, he registered a 4.00 ERA, 1.36 WHIP and 150/33 K/BB ratio across 157 1/3 innings in 26 appearances (25 starts). He'll earn a base salary of $300,000 along with a signing bonus of $100,000. Carpenter also has the opportunity to earn an additional $100,000 in incentives.
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