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Neftali Feliz to Brewers: Latest Contract Details, Comments, Reaction

Free-agent closer Neftali Feliz is on the move once again, as he signed Thursday with the Milwaukee Brewers, according to Jeff Passan of Yahoo Sports.

SB Nation’s Chris Cotillo confirmed Passan‘s reports and added that it is a one-year deal worth $5.35 million (with a max of $6.85 million with incentives).

Feliz has been no stranger to free agency.

He was granted free agency from the Texas Rangers in July 2015 and joined the Detroit Tigers, only to hit the market once again after that season.

He then signed with the Pittsburgh Pirates during the winter prior to the 2016 season. 

The 28-year-old has been unable to maintain the level of play that made him one of baseball’s best young arms out of the bullpen upon his arrival to the majors. 

During his second season in 2010 as a 22-year-old, Feliz posted a 2.73 ERA and 40 saves, earning his first and only All-Star selection. The following year would see him rack up another 32 saves as he was Texas’ closer during its run of two consecutive American League championships.

After undergoing Tommy John surgery in August 2012, Feliz was limited to just six games in 2013 before a strong return the following year. In 2014, he posted a 1.99 ERA in 30 appearances with 13 saves. 

Feliz saw his ERA swell to 6.38 in 2015 with the Rangers and Tigers as a setup man in what was by far his worst season in the majors. But he did manage to bounce back fairly well last year, cutting his ERA to 3.52 as a late-inning option in Pittsburgh. 

Now in Milwaukee, Feliz will have an opportunity to become the team’s go-to closer. In 2016, the Brewers had inconsistencies at that spot, as Jeremy Jeffress and Tyler Thornburg combined for 40 saves. 

However, the Brewers blew 22 save opportunities, which was tied for eighth-most in the majors. In an attempt to revamp their situation, they dealt Jeffress at the trade deadline to the Rangers as a part of the Jonathan Lucroy deal and traded Thornburg to the Boston Red Sox during the winter meetings.


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Tim Tebow Not Among Players Invited to Mets’ Major League Camp

The New York Mets sent out invitations Wednesday to their major league spring training camp, but Tim Tebow is not one of the names on the list, according to Marc Carig of Newsday

Carig did add that the Mets could “borrow” Tebow for Grapefruit League games.

A former college football star and NFL quarterback, Tebow signed a minor league deal with the Mets in September and spent the fall in the Gulf Coast and Arizona Fall leagues. 

Tebow’s attempt at the majors was a surprising one, as he hadn’t played organized baseball since high school.

After he put on a showcase in late August for MLB scouts, reviews of his potential spanned from “a complete waste of time” to “better than I expected,” per Josh Peter of USA Today

Even so, his first at-bat in the Gulf Coast League was something out of a storybook, as he belted an opposite-field home run. 

It was all downhill from there, though, as Tebow struggled mightily following his move to the Scottsdale Scorpions in the Arizona Fall League. In 70 plate appearances, he batted .194/.296/.242, per Matt Snyder of Those stats prompted’s Keith Law to label the outfielder “an imposter.”

However, Snyder did point out that Tebow’s game improved down the stretch; he batted .281 with a .425 on-base percentage in his final 11 games.

The 29-year-old’s game is still raw, however, and needs a ton of work. While he has power and decent speed, there isn’t much else that would qualify him for a career in the majors. 

For a Mets team that looks poised to make a serious run in the National League in 2017, Tebow’s body of work was too small and not impressive enough to earn a call to the big league camp. 

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Charlie Blackmon Trade Rumors: Latest News and Speculation on Rockies OF

Colorado Rockies center fielder Charlie Blackmon has seen his name crop up in trade talks this winter, and they have continued into the new year. 

Continue for updates.

Blue Jays Have Inquired About Blackmon

Tuesday, Jan. 3

According to MLB Network’s Jon Morosi, the Toronto Blue Jays have spoken with the Rockies regarding a deal involving Blackmon, but negotiations “do not appear to have much momentum right now.”

Blackmon has been a serviceable outfielder on a Rockies team that hasn’t made the playoffs since 2009, one season before the 30-year-old made his major league debut. 

He’s coming off a career year in 2016 in which he batted .324 with 29 home runs and 82 RBI. All of those marks are career bests, and he won his first Silver Slugger Award.

But the Rockies could be faced with a crowded outfield after acquiring Ian Desmond during the winter meetings. It all depends on where they will play him, though. 

Coming up as a shortstop, Desmond spent his first seven professional seasons with the Washington Nationals at that position before moving to center field with the Texas Rangers for one year in 2016. 

If the Rockies were to use Desmond as a center fielder, Blackmon all of a sudden becomes expendable with Gerardo Parra in left field and Carlos Gonzalez in right. 

According to’s Gregor Chisholm on Dec. 26, Colorado had already offered Blackmon to the Blue Jays in return for starting pitcher Marcus Stroman, but Toronto did not want to part with its young arm. 

Chisholm also added that the Blue Jays “would love to acquire Blackmon,” but “it just doesn’t seem possible.”

The Rockies’ depth chart, which was last updated on Dec. 31, lists Desmond as the team’s starting first baseman with Blackmon securely starting in center. 

If the plan is to keep Desmond in the infield, then there shouldn’t be many reasons to part with Blackmon given his production in 2016 unless the return is far too great to turn down. 

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Oswaldo Arcia to Diamondbacks: Latest Contract Details, Comments and Reaction

The Arizona Diamondbacks and outfielder Oswaldo Arcia agreed to a deal on Tuesday, according to Jon Heyman of Today’s Knuckleball

Aaron Gleeman of Baseball Prospectus later confirmed Heyman‘s report. The parameters of the deal have not been disclosed yet. 

Arcia has been unable to find regular playing time at the major league level throughout his first four professional seasons. 

After spending three years with the Minnesota Twins, Arcia was dealt to the Tampa Bay Rays, only to be put on waivers after 21 games. 

He was picked up by the Miami Marlins, who designated him for assignment after just two games, and finished the season with the San Diego Padres. 

Throughout the transaction-filled year, Arcia hit .203 with eight home runs and 23 RBI in 69 games. 

The 25-year-old has shown flashes of developing into a left-handed power bat, which is something that would be coveted by many teams, after he hit 20 home runs in 103 games with the Twins in 2014: 

However, his average and on-base percentage have made him an unreliable option as his career marks are just .235/.298. 

But with a Diamondbacks team in need of some outfield depth, Arcia helps address the issue while getting another chance to prove that he can provide solid contributions to a major league lineup. 

Two-thirds of their projected outfield in 2017, which includes A.J. Pollock and David Peralta, do not necessarily provide game-changing power next to Yasmany Tomas, who had a breakout 2016 after he belted 31 home runs. 

While Arcia likely won’t be starting in Arizona, he could earn a steady role with the team if he is able to bring some more punch to the outfield, especially when Tomas needs a couple of days off.


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Daniel Hudson to Pirates: Latest Contract Details, Comments, Reaction

The Pittsburgh Pirates confirmed they signed reliever Daniel Hudson to a two-year deal on Wednesday. 

Yahoo Sports’ Jeff Passan first reported the deal on Monday, noting it was worth $11 million. Fox Sports’ Ken Rosenthal confirmed the deal, while Jon Heyman of FanRag Sports added a breakdown of the contract:

Hudson spent the past six seasons with the Arizona Diamondbacks, switching between the starting rotation and the bullpen. 

After the deal was announced, the pitcher posted a message on his Twitter account thanking the Diamondbacks organization and its fans. The team provided its thoughts:

Last year, as Arizona’s setup man for the early portion of the season, he endured a difficult stretch that saw him shuffled throughout various bullpen roles. 

Following a June 21 appearance against the Toronto Blue Jays, Hudson had his ERA down to 1.55. But it ballooned to 7.22 on Aug. 2.’s Mike Axisa showed how damaging that stretch was for the right-hander:

Going from middle reliever to closer, Hudson lowered his ERA to 5.22 by season’s end, but it was on a Diamondbacks team that was well out of contention by July. 

After he picked up the win in the season finale against the San Diego Padres, Hudson showed his emotions at the thought of it being his final appearance with the Diamondbacks, via Fox Sports Arizona:

Now in a new setting, he’ll have to lower his ERA if he wants to stick with the Pirates. Still, a good start to his Pittsburgh tenure could see him quickly carve out his niche and receive regular appearances moving forward. 

Tony Watson posted 15 saves in 2016 after replacing Mark Melancon as the Pirates closer. Since Watson will likely be Pittsburgh’s closer heading into the 2017 campaign, Hudson should prove valuable as an option in late-inning situations.


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Brad Ziegler to Marlins: Latest Contract Details, Comments and Reaction

The Miami Marlins and free-agent relief pitcher Brad Ziegler agreed to a two-year contract worth $16 million plus incentives, per Fox Sports’ Ken Rosenthal on Friday.’s Joe Frisario later confirmed Rosenthal‘s reports. 

The 37-year-old has been one of baseball’s most underrated relievers over his nine professional seasons. 

With the Oakland Athletics, Arizona Diamondbacks and, most recently, the Boston Red Sox for half of a season, Ziegler has posted a career 2.44 ERA with a WHIP of 1.228, per

He’s been close to lights-out over the past two seasons, posting a 1.85 ERA and 30 saves in 66 appearances during 2015 with the Diamondbacks. 

Ziegler racked up 13 saves and a 2.82 ERA in 36 games in 2016 before he was dealt to the Red Sox. In Boston, he allowed just five earned runs in 29.2 innings as more of a middle reliever:

A sidearm delivery, which at times can dip down to almost that of the submarine variety, has made Ziegler such a tough pitcher to read.

The various arm angles, especially from an unorthodox position, camouflage the ball in a way that makes the batter unable to pick the ball up as quickly as a pitcher with an overhand delivery. 

It’s a much-needed acquisition for the Marlins bullpen, which lost out on big-time free agents Kenley Jansen and Aroldis Chapman this offseason but did manage to sign former Red Sox reliever Junichi Tazawa on Friday, via

Now with Ziegler joining him in Miami, the Marlins have more options alongside A.J. Ramos for late-inning situations come 2017. 


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MLB Trade Rumors: Latest on Andrew McCutchen, Brian Dozier and Brett Gardner

Major League Baseball’s winter meetings have come and gone with plenty of players, both free agents and not, finding new homes during the four-day stretch.

But the offseason could have more twists and turns awaiting before pitchers and catchers report for spring training in February.

Here is the latest on three big names who have been rumored to be on the trade market recently.


Andrew McCutchen

One of the biggest names rumored to be available during the winter meetings, Pittsburgh Pirates center fielder Andrew McCutchen, hasn’t moved yet.

It was rumored at the beginning of December that the Pirates were discussing a potential trade with the Washington Nationals, per Stephen J. Nesbitt of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette.

However, Jon Heyman of Today’s Knuckleball reported a deal could not be reached, which has left the Pirates searching elsewhere for a suitable offer.

According to Heyman, Pittsburgh received a “nice offer of prospects” from a “mystery team.” But the Pirates are looking for players who are ready to compete in the majors in 2017 and turned it down.

It’s a dangerous philosophy, considering McCutchen‘s sudden drop in production over the past few seasons.

The 2013 NL MVP batted .256 with a .336 on-base percentage and .430 slugging percentage last season, all of which were career worsts.

Having turned 30 years old in October, McCutchen may not bring back an impressive haul for Pittsburgh, as teams might believe his struggles will continue into 2017.

If the Pirates are patient and McCutchen puts together a solid first half in 2017, however, they could find it easier to deal him closer to the trade deadline.


Brian Dozier

Minnesota Twins second baseman Brian Dozier developed into a solid hitter through his first four years in the majors, but 2016 saw the 29-year-old record one of the best seasons at his position in American League history.

His 42 home runs were the most by a second baseman in AL history, per, and he also posted career highs with 99 RBI and an .886 OPS.

While he won’t be a free agent until 2019, Dozier has become an attractive option for the Los Angeles Dodgers, per’s Doug Padilla.

This comes after Los Angeles re-signed closer Kenley Jansen to a five-year, $80 million deal and third baseman Justin Turner to a four-year, $64 million contract, per Ken Gurnick of—increasing the team’s payroll considerably. 

Dozier is owed $15 million over the next two seasons before he hits free agency, per Spotrac.

But the Dodgers could have problems at the position after dealing Howie Kendrick to the Philadelphia Phillies. Chase Utley is also a free agent, but even if he returns, it’s risky to assume he can produce as the team’s full-time starting second baseman.

Utley, who will turn 38 on Saturday, batted just .252 with 14 home runs and 52 RBI in 2016. 

Padilla noted the Dodgers would have to send a package centering around someone such as pitcher Jose De LeonLos Angeles’ No. 2 prospect, according to However, Alex Tekip of added that the Dodgers would be “reluctant to part with” him, which could make acquiring Dozier all but impossible.


Brett Gardner

The New York Yankees look like they still want to add some pitching help despite getting Aroldis Chapman back during the winter meetings.

A swollen payroll that is near $210 million could be a problem though, considering that team owner Hal Steinbrenner wants to see that number decrease to $197 million by 2018, according to Joel Sherman of the New York Post.

Sherman added that the Yankees are interested in adding a free-agent reliever such as Boone Logan and Brad Ziegler to provide some support for Chapman and setup man Dellin Betances.

In an attempt to cut some of that salary, the Yankees have been floating veteran left fielder Brett Gardner’s name, per Sherman.

The 33-year-old is owed $23 million over the final two years of his contract, according to Spotrac, and his departure could provide some financial relief for New York to mount a serious bid for either Logan or Ziegler.

A speedy presence who has carved his niche at the top of the Yankees lineup for the past nine years, Gardner could be an effective table-setter for a team that has some big bats but little support for them. 


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Brett Gardner Trade Rumors: Latest News and Speculation on Yankees OF

It looks as though the New York Yankees‘ offseason spending could remain dormant for the rest of the winter; however, veteran outfielder Brett Gardner‘s name has emerged in trade talks. 

Continue for updates. 

Yankees Shopping Gardner

Tuesday, Dec. 13

According to Joel Sherman of the New York Post, the Yankees have continued to “gauge interest” in Gardner in an attempt to cut salary. 

The 33-year-old is owed $23 million over the next two seasons, which are the final portions of his four-year, $52 million deal, per Spotrac

Gardner has spent each of his first nine MLB seasons with the Yankees, compiling a career .264 batting average and .346 on-base percentage as a bat near the top of the lineup. 

While his power numbers fluctuated from 17 home runs in 2015 to just seven in 2016, Gardner can still add speed on the basepaths and in a corner outfield spot. That could make him an attractive trade option to teams looking for a veteran spark.

Shedding his deal would be a step in the right direction for New York to get under the $197 million luxury-tax threshold for 2018, which is a goal of owner Hal Steinbrenner, according to Sherman. 

The Yankees were busy, though, around and during the winter meetings, signing veteran outfielder Matt Holliday to a one-year, $13 million deal and closer Aroldis Chapman to a five-year, $86 million contract. 

Per Sherman, that has the Yankees hovering near a $210 million payroll heading into 2017, which makes the prospects of adding another reliever like Boone Logan or Brad Ziegler to join Chapman and setup man Dellin Betances unlikely unless they can get a contract like Gardner’s off the books. 


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Chris Heston Reportedly Traded to Seattle Mariners

San Francisco Giants relief pitcher Chris Heston has reportedly been traded to the Seattle Mariners after falling out of favor in the Bay Area.

Jon Morosi of MLB Network reported the deal after first reporting on word of talks between the two sides. Janie McCauley of the Associated Press (h/t The Press-Democrat) noted the Giants will receive a player to be named later.

It’s been a swift and sudden fall from grace for Heston, who was called up to the Giants during the 2015 season due to injuries suffered by Matt Cain and Jake Peavy. 

He developed into a solid option in the middle of the rotation, going 12-11 with a 3.95 ERA and headlined by a no-hitter against the New York Mets:

But the return of Peavy and Cain along with the acquisitions of Johnny Cueto and Jeff Samardzija forced Heston to start the 2016 season as the Giants’ long man out of the bullpen, and it was a role he struggled mightily with. 

He pitched just five innings in four appearances, posting a 10.80 ERA while walking six compared to just three strikeouts before he was optioned to Triple-A in April.

He stayed there for the remainder of the season while the Giants called up Albert Suarez and Clayton Blackburn from Triple-A later in the season, per Matt Kawahara of the Sacramento Bee

It looks as though the Giants’ acquisition of Mark Melancon on Monday accelerated the process of sending Heston out of town.

According to Daniel Brown of the San Jose Mercury News, the Giants needed to clear a spot on the 40-man roster for the closer, and Heston was the odd man out.

Mariners manager Scott Servais told MLB Network Radio on Wednesday that Seattle was “still looking to add pitching,” especially after the team dealt Taijuan Walker to the Arizona Diamondbacks in November. 

His departure left a void in the rotation after Felix Hernandez, Hisashi Iwakuma and James Paxton for Heston to contend with if he was to be dealt to Seattle while giving him a regular gig as a starter in the majors to build off of that promising 2015 season. 


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A.J. Ellis to Marlins: Latest Contract Details, Comments, Reaction

Veteran catcher A.J. Ellis is off to Florida as he signed a one-year, $2.5 million contract with the Miami Marlins on Wednesday, according to ESPN’s Buster Olney.   

Jon Heyman of Today’s Knuckleball later confirmed Olney’s report. 

Ellis spent eight-plus season with the Los Angeles Dodgers, mostly as a reserve catcher and pinch hitter but also as a team leader and confidant for ace pitcher Clayton Kershaw.

But in August of the 2016 season, he was dealt to the Philadelphia Phillies for veteran catcher Carlos Ruiz, who had spent 11 seasons in the city of brotherly love. 

While Ellis only batted .194 with the Dodgers last season, his loss was tough to take, per Andy McCullough of the Los Angeles Times:

But with free agency looming this winter, his production would have made it questionable for the Dodgers to bring him back in 2017, especially if he were looking for the same kind of money while he was playing under a one-year, $4.5 million deal, per Spotrac

In 11 games with the Phillies to end the 2016 season, Ellis batted .313 with a home run and nine RBI on a team that is still in the process of rebuilding toward contending in the National League East. 

Now with his third different team in two years, Ellis is expected to come off the bench behind J.T. Realmuto. 

The 25-year-old enjoyed a breakout season in 2016, batting .303 with 11 home runs, 12 doubles, 48 RBI and a surprising 13 stolen bases. 

His defensive stats were just as solid, as he ranked first among all catchers in assists and tied for fourth with 28 caught potential base stealers.

Realmuto, though, will be working with some new names in the pitching staff as the Marlins brought on Edinson Volquez at the end of November as well as signing starter Jeff Locke on Wednesday, per Fox Sports’ Ken Rosenthal

While Ellis won’t provide much on offense, as a veteran presence, he can help Realmuto get accustomed to a new-look rotation and provide much-needed relief when the developing star is in need of a day off. 


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