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Jurickson Profar Trade Rumors: Latest News, Speculation on Rangers 3B

The Los Angeles Dodgers are in search of an answer at second base, and a report Friday revealed they have held discussions involving Texas Rangers utility man Jurickson Profar.

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Dodgers Exploring Profar Among Second Base Options

Friday, Jan. 20

According to Ken Rosenthal of Fox Sports, L.A. is attempting to pry Brian Dozier away from the Minnesota Twins, but it has also looked into Profar as a fallback option.

Rosenthal characterized a Profar trade as unlikely, but he has yet to land a defined role with the Rangers.

The Curacao native was among the hottest prospects in baseball a few years ago as a second baseman, but injuries forced him to miss the 2014 and 2015 campaigns before he return to the majors in 2016.

Profar appeared in 90 games for Texas last season, hitting .239 with five home runs and 20 RBI.

The 23-year-old switch-hitter was utilized all over the field, as he appeared in at least 11 games each at third base, second base, first base, left field and shortstop.

While Profar is a useful commodity for the Rangers due to his flexibility, there doesn’t appear to be a regular spot available for him in the lineup for 2017.

He also becomes arbitration eligible starting in 2018, per Spotrac, which could increase Texas’ interest in trading him.

Injuries have held Profar back, and he has yet to come anywhere close to reaching his potential, but he is oozing with talent.

Trading him now may not be the smartest move from Texas’ perspective since his value is likely lower than ever, but that makes him an ideal target for a team in need of infield help, such as the Dodgers.


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Matt Wieters: Latest News, Rumors, Speculation on Free-Agent Catcher

Catcher Matt Wieters remains among the top players available in free agency, but his market appears to be heating up with multiple teams showing interest.

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Braves, Nationals Among Teams Vying for Wieters

Thursday, Dec. 29

According to Jon Heyman of FanRag Sports, the Atlanta Braves and Washington Nationals appear to be Wieters’ top two suitors.

Per Heyman, Atlanta has long stood out as a landing spot for Wieters, but the Nats have jumped in to replace some of the production lost by the departures of catcher Wilson Ramos and infielder Danny Espinosa.

Heyman also named the Colorado Rockies, Arizona Diamondbacks and New York Mets as possible fits, although they may all be content with their current catching situations.

Wieters is coming off a 2016 season that saw him hit .243 with 17 home runs and 66 RBI for the Baltimore Orioles. He was also named to his fourth All-Star team in eight MLB seasons.

The 30-year-old veteran boasts considerable power for the position with three seasons of 20 or more home runs, and he is also capable defensively with two Gold Gloves to his credit.

Staying healthy has been Wieters’ biggest issue in recent years, however, as he appeared in just 101 games combined in the 2014 and 2015 seasons.

Wieters bounced back to play in 124 contests last season, and he is easily the best backstop still available.

Teams being cautious when it comes to offering Wieters a big contract in both money and term is understandable considering his durability issues, but he is a solid, reliable presence behind the plate when healthy.

Strong all-around catchers are at a premium in Major League Baseball, and both the Braves and Nationals would receive a significant boost by signing him.


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Aroldis Chapman Comments on Usage by Joe Maddon During 2016 World Series

Although closer Aroldis Chapman helped deliver the Chicago Cubs a World Series title last season, he delivered a parting shot Friday after his return to the New York Yankees became official.

The Cuban superstar told reporters he wasn’t a fan of the manner in which Cubs manager Joe Maddon deployed him during the World Series: “Personally, I don’t agree with the way he used me, but he is the manager and he has the strategy. My job is to be ready, to be ready to pitch, however that is, however many innings that is, I need to be ready for that. I need to go in and do my job.”

Chapman pointed specifically to Game 6, which saw him throw 20 pitches and record four outs after throwing 42 pitches and recording eight outs in Game 5: “There were couple of games, but the one I can point to is Game 6. The game was open and I don’t think he needed to [leave] me in the ninth. The important game was going to be Game 7 because we had that game almost won. The next day I came in tired.”

Chapman’s fatigue showed in Game 7, as he blew a save by surrendering three hits and two earned runs in 1.1 innings.

He did pick up the victory, though, as the Cubbies regained the lead, and Mike Montgomery closed it out.

Although Chapman questioned Maddon’s tactics in retrospect, he said he did not voice concern with his former manager at the time and believed it was important to be ready in any and all situations:

I never told him about my opinion with the way he was using me. The way I feel as baseball players we are warriors. Our job is to be ready to do what we need to do on the field. They send me out there to pitch, I’m going to go out there and pitch.

If I’m healthy, I’m going to go out there and pitch. If I’m tired, I’m going to put that aside and just get through it. It is kind of like a warrior, they send you somewhere and you have to go there and your mentality is you have to go there and do your job.

The Cubs acquired Chapman as a rental from the Yanks prior to the trade deadline last season, but he is a Bronx Bomber once again after signing a five-year, $86 million contract, per’s Bryan Hoch.

New York traded for the fireballer last offseason, and he was suspended for the first 30 games under Major League Baseball’s domestic violence policy.

Upon his return, Chapman settled in as the Yankees closer behind Dellin Betances and Andrew Miller, and he excelled with a 3-0 record, 2.01 ERA, 0.89 WHIP, 44 strikeouts in 31.1 innings and 20 saves in 21 chances while donning pinstripes.

Chapman was even better down the stretch with the Cubs, postseason struggles notwithstanding.

The 28-year-old veteran will be New York’s closer once again in 2017, and although Miller is with the Cleveland Indians, Betances will serve in a setup role to reprise two-thirds of the “DMC” relief trio.

Maddon’s decisions weren’t optimal for Chapman ahead of his attempt to cash in during free agency, but everything worked out in the end, as the Cubs ended a historic title drought and Chapman landed a historic contract.


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Dexter Fowler to Cardinals: Takeaways from Star’s Introductory Press Conference

After signing a free-agent deal with the St. Louis Cardinals, outfielder Dexter Fowler commented on the decision during his introductory press conference Friday. 

Fowler left the Chicago Cubs for the rival Cards, and according to Ken Rosenthal of Fox Sports, he inked a five-year, $82.5 million contract.

Derrick Goold of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch tweeted a photo of Fowler in his new threads and noted why his number choice is significant:

While the Cubs seem poised to compete for championships on an annual basis for many years to come, Fowler believes the Cardinals will be in the mix as well, per Mark Gonzales of the Chicago Tribune“I can’t tell what the future has in line, but I feel this team has a chance to win the World Series. … Winning is addicting.”

The Cardinals finished 17 games behind the Cubs last season and missed the playoffs, but Fowler suggested the two teams are closer than the numbers indicate, per Gonzales“(The Cardinals) weren’t that far away (in terms of competing with Cubs). We’re definitely close.”

Fowler nearly left the Cubs last offseason to sign with the Baltimore Orioles but changed his mind and returned to the Windy City in a move that helped him earn a championship ring.

The 2017 season will see Fowler go up against his former team, however, and he’ll do it often since they play in the same division.

Now that the 2016 All-Star has crossed enemy lines, he admitted that it will be a strange feeling when he goes up against the Cubbies, per Gonzales“It will be weird, but I guess they’re our rivals now. They’re still my boys, but we’re out here to win.”

The 30-year-old veteran hit .276 with 13 home runs, 48 RBI, 84 runs scored and 13 stolen bases, but the Cubs would have been hard-pressed to retain him because of how much they paid Jason Heyward last offseason.

Since he may not have gotten fair market value from the Cubs, he trusted his instincts by joining the Cardinals, per Gonzales“At the end of the day, you go with your gut feeling, and this was my gut feeling.”

Prior to missing the playoffs last season, the Cards had made five consecutive trips to the playoffs, including two World Series appearances and one championship.

St. Louis seemingly has an abundance of strong pitching with some question marks offensively, but Fowler’s near-.400 on-base percentage from 2016 should help significantly.

Fowler was undoubtedly a catalyst for Chicago’s offense next season, and the jump-start he provides could be enough to get the Cards back in the postseason in 2017.


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Clay Buchholz Trade Rumors: Latest News and Speculation on Red Sox SP

With the Boston Red Sox making improvements to their starting rotation, the team has reportedly expressed some interest in dealing veteran Clay Buchholz.

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Marlins Among Teams Considering Buchholz

Thursday, Dec. 8

According to Rob Bradford of, clubs have contacted Boston about multiple pitchers, and the Red Sox have given the indication they are most willing to part with Buchholz.

Bleacher Reports’ Scott Miller, citing sources, later reported that the “[Miami Marlins are] one of these teams Sox pushed Buchholz, but at $13 mil in 2016 too much at the moment for Marlins.”

Red Sox Can Afford to Trade Buchholz

The Red Sox acquired ace Chris Sale from the Chicago White Sox on Tuesday, which means they now have somewhat of a starting pitching surplus.

With a potential rotation of Sale, David Price, reigning AL Cy Young Award winner Rick Porcello, Steven Wright and Drew Pomeranz, Buchholz looks to be the odd man out.

His 2016 numbers aren’t overly impressive on the surface, as he went just 8-10 with a 4.78 ERA, 1.33 WHIP and 93 strikeouts in 139.1 innings.

Most of the 32-year-old’s struggles came early in the season, though, as he posted a 6.35 ERA over his first 10 starts. He straightened things out in the bullpen and closed the season strong after being put back in the rotation to the tune of a 2.98 ERA over his final eight outings.

Buchholz has had an up-and-down career, but a recent history of success suggests he can bounce back from some of the issues that plagued him last season.

He is a two-time All-Star, including a trip to the Midsummer classic in 2013 when he went 12-1 with a 1.74 ERA. He hasn’t reached those levels since, but he was solid just two seasons ago with a 3.26 ERA in 18 starts.

There is some risk involved with trading for Buchholz since he will earn $13.5 million in 2017 and may only be a rental since there is one year left on his contract, per Spotrac.

The cost may not be high to land Buchholz, though, since Boston doesn’t have a desirable spot for him and doesn’t seem likely to re-sign him.

Buchholz cannot be trusted as a top-of-the-rotation pitcher anymore, but he is worth a roll of the dice for a team that needs depth and experience at the back end of its starting staff.


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Carlos Gomez Re-Signs with Rangers: Latest Contract Details, Comments, Reaction

After resurrecting his career with the Texas Rangers last season, outfielder Carlos Gomez agreed to terms to stay with the club on Monday.

Jon Heyman of Today’s Knuckleball first reported the news, while Joel Sherman of the New York Post added it was a one-year deal worth $11.5 million. 

After the Houston Astros acquired Gomez in a trade with the Milwaukee Brewers prior to the 2015 trade deadline, the Dominican Republic native spent the first half of 2016 with the ‘Stros.

Gomez struggled to the tune of a .210 batting average with five home runs, 29 RBI and 13 stolen bases in 295 at-bats, however, which prompted Houston to designate him for assignment.

The two-time All-Star then signed a minor league deal with the Rangers, and he was called up shortly thereafter to aid Texas’ short-handed outfield.

Gomez was excellent in 33 regular-season games with the Rangers, as he hit .284 with eight homers, 24 RBI and five steals. He also started for the team during the American League Division Series against the Toronto Blue Jays, hitting .154 with one RBI and one stolen base in three contests.

Following the Rangers’ elimination, Gomez spoke glowingly about his time with the team and expressed a desire to re-sign in free agency, according to Josh Clark of CBS DFW:

This month and a half changed my career completely. I can’t wait to get home and continue to make this approach to next year. Of course I want to come back. If I had (this much) fun, that I enjoyed it so much for like a month and a half … I can’t imagine it for 180 something days. I put this in God’s hands … and they know that I love it here. I’m very loyal, it’s not always about money. I have money. It’s about enjoying the job that I love.

In 2015 and most of 2016, Gomez looked nothing like the player who emerged as one of the best all-around outfielders in baseball with the Brewers in 2013 and 2014.

Gomez put up big numbers in both of those campaigns, particularly in 2013 when he hit .284 with 24 home runs, 73 RBI and 40 stolen bases, all of which were career highs. He also won the Gold Glove and finished a solid ninth in National League MVP voting.

In stints with the New York Mets, Minnesota Twins, Brewers, Astros and Rangers, Gomez has shown flashes of brilliance and five-tool potential.

He has struggled to parlay that into consistent production for much of his career, but he appeared to regain his stride late last season.

The 31-year-old can be a game-changer when he is locked in, and that was apparent down the stretch in 2016.

Gomez and the Rangers appeared to be a match made in heaven last season, and there was mutual interest from both sides to see how much the partnership can potentially accomplish together over the course of an entire year in 2017.

The 2016 campaign was a tale of two seasons for Gomez, but if he is able to channel what made him successful late in the year, he could prove to be one of the best value signings of the offseason.


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Gio Gonzalez Trade Rumors: Latest News, Speculation Surrounding Nationals SP

With the Washington Nationals looking to make upgrades to their starting rotation, veteran Gio Gonzalez could potentially be available on the trade market.

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Latest on Gonzalez’s Trade Availability

Tuesday, Dec. 6

According to’s Jayson Stark, the Nats told teams Gonzalez would be on the block if they completed a trade with the Chicago White Sox for Chris Sale. However, Sale was dealt to the Boston Red Sox Tuesday, per Ken Rosenthal of Fox Sports.

Jim Bowden of ESPN reported Monday that Washington and Chicago were closing in on a deal that would send Sale to the Nationals for top prospects Lucas Giolito and Victor Robles.

Gonzalez is coming off a down year, as he went 11-11 with a 4.57 ERA, 1.34 WHIP and 171 strikeouts in 177.1 innings pitched. That marked his highest ERA since the 2009 campaign with the Oakland Athletics (5.75).

The 31-year-old lefty previously enjoyed a six-year streak with an ERA of 3.79 or better, and he earned two All-Star nods during that time.

Since winning 21 games and finishing third in the National League Cy Young Award voting in 2012, however, he has settled in as a middle-of-the-rotation arm, averaging 11 wins per season.

While Gonzalez is reliable in terms of taking the mound with 31 or more starts in six of the past seven seasons, 2016 was a roller-coaster ride from a performance perspective, according to Sung Min Kim of Vice Sports:

The peripheral numbers suggest Gonzalez was somewhat unlucky last season, though, as he posted a FIP nearly a full run lower than his ERA at 3.76, per Gonzalez has had a lower FIP than ERA in three straight campaigns.

Washington will no longer have a need for Gonzalez if it can land another starter even after losing out on Sale, especially with Max Scherzer, Stephen Strasburg, Tanner Roark and Joe Ross in the fold.

The veteran could have value to another team in need of rotation depth, though, and he is affordable for a starting pitcher with a salary of $12 million, per Spotrac.

Provided Gonzalez’s ERA and FIP come closer together in 2017, he has a chance to provide great value for another team.


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Carlos Beltran to Astros: Latest Contract Details, Comments, Reaction

Outfielder Carlos Beltran will spend his 20th MLB season in Houston after signing a one-year, $16 million contract with the Astros on Saturday. 

ESPN’s Buster Olney was the first to report the move, while Ken Rosenthal of Fox Sports added the terms, which include a full no-trade clause.

The 39-year-old veteran is coming off his best season in recent memory, as he hit .295 with 29 home runs and 93 RBI in an All-Star campaign split between the New York Yankees and Texas Rangers.

That marked his best production since All-Star years in 2012 and 2013 with the St. Louis Cardinals, and his 151 games played were his most since 2012 as well.

Both the Yanks and Rangers kept Beltran fresh by using him often at designated hitter, as 73 of his starts came at DH.

Beltran hit .280 with seven homers and 29 RBI in 52 contests down the stretch for the Rangers last season and added some punch to their lineup.

According to Gerry Fraley of the Dallas Morning News, Beltran spoke positively of his experiences with the Rangers after they were ousted by the Toronto Blue Jays in the ALDS: “I really did enjoy myself here. The time I spent here with a special group of guys was amazing. There was a great chemistry that I was able to be part of. Right now, I want to go home and take a mental break and decide what’s next for my career.”

Per’s TR Sullivan, the nine-time All-Star also expressed interest in returning to the Rangers for the 2017 season:

The switch-hitter and potential Hall of Famer has produced at every stop during his MLB career, including stints with the Kansas City Royals, Astros, New York Mets, San Francisco Giants, Cardinals, Yankees and Rangers.

Despite never having won a World Series, Beltran is among the best postseason performers of all time with a .323 batting average, 16 home runs, 41 RBI, 11 stolen bases and 45 runs scored in 55 career postseason games.

His resume is matched by few, and it is easy to see why the Astros, with their championship aspirations, pushed to sign him.

Although he only spent a short amount of time with the Rangers, his absence will undoubtedly be felt in 2017, since he made the middle of the order far more dangerous.

The Astros will now reap the benefits of Beltran’s big bat, and Beltran will attempt to make at least one more run at the championship ring that has eluded him.

Houston has loaded up offensively this offseason by trading for catcher Brian McCann and signing outfielder Josh Reddick, and the addition of Beltran makes its lineup even more dangerous.

The Astros are stacked with young talent, so bringing in a veteran with a track record of playoff success like Beltran may be exactly what they need to take that next step.


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MLB Rumors: Top Trade Rumors Ahead of 2016 Winter Meetings

Although the winter meetings are sure to bring plenty of shakeups across Major League Baseball, the trade hot stove is already kicking into high gear with several huge names reportedly available for the right price.

Many of the top free agents remain untouched thus far, and while those dominoes promise to fall in the near future, some of the biggest moves made this offseason may occur on the trade market due to an apparent willingness to orchestrate some blockbuster swaps.

As the trade winds continue to blow, here is a closer look at some of the top players rumored to be available leading up to the winter meetings.


Andrew McCutchen

Pittsburgh Pirates outfielder Andrew McCutchen has long been among the most consistent producers in the game, but on the heels of arguably his worst full season in Major League Baseball, his time with the Bucs may be running out.

According to’s Jayson Stark, the Pirates and Washington Nationals have had talks involving McCutchen with Pittsburgh potentially having interest in pitchers Joe Ross and Reynaldo Lopez.

Mark Zuckerman of confirmed the talks and added that the Pirates may be looking to acquire Lopez, outfield prospect Victor Robles and one other player.

The 2016 season was undoubtedly a disappointment for McCutchen, as he hit a career-low .256 with 24 home runs, 79 RBI and a career-low six stolen bases.

McCutchen was an All-Star in each of the previous five seasons and finished fifth or better in the NL MVP voting in each of the previous four seasons, including winning the award in 2013.

While 2016 was a down year, McCutchen was one of MLB‘s top five-tool threats for several seasons leading up to that. He has hit at least 21 home runs every seasons since 2011, he drove in at least 83 runs every year from 2011 through 2015 and he has stolen 20 or more bases in a season five times, although his attempts have gone down progressively over the past four years.

McCutchen also won a Gold Glove in center field in 2012, and he has enough range to cover a ton of ground when healthy.

It is possible that McCutchen‘s best days are behind him at 30 years of age, so Pittsburgh’s interest in trading him is understandable.

Washington’s interest in acquiring him is equally understandable, though, since he could combine with Bryce Harper, Anthony Rendon and Trea Turner to form one of the most potent lineups in baseball.

The price may be steep in terms of young players, but a returned-to-form McCutchen may be exactly what the Nats need to reach the next level.


Chris Sale

Chicago White Sox ace Chris Sale is undoubtedly among the top pitchers in baseball, but he could be on the move, as the struggling Sox look to shake things up.

According to Jon Heyman of, the Nationals, Houston Astros, Atlanta Braves, Boston Red Sox, Texas Rangers and Los Angeles Dodgers are the top teams that have show interest in dealing for the electric lefty.

Heyman also noted the type of value Chicago is hoping to land in return:

The 27-year-old has been a starting pitcher for five seasons, and he has finished sixth or better in American League Cy Young voting in each of those seasons.

Sale tied his career high with 17 wins last season to go along with a 3.34 ERA, 1.04 WHIP and 233 strikeouts in 226.2 innings.

Few pitchers in baseball have nastier stuff than Sale, and the fact that he is both tall and a lefty makes him seem nearly unhittable at times.

A well-documented outburst that saw Sale cut up the team’s throwback jerseys last season may have soured his relationship with the organization, and it is fair to wonder if it is playing a role in Chicago’s potential desire to deal him.

The White Sox are a team that can’t seem to escape mediocrity, however, and the easiest way to take a different approach is by trading a star that will bring back multiple assets.

Sale would do precisely that, and he could also make a team a top World Series contender due to his ability to anchor a starting rotation.


Jay Bruce

Following the return of outfielder Yoenis Cespedes to the New York Mets in free agency, Jay Bruce’s days in the Big Apple could be numbered.

The Mets acquired Bruce from the Cincinnati Reds prior to the trade deadline last season, and although he hit 33 home runs overall and was named to his third All-Star team, he hit just .217 with eight homers and 19 RBI in 50 games with the Mets.

That makes him expendable, and one team that has shown major interest is the Toronto Blue Jays, according to’s Jerry Crasnick.

The Jays may lose both Jose Bautista and Edwin Encarnacion in free agency, and they will be in dire need of additional power should that happen.

Bruce is a streaky player, but the 29-year-old has 241 career home runs to his credit, including four seasons with 30 or more homers.

Toronto plays in a hitter-friendly ballpark much like Cincinnati, so Bruce could bounce back from his rough stretch with the Mets should a trade be consummated.

Bruce isn’t as reliable as Bautista and Encarnacion when they are healthy, but he would come at a cheaper price and the commitment wouldn’t be as great since he can become a free agent next offseason.

A similar player in Mark Trumbo made the leap to the AL East last season and enjoyed a career year with the Baltimore Orioles, and something similar could occur for Bruce in Toronto.


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Eric Thames to Brewers: Latest Contract Details, Comments and Reaction

The Milwaukee Brewers added a potentially huge power bat Tuesday by signing first baseman Eric Thames to a three-year contract.’s Adam McCalvy was the first to report the move. Tom Haudricourt of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel confirmed the signing and added there is a fourth-year option as part of the deal.

Ken Rosenthal of Fox Sports shared the terms of the agreement:

Per’s Jerry Crasnick, Thames will make $15 million in guaranteed money.

Following the signing, the Brewers announced they designated first baseman Chris Carter for assignment.

While Carter hit 41 home runs and drove in 94 runs last season, he hit just .222, and McCalvy pointed out Milwaukee wanted more balance in its lineup:

The 30-year-old Thames has spent the past three seasons playing in the Korean Baseball Organization, where he averaged 41 home runs and 126 RBI per year. He also stole 40 bases in 2015 and posted an on-base percentage of .497.

Thames previously appeared in 181 MLB games over the course of two seasons with the Toronto Blue Jays and Seattle Mariners in 2011 and 2012.

The former seventh-round draft pick hit .262 with 12 homers and 37 RBI as a rookie before slipping to .232 with nine home runs and 25 RBI in his second campaign.

Thames is capable of playing both first base and the outfield, and he represents a major wild card for the Brew Crew.

While Thames’ production in Korea is undeniable, it is difficult to predict how it will project to Major League Baseball.

A recent similar case is that of Dae-Ho Lee, who slugged 44 home runs in Korea in 2010 before hitting 14 for the Mariners in 292 at-bats last season.

Thames will be hard-pressed to match Carter’s power production, but if he can cut down significantly on Carter’s strikeout numbers (206 in 160 games last season) and reach base with regularity, he could prove to be an upgrade even if the home runs drop.


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