Indians Sign Scott Downs

Dec 20, 2014 | No Comments

The Indians have announced that they’ve signed lefty reliever Scott Downs to a minor league deal with a spring training invite. The veteran pitched 38 innings in 2014 for the White Sox and Royals, posting a 4.97 ERA with 5.9 K/9 and 4.7 BB/9 while suffering through diminished velocity — Downs was never a hard thrower, but his average fastball fell to 86.9 MPH in 2014. Downs had success as recently as the previous season, when he had a 2.49 ERA with 7.7 K/9 and 3.9 BB/9 for the Angels and Braves. In his 13-year career, the 38-year-old has also pitched for the Cubs, Expos and Blue Jays.

Cole diggers: 5 frontrunners in Hamels derby

Cole diggers: 5 frontrunners in Hamels derby

Dec 20, 2014 | No Comments

There’s plenty of speculation that the Phillies could soon trade perennial Cy Young candidate Cole Hamels. MLB.com’s Jim Duquette gives his take on five teams that have the prospects, the money and the need for Hamels, as well as what it would take to swing a trade and the odds of it happening.

Nexen Accepts Jung-ho Kang Posting Fee From Unknown MLB Team

Dec 20, 2014 | No Comments

11:59pm: In an English-language article, Yonhap reports (h/t to Dan Kurtz of MyKBO.net, on Twitter) that the club has in fact announced the acceptance of the bid. The article indicates that even Nexen is not sure which MLB club subitted the winning offer. Per the article, Kang is seeking between $5MM and $6MM per season on a multi-year deal of up to four years in duration. 10:31pm: With the posting fee bids submitted for infielder Jung-ho Kang, the KBO’s Nexen Heroes are expected to accept an approximately $5MM bid for the right to negotiate a contract with the Korean star, as the Yonhap News Agency reports (Twitter link via Jeeho Yoo; Korean-language article, via Sun-Min Kim, on Twitter). The MLB team with the winning bid has yet to be reported. If that club is unable to work out a deal with Kang, it would be refunded the amount of the posting fee. Otherwise, the team would owe that $5MM on top of whatever contractual terms it reaches with Kang. Kang, 27, raised eyebrows with a 40 home run/1.198 OPS campaign last year. The star shortstop has been a productive hitter for some time now, but that impressive power display certainly raised his profile. The KBO has turned into a fairly drastic hitter’s league, though Kang’s numbers still look outstanding against league average.

NL Notes: Friedman, Utley, Turner, Gattis, Kang, Furcal

Dec 20, 2014 | No Comments

Discussing his wide-ranging moves since taking over as the Dodgers president of baseball operations, Andrew Friedman said today that he sees the club as a “highly functional baseball team, instead of a collection of talent.” As MLB.com’s Ken Gurnick reports, Friedman says the club will remain “open-minded” about dealing away from its stock of outfielders. Looking ahead after the Jimmy Rollins trade, Phillies GM Ruben Amaro Jr. said that the team will continue to try to “get younger and more athletic,” as Jim Salisbury of CSNPhilly.com reports. In addition to discussing various trade scenarios, the Phils have “had some dialogue with some free agents to try to increase some of our depth pitching-wise,” said Amaro.

Nexen Expected To Accept Jung-ho Kang Posting Fee From Unknown MLB Team

Dec 20, 2014 | No Comments

With the posting fee bids submitted for infielder Jung-ho Kang, the KBO’s Nexen Heroes are expected to accept an approximately $5MM bid for the right to negotiate a contract with the Korean star, as the Yonhap News Agency reports (Twitter link via Jeeho Yoo; Korean-language article, via Sun-Min Kim, on Twitter). The MLB team with the winning bid has yet to be reported. If that club is unable to work out a deal with Kang, it would be refunded the amount of the posting fee. Otherwise, the team would owe that $5MM on top of whatever contractual terms it reaches with Kang. Kang, 27, raised eyebrows with a 40 home run/1.198 OPS campaign last year. The star shortstop has been a productive hitter for some time now, but that impressive power display certainly raised his profile. The KBO has turned into a fairly drastic hitter’s league, though Kang’s numbers still look outstanding against league average. Just how his tools translate to the big leagues remains to be seen, of course, and questions remain whether he can play up the middle at the game’s highest level. Be sure to give a listen to this week’s podcast for great insight on Kang from former MLB and KBO pitcher Ryan Sadowski of Global Sporting Integration.

Royals Release Carlos Peguero

Dec 20, 2014 | No Comments

The Royals have released outfielder Carlos Peguero, the team announced (via MLB.com’s Joey Novak). The 27-year-old had been said to be a candidate to see time as a left-handed bat for the club this year, but the recent signings of Alex Rios and Kendrys Morales largely eliminated that possibility. Peguero saw little action last year with Kansas City, instead working for the club’s Triple-A affiliate. At that level, he posted a .912 OPS with 30 home runs in 418 plate appearances. Peguero has generally done quite well against the best arms in the minors, but has yet to receive a prolonged chance at the MLB level

Silverman taking bold steps necessary to reshape Rays

Silverman taking bold steps necessary to reshape Rays

Dec 20, 2014 | No Comments

On second thought, give Matt Silverman, the Tampa Bay Rays’ “rookie” general manager credit. What Silverman has done is far more than tweaking the roster. Call it a major overhaul.

Kemp pumped to join forces with Padres

Kemp pumped to join forces with Padres

Dec 20, 2014 | No Comments

New Padres outfielder Matt Kemp was energized and animated at various points on Friday, meeting with reporters for the first time since the five-player deal between the National League West rivals was consummated late Thursday.

Giants working on trade for Marlins’ McGehee

Dec 20, 2014 | No Comments

The Giants appear to be close to filling their third-base vacancy Friday night as they continued to engineer a trade with the Miami Marlins for Casey McGehee.

Preller sure keeps things moving as rookie GM

Preller sure keeps things moving as rookie GM

Dec 20, 2014 | No Comments

One of the more amazing parts of A.J. Preller’s story is that, until the last few weeks, he was a relative unknown outside of baseball. But things have changed, and dramatically. The Padres have gotten everyone’s attention, and so has their new general manager.