Jim Henderson RP NYM 11 minutes ago
Henderson agreed to a minor league contract with the Cubs on Friday, Chris Cotillo of SB Nation reports.
The right-handed reliever has struggled since injuring his shoulder back in 2014, most recently amassing a 4.11 ERA and 1.8 HR/9 out of the Mets bullpen last season. Henderson's career 11.6 K/9 does create some intrigue, however, so he could put up a good fight for a spot in the Cubs bullpen if he shores up his control.
Alejandro De Aza OF/DH NYM 4 hours ago
De Aza signed a minor league deal with the A's on Friday, MLB.com's Jane Lee reports.
He posted a .205/.297/.321 slash line with six home runs and four steals in 267 plate appearances with the Mets last year, so it's not surprising he was forced to settle for a minor league pact. The A's don't have a particularly impressive collection of outfielders, but De Aza will still need to catch a few breaks in order to see significant playing time in the majors this season.
Brett Eibner OF OAK 4 hours ago
Eibner was designated for assignment on Friday, MLB.com's Jane Lee reports.
The A's needed to clear a spot on the 40-man roster for Santiago Casilla, and Eibner was the casualty. He was a productive hitter at Triple-A for both the Royals and A's last year, but posted just a 65 wRC+ in 208 plate appearances in the big leagues. He is now seventh on the organizational outfield depth chart, and should struggle to see significant playing time in 2017.
Adam Walker RF BAL 6 hours ago
Walker was designated for assignment on Friday.
He was claimed off waivers by the Brewers in November and then the Orioles claimed him in December, so he could be in line to join his fourth organization of the offseason. Regardless of where he ends up, Walker has monster raw power but is unable to make enough contact to even profile as a Chris Carter type. This move was made so that the Orioles could add Mark Trumbo to the 40-man roster.
Maikel Franco 3B PHI 10 hours ago
Franco said he spent the offseason focusing on his conditioning, Ryan Lawrence of the Philly Voice reports. "I've lost five to seven pounds right now," Franco said. "I feel better. I feel great. My body is in good shape right now."
Every year before spring training there are stories of athletes claiming they are in the best shape of their life. Improved conditioning does not necessarily equate to improved performance on the field, but it is good to see Franco, who is entering his third season, focused on making improvements to try to become a better player. Franco had a solid first half last season, hitting .269 with 18 homers, but he slumped after the All-Star break and finished with an OPS more than 100 points lower than in 2015. The Phillies have added some additional offensive firepower this offseason in Michael Saunders and Howie Kendrick, which will help take some pressure off of Franco. He has the talent to reach 30 homers this season if he puts everything together.
Tommy Joseph 1B PHI 11 hours ago
Joseph is fully recovered from the wrist tendinitis that forced him to cut his stint in the Dominican winter league short this offseason, Jim Salisbury of CSN Philadelphia reports.
Joseph remains on track to open this season as the Phillies' regular first baseman. He said his goal this season is to improve his on-base percentage after he posted a .308 on-base percentage last season while splitting time at first base with Ryan Howard. He already showed some signs of improvement last season when he walked at a 3.7 percent clip in the first half, but improved that to 8.6 percent while also cutting his strikeout rate from 24.7 percent to 18.9 percent after the All-Star break. He has 30-plus homer upside this season with everyday playing time.
Michael Saunders LF/RF PHI 12 hours ago
The Phillies officially announced the signing of Saunders to a one-year deal with a club option for 2018 on Thursday, Corey Seidman of CSN Philadelphia reports.
Saunders will earn $9 million this season and the club option for 2018 is worth $11 million with escalators that could push the total value to $14 million. He will start in right field for the Phillies this season and will be trade bait this summer if the team is not in playoff contention. Severino Gonzalez was designated for assignment to make room for Saunders on the Phillies' roster.
OUTLuis Valbuena 3B HOU 17 hours ago
Valbuena and the Angels are in agreement on a two-year deal with a club option, Ken Rosenthal of Fox Sports reports.
There's no word yet on the terms of the deal, but Valbuena figures to get rewarded for his surprise season in 2016 in which he hit a strong .260/.357/.459 with 13 home runs in 342 plate appearances. It's worth noting that Valbuena was forced to undergo season-ending hamstring surgery in August, but all reports indicate he should be ready for spring training. Valbuena could end up all over the infield with the Angels, given that first and third base already have C.J. Cron and Yunel Escobar and that the 31-year-old probably doesn't have the range to regularly field second base anymore.
Josh Johnson SP SD 21 hours ago
Johnson plans to retire from baseball rather than pursue a minor league opportunity with the Giants, Jerry Crasnick of ESPN reports.
Johnson's career will go down as a large what-if, an arm with a significant amount of both talent and ailments. The 32-year-old won an ERA title back in 2010 with the Marlins and had established himself as one of the league's best young pitchers, but an unrelenting series of injuries led to him throwing his final major league pitch in 2013. Now, after undergoing a third Tommy John surgery, Johnson is hanging up the cleats.
Mark Trumbo RF/DH BAL 23 hours ago
Trumbo agreed to a three-year deal, pending a physical, with the Orioles on Thursday, Eduardo A. Encina of the Baltimore Sun reports.
Per Bob Nightengale of the USA Today, the deal is expected to be worth $35-40 million. Trumbo had one of the best showings of his career in 2016 as he knocked 47 home runs and recorded 108 RBI. Although the deal is contingent upon Trumbo passing a physical, the slugger will look to bring his powerful bat back to the Baltimore lineup and split time between right field and the DH spot in 2017.