Yonder Alonso 1B OAK 1 hour ago
Alonso agreed to a one-year, $4 million contract with the A's, avoiding arbitration, Susan Slusser of the San Francisco Chronicle reports.
Alonso was considered a potential non-tender candidate, so this deal allows him to stay on in Oakland for a second season with the A's. The 29-year-old played in a career-high 156 games and posted a .253/.316/.367 line with seven home runs last season, and he figures to once again serve as the primary option at first base in 2017.
Adam Walker RF BAL 2 hours ago
Walker was claimed off waivers by the Orioles on Friday.
Walker only spent 10 days in the Brewers organization prior to being designated for assignment at the end of November, and now he'll head back to the American League. The 25-year-old outfielder is a true three-outcome hitter as his 8.3 percent walk rate, 38 percent strikeout rate, and 27 home runs at the Triple-A level last season, so it's unlikely that he'll be able to garner a regular role at the major league level until he solves his major swing-and-miss issues.
Kirk Nieuwenhuis OF/DH MIL 3 hours ago
Nieuwenhuis agreed to a one-year split contract with the Brewers on Friday, avoiding arbitration, Jon Heyman of FanRag Sports reports.
The 29-year-old batted a lowly .209 last season, but his outstanding 14.3 percent walk rate and solid .176 ISO combined with his good defense all over the outfield made a good case for the Brewers to tender him a contract for another season. The split deal would have him making considerably less money if he gets sent back to the minors if Milwaukee chooses to kick the wheels on their younger options in the outfield, but Nieuwenhuis' versatility could work in his favor for the time being as he works to land a bench role out of spring training.
Rene Rivera C NYM 3 hours ago
Rivera agreed to a one-year, $1.75 million deal with the Mets on Friday, avoiding arbitration, FanRag Sports' Jon Heyman reports.
Rivera is one of the better defensive catchers in baseball, which explains why he is worth almost $2 million despite posting a 70 wRC+ last year and a 63 wRC+ for his career. He will serve as Travis d'Arnaud's backup in 2017.
OUTCC Sabathia SP NYY 3 hours ago
Sabathia said Friday that his recovery from knee surgery is going well and he will begin a throwing program next week, the Boston Herald's Evan Drellich reports.
He underwent a routine cleanup of his knee after the season, and is not expected to be limited heading into spring training. Sabathia is coming off his best year since 2012, as he managed a 3.91 ERA and 1.32 WHIP. However, his 4.28 FIP and 152:65 K:BB in 179.2 innings suggest he may be due for a bit of regression in 2017. His spot in the Yankees' rotation is safe heading into the final year of his contract.
Wade LeBlanc P PIT 3 hours ago
LeBlanc agreed to a one-year deal with the Pirates on Friday, avoiding arbitration, Jon Heyman of FanRag Sports reports.
There were talks that the big left-hander would be non-tendered by the Pirates, but the sides came to an agreement likely due to LeBlanc taking less money than he was projected to make in an arbitration case. LeBlanc was a solid bullpen arm for Pittsburgh last season after coming to the National League in September, although his numbers could see a downturn if his home run woes he had during his tenure with the Mariners (2.5 HR/9) follow him into the 2017 campaign.
Jacob deGrom SP NYM 4 hours ago
DeGrom (elbow) said Friday that his right arm feels great and he will begin throwing soon, the New York Times' James Wagner reports.
The discomfort that led to his ulnar nerve being operated on in late September is all gone, which is great news for owners considering him heading into 2017 drafts. DeGrom, who is arbitration eligible for the first time this winter, also noted that the Mets have not approached him about a contract extension.
Bryan Holaday C BOS 4 hours ago
Holaday was non-tendered by the Red Sox on Friday and is now a free agent.
Sandy Leon and Christian Vazquez are the clear top two catchers for the Red Sox, and Blake Swihart still lingers as a potential wild card, so there was no reason for Boston to pay Holaday in arbitration or allow him to occupy a 40-man roster spot. He has a career 69 wRC+ and all of his value is tied up in his defense. Look for him to catch on with another team, perhaps on a minor league deal, to serve as organizational catching depth.
Brooks Pounders P LAA 19 hours ago
Pounders will prepare as a starter this winter, the Orange County Register reports.
The Angels acquired Pounders from the Royals on Thursday for minor leaguer Jared Ruxer, and will bring the right-hander to camp as a starter. Pounder pitched exclusively out of the bullpen at the major league level last season and made just seven starts at Triple-A, totaling 93 innings between the two levels. He could open the year as rotation depth at Triple-A Salt Lake.
Cody Ege P LAA 19 hours ago
Ege was designated for assignment by the Angels on Thursday.
He was bumped from the 40-man roster in favor of Brooks Pounders, whom the Angels acquired via trade from Kansas City. Ege enjoyed a good deal of success with Anaheim last year, but his larger body of work in the minors was less than stellar (4.56 ERA, 1.50 WHIP). Still, Ege could interest a team looking for a lefty specialist.