News for Free Agent Players - 2018 Park Slope Rotisserie League

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Fri Feb 1520:11Even in bullpen age, several teams still built on startersTrevor BauerRP/SPIndiansTeam Joker
Joakim SoriaRPAthleticsFree Agent
WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. (AP) — Forget about this bullpen obsession for a moment. Believe it or not, plenty of big league teams are still anchored by well-armed rotations.In this age of openers and closers, with relievers starting games and starters rarely finishing them, it might seem starting pitchers have been devalued by executives all over baseball.Dallas Keuchel, the 2015 AL Cy Young Award winner, is a 31-year-old free agent still looking for a job. Same for fellow lefty Gio Gonzalez, a two-time All-Star one season removed from going 15-9 with a 2.96 ERA in 201 innings.Meanwhile, short relievers like Zack Britton ($39 million), Jeurys Familia ($30 million), Kelvin Herrera ($18 million) and Joakim Soria ($15 million) had no trouble getting multiyear deals this winter.Doesn't anyone remember what Koufax and Drysdale did for the Dodgers?Maddux, Glavine and Smoltz with the Braves?"At the end of the day, your starting staff is the backbone of your team," Washington ace Max Scherzer sai... [More]
Fri Feb 1519:11Farquhar wears protective cap for 1st bullpen sessionDellin BetancesRPYankeesDoubleHeader
Danny FarquharRPWhite SoxFree Agent
TAMPA, Fla. (AP) — Danny Farquhar wore a specially designed protective cap Friday during his first spring training bullpen session with the New York Yankees.Farquhar collapsed in the Chicago White Sox dugout last April 20 after pitching in the sixth inning against Houston. He was diagnosed with a ruptured aneurysm and brain hemorrhage, had surgery the next day and was hospitalized until May 7. Farquhar was not cleared to pitch again in 2018, became a free agent after the season and signed a minor league contract with the Yankees."I am extraordinarily just thankful," Farquhar said.He met with doctors and trainers at Steinbrenner Field on Monday to design his hat, which includes Kevlar and foam. After a proper fit was found, it took just two days to create the final product."It looks like a hat, it's just two sizes big and it's got like a skully protector on the inside," Farquhar said. "At first when I put it on, it felt a little shallow on my head, like kind of sitting up a little bit... [More]
Fri Feb 1517:11Athletics sign outfielder Robbie GrossmanDaniel GossettSPAthleticsFree Agent
Robbie GrossmanDH/LF/PH/RFTwinsFree Agent
Ramon LaureanoCFAthleticsTeam Sapinski
Nick MartiniLF/RFAthleticsFree Agent
Cliff Pennington2B/3B/SSRedsFree Agent
Stephen PiscottyRFAthleticsObi-Wan
MESA, Ariz. (AP) — The Oakland Athletics added depth to their outfield mix by signing outfielder Robbie Grossman to a $2 million, one-year contract Friday.Nick Martini, Stephen Piscotty, and Ramon Laureano are projected to get the majority of playing time in the A's outfield. Oakland manager Bob Melvin said the club would be looking at Grossman as an option in left field."Sitting here now, that's probably the spot he'd play more. We have a lot of depth at the outfield position and I don't think that's a bad thing," said Melvin, who called Grossman "a good pick up."Grossman can earn an additional $200,000 in performance bonuses based on plate appearances: $100,000 each for 500 and 550. He acknowledged he was getting a little anxious waiting at home as camps opened. The A's have their first full squad workout Saturday."Being in that situation, it's tough right now, especially how the market is," Grossman said. "I'm excited to land here and excited to be an Oakland A."Grossman spent the... [More]
Fri Feb 1517:01Norris trying to fight his way into Tigers' rotationMatthew BoydSPTigersTeam Sapinski
Tyson RossRP/SPTigersFree Agent
LAKELAND, Fla. (AP) — It's another spring and another chance for Daniel Norris to make the Detroit Tigers' pitching rotation.This time, the 25-year-old left-hander is trying a more aggressive, mixed-martial arts approach to his training that includes tae kwon do, jiujitsu and kickboxing."I'm really conscious about my body, and I know that's odd to hear because I'm hurt all the time," Norris said Friday. "But I really care about my body. I really work hard on it, so I'm looking for ways to get better and stay healthy. This made a lot of sense to me."He exercised in California and Tennessee before arriving at spring training in late January, and he has continued the program with a trainer in nearby Tampa now that organized spring drills have started."I'm starting to feel my explosiveness come back and I feel it on the mound," Norris said. "The biggest thing is my stride length is back. I lost a foot off of it last year because of the groin (injury). Now it's back to normal and it's bac... [More]
Fri Feb 1516:51Farquhar wears protective cap for 1st bullpen sessionDellin BetancesRPYankeesDoubleHeader
Danny FarquharRPWhite SoxFree Agent
TAMPA, Fla. (AP) — Danny Farquhar wore a specially designed protective cap Friday during his first spring training bullpen session with the New York Yankees.Farquhar collapsed in the Chicago White Sox dugout last April 20 after pitching in the sixth inning against Houston. He was diagnosed with a ruptured aneurysm and brain hemorrhage, had surgery the next day and was hospitalized until May 7. Farquhar was not cleared to pitch again in 2018, became a free agent after the season and signed a minor league contract with the Yankees."I am extraordinarily just thankful," Farquhar said.He met with doctors and trainers at Steinbrenner Field on Monday to design his hat, which includes Kevlar and foam. After a proper fit was found, it took just two days to create the final product."It looks like a hat, it's just two sizes big and it's got like a skully protector on the inside," Farquhar said. "At first when I put it on, it felt a little shallow on my head, like kind of sitting up a little bit... [More]
Fri Feb 1516:51O'Hearn looking to build off rookie season with RoyalsHunter Dozier1B/3BRoyalsTeam Sapinski
Ryan O'Hearn1BRoyalsFree Agent
SURPRISE, Ariz. (AP) — Ryan O'Hearn recalled the moment he knew he belonged in the big leagues.He and fellow rookie Hunter Dozier went back-to-back in the ninth inning off Chad Allen in a walk-off victory over the Cleveland Indians on Aug. 24."After the game I realized we could do this," O'Hearn said before a spring training workout. "We could compete in this division. I could compete in this league. That was a huge confidence builder for me. That was a great day."The Royals ended the season on a 20-14 run starting with that game after beginning the year 38-90.O'Hearn, a 2014 eighth-round draft pick, homered in his big league debut on July 31. He finished with 12 home runs, 10 doubles and 30 RBIs in 170 plate appearances."Confidence-wise I feel a lot different," he said. "I got a taste of it last year. I understand what it takes to have success in the big leagues. This year it is more of a sense of excitement per the team of what we can do. Potential is a dangerous word, but there r... [More]
Fri Feb 1516:31Roberto Osuna to close for Houston AstrosKen GilesRPBlue JaysBuchanalia
David PaulinoRP/SPBlue JaysFree Agent
WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. (AP) — Roberto Osuna will close for the Houston Astros."I can pretend and create some false competition, and that doesn't gain any credibility," manager A.J. Hinch said. "Transparency goes a long way, and maybe the closer question can be put to rest."Hinch used Ken Giles, Hector Rondon and Luke Gregerson to finish games during his first four seasons before the Astros acquired Osuna from Toronto last summer."I think the league has graduated to the point of, you can say somebody's your closer and use him in the seventh or eighth inning and people don't freak out," Hinch said. "It's amazing how the sport has evolved to where one word doesn't mean that he has to pitch exactly in that role every single time."Houston initially eased Osuna into the closer's role after acquiring him at last season's trading deadline for Giles, David Paulino and a minor leaguer. The trade occurred just before the end of Osuna's 75-game suspension under Major League Baseball's domestic vi... [More]
Fri Feb 1514:41Twins sign pair of core young players _ Kepler and PolancoMax KeplerCF/RFTwinsBallbusters
Martín PérezRP/SPRangersFree Agent
FORT MYERS, Fla. (AP) — The Minnesota Twins have talked a lot about how much they like their young core of players.They proved that Friday by locking up a pair of them, signing both right fielder Max Kepler and shortstop Jorge Polanco to five-year contracts."The idea that you can marry up your current players and core with ones that are coming along the way is a great thought, it allows for sustainability," chief baseball officer Derek Falvey said at news conference at the team's spring training facility."We've said all along that there was a core of players," he said. "We've felt strongly of this group since we've got here."The players were originally signed by Minnesota as international free agents in 2009 when they were each 16-year-olds, they started together as roommates and now they're the cornerstone of what the team hopes will be a successful run."We've got this tremendous core of players coming up," general manager Thad Levine said. "To have some of that at fixed costs is me... [More]
Fri Feb 1514:21Mariners' Smith slowed by sore shoulderDee Gordon2B/CFMarinersTeam Erik
Guillermo HerediaCF/LFRaysFree Agent
PEORIA, Ariz. (AP) — Seattle center fielder Mallex Smith will not participate in early throwing and fielding drills during spring training because of shoulder soreness sustained while throwing in January."We'll kind of slow-play him," manager Scott Servais said Friday. "He got a little over-zealous and did a lot of throwing right out of the chute. I think you'll see him swinging in the cage and hitting on the field."The 25-year-old Smith hit .296 with 27 doubles, 10 triples and 40 steals for Tampa Bay last season in his first full season in the major leagues.He was acquired in the trade that sent Mike Zunino, Guillermo Heredia and Michael Plassmeyer to Tampa Bay on Nov. 8, after the Mariners decided to return Dee Gordon to second base this season.___More AP baseball coverage: https://apnews.com/MLB and https://twitter.com/AP_Sports
Fri Feb 1514:21Athletics sign outfielder Robbie GrossmanDaniel GossettSPAthleticsFree Agent
Robbie GrossmanDH/LF/PH/RFTwinsFree Agent
Ramon LaureanoCFAthleticsTeam Sapinski
Nick MartiniLF/RFAthleticsFree Agent
Cliff Pennington2B/3B/SSRedsFree Agent
Stephen PiscottyRFAthleticsObi-Wan
MESA, Ariz. (AP) — The Oakland Athletics added depth to their outfield mix by signing outfielder Robbie Grossman to a one-year, $2 million contract Friday.Nick Martini, Stephen Piscotty, and Ramon Laureano are projected to get the majority of playing time in the A's outfield. Oakland manager Bob Melvin said the club would be looking at Grossman as an option in left field."Sitting here now, that's probably the spot he'd play more. We have a lot of depth at the outfield position and I don't think that's a bad thing," said Melvin, who called Grossman "a good pick up."Grossman acknowledged he was getting a little anxious waiting at home as camps opened. The A's have their first full squad workout Saturday."Being in that situation, it's tough right now, especially how the market is," Grossman said. "I'm excited to land here and excited to be an Oakland A."Grossman spent the last three seasons with the Twins. He batted .273 with five home runs and 48 RBIs last season.The Athletics also sig... [More]
Fri Feb 1513:21Francisco Liriano hopes return to Pirates sparks turnaroundSteven BraultRP/SPPiratesFree Agent
Francisco LirianoSPTigersFree Agent
BRADENTON, Fla. (AP) — Francisco Liriano had a handful of offers during free agency that were basically the same. Teams wanted him to come to spring training on a minor league contract.Realizing he was not getting a major league deal, he returned to the team where he had his best run during his 13-year career. The 35-year-old left-hander agreed to terms with the Pittsburgh Pirates on Feb. 4, one week before spring training.In a three seasons between 2013 and 2015, Liriano was a combined 35-25 with a 3.26 ERA in 86 starts. He was the winning pitcher in the 2013 NL wild-card game — the Pirates' first postseason appearance since 1992 — when he limited Cincinnati to one run in seven innings."To be honest, that's one of the best games I remember," Liriano said before pitchers and catchers worked out Friday. "I have a lot of good memories in Pittsburgh. Hopefully, it will continue this year, too. Hopefully, we can make the playoffs. You never know. You've got to go out there and play a... [More]
Fri Feb 1512:41Francisco Liriano hopes return to Pirates sparks turnaroundSteven BraultRP/SPPiratesFree Agent
Francisco LirianoSPTigersFree Agent
BRADENTON, Fla. (AP) — Francisco Liriano had a handful of offers during free agency that were basically the same. Teams wanted him to come to spring training on a minor league contract.Realizing he was not getting a major league deal, he returned to the team where he had his best run during his 13-year career. The 35-year-old left-hander agreed to terms with the Pittsburgh Pirates on Feb. 4, one week before spring training.In a three seasons between 2013 and 2015, Liriano was a combined 35-25 with a 3.26 ERA in 86 starts. He was the winning pitcher in the 2013 NL wild-card game — the Pirates' first postseason appearance since 1992 — when he limited Cincinnati to one run in seven innings."To be honest, that's one of the best games I remember," Liriano said before pitchers and catchers worked out Friday. "I have a lot of good memories in Pittsburgh. Hopefully, it will continue this year, too. Hopefully, we can make the playoffs. You never know. You've got to go out there and play a... [More]
Fri Feb 1512:11Athletics sign outfielder Robbie GrossmanDaniel GossettSPAthleticsFree Agent
Robbie GrossmanDH/LF/PH/RFTwinsFree Agent
Cliff Pennington2B/3B/SSRedsFree Agent
MESA, Ariz. (AP) — The Oakland Athletics signed outfielder Robbie Grossman to a one-year, $2 million contract Friday.To make room for Grossman on the 40-man roster, right-hander Daniel Gossett was placed on the 60-day injured list.Grossman spent the last three seasons with the Twins. He batted .273 with five home runs and 48 RBIs last season.The Athletics also signed infielder Cliff Pennington to a minor league deal with an invitation to spring training.Pennington returns to the A's, where he began his big league career in 2008. He has compiled a .242 batting average in 11 seasons with the A's, Diamondbacks, Angels, Reds and Blue Jays.Gossett appeared in five games for the A's last year before undergoing Tommy John reconstruction surgery Aug. 1. He went 0-3 with a 5.18 ERA.___More AP MLB: https://apnews.com/MLB and https://twitter.com/AP_Sports
Fri Feb 1508:31Twins reach 5-year deals with Kepler, PolancoNelson CruzDHTwinsTeam Sapinski
Martín PérezRP/SPRangersFree Agent
MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — The Minnesota Twins have locked up a pair of young position players for the long term by agreeing to five-year contracts with right fielder Max Kepler and shortstop Jorge Polanco.The contracts were announced Friday, a day after they were reached as pitchers and catchers went through their first workout in Fort Myers, Florida.Kepler's contract is worth $35 million and includes an option that could increase its value to at least $44 million over six years. Polanco's deal is valued at $25.75 million, has two options that could make it worth at least $47.25 million for seven seasons.Kepler, who turned 26 on Sunday, had agreed last month to a $3,125,000 salary for 2019 in his first year of arbitration eligibility. Entering his fourth full season as a regular in the lineup, Kepler won the team's defensive player of the year award in 2018. He never found a rhythm at the plate, batting a career-low .224, but he set his major league career high with 20 home runs.Raised in B... [More]
Thu Feb 1418:31Rays open spring, praising success of their openersJalen BeeksRP/SPRaysTeam Lorin
Ryne StanekRP/SPRaysFree Agent
PORT CHARLOTTE, Fla. (AP) — The Tampa Bay Rays offer a simple response to critics of the team's creative use of openers to fill out their pitching rotation.It works.And, they plan to do it again this season, when they expect to contend for a playoff berth after winning more games in 2018 than any major league club that didn't make the postseason."At the end of the day, our motives are to win games and put our players in the best position that we believe possible to help us accomplish that. ... That will continue to be our guide," senior vice president of baseball operations and general manager Erik Neander said."We're going to do what we feel is best for our organization and our players," Neander added. "If that leads to winning games, that makes everybody happy."The Rays are coming off a turnaround season in which they won 90 games, in part because of the successful use of relievers to open games on days manager Kevin Cash elected to not begin with a traditional starter.An opener ge... [More]
Thu Feb 1418:01AP sources: Twins reach 5-year deals with Kepler, PolancoNelson CruzDHTwinsTeam Sapinski
Martín PérezRP/SPRangersFree Agent
MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — The Minnesota Twins have locked up a pair of young position players for the long term by agreeing to five-year contracts with right fielder Max Kepler and shortstop Jorge Polanco, according to two people with direct knowledge of the deals.The people spoke to The Associated Press on condition of anonymity because the team had yet to announce the contracts, which were reached on Thursday as pitchers and catchers went through their first workout in Fort Myers, Florida. The Twins scheduled a news conference for Friday.Kepler's contract is worth $35 million and includes a $10 million club option for 2024 with a $1 million buyout. Polanco's deal, which is valued at $25.75 million, has a 2024 option that could become guaranteed as well as a 2025 club option.Kepler, who turned 26 on Sunday, had agreed last month to a $3,125,000 salary for 2019 in his first year of arbitration eligibility. Entering his fourth full season as a regular in the lineup, Kepler won the team's def... [More]
Thu Feb 1417:31Injured All-Star SS Lindor arrives at Indians spring complexYu ChangSSIndiansFree Agent
Francisco LindorSSIndiansBallbusters
Max Moroff2B/SSIndiansFree Agent
GOODYEAR, Ariz. (AP) — Injured shortstop Francisco Lindor arrived at the Cleveland Indians spring training complex Thursday, exactly six weeks before their season opener.The three-time All-Star strained his right calf while working out recently in Florida. The team said last week the injury would keep one of baseball's best all-around players out seven to nine weeks. He won't be on the field for the start of camp.Manager Terry Francona said that he's "betting on the under" of that timetable because the 25-year-old shortstop is in good shape and works hard.Francona said there are no plans to slide third baseman Carlos Santana to shortstop, even though he has played 109 games at that position. Among the options are Yu Chang, Mike Freeman and Max Moroff.Lindor avoided salary arbitration last month by agreeing to a $10.55 million contract for 2019.___More AP MLB: https://apnews.com/tag/MLB and https://twitter.com/AP_Sports
Thu Feb 1416:11Angels right-hander Harvey to be sidelined at least a weekMatt HarveySPAngelsFree Agent
TEMPE, Ariz. (AP) — Los Angeles Angels right-hander Matt Harvey will be sidelined for at least a week as a precaution because of a glute strain he felt during agility drills. He said he expects to be ready by opening day."It's nothing to be alarmed about," Harvey said Thursday. "It's unfortunate it's this early and with a new team and I have to miss a little time. I'll pick up right where I left off."Harvey signed a one-year, $11 million deal with the Angels in December and is looking to bounce back after last season. He went 7-9 with a 4.94 ERA in 32 games (28 starts) with the Mets and Reds last year.Angels manager Brad Ausmus said he expected the 29-year-old Harvey to miss a minimum of a week and a half."You can recover from a week and a half," Ausmus said. "It depends on how he feels when we reevaluate him and how he feels and how quickly he can get back on the mound and what he's done in the interim. He can recover from that."Harvey said he felt some tightness in his left hip dur... [More]
Thu Feb 1413:31Angels right-hander Harvey will be sidelined about 10 daysMatt HarveySPAngelsFree Agent
TEMPE, Ariz. (AP) — Los Angeles Angels right-hander Matt Harvey will be sidelined about 10 days because of a glute strain he felt during agility drills.Harvey signed a one-year, $11 million deal with the Angels in December, looking to bounce back after last season. He went 7-9 with a 4.94 ERA in 32 games (28 starts) with the Mets and Reds last year.Angels manager Brad Ausmus said Thursday that Harvey would miss a minimum of a week and a half."You can recover from a week and a half," Ausmus said. "It depends on how he feels when we reevaluate him and how he feels and how quickly he can get back on the mound and what he's done in the interim. He can recover from that."___More AP MLB: https://apnews.com/MLB and https://twitter.com/AP_Sports
Wed Feb 1322:21Ohtani has no regrets hitting through year, delaying surgeryJustin Bour1B/PHAngelsFree Agent
Daniel HudsonRP/SPDodgersFree Agent
Shohei OhtaniDH/PH/SPAngelsTeam Joker
Albert Pujols1B/DHAngelsFree Agent
TEMPE, Ariz. (AP) — Shohei Ohtani tossed his water bottle toward a clubhouse garbage can and missed, instead landing it in a laundry bin. He laughed out loud, smiled big as he so often does, then retrieved the trash and put it in the proper place.That's about as close to throwing as the Japanese two-way star is right now.Ohtani wouldn't change how he handled his elbow injury late last year, continuing to hit for the Angels until season's end even if it meant delaying reconstructive surgery and his ability to pitch again until 2020."I have no regrets about what happened last year. That's what the team thought about me, the plan," Ohtani said through interpreter Ippei Mizuhara. "In the end it didn't work out but I still have no regrets."The reigning AL Rookie of the Year is recovering from an Oct. 1 Tommy John surgery with the hope he will be able to bat in the Los Angeles lineup as early as May if all stays on schedule."There's a lot of variables. That's the goal I'm shooting for but ... [More]
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