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Braves in 'serious talks' with mystery team regarding Justin Upton


by Igor Mello | CBSSports.com
(9:15 am ET) The Braves have engaged in "serious talks" with an unknown team regarding a Justin Upton trade, CBSSports.com Baseball Insider Jon Heyman reports Friday. Jeff Passan of Yahoo! Sports first reported that Atlanta is closing in on a deal.

According to Mark Bowman of MLB.com the Braves have had recent talks with the Athletics, Rangers and Mariners this offseason. However, the Rangers are not believed to be in the mix for Upton, the Dallas Morning News reports. Upton is coming off a season in which he hit .270/.342/.491 over 566 at-bats. He slashed 267/.348/.478 through his first two seasons with the Braves. The 27-year-old entering the final year of his contract and is expected to make $14.5 million in 2015 before becoming a free agent.


Report: Padres continue to talk to Braves about Justin Upton


by Chris Cwik | CBSSports.com
(12:15 am ET) The Padres continue to talk to the Braves about outfielder Justin Upton, according to Bleacher Report's Scott Miller.

Despite the fact that the Padres acquired both Matt Kemp and Wil Myers on Thursday, the team may not be done yet. It's unclear where Upton would fit into the team's plans, but he would be a clear upgrade over whoever the club is planning to start in center field. If the team were to acquire Upton, one of that trio would be pushed into action in center. While Kemp has experience at the position, he's not considered a strong defender. 

The 27-year-old Upton is coming off a season in which he hit .270/.342/.491 over 566 at-bats.


Padres, Rays and Nationals complete Wil Myers trade


by Chris Cwik | CBSSports.com
(12/18/2014) The Padres, Rays and Nationals have completed a trade that will send Wil Myers to San Diego, according to CBSSports.com Baseball Insider Jon Heyman.

The deal had been in the works for a few days, but was finally agreed to late Thursday night. Myers, 24, will head to the Padres in the deal. He hit .222/.294/.320 over 325 at-bats with the Rays last season. Myers also missed time due to a wrist injury. 

The Padres will also receive catcher Ryan Hanigan and pitchers Gerardo Reyes and Jose Castillo in the deal. 

Tampa Bay will receive outfielder Steven Souza and pitcher Travis Ott from the Nationals. Souza, 25, hit .345/.427/.577 in 357 at-bats spread over three levels last year. 

The Rays will also receive catcher Rene Rivera, first baseman Jake Bauers and pitcher Burch Smith from San Diego.

Washington is set to acquire pitcher Joe Ross from San Diego. The team will also receive infielder Trea Turner in the deal. Turner was a 2014 draft pick, and cannot be traded until midseason, so he's currently considered a player to be named later.


Dodgers complete Matt Kemp deal with Padres


by Chris Cwik | CBSSports.com
(12/18/2014) The Dodgers and Padres have agreed to a deal that will send outfielder Matt Kemp to San Diego, confirms CBSSports.com Baseball Insider Jon Heyman. News that the deal had finally come together was first reported by Yahoo!

The trade has been in the works for some time, but was dependent on Kemp passing a physical. It was reported early Thursday that Kemp's physical revealed arthritic hips. The Padres had to to figure out insurance on the contract, which is why it took so long for the deal to go through.

Catcher Tim Federowicz will also head to San Diego in the deal. The Dodgers will send $32 million over as well. 

In return, Los Angeles is set to receive catcher Yasmani Grandal and pitcher Joe Weiland and Zach Eflin. Eflin is expected to be flipped to Philadelphia for shortstop Jimmy Rollins.

The 30-year-old Kemp hit .287/.346/.506 over 541 at-bats last year. Kemp is set to earn a little over $21 million in each of the next five seasons. 


Dodgers acquire Matt Long from Angels, then deal him to Brewers


by Michael Hurcomb | CBSSports.com
(12/18/2014) The Dodgers announced Thursday they acquired minor-league infielder/outfielder Matt Long from the Angels to complete the Dec. 9 trade for catcher Drew Butera.

However, Long wasn't with Los Angeles for long, as they traded him and pitcher Jarret Martin to the Brewers for minor-league catcher Shawn Zarraga.


Issue with Matt Kemp's physical not expected to derail trade


by Michael Hurcomb | CBSSports.com
(12/18/2014) While several sources said there is an issue with Dodgers outfielder Matt Kemp's physical, which is holding up a trade with the Padres, it isn't believed the issue will derail the deal, according to CBSSports.com Baseball Insider Jon Heyman. 

There is no evidence the Padres are trying to rework the trade. For now, it is believed the Padres people are studying the findings from Kemp's physical, with the likelihood that they'll go to insurers to see whether the issue or issues discovered can be reasonably insured.

USA Today reported Thursday Kemp's physical revealed severe arthritis in both hips.


Report: Padres-Dodgers trade delayed following Kemp's physical


by Michael Hurcomb | CBSSports.com
(12/18/2014) The Padres are mulling whether or not to finalize the trade for Dodgers outfielder Matt Kemp after his physical revealed severe arthritis in both hips, a person familiar with the diagnosis told USA Today. The source spoke to USA Today on the condition of anonymity.

The Padres and Dodgers agreed to a trade last week that would send Kemp, catcher Tim Federowicz and $32 million to San Diego for catcher Yasmani Grandal and pitching prospects Joe Wieland and Zach Eflin.

However, after Kemp's physical Tuesday, Padres' physicians are now discussing whether the arthritis would impact his career.

If the Padres choose to void the trade, then it would impact the Dodgers' trade with the Phillies for shortstop Jimmy Rollins since the deal included Eflin.

While the USA Today report has surfaced, Kemp's agent -- Junior Spivey -- told FOX Sports reporter Ken Rosenthal, "Everything is OK. We're just waiting on the final details. Should be good to go." Although, Spivey added he has not heard from the Padres since Kemp took his physical Tuesday.


Hart: Braves expecting Markakis to be 'full go' in spring training


by Michael Hurcomb | CBSSports.com
(12/18/2014) Braves outfielder Nick Markakis underwent fusion surgery to repair a herniated disk in his neck Wednesday, per MLB.com. The team expects Markakis to resume baseball activities before the start of spring training. 

"We talked to (Dr.) Steve Wray after the surgery and he said it really went well," Braves president of baseball operations John Hart said. "He said [the procedure] really went well, and he thinks that this guy will be ready to go full go in spring training. The only thing is that there will be a little bit of a disruption for his normal routine getting ready for spring training."

Markakis is expected to be cleared for physical activities within the next month, and the hope is he will be fully cleared within six weeks. Markakis agreed to a four-year, $44 million deal with the Braves in early December.


Report: Padres' Seth Smith popping up in trade talks


by Chris Cwik | CBSSports.com
(12/17/2014) Padres outfielder Seth Smith has come up in trade talks recently, according to ESPN.

If the Matt Kemp and Wil Myers trades go through, the team would have a surplus in the outfield. On top of those two players, San Diego would also have Carlos Quentin, Will Venable, Cameron Maybin and Smith. The 32-year-old Smith hit .266/.367/.440 over 443 at-bats last year. 


Padres, Rays and Nationals on the verge of three-team deal


by Brandon Wise | CBSSports.com
(12/17/2014) The Nationals, Padres and Rays are on the verge of a three-team deal, which would send outfielder Wil Myers to San Diego, according to CBSSports.com Baseball Insider Jon Heyman. 

Heyman has confirmed the multiple media reports outlining the full details of the trade. The Padres are set to receive Myers, catcher Ryan Hanigan, pitcher Gerardo Reyes and pitcher Jose Castillo from the Rays.

The Rays are getting two players from the Nationals -- outfielder Steven Souza and pitcher Travis Ott -- and three players from the Padres -- catcher Rene Rivera, first baseman Jake Bauers and pitcher Burch Smith.

The Nationals are getting pitcher Joe Ross from the Padres, as well as a player to be named later, which will be shortstop prospect Trea Turner. Because Turner was a 2014 draft pick, he can't be traded until June.


Padres, Rays discussing potential Wil Myers trade


by Igor Mello | CBSSports.com
(12/16/2014) The Padres and the Rays are discussing a trade that would involve 24-year-old outfielder Wil Myers, CBSSports.com Baseball Insider Jon Heyman reports. The deal would also send starting pitcher Burch Smith to Tampa Bay.

Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports first reported the discussions between both sides.

The 2013 Rookie of the Year winner has not played more than 90 games in each of his first two seasons in the majors. Last season, he hit .222/.294/.320 with six home runs and 35 RBI over 361 at-bats. He has a career batting average of .258 through his first 175 games.


Dodgers send outfielder Noel Cuevas to Colorado for Juan Nicasio


by Brandon Wise | CBSSports.com
(12/16/2014) The Dodgers have sent minor-league outfielder Noel Cuevas to the Rockies in exchange for Juan Nicasio. The deal was originally completed Nov. 24 with a player to be named later. 

Cuevas hit .231 with seven home runs and 44 RBI with Double-A Chattanooga in 2014. 


Florida businessman pleads guilty in smuggling case for Yasiel Puig


by Brandon Wise | CBSSports.com
(12/16/2014) Gilberto Suarez, a South Florida businessman who is accused of helping finance the smuggling of Dodgers outfielder Yasiel Puig, has changed his plea from not guilty to guilty, according to the Associated Press.

U.S. District Judge Robert Scola set a Tuesday plea change hearing for Suarez. If charged, it carries a 10-year maximum prison sentence for Suarez. 

He is alleged to be one of the financers who helped smuggle Puig from Cuba to Mexico in 2012 and was suppose to receive a cut of the seven-year, $42 million contract Puig signed. 

Puig hit .296 with 16 homeruns and 69 RBI in 2014. 


Schuerholz: Braves have discussed Justin Upton extension


by Michael Hurcomb | CBSSports.com
(12/16/2014) Braves president John Schuerholz told MLB Network Radio on Tuesday they have had internal discussions about a contract extension for outfielder Justin Upton.

"All things are possible," Schuerholz said. "That is not on the table at the moment, but we have discussed it internally."

Schuerholz added the Braves have also discussed trading Upton, but that is of little surprise since Upton has been mentioned heavily in trade rumors. The 27-year-old Upton will be a free agent after the 2015 season.


Report: Dodgers expected to designate Kyle Jensen


by Chris Cwik | CBSSports.com
(12/15/2014) The Dodgers are expected to designate outfielder Kyle Jensen for assignment, according to Yahoo!

If that happens, Jensen's tenure with the club could be short-lived. Jensen was acquired by the team in November in a trade with the Marlins. He hit .260/.331/.481 over 556 at-bats in Triple-A.


Markakis set for neck surgery Wed.; expects to be ready by opener


by Michael Hurcomb | CBSSports.com
(12/15/2014) Braves outfielder Nick Markakis said he will have a "single-level neck fusion" surgery and also have a bulging disk removed Wednesday in Atlanta, according to The Baltimore Sun. He expects to begin baseball activities in six weeks and be ready for opening day.

"I have no doubt," Markakis said about being ready for the opener.

Markakis agreed to a four-year, $44 million deal with the Braves in early December. He has spent his entire nine-year MLB career with the Orioles, producing a .290/.358/.435/.793 slash line in 1,365 games.


Nationals' McLouth (shoulder) expects to be 100 percent this spring


by Michael Hurcomb | CBSSports.com
(12/15/2014) Nationals outfielder Nate McLouth said he will be 100 percent this spring coming off August shoulder surgery, per The Washington Post. He had surgery to repair a torn labrum.

"It’s been a long process, I think it’s been like three and a half months since I’ve had the surgery, something like that, and like I said it’s definitely been monotonous, but I can definitely feel it getting stronger," McLouth said. "I saw a doctor [Friday] here, and he said it’s looking pretty good."


Nats' Harper nets two-year, $7.5M deal, avoids grievance hearing


by Michael Hurcomb | CBSSports.com
(12/15/2014) The Nationals and outfielder Bryce Harper avoided a grievance hearing regarding his 2015 salary by agreeing to a two-year deal, according to CBSSports.com Baseball Insider Jon Heyman.

The two sides were scheduled to have a grievance hearing Tuesday before coming to terms on a two-year, $7.5 million contract, sources told Heyman. Harper will make $2.5 million in 2015 and $5 million in 2016.

Harper was set to make $1.5 million in 2015 due to the contract he signed as a first-round pick in 2010. Had he been eligible for arbitration, he would have likely made about $2.5 million, according to The Washington Post. Harper and his agent, Scott Boras, believed Harper had the right to opt out of his deal and enter arbitration.


Orioles on Ryan Howard's pre-approved list for trades


by Igor Mello | CBSSports.com
(12/13/2014) The Orioles and the Phillies discussed a package deal that included outfielder Marlon Byrd and first baseman Ryan Howard during the winter meetings, Roch Kubatko of MASN Sports reports Saturday.

According to CBSSports.com Baseball Insider Jon Heyman, the Orioles are one of eight teams on Howard's pre-approved list for trades. An American League team seems like an ideal landing spot for the veteran, who could spend the final two years of his contract as a designated hitter. However, according to Heyman, there's "not a lot there at the moment" between the two clubs.

Howard has two years and a guaranteed $60 million remaining on his contract, with a $23 million option for 2017. He slashed .223/.310/.380 with 23 homers, 95 RBI while also striking out 190 times over 569 at-bats last season


Blue Jays sign Lopez, Fox, Gindl to minor-league deals


by R.J. White | CBSSports.com
(12/12/2014) The Blue Jays signed pitcher Wilton Lopez, first baseman Jake Fox and outfielder Caleb Gindl to minor-league deals with invitations to spring training, Sportsnet.ca reports.

Lopez made four appearances with the Rockies in 2014 while also delivering a 4.57 ERA and 35:6 K:BB ratio in 43 1/3 Triple-A innings. Fox last played in the majors in 2011 and spent 2014 in Double-A, the Mexican League and the independent Atlantic League, posting a combined .309/.387/.592 line with 38 home runs and 118 RBI in 517 at-bats. Gindl made eight appearances with the Brewers in 2014 while hitting .227/.310/.354 with eight home runs and 32 RBI in 362 at-bats with Triple-A Nashville.


Report: Padres still pursuing Braves OF Justin Upton


by Igor Mello | CBSSports.com
(12/12/2014) According to Marc Bowman of MLB.com, the Padres remains one of the clubs still pursuing Braves outfielder Justin Upton. San Diego acquired Matt Kemp over the winter meetings and could be looking to add a right fielder at some point in the offseason.

Upton is coming off a season in which he hit .270/.342/.491 with 29 home runs and 102 RBI over 566 at-bats. The 27-year-old is entering the final year of his contract and is expected to make $14.5 million in 2015 before becoming a free agent.


Brewers release outfielder Jeremy Hermida


by Michael Hurcomb | CBSSports.com
(12/11/2014) The Brewers announced Thursday they released outfielder Jeremy Hermida, who plans to continue his career in Japan. Hermida had been a non-roster invitee to spring training.

Report: Rockies getting interest in Corey Dickerson


by Chris Cwik | CBSSports.com
(12/10/2014) The Rockies have received plenty of trade interest in outfielder Corey Dickerson, according to FoxSports.com.

Colorado doesn't appear too excited to part with Dickerson, and would have to be "overwhelmed" by a deal. The 25-year-old hit .312/.364/.567 over 436 at-bats last season. 


Nationals to swap Jayson Werth, Bryce Harper in the field


by Chris Cwik | CBSSports.com
(12/10/2014) The Nationals will adjust their defensive alignment in 2015, according to The Washington Post

Bryce Harper is expected to take over in right field, while Jayson Werth moves to left. The move should allow the club to get better use of Harper's arm. Harper is also expected to take on a bigger role in the lineup. He will likely hit somewhere between the second and fourth spot in the lineup, according to manager Matt Williams. Last season, Harper was mostly used as the team's sixth hitter. 


Report: Dodgers, Padres trying to recruit third team for Kemp deal


by Michael Hurcomb | CBSSports.com
(12/10/2014) The Dodgers and Padres are still working on a trade involving outfielder Matt Kemp, but they are now trying to involve a third team since the two sides are struggling to work out a deal, sources told FOX Sports reporter Ken Rosenthal.

 
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Fan Poll

Which of these third basemen would you want on your teams for the second half?

Nolan Arenado, Rockies
17%
Manny Machado, Orioles
25%
Todd Frazier, Reds
33%
Martin Prado, Diamondbacks
4%
Kyle Seager, Mariners
17%
Pedro Alvarez, Pirates
4%

Total Votes: 3,689