Yovani Gallardo: Approaching three-year deal with Orioles
Yovani Gallardo is nearing a three-year contract worth $40-45 million with the Orioles, Buster Olney of ESPN reports.
The deal isn't official yet, as hangups include the possibility of an opt-out clause being inserted after the first or second year of the deal. But sources are calling a deal "highly likely" at this point. As Gallardo was tendered a qualifying offer by Texas, the Orioles will surrender their first-round pick to sign him.
Angels' Javy Guerra: Signs minor league deal with Angels
Javy Guerra signed a minor league with the Los Angeles Angels on Wednesday, Mike DiGiovanna of the Los Angeles Times reports.
Guerra hardly played in 2015, as he was issued a 50-game suspension for a positive performance enhancing drug test. In 2014, he threw 46.1 innings of relief with the White Sox with a 2.91 ERA and 7.4 K/9, and the Angels decided that recent success was worthy of an invitation to spring training.
Braves' Carlos Torres: Signs with Braves
The Atlanta Braves signed Carlos Torres to a minor league contract Wednesday, Adam Rubin of ESPN New York reports.
After the Mets inked him to a one-year deal on Jan. 15, the organization changed course with the signing of Antonio Bastardo just a few days later, waiving Torres in order to open up a spot on the 40-man roster. It's unclear if Torres has received an invite to spring training with the big club, but his career strikeout rate of 7.9 K/9 could serve him well in the competition for a roster spot with the Braves.
Blue Jays' Drew Storen: Will decide on closer in Spring Training
Drew Storen will compete for the closer job, but general manager Ross Atkins said the team doesn't expect to choose a closer until midway through Spring Training if not later, Ben Nicholson-Smith of Sportsnet reports.
After bringing in Storen over the offseason, he will compete with Roberto Osuna for the closer job. After Osuna saved 20 games for the Toronto Blue Jays last season, they still sought to improve their pen by bringing in Storen, who saved 29 games last season and saved 43 in 2011. This good be a lengthy battle between the two as both have the stuff and experience to close for the Jays, who should be considered the front-runners for the AL East.
Giants' Brandon Belt: Agrees to one-year contract with Giants, avoiding arbitration
The deal goes just a bit in favor of the Giants, as it falls a bit short of the $6.4 million midpoint. The 27-year-old bounced back nicely last season with a .280 batting average, an .834 OPS, and 18 home runs. Now that his contract situation is out of the way, Belt can return to being a solid fantasy option at first base, assuming he can replicate his 2015 numbers.
Blue Jays' Roberto Osuna: Jays to determine closer during spring training
Toronto Blue Jays general manager Ross Atkins said that the team doesn't expect to choose a closer between Roberto Osuna and Drew Storen until midway through spring training, if not later, according to Ben Nicholson-Smith of Sportsnet.
The acquisition of Storen in a trade with the Nationals in early January has added a layer of confusion for fantasy owners trying to determine the Jays' plans for the ninth inning to begin 2016. While Storen's experience may ultimately lead him to the job, Osuna proved capable of holding down the job and pitching at a high level upon arrival last season. Both players have the potential to finish as a top-10 closer if they can secure the job all season.
Phillies' Bobby LaFromboise: Designated for assignment Wednesday
Bobby LaFromboise was designated for assignment Wednesday, Todd Zolecki of MLB.com reports.
The left-hander was claimed off waivers from the Angels on January 29, but he'll already be sent off the 40-man roster in order to make room for the recently-acquired Taylor Featherston. He pitched well with the Pirates last season, posting a 1.13 ERA in 11 appearances. Unfortunately for the 29-year-old, it seems he'll either have to spend another season primarily in the minors or wait to be claimed off waivers by a team who needs another southpaw in the bullpen.
Orioles' Dale Thayer: Signs minor league contract with Orioles on Wednesday
Dale Thayer signed a minor league contract with the Baltimore Orioles on Wednesday that includes an invitation to spring training.
Thayer spent the past four seasons in the Padres bullpen, but was designated for assignment in August after posting a disappointing 4.06 ERA and 3.6 BB/9 in 37.2 innings. He'll compete for a spot in the bullpen, although he'll have to pitch better than he did in 2015 if he wants to make the 25-man roster.
Phillies' Taylor Featherston: Traded to Phillies
Taylor Featherston was traded to the Philadelphia Phillies for a player to be named later or cash considerations on Wednesday.
In his first MLB season, Featherston hit for a .162/.212/.247 slash line in 101 games last season. After his rapid ascent through the Angels' minor league season, the 25-year-old seemed to hit a ceiling in the majors last year and it will be interesting to see how his role changes with the Phillies.
Rangers' Mitch Moreland: Settles arbitration, agrees to one-year deal
Mitch Moreland agreed to a one-year, $5.7 million contract with the Texas Rangers on Wednesday, avoiding arbitration, Jon Heyman of MLB Network reports.
Moreland's 2015 campaign was his best as a full-time major league player, earning him a nice payday in his last year of arbitration before the 30-year-old is eligible to hit the open market. While he's not one of the top-tier first baseman, Moreland provides enough power (23 home runs last season), and bats in the middle of an order good enough to make him a nice fantasy option for those deciding to wait.