Matt Williams
Angels' Matt Williams: Selected in Triple-A Rule 5 Draft
Matt Williams, SS, STL
3:20 PM
News: Williams was selected by the Angels in the Triple-A portion of the Rule 5 draft Thursday.

The 27-year-old shortstop slashed .263/.355/.346 for Triple-A Memphis in the Cardinals' organization last season. In his 395 plate appearances over 113 games, he didn't do anything too substantial, hitting just one home run, stealing 11 bases in 18 attempts and knocking in 35 RBI to go along with his mediocre slash line. He will serve as organizational depth for the Angels next season.

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Jorge Polanco
Twins' Jorge Polanco: Leading starting shortstop candidate
Jorge Polanco, SS, MIN
9:00 AM
News: Polanco is the leading candidate for Minnesota's starting shortstop job as spring training approaches, manager Paul Molitor told Rhett Bollinger of MLB.com.

Polanco was impressive at the plate last season when given a trial as the team's everyday shortstop as he hit .288 with a .751 OPS over his last 56 games. However, there were questions about his defense which could ultimately move him to second base. Still, this shows Polanco is ahead of Eduardo Escobar at shortstop, although the Twins could still shake up their roster this winter.

Analysis: 

Christian Arroyo
Giants' Christian Arroyo: Will likely start at Triple-A as a third baseman
Christian Arroyo, SS, SF
12/6/2016
News: Arroyo will likely start the season at Triple-A Sacramento if he is unable to win a starting job out of spring training. It is reported that he will exclusively play third base in 2017, according to Alex Pavlovic of CSN Bay Area.

Arroyo split time evenly at short and the hot corner last season, but with the Giants having an everyday shortstop in Brandon Crawford, they will switch their top prospect to third base to create an easier path to the majors. While unlikely, there is a chance the 21-year-old can earn a spot on the 25-man roster if he performs well during spring training. Arroyo slashed .274/.316/.373 in 517 plate appearances with Double-A Richmond last season.

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Jonathan Villar
Brewers' Jonathan Villar: Slated to start at second base
Jonathan Villar, SS, MIL
12/6/2016
News: Villar will be the starter at second base in 2017 following the acquisition of Travis Shaw, Tom Haudricourt of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reports.

With Shaw claiming the hot corner from Villar, at least against righties, the 26-year-old will take over for Scooter Gennett as the starting second baseman for Milwaukee in 2017. Villar made starts at shortstop, second, and third base last season, and his versatility will likely lead to him seeing occasional starts at third and shortstop this season.

Analysis: 

Ehire Adrianza
Giants' Ehire Adrianza: Avoids arbitration with one-year deal
Ehire Adrianza, SS, SF
12/6/2016
News: Adrianza signed a one-year contract to avoid arbitration with the Giants on Friday, MLB Network's Jon Heyman reports.

Adrianza slashed .254/.292/.378 in 71 plate appearances over 40 games for the Giants last season. The 27-year-old shortstop will likely just be a bench or minor league option in 2017, with Brandon Crawford cemented as San Francisco's starter.

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Mauricio Dubon
Brewers' Mauricio Dubon: Traded to Brewers
Mauricio Dubon, SS, BOS
12/6/2016
News: Dubon was traded to the Brewers on Tuesday as part of a three-player return package for Tyler Thornburg, the Boston Globe's Pete Abraham reports.

Travis Shaw headlined the return for the Brewers, but Dubon was the second most noteworthy piece. While he would have only profiled as a utility player in Boston, there is a chance he could earn more playing time when he reaches the big leagues on the rebuilding Brewers. After performing as a slightly above average hitter in the lower levels of the minors, Dubon exploded after a promotion to Double-A last year, slashing .339/.371/.538 with six home runs and six steals in 269 plate appearances. His slight 6-foot, 160-pound frame won't lend itself to power in the majors, but he has the contact skills to hit for a solid average while stealing double-digit bases over a full season. The 22-year-old shortstop played some outfield in the Arizona Fall League, but will likely return to the middle infield with an assignment to Triple-A Colorado Springs. The most likely outcome is that Dubon serves as a utility infielder for Milwaukee in 2018, but if a spot opens up at second base, he has the potential to be an average regular there.

Analysis: 

Daniel Castro
Rockies' Daniel Castro: Inks minor league deal with Rockies
Daniel Castro, SS, ATL
12/5/2016
News: Castro signed a minor league contract with the Rockies, Matt Eddy of Baseball America reports.

Castro has a surprising amount of major league experience thanks to his ability to play across the infield. However, the .217 batting average he holds in the big leagues along with the studs blocking him at each infield position will likely keep the 24-year-old in a very limited role in the organization moving forward.

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Eduardo Escobar
Twins' Eduardo Escobar: Agrees to deal to avoid arbitration
Eduardo Escobar, SS, MIN
12/2/2016
News: Escobar agreed to a one-year, $2.6 million contract with the Twins on Friday, avoiding arbitration, Jon Heyman of FanRag Sports reports.

He was believed to be a non-tender candidate, but ultimately Escobar and the Twins were able to land on a number that was suitable for both sides. Escobar hit just .236/.280/.338 in his age-27 season, but he was significantly better at the plate in 2015 and can play shortstop, second base and third.

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Jose Peraza
Reds' Jose Peraza: Expected to play regularly in 2017
Jose Peraza, SS, CIN
12/2/2016
News: Peraza is expected to play regularly in 2017, C. Trent Rosecrans of the Cincinnati Enquirer reports.

General manager Dick Williams and manager Bryan Price both said Friday that that they are committed to giving Peraza regular opportunities. Peraza, acquired in the Todd Frazier trade last winter, hit .324 with 21 steals (31 attempts) in 72 games with the Reds in 2016. The question is where he will play next season. He saw time at shortstop, center field, second base and left field and could fill a similar super-utility role to start, but perhaps a trade will open up a more permanent spot for him in the field.

Analysis: 

Josh Rodriguez
Athletics' Josh Rodriguez: Signs minor league deal with A's
Josh Rodriguez, SS, OAK
12/1/2016
News: Rodriguez signed a minor league contract with the A's that includes an invite to spring training, CSN Bay Area reports.

The soon-to-be 32-year-old attended big-league camp with the A's last spring but opened the year at Double-A. Rodriguez eventually returned to the Triple-A level and posted a 24:25 BB:K with the top affiliate, and he also has a bit of power, but he will be a long shot to break camp with Oakland. He's bounced between with five different organizations in his 11 pro seasons and hasn't reached the majors since 2011.

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