Chris Heston
Mariners' Chris Heston: Traded to Mariners
Chris Heston, RP, SF
12/7/2016
News: Heston (oblique) was traded to the Mariners on Wednesday for a player to be named later, FOX Sports' Jon Morosi reports.

Considering the Giants may have left Heston off the 40-man roster to accommodate Mark Melancon, it is not surprising that it only required a PTBNL for the Mariners to net the 28-year-old righty. Heston may be behind Nate Karns and Ariel Miranda in the pecking order for the fourth and fifth starter spots in Seattle, but he has a better chance of eventually joining that rotation than if he had remained in the Giants' system. He has a career 4.04 FIP, 1.37 WHIP and 148 strikeouts in 188 big league innings, mostly working as a starter. An oblique injury ended his 2016 season, but he should be recovered by the time spring training rolls around.

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Tommy Joseph
Phillies' Tommy Joseph: Everyday role in 2017?
Tommy Joseph, 1B, PHI
12/7/2016
News: GM Matt Klentak said as of right now the Phillies plan to enter next season with Joseph (wrist) as their regular first baseman, Matt Breen of the Philadelphia Inquirer reports.

Joseph, who suffered a minor wrist injury in winter ball, split time at first base with Ryan Howard last season, but Howard is now a free agent and the Phillies don't have any other first baseman on their roster. Signing a veteran first baseman to a one-year deal isn't out of the question, and if that happens Joseph could end up in a platoon. It seems more likely that the Phillies will give him a chance to prove himself as they figure out which pieces fit into their long term plans this season. Joseph also has to worry about Rhys Hoskins, who is coming off a 38 homer season at Double-A, and will be waiting in the wings at Triple-A next year.

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Wilson Ramos
Rays' Wilson Ramos: Agrees to deal with Rays
Wilson Ramos, C, WAS
12/6/2016
News: Ramos (knee) agreed to a two-year deal with the Rays on Tuesday, Joel Sherman of the New York Post reports.

Ramos, who tore his ACL and meniscus in October, still has to pass a physical, but the 29-year-old looks set to join the Rays after putting together a career-best season in 2016. Over 133 games, Ramos posted a .307 batting average to go with a stellar .850 OPS, 80 RBI, and 22 home runs. However, because he's rehabbing his knee ailments, Ramos may be unavailable to play until June, Bob Nightengale of the USA Today reports.

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Mallex Smith
Braves' Mallex Smith: May start season in Triple-A
Mallex Smith, CF, ATL
12/6/2016
News: Smith is expected to begin the 2017 season with Triple-A Gwinnett, David O'Brien of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution reports.

With Matt Kemp, Ender Inciarte and Nick Markakis slotted in as the team's starting outfielders, the Braves plan to have Smith begin the season in Triple-A. The young speedster hit just .238 in 215 plate appearances last year and could use the increased playing time in order to further his development.

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Eric O'Flaherty
Braves' Eric O'Flaherty: Inks minor league contract with Braves
Eric O'Flaherty, RP, ATL
12/6/2016
News: O'Flaherty signed a minor league contract with the Braves on Tuesday, David O'Brien of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution reports.

O'Flaherty posted a 6.91 ERA (4.33 FIP) over 28.2 innings of relief with the Braves in 2016 before he was ultimately shut down with elbow neuritis. He underwent surgery in early September and is expected to start throwing next week. At 31 years old and coming off of an injury-plagued season, it seems unlikely that the lefty reliever will provide much of a big league impact in 2017.

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Chris Herrmann
Diamondbacks' Chris Herrmann: Larger role on tap?
Chris Herrmann, C, ARI
12/5/2016
News: Herrmann, whose 2016 season ended prematurely with a broken hand, may be in line for a significant increase in playing time following the D-backs' decision to non-tender Welington Castillo last week.

With veteran defensive stalwart Jeff Mathis inked to a two-year deal, the D-backs may lean on Herrmann in the larger portion of a platoon to begin the season, after the 29-year-old hit .284/.352/.493 with six homers in limited playing time a year ago. Former Rule 5 selection Oscar Hernandez is also on the 40-man roster, but he carried a mere .609 OPS at Double-A last season in his age-22 campaign. Unless another veteran is added to the fold before Opening Day, Herrmann figures to get an opportunity to eclipse 200 plate appearances in a big league season for the first time in his career in 2017.

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David Wright
Mets' David Wright: Plans to resume baseball activities later this month
David Wright, 3B, NYM
12/5/2016
News: Wright (neck) is expected to begin baseball activities by the end of December, Matt Ehalt of The Record reports.

Wright missed the bulk of the past two seasons due to injury woes, but it appears that the veteran is on track to get back on the diamond relatively soon even after undergoing a cervical discectomy and fusion surgery in June. No specific timetable exists for his return, but general manager Sandy Alderson was adamant that Wright will be their starting third baseman, so it seems like the Mets are confident that he should be recovered and ready to go in the not-too-distant future.

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Jacob Lindgren
Braves' Jacob Lindgren: Agrees to deal with Braves
Jacob Lindgren, RP, ATL
12/4/2016
News: Lindgren signed a one-year deal with the Braves on Sunday.

Because he underwent Tommy John surgery in August, Lindgren may not be ready for action once the 2017 season rolls around. Before getting injured in 2016, Lindgren threw seven innings over six games at High-A Tampa and recorded an 8:9 K:BB in that time.

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Paco Rodriguez
Braves' Paco Rodriguez: Avoids arbitration with one-year deal
Paco Rodriguez, RP, ATL
12/2/2016
News: Rodriguez avoided arbitration with the Braves by agreeing to a one-year deal on Friday.

Rodriguez missed the entire 2016 season due to Tommy John surgery in September 2015. He should certainly factor into Atlanta's left-handed depth in the bullpen in 2017, but how big of a factor depends on when he can return to the mound and if he's able to show the same lefty-killing stuff he showed before the surgery with the Dodgers.

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Chris Hatcher
Dodgers' Chris Hatcher: Avoids arbitration with Dodgers with one-year deal
Chris Hatcher, RP, LAD
12/1/2016
News: Hatcher signed a one-year deal with the Dodgers on Thursday to avoid arbitration.

Hatcher might have been in danger of a non-tender from the Dodgers, but he'll return to Los Angeles in 2017 trying to show his immense struggles last season were an aberration. He finished 2016 with a 5.53 ERA in 40.2 innings, striking out 43 and allowing eight homers.

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