Reds' Shawn Zarraga: Heads to Reds on NRI deal
by RotoWire Staff | Special to CBSSports.com
(5:00 pm ET) Zarraga signed a minor league contract with the Reds on Friday that includes an invitation to spring training, C. Trent Rosecrans of the Cincinnati Enquirer reports.

Zarraga spent the last two years in the Dodgers organization, most recently posting a measly .434 OPS with Triple-A Oklahoma City. Due to this and the general logjam at catcher in the Reds organization, the 27-year-old will likely just be an organizational depth piece from here on out.


Reds' Stuart Turner: Selected by Reds in Rule 5 draft
by RotoWire Staff | Special to CBSSports.com
(12/8/2016) Turner was selected by the Reds with the 17th pick in the Rule 5 draft Thursday.

Turner will essentially provide the Reds with a warm body capable of setting up behind the dish in case Devin Mesoraco were to suffer an injury during spring training. He has not played above Double-A and offers limited upside. Look for him to be subjected to waivers and offered back to the Twins at the end of spring training.


Marlins' A.J. Ellis: Agrees to one-year deal with Marlins
by RotoWire Staff | Special to CBSSports.com
(12/7/2016) Ellis agreed to a one-year, $2.5 million deal with the Marlins on Wednesday, ESPN's Buster Olney reports.

Known for being great with pitchers, Ellis is the epitome of a player who is better in reality than fantasy. Last year Ellis hit .216, and he has a career .239/.340/.351 slash line with 37 home runs in 555 games. He will serve as J.T. Realmuto's backup, and should catch once or twice each week.


Phillies' Andrew Knapp: Backup role in 2017?
by RotoWire Staff | Special to CBSSports.com
(12/7/2016) GM Matt Klentak said he is fine entering next season with Knapp as a backup to Cameron Rupp, Matt Gelb of the Philadelphia Inquirer reports.

Knapp, 25, disappointed after his breakout at Double-A in 2015, hitting just .266 with a .719 OPS last season for Triple-A Lehigh Valley. The Phillies have a superior catching prospect in Jorge Alfaro, but it does not make any sense to have him in the majors in a backup role when he could use additional development time at Triple-A. Knapp might be able to carve out a couple starts a week as a reserve, and he could also be used occasionally at first base if the Phillies want to get him some extra at-bats. There is also still a chance the Phillies will decide to bring in a veteran catcher to backup Rupp in 2017.


Rays' Wilson Ramos: Agrees to deal with Rays
by RotoWire Staff | Special to CBSSports.com
(12/6/2016) 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.


Diamondbacks' Jeff Mathis: Expected to receive roughly 60 starts
by RotoWire Staff | Special to CBSSports.com
(12/6/2016) Manager Terry Lovullo said that he expects Mathis to catch about 60 games in 2017, Steve Gilbert of MLB.com reports.

Mathis was signed to a two-year contract earlier in December, and although Chris Herrmann is expected to be the primary catcher, it seems like Mathis will still have a decently large role with his new club. However, it's likely more for his game-calling abilities rather than his bat, as his career batting average currently sits below the Mendoza Line.


Diamondbacks' Chris Herrmann: Larger role on tap?
by RotoWire Staff | Special to CBSSports.com
(12/5/2016) 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.


Ramon Cabrera: Non-tendered by Reds
by RotoWire Staff | Special to CBSSports.com
(12/2/2016) The Reds declined to tender Cabrera a contract for 2017, making him a free agent, Mark Sheldon of MLB.com reports.

Cincinnati had already effectively cut bait, designating Cabrera for assignment Monday. Cabrera appeared in 61 games for the Reds in 2016, serving as the primary backup to Tucker Barnhart after Devin Mesoraco went down. He hit .246/.279/.357 over 185 plate appearances.


Diamondbacks' Jeff Mathis: Agrees to deal with Diamondbacks
by RotoWire Staff | Special to CBSSports.com
(12/2/2016) Mathis agreed to a two-year, $4 million contract with the Diamondbacks on Friday, Jon Heyman of FanRag Sports reports.

After declining to tender Welington Castillo a contract, the Diamondbacks immediately brought in a replacement in the 33-year-old Mathis, although it's hard to imagine Mathis would inherit the primary role. That should go to Chris Herrmann, if healthy. Mathis has hit just .197/.254/.308 in parts of 12 major league seasons.


Welington Castillo: Non-tendered by Diamondbacks
by RotoWire Staff | Special to CBSSports.com
(12/2/2016) The Diamondbacks declined to tender Castillo a contract Friday, making him a free agent, Steve Gilbert of MLB.com reports.

With Castillo non-tendered, that leaves Oscar Hernandez and Chris Herrmann as the only catchers on the Diamondbacks' 40-man roster. Castillo might have received close to $6 million through the arbitration process following a 2016 season in which he hit .264/.322/.423. He packs good power for a catcher and is a plus player behind the plate, so he should land comfortably with another organization.


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