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Braves Agree on Two Year-Deal with Reliever Jason Grilli

Braves Agree on Two Year-Deal with Reliever Jason Grilli

Brian D. Kersey/Getty Images(ATLANTA) -- In need of some bullpen depth, the Atlanta Braves have decided to see if reliever Jason Grilli can regain his All-Star form as the two sides have agreed on a two-year contract.

Grilli's deal with the Braves will be worth $8 million, and also includes a club option for 2017.

With the recent departure of Jordan Walden, Grilli is expected to serve as the team's setup man behind All-Star closer Craig Kimbrel.

The 38-year-old Grilli has experienced many highs and lows during his career as he's gone back and forth between the Majors and minors at times.

In 2011, he was called up by the Pittsburgh Pirates and became one of the better relievers in the National League. In 2013, Grilli made the All-Star team as he finished the season with 33 saves to go along with a 2.70 ERA.

This year was a different story however. In 22 appearances, Grilli blew four saves and posted a 4.87 ERA. He was ultimately traded to the Los Angeles Angels where he had a 3.48 ERA in 40 appearances.

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Pirates Win Negotiating Rights to Korean Shortstop Jung-Ho Kang

Pirates Win Negotiating Rights to Korean Shortstop Jung-Ho Kang

Brian D. Kersey/Getty Images(PITTSBURGH) -- Already having one of the best offenses in baseball, the Pittsburgh Pirates are taking a shot on an international player as they have won the negotiating rights to Korean shortstop Jung-Ho Kang.

The Pirates now have 30 days to negotiate a contract with the international star, or he'll head back to Korea. If a deal is reached, the Pirates will pay the Nexen Heroes the posting fee of $5,002,015.

"The Pirates are pleased to have secured the opportunity to attempt to add Kang, Jung Ho to our system and look forward to commencing discussions with the player and his representative in an effort to make that happen," Pirates general manager Neal Huntington said in a statement.

The 27-year-old Kang hit .354 with 39 home runs this past season for the Heroes, and was named the MVP of the Korean Baseball Organization.

The Pirates are hoping Kang can provide some infield depth for the club behind second baseman Neil Walker and shortstop Jordy Mercer.

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Twins Reward Starting Pitcher Phil Hughes with Three-Year Extension

Twins Reward Starting Pitcher Phil Hughes with Three-Year Extension

Mike McGinnis/Getty Images(NEW YORK) -- The Minnesota Twins and starting pitcher Phil Hughes enjoyed their first season together so much, the two sides have already decided to extend the relationship as the team has agreed on a three-year extension with Hughes worth $42 million.

Hughes' new deal will give him a $1.2 million annual raise from his previous deal. He originally had two years left on his deal worth $16 million.

The overall value of Hughes' deal is now for five years and will pay him $58 million. It is the largest deal ever the team has ever spent on a pitcher.

The 28-year-old Hughes spent the first seven seasons of his career with the New York Yankees where he was a highly touted pitching prospect. He never quite lived up to expectations, and was let go by the team following the 2013 season.

In his first season with the Twins in 2014, Hughes went 16-10 with 3.52 ERA in 32 starts. He also had an impressive K/BB ratio of 182/16 in 202.2 innings.

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Marlins Trade Third Baseman Casey McGehee to the Giants

Marlins Trade Third Baseman Casey McGehee to the GiantsMike McGinnis/Getty Images(SAN FRANCISCO) -- The San Francisco Giants have found their replacement for former third baseman Pablo Sandoval as the team has acquired Casey McGehee from the Miami Marlins. In exahcange for McGehee, the Giants are sending t...

Dodgers Designate Reliever Brian Wilson for Assignment

Dodgers Designate Reliever Brian Wilson for Assignment

Brian D. Kersey/Getty Images(LOS ANGELES) -- Reliever Brian Wilson and his infamous beard are out of Los Angeles as the Dodgers have designated the former All-Star for assignment.

Despite the decision, the Dodgers will still pay Wilson his 2015 salary worth $9.5 million.

"At this point, we did not feel he was one of the best seven relief options," Dodgers general manager Farhan Zaidi said on a conference call with reporters.

At one point in his carreer, Wilson was one of the most dominant relievers in Baseball and one of the more colorful personalities in baseball.

From 2008-2011, Wilson averaged over 40 saves during his time with the San Francisco Giants.

Despite his dominance, Wilson underwent multiple elbow reconstruction surgeries and he never quite recovered from it.

In 2014, the 32-year-old Wilson went 2-4 with a 4.66 ERA and a WHIP of 1.61. Those were his highest marks since his rookie year back in 2006.

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Yankees and Marlins Swap Prado and Eovaldi

Yankees and Marlins Swap Prado and Eovaldi

Major League Baseball(NEW YORK) -- The Yankees and Marlins have completed a five-player trade that will send Martin Prado to Miami and Nathan Eovaldi to New York.

Friday, the Yankees sent Prado and relief pitcher David Phelps to Miami, in exchange for the 24-year-old right handed fireballer Eovaldi, utility player Garrett Jones and minor league pitcher Domingo German.

Eovaldi, was 6-14 last season with a 4.37 ERA while also surrendering the most hits in the National League with 223.

The Yankees have made similar moves in the past; buying low on young inconsistent talent.

Last season, the team acquired pitcher Brandon McCarthy in a low risk move.  After a few tweaks to his mechanics and pitching tendencies McCarthy lowered his ERA from 4.53 in 2013 with the Arizona Diamondbacks, to 2.89 over 14 games for the Yankees last season.  McCarthy signed with the Dodgers this offseason for $48 million over four years.

According to Marc Craig of Newsday, the Yankees are also including $6 million in the trade to cover the salary of Prado. 

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Report: Padres Acquire Outfielder Justin Upton from the Braves

Report: Padres Acquire Outfielder Justin Upton from the Braves

Patrick McDermott/Getty Images(NEW YORK) -- The San Diego Padres have struck again this offseason by acquiring another big-time bat. According to reports, the team has acquired outfielder Justin Upton from the Atlanta Braves.

According to reports, the Padres will send Braves pitcher Max Fried, third baseman Dustin Peterson and outfielder Mallex Smith.

Still just 27 years old, Upton hit .270 with 29 home runs and 102 RBIs in his eighth season in the big leagues. He will be a free agent following the 2015 season.

The Padres now have a completely revamped offense/outfield. Not only have they acquired Upton, they've also made trades for former All-Star outfielder Matt Kemp and former American League Rookie of the Year outfielder Wil Myers.

The Padres also recently acquired All-Star catcher Derek Norris from the Oakland Athletics, and reportedly they've acquired third baseman Will Middlebrooks from the Boston Red Sox for Ryan Hanigan.

In 2014, the Padres ranked 30th in Major League Baseball in runs scored, batting average, on base percentage, and slugging percentage.

San Diego hasn't made the playoffs since 2006.

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Giants Re-Sign Starting Pitcher Jake Peavy

Giants Re-Sign Starting Pitcher Jake Peavy

Brandon Mangin/MLB Photos via Getty Images(NEW YORK) -- Starting pitcher Jake Peavy enjoyed his brief time with the San Francisco Giants so much, he agreed on a two-year deal with the club on Friday morning.

ESPN reports that Peavy's deal is worth $24 million to go along with a $4 million signing bonus.

The Atlanta Braves and Miami Marlins were reportedly among the teams who were also pursuing Peavy.

Peavy is a three-time All Star and former Cy Young winner who rebounded strongly after the Boston Red Sox dealt him to the Giants prior to the trade deadline.

In 20 starts with the Red Sox in 2014, Peavy went 1-9 with a 4.72 ERA. In 12 starts with the Giants after getting traded, he went 6-4 with a 2.17 ERA.

Peavy did fall apart in the postsesaon though despite the team winning the World Series. In four starts, Peavy went 1-2 with a 6.29 ERA.

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Reports: Royals to Sign SP Edinson Volquez

Reports: Royals to Sign SP Edinson Volquez

Major League Baseball(KANSAS CITY, Mo.) -- The American League pennant winners are adding to their rotation.

Starting pitcher Edinson Volquez will join the Kansas City Royals rotation on a two-year, $20 million deal, according to Jon Heyman of CBSSports.com. 

The right-handed pitcher spent 2014 with the Pittsburgh Pirates. It was a bounce back season as he posted a 3.04 ERA, 140 strikeouts and a 3.3 BB/ 9 over 192.2 innings pitched.

Volquez, 31, had struggled after Tommy John Surgery in 2009. He was suspended for 50 games in 2010 after testing positive for performance enhancing drugs. He was then traded to the Padres and had a brief stint with the the Dodgers. In that span, he never posted an ERA better than 4.14.

He will likely replace James Sheilds in the Royals rotation as he is expected to leave via free agency. 

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Padres Acquire Wil Myers in Three-Team Trade.

Padres Acquire Wil Myers in Three-Team Trade.

Ron Vesely/MLB Photos via Getty Images(SAN DIEGO, Ca.) -- The San Diego Padres have acquired outfielder Wil Myers in a three-team trade.

In a deal with the Nationals and Rays, the Padres also obtain young pitchers Jose Castillo and Gerardo Reyes, as well as veteran catcher Ryan Hanigan from Tampa Bay.

In return, the Rays receive Burch Smith, a right-hander who was drafted by the Padres in 2011, first baseman Rene Rivera, catcher Jake Bauers, a 2013 draft pick of the Padres and outfielder Steven Souza as well as left-hander Travis Ott from the Nationals.

The Nationals receive right hander Joe Ross and shortstop Trea Turner, who both come from San Diego in the deal.

Myers, 24, was acquired by Tampa Bay in 2012 as part of seven-player trade that saw Kansas City acquire James Shields.  

The next season, Myers batted .293 and smacked 13 homeruns and 88 RBI on his way to the 2013 rookie of the year award. 

After dealing for Matt Kemp, the Padres are expecting to improve on an offense that ranked last in baseball with 535 runs scored.

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Mariners Acquire OF Ruggiano From Cubs

Mariners Acquire OF Ruggiano From Cubs

Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images(SEATTLE) -- The Seattle Mariners acquired outfielder Justin Ruggiano from the Chicago Cubs on Wednesday for minor league pitcher Matt Brazis.

In 81 games last season with the Cubs, Ruggiano batted .281 with six home runs and 28 RBIs. He also scored 29 runs and had an OBP of .337.

Ruggiano’s best season came in 2012 for the Miami Marlins, when he hit .313 with 13 homers and 36 RBIs. The six-year veteran also swiped 15 bases and had an OBP of .374.

Brazis was selected out of Boston College in the 28th round of the 2012 MLB draft. The right-handed reliever is 8-6 with a 2.89 ERA across three minor league seasons.

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Floyd Inks 1-Year Deal with Indians

Floyd Inks 1-Year Deal with Indians

Major League Baseball(CLEVELAND) -- The Cleveland Indians signed starting pitcher Gavin Floyd to a one-year contract Tuesday.The Cleveland Plain Dealer reports the deal is worth $4 million and could earn Floyd another $6 million in incentives.The 31-year-old Floyd made only five starts in 2013 before undergoing Tommy John surgery on his right elbow. He made nine starts for Atlanta the following season before suffering a fracture in the same elbow, causing him to miss the rest of the season."His elbow's actually fine," Indians general manager Chris Antonetti said. "We went through an extensive physical...His ligament is strong and intact. The fracture he suffered last year is well healed. We expect him to be fully ready for Spring Training."Before 2013, Floyd was one of the more consistent pitchers in the major leagues. The right-hander pitched five straight seasons of at least 29 starts for the Chicago White Sox.During his 11 big league seasons, Floyd has pitched 1,205 2/3 innings, compiling a 72-72 record with a 4.40 ERA, 948 strike outs, and a 1.33 WHIP.

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ESPN: Marlins Have an Agreement with Morse

ESPN: Marlins Have an Agreement with Morse

iStock/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) -- The Miami Marlins have reached an agreement with free agent Michael Morse on a two-year, $8 million contract, according to ESPN.ESPN also reports Morse will be able to earn performance bonuses.The 32-year-old Morse played last season for the World Series champion San Francisco Giants. The right-handed hitter played in 131 regular season games as an outfielder, first baseman and designated hitter, hitting .279 with 16 home runs and 61 RBIs.Morse has played 10 major league seasons with stints in Seattle, Washington, Baltimore, and San Francisco. He's a career .281 hitter with 99 home runs and 333 RBIs.Morse becomes the latest in a flurry of acquisitions made by the Marlins this offseason. Miami signed outfielder Giancarlo Stanton to a $325 million contract, and also traded for second baseman Dee Gordon and pitchers Mat Latos and Dan Haren.

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LHP Chris Capuano Returning to N.Y. Yankees

LHP Chris Capuano Returning to N.Y. Yankees

Thinkstock(NEW YORK) -- The New York Yankees re-signed left-handed pitcher Chris Capuano to a one-year contract, the club announced on Tuesday. The deal is worth $5 million, according to ESPN.

In 40 appearances last season with the Boston Red Sox and Yankees, the 36-year-old Capuano went 3-4 with a 4.35 ERA. He struck out 84 batters in 97 1/3 innings of work.

Capuano was originally selected out of Duke University by the Arizona Diamondbacks in the eighth round of the 1999 MLB draft.  During his 10-year career with the D-Backs, Milwaukee Brewers, New York Mets, Los Angeles Dodgers, Red Sox and Yankees, he is 76-87 with a 4.28 ERA. He was named to the National League All-Star team in 2006 as a member of the Brewers.

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Cubs Sign Reliever Jason Motte to a One-Year Deal

Cubs Sign Reliever Jason Motte to a One-Year Deal

Eliot J. Schechter/MLB Photos via Getty Images(NEW YORK) -- The Chicago Cubs whirlwind offseason continued as they've brought aboard reliever Jason Motte.

ESPN reports Motte has agreed on a one-year deal with the club for $4.5 million.

The 32-year-old Motte had spent his entire six-year career with the St. Louis Cardinals. He served as the team's closer in 2011 when the team won the World Series, and also saved 42 games in 2012.

Unfortunately, Motte dealt with elbow issues prior to the 2013 season and wound up missing the entire season after needing to undergo Tommy John Surgery.

Motte struggled to regain his old form this past season with the Cardinals. In 29 appearances this season, he went 1-0 with a 4.68 ERA, which was his highest mark since his first full season in the majors back in 2009.

The Cubs have reshaped their franchise this offseason so far. Along with Motte, the team also signed starting pitcher Jon Lester and hired Joe Maddon as their new manager.

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Royals Agree on One-Year Deal with Outfielder Alex Rios

Royals Agree on One-Year Deal with Outfielder Alex Rios

Jason Miller/Getty Images(NEW YORK) -- The Kansas City Royals and outfielder Alex Rios are taking a gamble on each other as they've agreed on a one-year deal worth $11 million.

With the loss of Norichika Aoki and Billy Butler, the reigning American League champs needed a boost on offense, and they're hoping that Rios can help fill the void.

An 11-year veteran, the 33-year-old Rios is coming off a down season for his standards. While he did hit .280 in 131 games with the Texas Rangers, Rios was held to just four home runs and 17 stolen bases.

In 2013, Rios hit .278 with 18 home runs, 81 RBIs, and stole 42 bases while playing for the Rangers as well as the Chicago White Sox.

The team also recently agreed on a two-year deal with DH Kendrys Morales to help boost an offense that ranked 14th overall in Major League Baseball in runs scored.

In 2014, the Royals made the playoffs for the first time since 1985.

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Astros Sign INF Jed Lowrie to 3-Year Contract

Astros Sign INF Jed Lowrie to 3-Year Contract

Thinkstock(HOUSTON) -- The Houston Astros have agreed to a three-year contract with free agent infielder Jed Lowrie, the team announced on Monday. He will receive a guaranteed $23 million, according to ESPN.

In 136 games with the Oakland Athletics last season, the 30-year-Lowrie batted .249 with six home runs and 50 RBIs. He also scored 59 runs and had an OBP of .321.

Lowrie previously played for Houston in 2012, where he hit .244 with 16 homers and 42 RBIs in 97 games. He was dealt to Oakland on Feb. 4, 2014 along with right-handed pitcher Fernando Rodriguez with Houston receiving first baseman Chris Carter, right-handed pitcher Brad Peacock and catcher Max Stassi.

Lowrie’s new contract contains a club option for 2018.

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Red Sox Sign Justin Masterson

Red Sox Sign Justin Masterson

Rob Carr/Getty Images(BOSTON) --  A familiar face will soon be re-joining the Boston Red Sox.

While it isn't Jon Lester, who many hoped would return Fenway but instead signed with the Chicago Cubs, Thursday the Red Sox brought back Justin Masterson.

Masterson, 29, who was drafted by the Red Sox in 2006 and played with the team through 2009, signed with the team for one-year $9.5 million.

In 2009, the Red Sox traded Masterson to the Cleveland Indians as part of a package to acquire catcher, Victor Martinez.

Masterson began to struggle last year, posting a 5.88 ERA in 2014. The Indians traded Masterson to the St. Louis Cardinals, but the Red Birds were unable to solve the mechanical issues that have begun to haunt the sinker baller.

The Red Sox will hope that a low-risk signing of a familiar face will provide a boost to a rotation that posted a 4.01 ERA in the 2013 season.

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Lester Defends Self Against Red Sox Fans Criticisms

Lester Defends Self Against Red Sox Fans Criticisms

Robert Rogers/MLB Photos via Getty Images(CHICAGO, Ill) -- Jon Lester officially signed with the Chicago Cubs Saturday, for six-years, $155 million.

In doing so, he chose not to re-join his former team, the Boston Red Sox; a fact that did not sit well with many of the Fenway Faithful. 

Some fans took to Twitter to voice their displeasure at the perception that Lester only followed the money.

One fan named Peter wrote, "Does money change a man's mind about family? If so, don't call us family. Have respect for you but money was your #1 priority." 

This did not sit well with Lester who took the time to respond with, "It does not, and I'm sorry you feel that way Peter but that couldn't be further from the truth," Lester replied.

Some fans made things a little more personal as another accused, "Red Sox org. and Red Sox Nation supported you unconditionally while you battled cancer, not the Cubs. Your values are messed up."

Lester defended his decision and took the high road.

"I know they did, and I love them for it. Sorry you feel that way but I'd like to think my values are some of my best qualities," Lester said.

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Report: Twins Sign P Ervin Santana to a 4-Year, $55 Million Contract

Report: Twins Sign P Ervin Santana to a 4-Year, $55 Million Contract

iStockphoto(SAN DIEGO) -- The Minnesota Twins and free agent pitcher Ervin Santana agreed to a four-year, $55 million contract, according to ESPN. The deal includes an option for the 2019 season. If the Twins don’t utilize the option, the right-hander will receive a $1 million buyout.

Last season with the Atlanta Braves, Santana went 14-10 with an ERA of 3.95. He struck out 179 batters in 196 innings of work. During his 10-year MLB career, the former All-Star owns a record of 119-100 and an ERA of 4.17.

Santana will need to pass a physical before the deal is finalized. 

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