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Dodgers Trade Dee Gordon to the Marlins, Acquire Howie Kendrick from Angels

Dodgers Trade Dee Gordon to the Marlins, Acquire Howie Kendrick from Angels

BananaStock/Thinkstock(SAN DIEGO) -- The Los Angeles Dodgers are in the middle of a complete overhaul as they've traded second baseman Dee Gordon to the Miami Marlins while also acquiring second baseman Howie Kendrick via trade from the Los Angeles Angels.

In return for Gordon, the Dodgers received pitcher Andrew Heaney, infielder Enrique Hernandez, reliever Chris Hatcher, and minor leaguer Austin Barnes from the Marlins. The Marlins will acquire Gordon, pitcher Dan Haren, and infielder Miguel Rojas.

The 26-year-old Gordon was an All-Star in 2014 after batting .289 with 92 runs scored, 176 hits, and a National League-leading 64 stolen bases.

In order to get Kendrick, the Dodgers had to depart with the recently acquired Heaney and ship him to the Angels.

"We feel like within the totality of the moves, we made ourselves a better team," Dodgers president of baseball operations Andrew Friedman said. "Adding Howie Kendrick we felt like fit us really well: right-handed bat, tremendous hitter, really good defender, and then the young players we got should help us in 2015 and beyond."

The 31-year-old Kendrick had spent his entire nine-year career with the Angels. This past season, he hit .293 with seven home runs, 75 RBIs, and scored 85 runs.

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ESPN: Red Sox Trade for SP Wade Miley

ESPN: Red Sox Trade for SP Wade Miley

BananaStock/Thinkstock(SAN DIEGO) -- The Boston Red Sox traded pitchers Rubby De La Rosa, Allen Webster, and an unnamed minor-leaguer to the Arizona Diamondbacks in exchange for left-hander Wade Miley, according to ESPNBoston.com's Gordon Edes.

The 28-year-old Miley has pitched four seasons for the Diamondbacks, compiling a 38-35 record with a 3.79 ERA and a 1.323 WHIP.

Miley is expected to be slotted behind Clay Buchholz and Joe Kelly in the Sox starting rotation, and is under team control for the next three seasons.

Meanwhile, the Diamondbacks receive De La Rosa, 25, and the 24-year-old Webster. Both of whom were originally acquired by the Red Sox in the 2012 deal with the Dodgers that sent Adrian Gonzalez, Carl Crawford, Josh Beckett, and Nick Punto to Los Angeles.

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ESPN: Phillies Trade Rollins to Dodgers

ESPN: Phillies Trade Rollins to Dodgers

Mitchell Leff/Getty Images(NEW YORK) -- Switch-hitting shortstop Jimmy Rollins was traded to the Los Angeles Dodgers, according to ESPN's Buster Olney.The Dodgers acquire Rollins from the Philadelphia Phillies, the team he's played with for all 15 of his major league seasons. It is not yet known what the Phillies received in return. The 36-year-old Rollins replaces Hanley Ramirez, who signed with the Red Sox as a free agent.Rollins had a storied career in Philadelphia, winning the National League MVP in 2007 and helping the team win the World Series in 2008. He is the franchise's all-time leader in hits, at-bats and doubles.Rollins is in the final year of his contract and will make $11 million this season.Rollins played in 138 games for the Phillies last season, hitting .243 with 78 runs scored, 17 home runs, 55 RBIs and 28 stolen bases.

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Chicago Cubs Acquire Montero from Diamondbacks

Chicago Cubs Acquire Montero from Diamondbacks

Tom Szczerbowski/Getty Images(SAN DIEGO, Ca.) -- The Chicago Cubs have made the latest move in the MLB offseason, trading for catcher Miguel Montero.

The Cubs traded two prospects to the Arizona Diamondbacks, Tuesday to acquire what many within baseball consider the top catcher at framing pitches.

"It really gives us a solid presence in the catching position," manager Joe Maddon said.

In addition, Chicago will assume most of the $40 million left on the remaining three years of Montero's contract.

"I want to say thank you to the Diamondbacks for 14 years in the organization. I made a lot of great friends and I’m going to miss them all. Excited for the next chapter in my career with a team with so much history and a bright future. See you soon Windy City!" Montero tweeted after the trade was announced.

Montero, 31, has struggled at the plate in recent years. Last season he batted .243 with an OBP of .329. The Cubs will hope he can return to his 2011 form when he was an All-Star, who batted .286 with 15 home runs and 88 RBI.

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Cubs Nearing Deal with Jason Hammel

Cubs Nearing Deal with Jason Hammel

Tom Szczerbowski/Getty Images(SAN DIEGO) -- The Cubs are close to bringing back pitcher Jason Hammel, a source told MLB.com on Monday.

Hammel went 8-5 in 17 starts with Chicago last year before being traded to the Oakland Athletics at the trading deadline.

Hammel is seeking a multi-year deal and struck out 104 over 108 2/3 innings.

The Cubs are also interested in free agent pitcher Jon Lester, who is weighing his options.

Red Sox owner John Henry met with Lester over the weekend, ESPN.com reports.

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Yankes Sign Reliever Andrew Miller, Acquire Shorstop Didi Gregorius via Trade

Yankes Sign Reliever Andrew Miller, Acquire Shorstop Didi Gregorius via Trade

Major League Baseball(NEW YORK) -- The New York Yankees have taken a major step, or make that steps, in making them a playoff contender again. On Friday, the team signed ace reliever Andrew Miller while also acquiring shortstop Didi Gregorius from the Arizona Diamondbacks in a three-team trade.

Miller's deal with the Yankees for four years and will pay him $36 million.

Over the past two seasons, Miller has emerged as one of more dominant relievers in the American League with the Boston Red Sox and Baltimore Orioles.

In 2014, Miller posted a 5-5 record with a 2.02 ERA to go along with 103 strikeouts in 62.1 innings pitched. His strikeout-per-nine-innings ratio of 14.87 was second to only Cincinnati Reds closer Aroldis Chapman.

Meanwhile, Gregorius could very well be the replacement to longtime shortstop Derek Jeter. While he's not known for his bat, he's known as being a great defender at his position.

In order to get Gregorius, the Yankees sent pitcher Shane Greene to the Detroit Tigers while the Diamondbacks acquired pitcher Robbie Ray and infielder Domingo Leyba.

In 2014, the Yankees missed out on the playoffs for the second-consecutive season after finishing 84-78.

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Rays Hire Kevin Cash as their New Manger

Rays Hire Kevin Cash as their New Manger

BananaStock/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) -- Replacing former manager Joe Maddon won't be easy, but the Tampa Bay Rays are confident that Kevin Cash is the right man for the job as they announced the hiring of their fifth manager in franchise history on Friday.

Cash is a first-time manager who was previously the bullpen coach for the Cleveland Indians and also served time as a scout for the Toronto Blue Jays.

"His energy and dynamic personality will fit seamlessly with our clubhouse," Rays owner Stuart Sternberg said in a statement. "We are fortunate to have such a talented individual, and Tampa Bay native, to lead our club as we strive to achieve new heights as a team and organization."

Cash will turn 37 on Saturday, and will become the youngest manager in all over Major League Baseball. He is also a Tampa native.

Maddon left the team earlier in the offseason to become the manager of the Chicago Cubs. Along with Cash, the Rays also considered Don Wakamatsu and Raul Ibanez.

He also played eight seasons as a catcher with Toronto, Tampa Bay, Boston, the New York Yankees and Houston from 2002 to 2010.

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Mets’ Matt Harvey Looking Forward to Spring Training

Mets’ Matt Harvey Looking Forward to Spring Training

Norm Hall/Getty Images(NEW YORK) -- New York Mets pitcher Matt Harvey is ready to get back to work after missing all of last season due to Tommy John surgery.

Harvey said he plans to report early to spring training in February.

"I'm healthy," Harvey said on Wednesday.  "It's nice to have a normal offseason and prepare like a normal offseason and get ready for spring training."

"It's been great," Harvey continued.  "I've been at it for over a month now.  We're getting excited.  I think spring training can't come quick enough for me."

Harvey is "completely on board" with his innings at Citi Field being limited in hopes that he can pitch late into October 2015.

"I just want to be healthy," Harvey said. "I think after missing a whole year, coming back and just being able to pitch every five days is something I'm looking forward to."

Harvey said he has faith that the pitching staff will be one of the best in the MLB next season.

"The staff is going to be very solid," Harvey said.  "I think the pieces that we've added; winning in New York and bringing a parade back to Queens would be exactly what we want to do." 

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Twins Introduce Torii Hunter

Twins Introduce Torii Hunter

Tom Szczerbowski/Getty Images(MINNESOTA) -- Torii Hunter is happy to be back in Minnesota.  The Twins introduced Hunter on Wednesday after they announced his $10.5 million one-year deal.

Hunter spent 11 years in Minnesota before playing five seasons with the Angels and the last two with the Tigers.

"It's always been true love," Hunter said. "I felt the love coming from you guys; this is where I needed to be."

"I'm just a little piece to the puzzle," Hunter continued.  "I'm not the guy that's going to turn it around right away, but I really think this ball club will really do some things."

"I'm here and I'm here to win," Hunter added.

Hunter batted .286 with 17 homers and 83 RBIs last year and is looking forward to playing with a lot of the young talent in Minnesota.

When asked if this would be his final season, the 39-year-old outfielder said: "If I have bullets left and I'm playing well and at the end of the season I'm playing great and having a good time and having good numbers, I'm playing again. I'm going to make sure there no bullets left."

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Markakis Agrees to 4-Year Deal with Braves

Markakis Agrees to 4-Year Deal with Braves

Rob Tringali/MLB Photos via Getty Images(ATLANTA) -- Free-agent outfielder Nick Markakis agreed to a four-year deal with the Atlanta Braves Wednesday.According to ESPN MLB Insider Buster Olney, the deal is worth around $45 million.The Baltimore Orioles had a $17.5 million mutual option with Markakis for the upcoming season but declined it, and instead payed him a $2 million buyout.The two-time Gold Glove Award winner will help fill a hole in the outfield that was created when the team traded Jason Heyward.The 31-year-old Markakis, who was born and grew up in the Atlanta area, has played in nine major league seasons, all with Baltimore. During that time he's compiled a .290 average with 141 home runs, 658 RBIs, and a .358 on-base percentage.

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Free Agent Reliever Jim Johnson Signs with Braves

Free Agent Reliever Jim Johnson Signs with Braves

iStockphoto/Thinkstock(ATLANTA) -- The Atlanta Braves agreed to terms with free agent reliever Jim Johnson on a one-year contract, the team announced on Wednesday. The deal is for $1.6 million with the potential for Johnson to earn another $900,000 in performance bonuses, according to ESPN.

Johnson was originally selected by the Baltimore Orioles in the fifth round of the 2001 draft. From 2006-2013, he saved 122 games and had an ERA of 3.11. Johnson led the American League in saves in 2012 and 2013.

Last season in 54 appearances with the Oakland Athletics and Detroit Tigers, Johnson went 5-2 with a 7.09 ERA.

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New Athletic Brett Lawrie Blames Toronto’s Rogers Centre Turf for Struggles

New Athletic Brett Lawrie Blames Toronto’s Rogers Centre Turf for Struggles

Abelimages/Getty Images(NEW YORK) -- Newly acquired Oakland Athletics third baseman Brett Lawrie never quite lived up to the hype when he played for the Toronto Blue Jays. According to Lawrie, it was the artificial turf at Toronto's Rogers Centre that caused many of his problems.

"It treats my body kind of silly and throws it off," Lawrie said. "I just want to go out and be healthy, and I feel like this getting off the turf is a big step forward for me."

The Canadian-born Lawrie was expected to be the next big thing for the Blue Jays, but injuries and inconsistent play plagued his career with the team.

The most games he's played in a season was 125 back in 2012. He missed 92 games this past season, hitting .247 with 12 home runs, but feels a change of scenery will do wonders for him.

"Give me 550 at-bats. These are things I haven't had yet in the big leagues," Lawrie said. "Hopefully, getting off that turf will do my body wonders, and I really think that it will. I feel I will show my true talents."

The 24-year-old Lawrie was the centerpiece in the Blue Jays acquiring All-Star Josh Donaldson from Oakland.

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Report: Nelson Cruz Agrees to Multi-Year Deal with the Mariners

Report: Nelson Cruz Agrees to Multi-Year Deal with the MarinersBrian D. Kersey/Getty Images(NEW YORK) -- In desperate need of offense, ESPN's Enrique Rojas reports that the Seattle Mariners have signed free agent outfielder Nelson Cruz to a multi-year deal. Rojas reports Cruz and the Mariners have agreed on a four...

Diamondbacks Sign Yasmany Tomas

Diamondbacks Sign Yasmany Tomas

Tom Szczerbowski/Getty Images(NEW YORK) -- The Major League Baseball (MLB) hot stove continues to heat up as a report from MLB.com indicates that the Arizona Diamondbacks have reached a deal with Yasmany Tomas.

The Cuban slugger will reportedly sign a six-year contract worth $68.5 million dollars. According to the report, Tomas will have an opt-out clause after the fourth year of the deal.

The 24-year-old outfielder joins a team that had the worst record in baseball last season, 64-98, and struggled with injuries at the position. Both Mark Trumbo and A.J. Pollock missed almost half the season with different injuries in 2014. 

Tomas has spent the last seven years playing for the Havana Industriales and hit .375 with two home runs and five RBIs in the World Baseball Classic.

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2015 Baseball Hall of Fame Ballot Announced

2015 Baseball Hall of Fame Ballot Announced

Jim McIsaac/Getty Images(NEW YORK) -- On Monday, baseball's 2015 Hall of Fame ballot was released and features 44 players, including 27 newcomers. 

Three of the best pitchers of their era highlight the list of first-timers up for induction. Pedro Martinez, Randy Johnson, and John Smoltz join a bevy of others looking to be enshrined among the games greats in Cooperstown next summer.

Martinez owns the sixth-best win percentage of all-time at .687, while Johnson became the last 300-game winner in his final season of 2009. Smoltz, who racked up 231 wins and 121 saves in 21 seasons, will be looking to join former Atlanta Braves teammates Greg Maddux and Tom Glavine who were selected to the Hall in 2014.

Carlos Delgado, Nomar Garciappara, Gary Sheffield and Tony Clark, the current head of the players' association, are also among those appearing on the ballot for the first time. 

Among the 17 players making a return to the ballot, Craig Biggio seems to be a favorite for enshrinement. The former Houston Astros infielder missed induction by two votes last year, receiving 74.8 percent of the vote.

Also on the list are Mike Piazza, Jeff Bagwell, Barry Bonds, Mark McGwire, Sammy Sosa, and Roger Clemens. Piazza, who earned 62.2 percent of the 75 percent needed, has hit more home runs than any other catcher ever (396). Tim Raines, and Alan Trammell are among the others back on the ballot while Don Mattingly enters his 15th, and final, year of eligibility.

In order to be inducted, a player must receive 75% of the vote on a ballot. Members of the Baseball Writers Association of America (BBWAA) are only allowed to put 10 names on a singular ballot. Enshrined along with those from the BBWAA ballot is anyone elected by the 16-person Golden Era Committee, which will make its announcement on Dec. 8. Results of the BBWAA ballot will be revealed on Jan. 6, 2015.

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L.A. Dodgers Acquire RHP Juan Nicasio from Rockies

L.A. Dodgers Acquire RHP Juan Nicasio from Rockies

iStockphoto(LOS ANGELES) -- The Los Angeles Dodgers acquired right-handed pitcher Juan Nicasio from the Colorado Rockies on Monday for a player to be named later or cash considerations. The Dodgers designated infielder Ryan Jackson for assignment to make room on the 40-man roster for Nicasio.

In 33 games with the Rockies last season, Nicasio went 6-6 with a 5.38 ERA. He struck out 63 batters in 93 2/3 innings of work.

The Rockies originally signed Nicasio as an amateur free agent in 2006. In his big league debut against the St. Louis Cardinals on May 28, 2011, he allowed one unearned run across seven frames.

Nicasio is 21-22 over his four-year big league career.

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Report: Red Sox Finalizing Deals with Pablo Sandoval and Hanley Ramirez

Report: Red Sox Finalizing Deals with Pablo Sandoval and Hanley RamirezBananaStock/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) -- The Boston Red Sox have made quite the splash early on in free agency. Multiple outlets report that the Boston Red Sox are close to finalizing deals with free agents Pablo Sandoval and Hanley Ramirez. ESPN reports th...

Pirated Designate Ike Davis for Assignment

Pirated Designate Ike Davis for Assignment

BananaStock/Thinkstock(PITTSBURGH) -- Once seen as a potential All-Star caliber player, first baseman Ike Davis' fall continues as the Pittsburgh Pirates have decided to designate him for assignment.

The Pirates now have 10 days to trade or release Davis.

Davis was acquired by the Pirates back in April from the New York Mets. After struggling in recent years, some felt a chance of scenery was necessary for him.

Despite the new team, Davis' struggles continued. In 131 games with the Pirates, Davis hit .235 with 10 home runs and 46 RBIs.

During his first two seasons in Major League Baseball in 2010 and 2011, Davis showed flashes of being a power-hitting player who could also hit for average. Injuries and a bout with valley fever in 2012 wound up having more long-term damage then he had hoped. He hit 32 home runs in 2012, but has only hit 19 the past two seasons combined.

Former number two overall pick Jameson Taillon was added to the 40-man roster to replace Davis.

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Red Sox in Pursuit of Jon Lester

Red Sox in Pursuit of Jon Lester

Robert Rogers/MLB Photos via Getty Images(BOSTON) -- The Boston Red Sox have offered pitcher Jon Lester a contract, reports ESPN.com, according to a major league source.

Lester met with the team's owners earlier this week and met with the Chicago Cubs on Tuesday.

The Red Sox traded Lester at the July 31 deadline to the Oakland Athletics after he could not work out a new deal with Boston.

The Red Sox offered Lester a four-year deal worth $70 million in mid-March, but that deal was rejected.

Lester finished last season 16-11 with a 2.46 ERA.

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Athletics Sign Butler to Three Year Deal

Athletics Sign Butler to Three Year Deal

Mike McGinnis/Getty Images(OAKLAND, Ca) -- The Oakland Athletics have signed Billy Butler to a three-year, $30 million contract.

Butler was a 2004 first round selection of the Kansas City Royals. This offseason, the Royals chose to pay Butler $1 million to buyout his contract.

In 2012, Butler was elected to the AL All-Star team when he hit .313 with 29 home runs and 107 RBI. Those numbers have taken a sharp dive this past season as he hit .271 with nine home runs and 66 RBI. 

Primarily a first basemen when his career began, Butler played 108 games in 2014 for the Royals as a designated hitter. He will likely continue in that role for the As. 

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