MLB Player News
Casey Kotchman agreed to a minor league deal with the Toronto Blue Jays on Monday, Matt Eddy of Baseball America reports.
Kotchman hasn't played in the majors since 2013 -- going 0-for-20 with the Marlins in his latest stint -- but he did return to baseball in 2015 after missing all of 2014 with an oblique injury. He slashed .290/.374/.426 with seven homers in 90 games at Triple-A this season and could end up making his return to the big leagues with Toronto.
Jake Goebbert is expected to compete for a spot off the bench for Pittsburgh in 2016, the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review reports.
"He's a versatile left-handed hitter who does some things we like in the batter's box," GM Neal Huntington said. "He could compete to make our club as a bat off the bench." Goebbert could also see time as the left-handed part of a first base platoon, especially if Pedro Alvarez is dealt, but his best bet to make the team is as a backup first baseman/outfielder. He has three minor league options remaining, leaving Pittsburgh with the flexibility to start him at Triple-A if necessary.
Jake Goebbert signed with the Pittsburgh Pirates on Wednesday, Stephen Nesbitt of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette reports.
The 28-year-old did not play in the major leagues last season after being DFA'd by the Padres in January. He spent the year at Triple-A El Paso, hitting .294 with 10 home runs and 62 RBI in 122 games. His last major league appearance came in 2014, when he logged time in 51 games (115 plate appearances) for San Diego. With the acquisition, the Pirates now have 39 players on the 40-man roster.
Dan Vogelbach was added to the Chicago Cubs ' 40-man roster on Friday, the Daily Herald's Bruce Miles reports.
He should spend the majority of his age-23 season at Triple-A, as the Cubs do not have an opening for the bulky slugger. That said, if he were traded to an American League team, Vogelbach would immediately become one of the more exciting designated hitters from a fantasy standpoint.
Wilin Rosario was designated for assignment by the Colorado Rockies on Friday, Nick Groke of the Denver Post reports.
With the Rockies opting against playing Rosario behind the plate in 2015, the 26-year-old was relegated to a platoon role at first base, logging 242 plate appearances (94 vs LHP) in 87 games. His defense at first base was arguably even worse than his defense at catcher, and the team ultimately decided to bump him from the 40-man to make room for more promising young players. Perhaps Rosario will draw interest from some AL teams while on waivers.
Kyle Blanks (Achilles) has agreed to a minor league contract with the San Francisco Giants , pending a physical, Andrew Baggarly of the Bay Area News Group reports.
The "pending a physical" part is no formality with Blanks, who was limited to 18 games last season due to Achilles tendinitis, and had to have both Achilles' tendons operated on in the offseason. Blanks brings some pop and can draw a walk, but he's limited defensively. A short-end platoon role with Brandon Belt at first base would likely be a best-case scenario for Blanks in 2016.
Daniel Palka was traded to the Minnesota Twins on Tuesday for Chris Herrmann.
Although Palka struck out 164 times in 129 games as a 23-year-old at High-A in 2015, he managed a .280/.352/.532 line, 29 homers and 24 steals, while also appearing at all three outfield positions. The Twins did reasonably well acquiring Palka, who stands 6-foot-2 and hits from the left side, in exchange for a light-hitting backup catcher.
Travis Shaw suffered "an impingement" in his right shoulder during the opener of the Puerto Rico Winter League and will require a few weeks to recover, the Boston Herald reports.
Boston Red Sox executive Dave Dombrowski confirmed the nature of the injury, while stating that Shaw will spend the next two-and-a-half weeks in therapy, thereby ending the winter-ball stint after one game. He should be fine by the time spring training rolls around, at which point he'll compete for a gig in the corner infield.
Albert Pujols underwent a surgical procedure on his foot recently, and is expected to return to full baseball activities in four to five months.
This procedure will keep the slugger out until mid-to-late March which will put his Opening Day status in question. Most signs are pointing to him not being ready for Opening Day, but it won't likely keep him out of the lineup for a long period of time. CJ Cron will be the expected fill-in until Pujols can return.
Dominic Smith suffered a strained oblique muscle in the Arizona Fall League, Adam Rubin of ESPN New York reports.
One of the club's top prospects, Smith had an impressive season with High-A St. Lucie in 2015, slashing .305/.354/.417 with six homers and 79 RBI in 118 games. The oblique injury shouldn't effect his availability for the spring, but it could end his AFL stint early.