MLB Player News
Dustin Pedroia will get more days off during the 2016 season, the Boston Globe reports.
The decision to give 32-year-old Pedroia more time off makes perfect sense. Several injuries over the last four years have contributed to a reduced batting average and OPS, and the team would like to avoid protracted down time. Brock Holt will be the fill-in when Pedroia is off.
Nolan Fontana was added to the Houston Astros ' 40-man roster Friday, the Houston Chronicle reports.
While Fontana slugged just .357 in the Pacific Coast League last season, he managed a .369 OBP on the strength of a 16.2 percent walk rate, and there is some hope that a bit of power will show up eventually. This move was made primarily for Rule 5 protection, but Fontana could be a utility option at some point in 2016.
Josh Rutledge was designated for assignment Friday, Pete Abraham of the Boston Globe reports.
Rutledge slashed a respectable .284/.333/.338 in 39 games with the big league club in 2015, but was a casualty of the team needing to clear space on the 40-man roster. He should be able to see some time as a utility infield option in 2016, but could once again spend the majority of the season in the minors.
Joe Wendle was added to the 40-man roster Friday.
Wendle put up an impressive campaign with Triple-A Nashville in 2015, slashing .289/.323/.442 with 10 homers. The procedural move was likely done to protect him from the upcoming Rule 5 draft, but it's possible Wendle sees some time in the majors next season.
Luis Sardinas was traded to the Seattle Mariners on Friday for outfielder Ramon Flores, Ken Rosenthal of Fox Sports reports.
With the Brewers acquiring Jonathan Villar from the Astros on Thursday, Sardinas suddenly became expendable, opening the door for a trade that better suits both clubs' 40-man rosters. The 22-year-old infielder played in 36 games with Milwaukee this season, recording a pitiful .196/.240/.216 line in 97 at-bats. Still, what Sardinas lacks in hitting he more than makes up for in defensive prowess and he will more than likely push incumbent Ketel Marte for occasional starts at shortstop next season. He shouldn't be considered a fantasy option in anything other than deep AL-only leagues to start next season, but he could factor into the Mariners infield if any injury sidelines Marte or Robinson Cano for any extended time.
Devon Travis underwent surgery on his left shoulder and will likely miss the beginning of the regular season, Ben Nicholson-Smith of Sportsnet reports.
Shi Davidi of Sportsnet reported that Travis had a pre-existing acromion bone non-union in his left shoulder which was discovered during the season. After exhausting every other option, the Toronto Blue Jays opted to have the 24-year-old undergo surgery, which Nicholson-Smith reported included screws inserted into the second-baseman's shoulder in order to stabilize the bone. He's expected to miss all of spring training, and it's very possible Travis could also miss the first month of the regular season. Ryan Goins will likely take over at second base during his absence, but it remains to be seen if the Blue Jays will add more depth to their infield during the offseason in order to compensate for the loss.
Cliff Pennington signed a two-year contract with the Los Angeles Angels on Tuesday.
The veteran switch-hitter posted a .579 OPS in 105 games between Toronto and Arizona last season, his worst mark in seven major league seasons. However, Pennington's signing fills a utility need for the Angels, allowing Taylor Featherston to return to Triple-A to play everyday.
Jose Pirela was traded to Padres on Wednesday for minor-league pitcher Ron Herrera, Mark Feinsand of the New York Daily News reports.
With the emergence of Rob Refsnyder and Dustin Ackley, Pirela was an expendable asset for the New York Yankees . The 25-year-old did make a few brief appearances with the Yankees in 2015, but it was his Triple-A Scranton numbers -- .325/.390/.433 with three home runs and 23 RBI this season -- that likely peaked the Padres interest. He could compete for at-bats with the club in 2016, but with Cory Spangenberg and Jedd Gyorko already mainstays at second base for San Diego, Pirela will likely bide his time in the minors until an inevitable injury occurs.
Brendan Ryan exercised his $1 million player option for 2016 on Tuesday.
He will take a steep pay cut to remain in the New York Yankees ' organization after making $2 million in 2015. The 33-year-old posted just a .608 OPS in 103 plate appearances this past season, while appearing in fewer than 50 games for a second straight year. Ryan's chances of emerging from camp with anything more than a utility role are slim.
Maicer Izturis 's $3 million club option for 2016 was declined, making the 35-year-old a free agent, John Lott of the National Post reports.
Izturis missed the 2015 season with injuries to his groin and shoulder and he's played in just 11 major league games since 2014. He could very well catch on with another team in 2016, but he likely won't provide much fantasy production unless he can win a starting job in spring training.