MLB Player News
Hector Olivera is done playing in winter leagues for the duration of the offseason, the Atlanta Journal-Constitution reports.
Olivera was released by his winter ball club in Puerto Rico after returning to the team a day later than expected following a trip to Miami to visit his gravely ill sister. He played in 18 games for Caguas, hitting .275 (19-for-69) with a .645 OPS to conclude a 2015 season that featured 77 games played for eight different teams in eight different leagues over a span of seven months. The Atlanta Braves are moving Olivera to left field to begin 2016, but he could still see some time at third base if needed. During his time in Puerto Rico, Olivera worked with Braves hitting coach Kevin Seitzer, who was pleased with the progress of the 30-year-old during their time working together. Most likely, Olivera will serve as the Braves' starter in left field in 2016 after a hamstring injury kept him from contributing with the Dodgers prior to his midseason trade to Atlanta.
Andy Wilkins was designated for assignment Wednesday.
Wilkins, who was claimed off waivers by the Baltimore Orioles in the beginning of September, was DFA'd after the team acquired outfielder L.J. Hoes from the Astros on Wednesday. The 27-year-old first baseman did hit 18 home runs and 70 RBI with the Dodgers Triple-A affiliate at Oklahoma City, but he wasn't expected to provide much more than organizational depth in the coming years.
Jed Lowrie has been traded to the Oakland Athletics , Jane Lee of MLB.com reports.
The Astros will receive minor league right-hander Brendan McCurry from Oakland in the deal. Lowrie, who's due to make $7.5 million in 2016, is capable of playing second base, third base and shortstop, and at this point it's unclear where Oakland plans to use him long-term. The 31-year-old played primarily at third base last season, appearing in just 69 total games while battling injuries to his thumb, foot and quad.
Jeimer Candelario was added to the Chicago Cubs ' 40-man roster on Friday, the Daily Herald's Bruce Miles reports.
The slick-fielding third baseman has a future in the big leagues, but it will be hard for him to crack the Cubs' lineup, given their abundance of infield talent. This makes him an intriguing trade chip this winter, although his glove-first profile makes him unappealing in dynasty leagues.
Patrick Kivlehan was added to the 40-man roster, Greg Johns of MLB.com reports.
Kivlehan slashed a .256/.313/.453 in 472 at-bats with Triple-A Tacoma this season and played a variety of positions with the team including first base, third base as well as every outfield position, but it seems unlikely that he will contribute much to the major-league club in 2016.
Josh Donaldson was named the 2015 AL MVP by the Baseball Writers' Association of America on Thursday.
Of the 30 first-place votes, Donaldson received 23 while the Angels' Mike Trout received seven. Traded to Toronto from Oakland last winter, Donaldson finished top-3 in the AL in most offensive statistical categories, including home runs (41), RBI (123), runs (122), slugging (.568) and OPS (.939). He will turn 30 in December, but there's little reason to think Donaldson won't return first-round value again next season.
Adonis Garcia is a legitimate candidate to begin 2016 as the Atlanta Braves ' starting third baseman, MLB.com reports.
Pointing to Garcia's double-digit home run total in less than 200 plate appearances with Atlanta, GM John Coppolella said "it's something where I felt he earned an opportunity." The team is not yet ready to formally name Garcia to the starting role, but it seems confident in Hector Olivera's ability to transition to left field. Garcia, who will turn 31 less than two weeks into the 2016 season, drew just five walks with the big club last season, and the power seems unsustainable given his below-league-average flyball rate.
The Atlanta Braves plan to have Hector Olivera make the transition from third base to left field in 2016, MLB.com reports.
While the transition has seemingly already begun, with Olivera starting to play left field in Puerto Rico earlier this month, the Braves aren't setting anything in stone just yet. General manager John Coppolella said Olivera could split time at third with Adonis Garcia if the transition does not go well, but the hope is that Olivera will be relieved of some stress playing in left, allowing him to focus more on hitting. Of course, Olivera will still be third-base eligible in most fantasy formats, having played there exclusively after his promotion to Atlanta (21 games).
Maikel Franco is scheduled to begin playing winter ball in the Dominican Republic later this week, MLB.com reports.
The stint in winter ball will allow Franco to make up for at-bats lost during his seven-week absence at the end of the 2015 season due to a fractured left wrist. Franco, 23, did make it back for the Philadelphia Phillies ' final three games, going 3-for-8 with a homer, bringing his total to 14 home runs in 80 games for the season. Only Ryan Howard had more home runs on the team (23).
The Boston Red Sox traded Carlos Asuaje and three other prospects to the Padres on Friday for Craig Kimbrel, Jon Heyman of CBS Sports reports.
An 11th-round pick in 2013, Asuaje made the jump to Double-A as a 23-year-old last season and saw a significant drop in production. He turned in a .251/.334/.374 line after slashing .310/.393/.533 between Low-A and High-A the year before, though Asuaje did actually improve his strikeout rate from High-A and maintained a walk rate close to 10 percent.