MLB Player News
Aroldis Chapman and the New York Yankees avoided arbitration by agreeing to a $11.325 million deal, Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports.com reports.
Chapman still faces a possible suspension for a domestic violence allegation dating back to last October, but this clears at least one offseason issue for the Cuban closer and his new team. This settlement will give the Yankees' three-headed monster a total price tag exceeding $20 million, and that includes Dellin Betances' meager pre-arbitration salary.
Tommy Hunter signed a one-year deal with the Cleveland Indians on Friday, Jordan Bastian of MLB.com reports.
Hunter got knocked around in his short stint with the Cubs in 2015, but he still has a decent enough track record in the last three years to warrant a roster spot. Since Opening Day 2013, he's registered a 3.26 ERA in 207.1 inning with a 1.10 WHIP. The 29-year-old could land in any number of roles with Cleveland, from setup to long relief.
Chad Jenkins was outrighted to Triple-A on Friday, Ben Nicholson-Smith of Sportsnet reports.
Jenkins cleared waivers after being DFA'd last Saturday. It's likely he will begin the 2016 season at Triple-A Buffalo.
Carson Smith credited location and movement over velocity for his success last season, WEEI.com reports. "It's tough going out there throwing four out of every five days. That's why your velocity can always vary, but as long as I keep my accuracy and movement consistent, I'm pretty positive about my chances. If I'm in the low-to-mid 90s, I'm pretty happy."
Smith's fastball isn't overpowering at 93 mph, so he relies heavily on his slider. He dominated right-handers, who hit just .169 off him and overall, Smith held hitters to a .192 average. At this point in the offseason, Smith projects into a share of the setup role along with Junichi Tazawa and Koji Uehara, behind closer Craig Kimbrel.
Drew Storen will compete for the closer job, but general manager Ross Atkins said the team doesn't expect to choose a closer until midway through spring training if not later, Ben Nicholson-Smith of Sportsnet reports.
After bringing in Storen over the offseason, he will compete with Roberto Osuna for the closer job. After Osuna saved 20 games for the Toronto Blue Jays last season, they still sought to improve their pen by bringing in Storen, who saved 29 games last season and saved 43 in 2011. This could be a lengthy battle between the two as both have the stuff and experience to close for the Jays, who should be considered the front-runners for the AL East.
Toronto Blue Jays general manager Ross Atkins said that the team doesn't expect to choose a closer between Roberto Osuna and Drew Storen until midway through spring training, if not later, according to Ben Nicholson-Smith of Sportsnet.
The acquisition of Storen in a trade with the Nationals in early January has added a layer of confusion for fantasy owners trying to determine the Jays' plans for the ninth inning to begin 2016. While Storen's experience may ultimately lead him to the job, Osuna proved capable of holding down the job and pitching at a high level upon arrival last season. Both players have the potential to finish as a top-10 closer if they can secure the job all season.
Andy Oliver will join the Baltimore Orioles during spring training as a non-roster invitee.
Oliver split the 2015 campaign between the Rays and Orioles organizations, performing relatively well for the teams' respective Triple-A affiliates. It appears the Orioles were impressed enough to offer Oliver another minors deal that includes an invitation to spring training, where he'll face an uphill battle to earn an Opening Day roster spot.
Craig Stammen signed a minor league contract with the Cleveland Indians that includes an invitation to spring training.
Stammen sat out for most of 2015 with a forearm injury, which led to the Nationals non-tendering the 31-year-old. That being said, he has had some decent numbers out of the bullpen during his career, posting a 2.93 ERA and 1.25 WHIP with nearly a strikeout per inning from 2012 through 2014. If he can get back to full health, Stammen could prove to be a nice under-the-radar pickup for Cleveland.
Jesse Chavez won his arbitration case and will make $4 million in 2016, Jerry Crasnick of ESPN.com reports.
While arbitration trials aren't the best way to get on the right foot with a new team, Chavez will bring a solid back-of-the-rotation presence to a staff that needs starting depth. The $4 million salary is a $1.85 million raise from last season.
Chad Jenkins was designated for assignment Saturday to make room on the 40-man roster for Gavin Floyd, Ben Nicholson-Smith of Sportnet reports.
Jenkins had been a steady performer out of the bullpen before 2015, averaging a 3.25 ERA and 32.1 innings per year in the three seasons prior. However, a brutal spring and mediocre results last season made the out-of-options reliever expendable. If he manages to clear waivers, he'll likely go back to Triple-A Buffalo.