MLB Player News
The Pittsburgh Pirates are looking for pitching coach Ray Searage to work his magic with Allen Webster , most likely as a right-handed arm out of the bullpen, the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review reports.
"If we can help him get back on track, he can help our team in a variety of roles," GM Neal Huntington said. The Pirates have spots available in both the rotation and bullpen, but Webster is out of minor league options, meaning he could be lost to waivers if he doesn't make the club out of spring training.
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.
Bud Norris agreed to a one-year, $2.5 million contract with the Atlanta Braves on Wednesday.
The 30-year-old received a major-league contract but will take a steep pay cut after making $8.8 million last season. Norris was clobbered to the tune of a 7.06 ERA in 18 appearances (11 starts) for the Orioles last season before being released, and then pitched exclusively out of the bullpen after signing with the Padres in August. It's expected Norris will return to the rotation for the rebuilding Braves.
Ryan Braun is progressing well from offseason back surgery, the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reports. "I feel pretty good, knock on wood," Braun said Wednesday. "The only surprise is the rehab is a little longer than I was anticipating, just a couple months of rehab. Other than that, everything was as expected."
Although the initial recovery timetable is out the window, Braun remains optimistic that his offseason program will not be impacted and he will be back at 100 percent for spring training. The 32-year-old is doing physical therapy four days a week for the back, and he said there are no plans at this point for him to undergo another cryotherapy procedure on his thumb. The five-year, $105 million extension Braun signed in 2011 kicks in this season.
Rex Brothers was traded to the Chicago Cubs on Wednesday for Wander Cabrera.
He spent most of the year at Triple-A, and walked more batters than he struck out in 10.1 innings with the Rockies, resulting in his designation for assignment last week. The Cubs will take Brothers on as a low-cost reclamation project, but unless the lefty is able to cut down significantly on the free passes, he will have a tough time earning and maintaining a role with the big club in 2016.
Allen Webster was dealt to the Pittsburgh Pirates on Wednesday in exchange for cash considerations, Travis Sawchik of the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review reports.
Webster, who was DFA'd by the Diamondbacks in November, dealt with shoulder fatigue early in the 2015 season, but he was given an opportunity to make a few starts in June. However, he allowed 15 earned runs over four starts, earning a trip back to the minors before returning to the big league club as a bullpen option later in the year. The 25-year-old will join Pittsburgh's 40-man roster, which is now at capacity.
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.
Jose Reyes entered a plea of not guilty Tuesday to allegations of abusing his wife at Hawaii resort last month, the Associated Press reports.
With Reyes opting not to attend his arraignment, defense attorney David Sereno entered the not guilty please on his behalf. Commissioner Rob Manfred announced earlier this month that an internal investigation into the Oct. 31 incident has been launched, and the situation is expected to serve as a first test case for MLB's new domestic violence policy. The court process figures to play out in full before any possible league discipline is issued.
Yency Almonte was traded to the Colorado Rockies on Tuesday in exchange for reliever Tommy Kahnle.
The 21-year-old righty had an impressive 2.42 ERA and 39:12 K:BB in 44.2 innings (mostly as a starter) at High-A last year. That said, as a low-pedigree Rockies pitching prospect who has not yet reached Double-A, he has little value in dynasty leagues.
Stolmy Pimentel signed a minor league contract with the New York Mets that includes an invite to spring training, Anthony DiComo of MLB.com reports.
Pimentel appeared in eight games for the Rangers last season, putting together a 3.97 ERA and 1.24 WHIP in 11.1 innings. Including this season, the 25-year-old right-hander has appeared in the majors every season since 2013, but he's failed to record more than 20 appearances with each club -- thus limiting Pimentel's role to mere organizational depth with the Mets.