MLB Player News

  • Dodgers' Charlie Culberson: Outrighted to Triple-A

    Culberson was outrighted to Triple-A Oklahoma City on Friday, J.P. Hoornstra of the Southern California News Group reports.

    This removes Culberson from the 40-man roster. Culberson batted .299 in 34 games with the Dodgers in 2016 while seeing time at shortstop, second base, third base and left field. However, his overall body of work at the major league level leaves a lot to be desired (.599 OPS) and it seems the Dodgers are content with their other in-house utility options.

  • Red Sox's Jacob Dahlstrand: Returns to Red Sox on minor league deal

    Dahlstrand has signed a minor league contract with the Red Sox, the Boston Globe reports.

    The 24-year-old right-hander will remain with the only organization he's known, for an eighth season. Dahlstrand made eight starts in 2016 as he worked his way back from Tommy John surgery, and the results with Double-A Portland (6.05 ERA) suggest he hadn't quite regained a feel for his pitches. He will likely spend most (if not all) of 2017 at the upper levels of the minor leagues.

  • Phil Bickford SP | MIL

    Brewers' Phil Bickford: Suspended 50 games

    Bickford was suspended for 50 games after testing positive for a drug of abuse for the second time, Bill Shaikin of the Los Angeles Times reports.

    Bickford also tested positive for marijuana prior to the 2015 draft, so the penalty increased to 50 games now that he committed his second offense. Formerly one of the Giants' top prospects, the right-hander wasn't nearly as dominant in five starts in the Brewers system as he was during his time in the Giants organization, and this situation only erodes his prospect shine a bit more. There's no denying his strong ability to strike batters out (10.1 K/9 last season), but his makeup will need to improve if he wants to remain in high standing with the Brewers.

  • Tigers' Miguel Gonzalez: Back with Tigers on minor league deal

    Gonzalez has signed a minor league contract with the Tigers that includes an invite to spring training.

    Gonzalez enjoyed a five-game cup of coffee with the White Sox in 2013 but has been stuck at the Triple-A level ever since. He hit just .243/.298/.327 with Triple-A Toledo in 2016 and will likely play out his entire age-26 season as minor league depth, barring several injuries behind the plate in Detroit.

  • Reds' Shawn Zarraga: Heads to Reds on NRI deal

    Zarraga signed a minor league contract with the Reds on Friday that includes an invitation to spring training, C. Trent Rosecrans of the Cincinnati Enquirer reports.

    Zarraga spent the last two years in the Dodgers organization, most recently posting a measly .434 OPS with Triple-A Oklahoma City. Due to this and the general logjam at catcher in the Reds organization, the 27-year-old will likely just be an organizational depth piece from here on out.

  • Reds' Kevin Shackelford: Latches on with Reds on NRI contract

    Shackelford signed a minor league deal with the Reds on Friday that includes an invitation to spring training, C. Trent Rosecrans of the Cincinnati Enquirer reports.

    The 27-year-old had a solid season in 2016, posting a 2.30 ERA and a 1.22 WHIP with Triple-A Louisville. Shackelford doesn't possess very good peripherals, though (3.78 FIP, 20:13 K:BB), so he'll likely head back to being an organizational depth piece once spring training concludes.

  • Matt Smoral RP | TOR

    Rangers' Matt Smoral: Picked up by Texas in Rule 5 draft

    Smoral was selected by the Rangers in the Triple-A phase of the Rule 5 draft Thursday.

    The former first-round draft pick has been riddled with injuries since signing with Toronto in 2012, producing just one season so far with more than 30 innings pitched (2014). Even when he was healthy last season, the results weren't pretty, posting a 13.15 ERA in 11 appearances with Low-A Vancouver during 2016. Although the 22-year-old has proven to be effective at missing bats and generating strikeouts, he has struggled mightily with his control, as evidenced by his 11.08 BB/9 last season. Smoral continues to showcase potential, but he will need to stay healthy and hone in his command in order to advance from the Rangers' farm system to the majors.

  • Ruben Alaniz RP | DET

    Tigers' Ruben Alaniz: Returns to Tigers on minor league deal

    Alaniz has signed a minor league contract with the Tigers that includes an invite to spring training.

    After what was easily his best professional season to date, Alaniz decided to return for a second year in the Tigers' organization. The right-hander posted a 2.77 ERA with a strikeout per inning in 34 appearances with Double-A Erie to begin 2016, earning a promotion to the Triple-A level for the first time. Alaniz was even better after the move up and will now get a chance to prove himself against big-league hitters in major league camp.

  • Rob Brantly C | SEA

    Reds' Rob Brantly: Inks NRI deal with Reds

    Brantly signed a minor league contract with the Reds on Friday that includes an invitation to spring training, C. Trent Rosecrans of the Cincinnati Enquirer reports.

    The 27-year-old catcher has made a few appearances in the big leagues, although he hasn't been able to translate his bat to the majors for the most part. Pair this with the plethora of other catchers in the Reds system, and it seems like Brantly will spend another year as organizational depth.

  • Reds' Josh VanMeter: Sent to Reds as PTBNL

    VanMeter was traded to the Reds on Friday as the PTBNL of Thursday's trade that sent Rule 5 pick Luis Torrens to the Padres.

    The 21-year-old split time between High-A Lake Elsinore and Double-A San Antonio, amassing 23 doubles and 14 home runs between the two levels. VanMeter lost much of the 2015 campaign season to a fractured left fibula, so taking this into account with his age, it seems like he still has some time to develop into a power-hitting middle infielder, although his high propensity to strike out could limit his advancement.