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All you need to know: MLB news and rumors roundup for Dec. 17

By Dayn Perry | Baseball Writer

The Masahiro Tanaka market is heating up before he even hits the market. (USATSI)
The Masahiro Tanaka market is heating up before he even hits the market.(USATSI)

MORE: FA tracker: position players | FA tracker: pitchers

Another offseason day has come and gone, and it's time to recap all that went on and that was rumored to maybe be going on at some point in the indeterminate future. Let's roll tape on "All you need to know" for Tuesday ...

SIGNINGS AND AGREEMENTS

- Cubs: Agreed to terms with reliever/potential closer Jose Veras on a one-year deal worth a guaranteed $4 million. The cotract also includes an option for 2015.

- Orioles: Agreed to terms with closer Grant Balfour on a two-year contract worth $15 million.

- Red Sox: Have signed Japanese reliever Shunsuke Watanabe to a minor-league contract.

- Yankees: Agreed to terms with 2B Brian Roberts on a one-year deal worth $2 million ... The Yanks also struck a two-year, $7-million deal with lefty reliever Matt Thornton.

RUMORS AND SPECULATION

- Mark Reynolds: The Yankees, Angels and Twins are among those interested in the right-handed slugger, reports Jon Heyman.

- Masahiro Tanaka: The coveted Japanese right-hander has informed his current club, the Rakuten Golden Eagles, that he wants to be posted and pitch in MLB next year. Speaking of Tanaka, Jeff Passan of Yahoo! tweets that the Rangers are showing heightened interest in the 25-year-old. Meanwhile, Joel Sherman tweets that the Yankees seem to be positioning themselves for a strong run at Tanaka. The Angels may be in on Tanaka, writes Ken Rosenthal of FoxSports.com, but if the process drags out then they may prefer to focus on Matt Garza so that they can move on to other needs in a timely manner. Given Tanaka's relatively young age and the newly whittled down posting fee, it's hard to think of any team that wouldn't have at least cursory interest in him.

- Diamondbacks: Are discussing a minor-league deal with reliever Jose Valverde, reports our own Jon Heyman.

- Giants: Had some interest in lefty Mark Mulder, who's attempting a comeback, but were not inclined to offer Mulder a major-league contract. (Alex Pavlovic via Twitter)

- Mariners: Are reportedly closing in on a one-year contract with OF Franklin Gutierrez. (Jon Morosi via Twitter)

- Marlins: The Fish are willing to trade pitching depth in exchange for help at third base. (Joe Frisaro, MLB.com)

- Padres: Reliever/closer Joaquin Benoit is still a possibility for the Pads. (Corey Brock via Twitter)

- Pirates: Jon Heyman reports that the Buccos may have interest in trading for Ike Davis of the Mets or Mitch Moreland of the Rangers.

- Rangers: GM Jon Daniels tells the Dallas Morning News that he doesn't expect free agent outfielder Nelson Cruz to be back.

- Rays: Have interest in free agent infielders Jamey Carroll and Mark Reynolds. (Marc Topkin via Twitter)

- Red Sox: It's still possible that the Sox will trade away a starting pitcher this offseason. (Ken Rosenthal, FoxSports.com)

- Twins: Minnesota still has an eye on free agent lefty (and former Twin great) Johan Santana. (Darren Wolfson via Twitter)

- Yankees: Add Jeff Baker's name to the list of free agent infielders potentially of interest to the Yanks. (Joel Sherman via Twitter)

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