MLB Player News

  • Athletics' Bruce Maxwell: Expected to be primary catcher

    A's GM David Forst said earlier in the week that Maxwell remains the team's primary catcher despite his legal issues, Susan Slusser of the San Francisco Chronicle reports. "We're expecting Bruce to ready to go the first day of spring training and to be with us," Forst said. "I'm not getting involved in the legal side of this, but no one has said anything to me that makes me believe he won't be ready to go."

    Maxwell has pleaded not guilty to charges of assault stemming from allegations that he waved a gun at a food delivery person. A trial date has not been set and the belief is that the case will ultimately end in a plea deal before spring training, with Maxwell serving no jail time. Major League Baseball could issue a suspension after the legal process plays out, but it doesn't sound like the A's expect a lengthy ban, if there is one at all. The soon-to-be 27-year-old will platoon with Josh Phegley or Dustin Garneau behind the plate in Oakland.

  • Twins' Wynston Sawyer: Inks deal with Twins

    Sawyer agreed to a minor-league contract with Minnesota on Friday, Mike Berardino of The Pioneer Press reports.

    Sawyer spent most of last season at Double-A Tulsa for the Dodgers, slashing .277/.333/.429 with four home runs and 17 RBI in 54 contests. The 26-year-old backstop will likely remain in Double-A to start the 2018 season, as he hasn't received any time in Triple-A or the majors during his professional career to this point.

  • Erik Kratz C | NYY

    Yankees' Erik Kratz: Re-signs with Yankees

    Kratz signed a minor-league contract with the Yankees on Tuesday, Bob Nightengale of USA Today reports.

    Kratz opted for free agency after declining an outright assignment from the Yankees at the start of November. He only appeared in four games at the big-league level this past season with New York, instead spending the majority of the year in Triple-A. The veteran catcher will likely provide depth in the minors once again after re-upping on a new deal.

  • Astros' Tim Federowicz: Inks minors deal with Astros

    Federowicz signed a minor-league contract with the Astros on Monday which includes an invitation to spring training, Brian McTaggart of MLB.com reports.

    Federowicz spent the majority of the 2017 campaign with Triple-A Sacramento, hitting a respectable .300/.366/.463 across 77 games with the River Cats. He appeared in just 13 games for the Giants, as Buster Posey and Nick Hundley primarily handled duties behind the dish. With Evan Gattis set to serve as the team's primary DH next season, Federowicz will compete for a role as Houston's backup catcher.

  • Derek Norris C | DET

    Tigers' Derek Norris: Receives spring invite from Tigers

    Norris signed a minor-league contract with the Tigers on Tuesday which includes an invite to spring training.

    Norris played in just 53 games last season before being released by the Rays and ultimately suspended following a domestic violence investigation. He hit nine homers in 198 plate appearances and was a plus behind the plate, but his offensive rate stats were downright bad (.271 wOBA, 68 wRC+). It's entirely possible that he'll break camp with Detroit, but he would likely be No. 2 behind James McCann if that were to happen.

  • White Sox's Welington Castillo: Inks deal with White Sox

    Castillo signed a two-year, $15 million contract with the White Sox on Friday, Ken Rosenthal of The Athletic reports.

    This agreement comes with a club option for a third year worth $8 million, and will give Castillo a little more security after declining a $7 million option from Baltimore in November. During the 2017 season, the backstop slashed .282/.323/.490 with a career-high 20 home runs, and 53 RBI. The 30-year-old will likely slide into a starting role with Chicago, as Kevan Smith serves as his backup.

  • Bobby Wilson C | LAD

    Twins' Bobby Wilson: Agrees to deal with Twins

    Wilson signed a minor-league contract with Minnesota on Thursday, Rhett Bollinger of MLB.com reports.

    Wilson spent the entire 2017 season with Triple-A Oklahoma City in the Dodgers' system after being with three different organizations the year before. With Oklahoma City, the 34-year-old slashed .243/.318/.428 with 11 home runs and 45 RBI in 75 games, and will provide organizational depth for the Twins this upcoming season.

  • Twins' Willians Astudillo: Joins Twins on minors deal

    Astudillo agreed to a minor-league contract with the Twins on Thursday, Rhett Bollinger of MLB.com reports.

    Astudillo will join the Twins after spending all of the 2017 season with Arizona's Triple-A affiliate (Reno), hitting .342/.370/.558 in 36 games for the Aces. The 26-year-old owns an impressive 3.1 percent strikeout rate over his career, so the case could be made that no other hitter in the minors is better at making contact. Unfortunately, he fits best defensively at first base or DH, and has just 17 home runs in 560 minor-league games. He continues to get some work at catcher, but if he could handle that position, he would have likely already reached the majors. Look for him to serve as an organizational depth piece for the Twins in 2018.

  • Curt Casali C | TB

    Angels' Curt Casali: Signs with Angels on minors deal

    Casali signed a minor-league deal with the Angels that includes an invite to spring training, Jeff Fletcher of the Orange County Register reports.

    He elected free agency after the Rays removed him from the 40-man roster this offseason. Casali has a career .199/.285/.385 slash line with 19 home runs and a 30.5 percent strikeout rate in 466 MLB plate appearances, although his defense behind the dish grades out well. Martin Maldonado is the clear starter in Anaheim, but Casali will be able to compete with Juan Graterol and Carlos Perez for a shot to be the backup this spring.

  • Juan Centeno C | TEX

    Rangers' Juan Centeno: Claimed by Rangers

    Centeno was claimed off waivers by the Rangers on Monday.

    Centeno, who was designated for assignment by the Astros last week, appeared in 22 games for the World Series champs last season, compiling a .231/.286/.346 line with two homers in 57 plate appearances. He'll likely compete with Brett Nicholas in spring training for the backup catching role.