1B | Justin Smoak | Seattle Mariners | Fantasy,
Seattle Mariners 1B Kendrys Morales will be penciled into the middle of the lineup for the team next season. "We have been focused on adding offense this offseason, and feel that Kendrys will be a middle-of-the-order bat for us," general manager Jack Zduriencik said. "He's a switch-hitter with power who has played - and hit - in the AL West. He's familiar with the teams and parks and is a proven run-producer." Morales will likely compete with 1B Justin Smoak at first base or serve as the team's designated hitter. Cs Jesus Montero and John Jaso could split time at DH, too. SPs Blake Beavan, Erasmo Ramirez, Danny Hultzen, James Paxton, Taijuan Walker and Brendan Maurer will be given a shot in spring training to crack a starting rotation that now includes only SPs Felix Hernandez and Hisashi Iwakuma.
C | Alex Avila | Detroit Tigers | Fantasy
Detroit Tigers manager Jim Leyland said a number of things accounted for C Alex Avila's drop in production, most notably nagging injuries, but the skipper also thinks a less aggressive approach at the plate set him back. "I'm not saying anything I haven't told his dad (assistant GM Al Avila); I'd like to see him more aggressive. I felt like there were too many times this year he was hitting with two strikes on him, and he was only getting one swing. That's just my personal opinion. I'm not a hitting coach, but he's a very selective hitter - I felt a little bit too selective."
C | Mike Napoli | Boston Red Sox | Free Agents, Fantasy
The Boston Red Sox have no new news on the contract status of 1B/C Mike Napoli. "As with any free agent, until it's done, it's not done. We continue to work on different ways to improve the team. I'll comment on it as soon as I can, but I can't right now. We've had some more dialogue. I wouldn't classify it as one way or the other. We'll see what happens. We're trying to improve the team and hopefully we can do that," general manager Ben Cherington said. Free-agent 1B Adam LaRoche (Nationals) and OF Nick Swisher (Yankees) remain on the market.
OF | Nick Swisher | free agent | Free Agents, Fantasy
Free-agent OF Nick Swisher (Yankees) doesn't have plans to visit with the Boston Red Sox as he visits interested teams this week.
OF | Peter Bourjos | Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim | Fantasy
The Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim may prefer to keep OF Peter Bourjos around now after trading 1B Kendrys Morales to the Seattle Mariners.
OF | Michael Bourn | free agent | Free Agents, Fantasy
The New York Yankees are not pursuing free-agent OF Michael Bourn (Braves), and a source with knowledge of the situation said there is "no chance" they go after the speedy outfielder. Bourn's asking price is much too high, he's a left-handed hitter and OF Curtis Granderson is still on their roster. The Yanks are searching for a right-handed hitting outfielder on the market, and the front-runner seems to be free-agent OF Scott Hairston (Mets).
SP | Carlos Villanueva | Chicago Cubs | Transaction, Free Agents
The Chicago Cubs signed free-agent SP Carlos Villanueva (Blue Jays) to an undisclosed contract.
SP | Edwin Jackson | free agent | Free Agents, Fantasy,
The Cleveland Indians are in talks with free-agent SP Edwin Jackson (Nationals), according to a source.
SP | Jon Lester | Boston Red Sox | Fantasy,
Boston Red Sox manager John Farrell said he met with SP Jon Lester recently and was very impressed with Lester's conditioning "and his frame of mind."
SP | Jason Vargas | Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim | Fantasy,
Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim SP Jason Vargas is expected to join a rotation next year that includes SPs Jered Weaver, C.J. Wilson, Tommy Hanson and Joe Blanton. SP Jerome Williams is likely to return to a long-relief role and SP Garrett Richards is likely to begin the year at Class AAA.
SP | Mike Leake | Cincinnati Reds | Fantasy,
Cincinnati Reds SP Mike Leake, who will remain in the starting rotation plans heading into spring training, said he plans to make some adjustments heading into the 2013 season, including utilizing his changeup more frequently. "I'll probably get my changeup going a little more," Leake said. "I still have to look at some video and see if there's anything that catches my eye. I feel like it was one of those years that the mistakes got hit a little more often than normal."
SP | Anibal Sanchez | Detroit Tigers | Fantasy,
Detroit Tigers SP Anibal Sanchez's deal could be worth $91 million if the team picks up his option for a sixth season. His 2018 option is worth $16 million with a $5 million buyout. Sanchez's signing bonus is worth $4 million. He'll make $8 million next season, $15 million in 2014 and $16 million a year from 2015 to 2017.
RP | Joel Hanrahan | Pittsburgh Pirates | Fantasy,
The Boston Red Sox have an interest in acquiring Pittsburgh Pirates CL Joel Hanrahan. The Pirates are looking for a starting pitcher, and the Red Sox package might feature multiple players.
RP | Frank Francisco | New York Mets | Injury, Fantasy,
Updating a previous report, New York Mets RP Frank Francisco (elbow) is expected to be ready for opening day next year after having surgery to remove a bone spur from his right elbow. Manager Terry Collins has insisted that Francisco will be the team's closer in 2013. However, Francisco could be a trade target if he can prove he's healthy early in the year.
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