Major League Baseball
MLB News Wire
  • Monday, November 24, 2014
    Phillies' Lee cleared to start throwing
    By The Sports Xchange

    Philadelphia Phillies starting pitcher Cliff Lee got the green light to begin his offseason throwing program on Monday.

    • Lee missed the final two months of the 2014 season because of a left elbow strain.

      General manager Ruben Amaro Jr. told CSNPhilly.com Lee would begin his offseason throwing program next week and that the veteran left hander will be ready for the start of spring training.

      "Originally we planned to have him throwing in mid-November, but we moved it back because he had been sick for about a week," Amaro said. "His strength is back now. His elbow feels good. He's pain-free and doing great, ready to begin his normal throwing program on Dec. 1."

      Lee made only 13 starts in 2014.

      "We think he's over it," Amaro said. "He's been able to do all his strength work and he hasn't felt it at all. We'll know more when he starts throwing."

  • Monday, November 24, 2014
    Red Sox, SS Ramirez agree on $88 million deal
    By The Sports Xchange

    The Boston Red Sox got their man, make that their men.

    • On Monday afternoon, the Red Sox and free-agent shortstop Hanley Ramirez agreed on a five-year deal worth $88 million, according to multiple reports.

      Ramirez, 30, hit .283 with a .369 on-base percentage, a .448 slugging percentage, 13 homers and 71 RBIs in 128 games for the Los Angeles Dodgers this past season. The previous season, he finished eighth in National League MVP voting after batting .345 despite missing half the season due to injuries.

      Earlier on Monday, Boston and free-agent third baseman Pablo Sandoval came to terms on a five-year deal worth nearly $100 million.

      Last season, rookie Xander Bogaerts played shortstop for Boston and Will Middlebrooks was the primary third baseman. Both produced disappointing offensive numbers. Ramirez reportedly is open to moving to a new position if requested to do so by his new team.

      Boston signed Ramirez as a 16-year-old Dominican free agent in 2000, and he appeared in two games for the Red Sox in 2005. In November 2005, he was dealt to the Florida Marlins in the deal that sent right-hander Josh Beckett and third baseman Mike Lowell to Boston.

      Ramirez won NL Rookie of the Year for Florida in 2006. He was a three-time all-star with the Marlins before joining the Dodgers in 2012.

  • Monday, November 24, 2014
    Willingham retires on 'my terms'
    By The Sports Xchange

    After 11 seasons, outfielder Josh Willingham told ESPN on Monday that he is retiring.

    • The 35-year-old hit .253 with 195 home runs during a career that included stops with the Florida Marlins, Washington Nationals, Oakland Athletics, Minnesota Twins and Kansas City Royals.

      His best season came in 2012, when he hit 35 homers, drove in 110 runs and won a Silver Slugger Award with the Twins.

      "After praying on my decision many times and talking to my wife, my father and ex-players who have gone through the same process toward the end of their careers, I have decided to retire,'' Willingham said.

      "I felt like it wouldn't be fair to myself, and more importantly to the team that was paying me a lot of money to perform at a high level, if there was a chance my dedication would waver -- particularly as the season got longer. I'm honored to have played for as many years as I have, and I feel even luckier to walk away on my own terms instead of having the decision made for me."

  • Monday, November 24, 2014
    Mariners' 3B Seager gets $100 million deal
    By The Sports Xchange

    Third baseman Kyle Seager and the Seattle Mariners are nearing a long-term deal that will keep the 27-year-old in the Northwest for the next seven years.

    • According to multiple reports, the Mariners will lock up Seager at a cost of nearly $100 million. The contract will include an option in the eighth year and could be worth another $20 million.

      Seager is coming off an All-Star type season. He won his first Gold Glove while hitting .268 and belted 25 home runs.

      Seager must pass a physical before the deal becomes official.

      This is the third consecutive offseason that the Mariners have signed a player to a $100-million deal. Last offseason, Seattle signed free-agent second baseman Robinson Cano to a 10-year, $240 million contract. The year before, Felix Hernandez signed for seven years and $175 million.

  • Monday, November 24, 2014
    Johnson, Martinez, Smoltz appear on HOF ballot
    By The Sports Xchange

    Pitchers who won a combined nine Cy Young Awards and position players who earned three batting titles are among 17 new candidates on the 2015 Hall of Fame ballot.

    • Pitchers Randy Johnson, Pedro Martinez and John Smoltz; infielder Nomar Garciaparra and outfielder Gary Sheffield join 17 holdovers from the 2014 balloting in which pitchers Greg Maddux and Tom Glavine and first baseman/designated hitter Frank Thomas won election to the Hall of Fame in Cooperstown, N.Y. It marked the first time that three first-ballot nominees were elected since Nolan Ryan, George Brett and Robin Yount in 1999.

      Former Houston Astros second baseman Craig Biggio missed the 75-percent qualifying point by two votes in last year's balloting.

      Johnson won five Cy Young Awards -- four in the National League with the Arizona Diamondbacks and one in the American League with the Seattle Mariners -- during a 22-season career in which the lefthander won 303 games and totaled 4,875 strikeouts, second only to Nolan Ryan.

      Pedro Martinez also won Cy Young Awards in both leagues -- two in the American League with the Boston Red Sox and one in the NL with the Montreal Expos. The right-hander led his league in earned run average five times and finished his 18-season career with 3,154 strikeouts and a .687 winning percentage (219-100).

      Smoltz was the NL Cy Young Award winner in 1996 with the Atlanta Braves for whom he spent the bulk of his 21 seasons in the majors as a rotation mate of Hall of Famers Maddux and Glavine.

      He played on clubs that won 14 division titles, five pennants and the 1995 World Series. Smoltz is the only pitcher in history with more than 200 victories (213) and 150 saves (154).

      Other holdovers who remain on the ballot include Barry Bonds, Roger Clemens, Mike Piazza and Jeff Bagwell.

  • Monday, November 24, 2014
    Report: Rangers to make run at B.J. Upton
    By The Sports Xchange

    ESPN is reporting that the Texas Rangers have engaged the Atlanta Braves in talks with the hope of acquiring outfielder B.J. Upton.

    • Upton set career highs in runs (29) and RBIs (102) last season with the Braves. But after a second-half collapse, the Atlanta is reshaping its roster. The Braves already have traded outfield Jason Heyward and seem willing to part with Upton for the right deal.

      The Rangers are planning to shift Shin-Soo Choo to right field, which would open up left field for the 30-year-old Upton.

      Upton has a limited no-trade clause in his contract to four teams, but the Rangers are not one of them, ESPN reported. His contract also is appealing to the Rangers. It has one year remaining on a six-year, $51.2 million contract extension he signed while playing with Arizona

  • Monday, November 24, 2014
    Reports: Red Sox land Sandoval
    By The Sports Xchange

    Free agent third baseman Pablo Sandoval is leaving his heart in San Francisco and heading cross-country to Beantown.

    • According to multiple reports, Sandoval and the Boston Red Sox have agreed on a five-year deal worth close to $100 million.

      The Red Sox are also closing in on a deal with free agent shortstop Hanley Ramirez. According to FOXSports.com, the Red Sox expect to finalize a deal with Ramirez on Monday.

      Ramirez has indicated to the Red Sox that he is willing to play other positions besides shortstop.

      Sandoval has won three World Series rings in five years with the Giants.

      The 28-year-old Sandoval is coming off a season where he hit .279 with 16 home runs and 73 RBIs. In the postseason, he hit .366 in 17 games.

      For his career, the switch-hitting Sandoval has compiled a .294 average with 106 home runs and 462 RBI in seven seasons with the Giants.

  • Sunday, November 23, 2014
    Reports: Red Sox wooing Hanley Ramirez
    By The Sports Xchange

    The Boston Red Sox are making a bid to rework the left half of their infield.

    • In addition to offering a big contract to free agent third baseman Pablo Sandoval, Boston is negotiating with free agent shortstop Hanley Ramirez, multiple media outlets reported Sunday.

      A source told WEEI.com that a Ramirez deal "could come together quickly." CBS Sports reported that talks between Ramirez and Boston were becoming increasingly serious.

      Last season, rookie Xander Bogaerts played shortstop for Boston and Will Middlebrooks was the primary third baseman. Both produced disappointing offensive numbers. Ramirez reportedly is open to moving to a new position if requested to do so by his new team.

      Ramirez, 30, hit .283 with a .369 on-base percentage, a .448 slugging percentage, 13 homers and 71 RBIs in 128 games for the Los Angeles Dodgers this year. The previous season, he finished eighth in National League MVP voting after batting .345 despite missing half the season due to injuries.

      Boston signed Ramirez as a 16-year-old Dominican free agent in 2000, and he appeared in two games for the Red Sox in 2005. In November 2005, he was dealt to the Florida Marlins in the deal that sent right-hander Josh Beckett and third baseman Mike Lowell to Boston.

      Ramirez won NL Rookie of the Year for Florida in 2006. He was a three-time all-star with the Marlins before joining the Dodgers in 2012.

      The Red Sox reportedly offered Sandoval a five-year, $95 million deal. The terms being discussed with Ramirez were not known.

  • Sunday, November 23, 2014
    MLB roundup: Six teams interested in Lester
    By The Sports Xchange

    At least six teams are interested in free agent pitcher Jon Lester, Fox Sports reported Sunday.

    • The Boston Red Sox and Chicago Cubs are considered the favorites to land the left-handed starter, with the Atlanta Braves and St. Louis Cardinals also known to be in the running.

      However, there are at least two other teams that are expected to join the bidding for Lester.

      The New York Yankees have denied they are going to make any major free agent moves but reportedly are expected to be a player in the Lester sweepstakes. It is not clear which other team or teams are interested.

      Lester, 30, went 16-11 with a 2.46 ERA, 1.10 WHIP, and 220 strikeouts in 219 2/3 innings combined between the Boston Red Sox and Oakland A's in 2014.

      --The Cleveland Indians acquired right-handed pitcher Charles Brewer from the Arizona Diamondbacks for cash considerations. They also designated left-handed pitcher Brian Barnes for assignment.

      Brewer, 26, split last season between Double-A Mobile and Triple-A Reno, going a combined 11-12 with a 4.46 ERA in 29 starts. He was designated for assignment on Thursday.

      --The Oakland A's acquired first baseman Ike Davis from the Pittsburgh Pirates, the Pirates announced.

      The San Francisco Chronicle reported that the Pirates will receive international slot money and that the A's made the move for depth.

      The Pirates designated the 27-year-old Davis for assignment last week. Davis batted .233 with 11 home runs and 51 RBIs in 2014 with the New York Mets and Pirates.

  • Sunday, November 23, 2014
    A's acquire 1B Davis from Pirates
    By The Sports Xchange

    The Oakland A's acquired first baseman Ike Davis from the Pittsburgh Pirates, the Pirates announced Sunday.

    • The San Francisco Chronicle reported that the Pirates will receive international slot money and that the A's made the move for depth.

      The Pirates designated the 27-year-old Davis for assignment last week. According to MLB Trade Rumors, he is projected to make $4.4 million through salary arbitration in 2015. That could explain why the Pirates designated him for assignment and that they were planning to non-tender him by the Dec. 2 deadline.

      Davis batted .233 with 11 home runs and 51 RBIs in 2014 with the New York Mets and Pirates.

      The A's recently signed free agent first baseman/designated hitter Billy Butler. Davis joins Butler, Brandon Moss, Stephen Vogt, Nate Freiman and Kyle Blanks as first basemen on the A's 40-man roster.

  • Sunday, November 23, 2014
    Report: Six teams interested in Lester
    By The Sports Xchange

    At least six teams are interested in free agent pitcher Jon Lester, Fox Sports reported Sunday.

    • The Boston Red Sox and Chicago Cubs are considered the favorites to land the left-handed starter, with the Atlanta Braves and St. Louis Cardinals also known to be in the running.

      However, there are at least two other teams that are expected to join the bidding for Lester.

      The New York Yankees have denied they are going to make any major free agent moves but reportedly are expected to be a player in the Lester sweepstakes. It is not clear which other team or teams are interested.

      Lester, 30, went 16-11 with a 2.46 ERA, 1.10 WHIP, and 220 strikeouts in 219 2/3 innings combined between the Boston Red Sox and Oakland A's in 2014.

      The Red Sox reportedly offered Lester between $110 million and $120 million over six years but he could garner more than $150 million.

  • Sunday, November 23, 2014
    Indians acquire RHP Brewer from Diamondbacks
    By The Sports Xchange

    The Cleveland Indians acquired right-handed pitcher Charles Brewer from the Arizona Diamondbacks for cash considerations Sunday and designated left-handed pitcher Brian Barnes for assignment.

    • Brewer, 26, split last season between Double-A Mobile and Triple-A Reno, going a combined 11-12 with a 4.46 ERA in 29 starts. He led all Diamondbacks minor leaguers in with 169 2/3 innings, was second in wins and third with 138 strikeouts. A 12th-round draft pick of the Diamondbacks in 2009, Barnes is 50-42 with a 4.09 ERA in 137 games (124 starts) in his minor-league career.

      Brewer became the first Arizona-born player to make his major-league debut with the Diamondbacks in 2013, appearing in four games in relief. He was designated for assignment on Thursday.

      Last season, Barnes went 3-2 with a 3.69 in 31 1/3 innings over 25 games (one start) for Triple-A Columbus.

  • Saturday, November 22, 2014
    MLB roundup: Sandoval leaning toward Red Sox offer
    By The Sports Xchange

    The Boston Red Sox have the best shot at signing free agent third baseman Pablo Sandoval despite a better offer from the San Diego Padres, according to the San Francisco Chronicle.

    • The Boston Globe reported Friday night that the Red Sox offered Sandoval a five-year, $95 million contract.

      The Padres either offered Sandoval more than $100 million or a six-year deal. Sandoval reportedly is leaning toward Boston's offer, but the San Francisco Giants have been asked to submit another bid to re-sign him. This indicates that Sandoval is close to making a decision.

      During spring training, the Giants offered Sandoval a three-year, $40 million extension, which he rejected.

      Sandoval was in Boston early in the week to meet with the Red Sox, who have been pursuing him since free agency began. Sandoval's visit to Boston also reportedly included having dinner with Red Sox slugger David Ortiz.

      The Giants are interested in retaining Sandoval, who helped them win their third World Series title in five years in October. The Padres and Toronto Blue Jays have also been chasing Sandoval, though talks with Toronto have reportedly cooled.

      Last season, Sandoval, 28, batted .279 with 16 home runs and 73 RBIs. He is a career .294 hitter.

      ---Infielder Josh Satin agreed to a minor-league contract with the Cincinnati Reds on Saturday.

      Satin spent parts of the past four seasons with the New York Mets. In 2013, he batted .279 in 75 games with the Mets but spent the majority of the season in the minor leagues.

      Satin struggled at the major league level this year, batting just .086 in 25 games with the Mets.

      ---Free agent first baseman Adam LaRoche and the Chicago White Sox agreed Friday on a two-year deal worth $25 million.

      The 35-year-old LaRoche hit 26 homers last season while a member of the Washington Nationals.

      The Miami Marlins, who signed outfielder Giancarlo Stanton to a record 13-year, $325 million contract earlier in the week, reportedly made LaRoche a two-year offer worth $20 million.

  • Saturday, November 22, 2014
    Report: Sandoval leaning toward Red Sox offer
    By The Sports Xchange

    The Boston Red Sox have the best shot at signing free agent third baseman Pablo Sandoval despite a better offer from the San Diego Padres, according to the San Francisco Chronicle.

    • The Boston Globe reported Friday night that the Red Sox offered Sandoval a five-year, $95 million contract.

      The Padres either offered Sandoval more than $100 million or a six-year deal. Sandoval reportedly is leaning toward Boston's offer, but the San Francisco Giants have been asked to submit another bid to re-sign him. This indicates that Sandoval is close to making a decision.

      During spring training, the Giants offered Sandoval a three-year, $40 million extension, which he rejected.

      Sandoval was in Boston early in the week to meet with the Red Sox, who have been pursuing him since free agency began. Sandoval's visit to Boston also reportedly included having dinner with Red Sox slugger David Ortiz.

      After meeting with team officials Tuesday, Sandoval reportedly left town.

      The Giants are interested in retaining Sandoval, who helped them win their third World Series title in five years in October. The Padres and Toronto Blue Jays have also been chasing Sandoval, though talks with Toronto have reportedly cooled.

      Last season, Sandoval, 28, batted .279 with 16 home runs and 73 RBIs. He is a career .294 hitter.

      The Giants have placed a priority on re-signing Sandoval, even telling their other free agents -- including pitchers Jake Peavy and Ryan Vogelsong -- to wait until they address the third baseman.

      The Giants believe Sandoval is interested in returning to San Francisco.

      "I think the interest is sincere," assistant general manager Bobby Evans told the San Francisco Chronicle on Thursday. "I think Pablo loves this fan base as much as any player loves a fan base, and that could go a long way."

      Sandoval is seeking a six-year deal. Even though the Red Sox can afford to pay Sandoval what he is seeking without going over the luxury tax threshold, there are concerns about his weight issues. That could prevent Sandoval from convincing teams to offer a six-year deal.

  • Saturday, November 22, 2014
    Satin signs minor-league deal with Reds
    By The Sports Xchange

    Infielder Josh Satin agreed to a minor-league contract with the Cincinnati Reds on Saturday.

    • Satin spent parts of the past four seasons with the New York Mets. In 2013, he batted .279 in 75 games with the Mets but spent the majority of the season in the minor leagues.

      Satin struggled at the major-league level this year, batting just .086 in 25 games with the Mets.

      In 329 games at the Triple-A level, he has batted .294. He will compete for a backup spot as a first baseman or third baseman for the Reds.

  • Saturday, November 22, 2014
    White Sox snag free-agent 1B LaRoche
    By The Sports Xchange

    Free agent first baseman Adam LaRoche and the Chicago White Sox agreed Friday on a two-year deal worth $25 million.

    • The 35-year-old LaRoche hit 26 homers last season while a member of the Washington Nationals.

      The Miami Marlins, who signed outfielder Giancarlo Stanton to a record 13-year, $325 million contract earlier in the week, reportedly made LaRoche a two-year offer worth $20 million.

      The San Diego Padres reportedly showed interest, too.

      LaRoche is a career .264 hitter in 11 big league seasons. He has belted 243 career home runs.

  • Friday, November 21, 2014
    Rays trim managerial list to three finalists
    By The Sports Xchange

    The Tampa Bay Rays narrowed the list of candidates for their managerial vacancy to Raul Ibanez, Kevin Cash and Don Wakamatsu on Friday.

    • One of the three finalists will replace Joe Maddon, who left the Rays after nine years to become the manager of the Chicago Cubs.

      Interviews are scheduled with each of the three contenders for the first week of December.

      Among the candidates who didn't make the final cut were Rays bench coach Dave Martinez, Barry Larkin, Doug Glanville, Manny Acta and Craig Counsell.

      "The decision on Dave Martinez was especially difficult," Rays president of baseball operations Matt Silverman said in a statement. "He's played a key role in our organization's evolution, and he's done all he can to put himself in position to be a manager. In the end, we determined that our clubhouse would best benefit from a new voice that will add to our already strong and cohesive culture."

      The 42-year-old Ibanez has 19 years of major league experience with Seattle, Kansas City, Philadelphia, the New York Yankees and the Los Angeles Angels. He finished his playing career with 305 homers and 2,034 hits.

      The 36-year-old Cash played in the major leagues as a catcher for eight years with Toronto, Tampa Bay, Boston, the Yankees and Houston. He was Cleveland's bullpen coach in 2013-14.

      The 51-year-old Wakamatsu managed the Seattle Mariners to a 127-147 record in 2009-10. He was bench coach for the Texas Rangers from 2003 to 2006, the Oakland Athletics in 2008, the Toronto Blue Jays in 2011-12 and the Kansas City Royals in 2014. He also was the Rangers' third-base coach in 2007.

  • Friday, November 21, 2014
    Report: Braves ready to trade Justin Upton
    By The Sports Xchange

    The Atlanta Braves reportedly are receiving plenty of interest from teams about outfielder Justin Upton and are intent on trading him.

    • The Houston Astros and Texas Rangers are among the teams that have inquired about Upton, according to the New York Post. The Seattle Mariners, who tried to acquire Upton in 2013, could be an option as well as the Braves appear set to dump salary and rebuild.

      Earlier this week, the Braves traded outfielder Jason Heyward to the St. Louis Cardinals in a four-player deal that netted starting pitcher Shelby Miller and minor league pitcher Tyrell Jenkins.

      The Braves are seeking even more for Upton because of his power at the plate, the Post reported. Upton hit 29 homers last season.

      Upton, 27, is slated to make $14.5 million in 2015 in the final year of his contract.

  • Friday, November 21, 2014
    Dodgers acquire Rays reliever Peralta
    By The Sports Xchange

    The Los Angeles Dodgers acquired veteran reliever Joel Peralta from the Tampa Bay Rays in a four-player trade.

    • In the Thursday night deal, the Dodgers also received minor league left-handed pitcher Adam Liberatore from Rays in exchange for young right-handers Jose Dominguez and Greg Harris.

      The move was the first major league trade under new Dodgers president of baseball operations Andrew Friedman, who spent 10 years in the Rays' front office.

      The right-handed Peralta, 38, pitched 69 games for the Rays last season, going 3-4 with a 4.41 ERA. In 10 seasons with five teams, Peralta is 16-33 with a 3.92 ERA. The Rays recently picked up a $2.5 million option on Peralta for 2015.

      "Joel's significance to the Rays transcended his on-field performance," Rays general manager Matt Silverman said in a statement. "He was a clubhouse leader who always sought ways to make the organization better."

      Liberatore, 27, was drafted in the 21st round by the Rays in 2010. He went 6-1 with a 1.66 ERA at Triple-A Durham.

      Dominguez, 24, pitched in 14 games over the past two seasons, with a 6.14 ERA.

      Harris, 20, was 7-6 with a 4.45 ERA at Class A Great Lakes last season.

  • Thursday, November 20, 2014
    Pirates designate 1B Davis for assignment
    By The Sports Xchange

    In a flurry of transactions Thursday, the Pittsburgh Pirates added rehabbing prospect Jameson Taillon to their 40-man roster, claimed shortstop Pedro Florimon off waivers from the Washington Nationals and designated first baseman Ike Davis for assignment.

    • Taillon, 23, was the second overall pick in the 2010 draft. The right-hander went 16-21 with a 3.72 ERA in his first three minor league seasons before sitting out all of 2014 after undergoing Tommy John elbow surgery.

      Davis, 27, began last season with the New York Mets before he was traded to Pittsburgh in April. In a combined 143 games this year, Davis hit .233 with a .344 on-base percentage, a .378 slugging percentage, 11 homers and 51 RBIs.

      Davis would have been eligible for arbitration this winter if he remained on the Pirates' roster.

      Florimon is with his third team in a matter of months. The Nationals obtained him off waivers from the Minnesota Twins in September.

      The 27-year-old batted only .092 in the major leagues this year and .257 in Triple-A. Florimon has a .204 average with 10 home runs and 57 RBIs since he broke into the majors with the Baltimore Orioles in 2011.

      The Pirates purchased the contracts of three other players Thursday. Outfielder Willy Garcia, right-hander Nick Kingham and catcher Elias Diaz, were added to the 40-man roster. Infielder Brent Morel was outrighted to Triple-A Indianapolis, and catcher Ramon Cabrera was designated for assignment.

  • Thursday, November 20, 2014
    MLB roundup: Marlins going after LaRoche, Shields
    By The Sports Xchange

    The Miami Marlins, who signed outfielder Giancarlo Stanton to a record 13-year, $325 million contract this week, have reportedly made free agent first baseman Adam LaRoche a two-year offer worth $20 million and are set to make a run at veteran right-hander James Shields.

    • LaRoche, 35, belted 26 home runs and drove in 92 runs for the Washington Nationals last season while batting .259. LaRoche reportedly also has drawn interest from the Chicago White Sox and San Diego Padres.

      Shields turns 33 in December and is a free agent following a 14-8 season with the Kansas City Royals last season.

      --The Washington Nationals are telling teams that right-handed pitcher Jordan Zimmermann is available for a trade, USA Today reported.

      Zimmermann, 28, is the team's ace, and went 14-5 with a 2.66 ERA this past season.

      He earned $7.5 million in 2014, but his salary increases to $16.5 million in 2015, the final year of his contract.

      --The Atlanta Braves are reportedly joining the chase for Cuban slugger Yasmany Tomas as new president John Hart expands his pursuit of multiple free agents.

      Tomas, a prodigious slugger who at 24 might be ready for the major leagues, has drawn interest from several teams.

      The Braves hosted free-agent pitcher Jon Lester on Thursday as it was learned the Boston Red Sox had already extended an offer north of $110 million for six seasons. Hart called signing Lester a long shot, but also said it was his job to keep doors open.

      --Major League Baseball owners are expected to vote on Thursday on a five-year contract for commissioner-elect Rob Manfred, CBSSports.com reported.

      The five-year deal is expected to be approved for Manfred, who takes over in January from Bud Selig.

      ---Right-hander Ronaldo Belisario was the Chicago White Sox's closer for part of the 2014 season, but the White Sox designated him for assignment and dropped him from the team's 40-man roster.

      Belisario was eligible for arbitration, and the White Sox opted to designate him for assignment rather than non-tendering him.

      --Right-handed pitcher Juan Nicasio, who started 14 games for the Colorado Rockies in 2014, was designated for assignment by the Rockies.

      Nicasio suffered a scary injury during his rookie season in 2011, when he suffered a fractured skull and a broken neck after being hit by a batted ball.

      Nicasio, 28, had a 6-6 record with a 5.38 ERA in 2014.

      ---The Minnesota Twins established their 40-man major league roster, adding right-handed pitcher Alex Meyer, left-handed pitcher Jason Wheeler, outfielder Eddie Rosario and infielder Miguel Sano.

      Sano was ranked the No. 2 prosect in the organization by Baseball America; Meyer was fifth and Rosario 10th.

      --The Cleveland Indians announced they added five players to their 40-man roster.

      The five are right-handed pitcher Cody Anderson, infielder Giovanny Urshela, right-handed pitcher Shawn Armstrong, catcher-infielder Tony Wolters and left-handed pitcher Ryan Merritt.

  • Thursday, November 20, 2014
    Rockies designate Nicasio for assignment
    By The Sports Xchange

    Right-handed pitcher Juan Nicasio, who started 14 games for the Colorado Rockies in 2014, was designated for assignment by the Rockies.

    • Nicasio suffered a scary injury during his rookie season in 2011, when he sustained a fractured skull and a broken neck after being hit by a batted ball.

      His ERA has been above 5.00 each season since then.

      Nicasio, 28, had a 6-6 record with a 5.38 ERA in 2014. He was moved from the starting rotation to the bullpen during the season.

  • Thursday, November 20, 2014
    Report: Nationals' Zimmermann available for trade
    By The Sports Xchange

    The Washington Nationals are telling teams that right-handed pitcher Jordan Zimmermann is available for a trade, USA Today reported.

    • Zimmermann, 28, is the team's ace, and went 14-5 with a 2.66 ERA this past season.

      He earned $7.5 million in 2014, but his salary increases to $16.5 million in 2015, the final year of his contract.

      According to the report, the Nationals would make a trade only if they get something significant in return.

      If Zimmermann is traded, the Nationals would only need to plug a fifth starter into a rotation that includes Stephen Strasburg, Gio Gonzalez, Doug Fister, and Tanner Roark.

  • Thursday, November 20, 2014
    White Sox designate Belisario for assignment
    By The Sports Xchange

    Right-hander Ronaldo Belisario was the Chicago White Sox's closer for part of the 2014 season, but on Thursday, the White Sox designated him for assignment and dropped him from the team's 40-man roster.

    • Belisario was eligible for arbitration, and the White Sox opted to designate him for assignment rather than non-tendering him.

      Belisario, 31, was 4-8 with a 5.56 ERA and eight saves in 2014, his only season with the White Sox.

      He should be attractive enough to sign with another club.

  • Thursday, November 20, 2014
    Braves could join bidding for Tomas
    By The Sports Xchange

    Cuban slugger Yasmany Tomas is attracting plenty of attention, and the Atlanta Braves are reportedly joining the chase as new president John Hart expands his pursuit of multiple free agents.

    • Tomas, a prodigious slugger who at 24 might be ready for the major leagues, has drawn interest from several teams.

      The Braves hosted free-agent pitcher Jon Lester on Thursday as it was learned the Boston Red Sox had already extended an offer north of $110 million for six seasons. Hart called signing Lester a long shot, but also said it was his job to keep doors open.

      Whether Atlanta can compete financially to bid against the Philadelphia Phillies, San Francisco Giants, San Diego Padres and Chicago White Sox might depend on the framework of the contract. If Tomas is open to a backloaded contract that expands payments starting in 2017, when the Braves enter their new ballpark, Atlanta should be in the mix. The White Sox and Giants have called their involvement unlikely.

      According to CBS Sports, Tomas wants to top Rusney Castillo's record $72.5 million signing by the Red Sox. It's possible Tomas will hold off on signing until the winter meetings in San Diego, which begin Dec. 8.

      Tomas is an outfielder and third baseman, and the Braves dealt away an excellent defensive outfielder -- 25-year-old Jason Heyward -- to the St. Louis Cardinals to add pitching. The Braves landed two players in return, with right-handed starter Shelby Miller likely to join the rotation immediately.

      Hart is also reportedly open to traded his biggest bats, outfield Justin Upton and catcher Evan Gattis, in the right deal.