Content provided by Rotoworld Player News - Friday, February 9th, 2018

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Phillies looking for veteran starting pitcher 02-09-2018
Andrew Cashner P BAL
Mark Feinsand of MLB.com reports the Phillies are in the market to sign a veteran starting pitcher to a short-term contract.

MLB.com
They will likely have to settle for a second-tier starter because the top aces on the market are fielding four- and five-year contract offers. Feinsand speculates the Phillies could be targeting the likes of Andrew Cashner, Chris Tillman, Jaime Garcia or Jason Vargas to provide veteran leadership and stability to the young core of their rotation. They currently have Aaron Nola, Jerad Eickhoff, Vince Velasquez, Nick Pivetta and Ben Lively penciled in as their starting five heading into camp.
Rays sign Dustin McGowan to minors deal 02-09-2018
Dustin McGowan P MIA
Rays signed RHP Dustin McGowan to a minor league contract with an invitation to spring training.

Marc Topkin on Twitter
The 35-year-old spent last season with the Marlins, turning in a 4.75 ERA and an 8-2 record in 63 relief appearances. He struck out 64 batters in 77 2/3 innings. He registered a 2.82 ERA in 55 games in 2016.
Dustin Fowler the favorite for A's CF job? 02-09-2018
Dustin Fowler CF OAK
MLB.com's Jane Lee writes that Dustin Fowler (knee) "is the favorite to land the center field job" for the Athletics.

MLB.com
Fowler suffered a gruesome right patella tendon rupture in his major league debut last June when he was with the Yankees, but he's right on schedule with his recovery. The A's plan to ease him into things at the beginning of spring training, but all signs point to him being ready to roll come Opening Day. It's good to hear, but Oakland could ultimately decide to get by with Boog Powell and/or Jake Smolinski in center field for a while and let Fowler knock some rust off in the minors. The situation is worth watching closely in spring training, as Fowler is an interesting power/speed guy who hit .293/.329/.542 with 13 homers and 13 steals in 70 Triple-A games before being called up last season.
Matt Wieters to play less this season? 02-09-2018
Matt Wieters C WAS
MLB.com's Jamal Collier writes that the Nationals plan on "using more of a platoon" with Matt Wieters at catcher this season.

MLB.com
Wieters has hit better against lefties in his career, so it's unlikely we're talking about any sort of strict platoon here, but rather the Nats simply planning to rest the veteran catcher more. Coming off a season in which he hit an ugly .225/.288/.344, Wieters should only be considered in two-catcher leagues at this point. Pedro Severino will have to hold off non-roster invitee Miguel Montero to be the No. 2 behind Wieters.
Martin Perez (elbow) throwing off mound 02-09-2018
Martin Perez P TEX
Martin Perez (elbow) has begun throwing off a mound.

Evan Grant on Twitter
He's not throwing full bullpen sessions yet, but the fact that Perez is throwing off a mound at all means he's a bit ahead of schedule following December surgery to repair a fractured right (non-throwing) elbow. The Rangers said after the operation that they expected Perez to miss the first month of the season, but the southpaw has indicated that he plans to be ready for Opening Day. It's early, but he would appear to have a shot to reach his goal.
Miguel Sano's (leg) rehab going well 02-09-2018
Miguel Sano 3B MIN
Twins chief baseball officer Derek Falvey said in an interview on Treasure Island Baseball Network this week that the team is "very happy" with how Miguel Sano's (leg) rehab has gone.

Dan Hayes on Twitter
Sano had surgery in November to repair a stress reaction in his left leg, an injury that limited him to just three games over the final six weeks of the season. However, it sounds like Sano will be at least close to a full participant at the outset of spring training. "He continues to get his conditioning up now that he's fully active and moving around," Falvey said. "We feel very happy about the work that he's doing to put himself in a position to be ready to go." While the news appears to be good from a health perspective with Sano, he's still under investigation by MLB into sexual assault claims made against him, so he could be facing a possible suspension.
Report: Sergio Romo re-signs with Tampa Bay 02-09-2018
Sergio Romo P TB
MLB.com's Jesse Sanchez reports that the Rays have re-signed Sergio Romo to a one-year contract.

Jesse Sanchez on Twitter
The financial details aren't yet known, but the deal -- which is pending a physical -- is a major league contract. Romo posted an ugly 6.12 ERA over 30 appearances for the Dodgers last season before rebounding with a 1.47 ERA across his final 25 outings with the Rays. He'll turn 35 next month and needs to be used judiciously, but Romo can still get right-handed batters out.
No extension talks with Madison Bumgarner yet 02-09-2018
Madison Bumgarner P SF
Giants general manager Bobby Evans said Friday that the team hasn't engaged in any recent contract extension talks with Madison Bumgarner's agent.

Henry Schulman on Twitter
The Giants have a $12 million club option on Bumgarner for 2019 before he reaches free agency. The left-hander is still just 28, but considering the mileage on his arm and last year's shoulder injury, the club might not want to rush into a long-term extension at this point. That said, if Bumgarner gets off to a nice start this season, it wouldn't be a surprise to see the Giants try to reengage into talks.
Giants have open mind on Duggar's role 02-09-2018
Steven Duggar OF SF
Giants general manager Bobby Evans said Friday that Steven Duggar could begin the year in the minors, in a platoon in the majors, or "he might very well make our club as our center fielder."

John Shea on Twitter
In other words, the club is heading into camp with an open mind as to Duggar's role, with the hope that he wows them. Duggar might be the Giants' best defensive option in center field right now, but he's not on the 40-man roster yet and only has 13 games of experience at the Triple-A level. San Francisco would prefer to use Austin Jackson more as a fourth outfielder, but they might be more likely to bring in someone like Jarrod Dyson rather than roll with Duggar in center.
Joe Musgrove expected to be No. 5 starter 02-09-2018
Joe Musgrove P PIT
MLB.com's Adam Berry writes that Joe Musgrove is expected to fill the Pirates' rotation spot vacated by Gerrit Cole.

MLB.com
Musgrove posted a 5.37 ERA over 25 starts and 1.26 ERA across 24 relief appearances with the Astros, but the Pirates believe he has the stuff to succeed as a starter over the long haul. The 25-year-old boasts a career 2.77 ERA in the minors and has always had terrific control and groundball rates, so it's no surprise that the Pirates want to give him a long look as a starter. Musgrove will have to hold off Tyler Glasnow, Steven Brault and Nick Kingham for the final spot in Pittsburgh's rotation.
Red Sox, LoMo 'have been in touch recently' 02-09-2018
Logan Morrison 1B TB
Evan Drellich of NBC Boston reports that Logan Morrison and the Red Sox "have been in touch recently."

Evan Drellich on Twitter
Drellich notes that the Red Sox are still viewing J.D. Martinez as their No. 1 priority, but "there is groundwork for alternatives." Morrison looks like a good backup plan and would obviously come at a much cheaper price than Martinez. The former Ray batted .246/.353/.516 with a career-high 38 home runs last season.
Sal Romano has 'edge' for fifth spot for now 02-09-2018
Sal Romano P CIN
MLB.com's Mark Sheldon writes that Sal Romano has the "edge" for the fifth spot in the Reds' rotation "for now."

MLB.com
It's notable but doesn't mean a ton at this point, as Romano will have to hold off a host of competitors including Vance Worley, Robert Stephenson, Amir Garrett, Rookie Davis, Tyler Mahle, Cody Reed, Jackson Stephens and Michael Lorenzen. Assuming everyone is healthy, Anthony DeSclafani, Homer Bailey, Brandon Finnegan and Luis Castillo are locked into the first four spots in the rotation. Romano posted a 4.45 ERA, 1.47 WHIP and 73/37 K/BB ratio across 87 innings for Cincinnati last season.
Giants ink Derek Holland to minor league deal 02-09-2018
Derek Holland P CWS
Giants signed LHP Derek Holland to a minor league contract with an invitation to spring training.

Evan Grant on Twitter
It's a good landing spot for Holland, as he should have a legitimate chance to win a rotation spot and is headed to the most pitcher-friendly park in the game. Unfortunately, the left-hander is coming off a horrendous 2017 season that saw him post a 6.20 ERA over 135 innings while also showing continued diminished velocity. Holland turned 31 last October.
Arrieta wanted on short-term, high AAV deal 02-09-2018
Jake Arrieta P CHC
ESPN's Buster Olney reports that if the slow market forces Jake Arrieta to defer pursuit of long-term deal, there are teams "very interested" in him on a short-term, high-salary contract.

Buster Olney on Twitter
We would be shocked if that weren't the case. Ultimately, it would be a surprise if it comes to that for Arrieta, as he should still be paid handsomely by someone even if it's not nearly what he might've been shooting for at the beginning of the offseason. Arrieta will turn 32 in a month, so taking a short-term deal and trying free agency again next winter would be an awfully risky move on his part.
Reynolds 'still a potential fit' with Rockies 02-09-2018
Mark Reynolds 1B COL
ESPN's Jerry Crasnick is hearing that Mark Reynolds "is still a potential fit" with the Rockies.

Jerry Crasnick on Twitter
At the moment the Rockies have youngster Ryan McMahon penciled in at first base, but they could ultimately decide to bring Reynolds back. The 34-year-old had to settle for a minor league contract last winter but is holding out for a guaranteed deal this time around after he slugged 30 homers in 2017. It's an understandable stance from Reynolds, but with plenty of other first base options on the market he might not get what he wants.
Logan Morrison eyeing Royals as landing spot? 02-09-2018
Logan Morrison 1B TB
"A couple" baseball executives told ESPN's Jerry Crasnick they believe Logan Morrison "has his eye on the Royals as a landing spot."

Jerry Crasnick on Twitter
That's if the Royals don't wind up re-signing Eric Hosmer, of course, and at this point it's looking like a distinct possibility that they do bring him back. A Kansas City native, Morrison said earlier this offseason that it "would be a dream come true" to play for the Royals. However, it's unclear at this point whether the Royals are viewing LoMo as a fallback option to Hosmer.
D'Backs GM expects spring closer competition 02-09-2018
Archie Bradley P ARZ
Diamondbacks general manager Mike Hazen said this week that he expects there to be a competition for the closer job during spring training.

MLB.com
Archie Bradley is the obvious candidate to step in at closer after he posted a 1.73 ERA with 79 strikeouts over 73 innings in 2017 in his first year as a full-time reliever. However, it's possible the D'Backs might prefer to use him earlier in games in an Andrew Miller-type role, which would also keep his arbitration cost down. Bradley's main competition for the ninth-inning job will be Brad Boxberger and Yoshihisa Hirano.
Blue Jays interested in Andrew Cashner 02-09-2018
Andrew Cashner P BAL
MLB.com's Jon Morosi reports that the Blue Jays are "showing continued interest" in Andrew Cashner.

Jon Morosi on Twitter
Morosi says that Cashner is among the many hurlers the Jays are considering and that they "hope to land a veteran starter on a one-year deal." Cashner posted a 3.40 ERA over 28 starts for the Rangers last season and is just 31, but his strikeout rate was way down and it wouldn't be a surprise if he had to settle for a one-year contract with the way the market is going. The Orioles are another club that's been connected to Cashner.