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The Indians maintained a layer of depth on Tuesday, when left-hander Nick Maronde cleared waivers. Cleveland subsequently sent the pitcher outright to Triple-A Columbus and extended an invitation to attend Spring Training with the Major League club.
If top prospect Kris Bryant is healthy and in form in Spring Training, he's got to be in the Cubs' Opening Day lineup.
It is always difficult to rank prospects. Why is pitcher X better than hitter X in the rankings? Again, the results are in the eyes of the person compiling the lists. Given the landscape of individual difference, I offer my own 2015 Top 10 Prospect list. For me, each has the upside of an impact player.
Who knows how this will all work out. The Pirates' winning bid on Korean infielder Jung-Ho Kang is an intriguing development, if not yet a Disney movie.
The approach of Christmas and the end of the year also signals the end of the winter ball regular season in Latin America. The season ended Sunday in the Dominican Republic and leagues throughout the rest of Latin America will also reach their conclusion in the next two weeks.
The offseason trading frenzy has been exciting, if a bit dizzying. There might be more yet to come, but for the time being, I figured it made sense to make this week's Inbox all trade-related. Goodness knows, we have enough to talk about.
Sean Nolin compiled a 2-1 record with a 4.03 ERA and 1.16 WHIP in seven starts in the AFL. The tall, solid lefty showed command, control, mound presence and a deep, consistent repertoire.
Cuban infielder Roberto Baldoquin has signed with the Angels after passing his physical, sources told MLB.com on Saturday. Baldoquin, who turns 21 in May, will receive an $8 million signing bonus once the deal becomes official.
The Pirates submitted the high bid of $5 million for Korean shortstop Jung-ho Kang, formally accepted Monday by the Nexen Heroes to start the negotiating clock for the hard-hitting infielder.
Trea Turner is one of the top prospects in baseball. His career is in limbo, however, after the 11-player, three-team trade that routed outfielder Wil Myers from Tampa Bay to San Diego. He is caught up in the red tape of the so-called Pete Incaviglia Rule.
Most of the Mariners contingent has wrapped up its offseason action, but players such as Jordy Lara and Carlos Rivera continue to shine in the Dominican Republic and Venezuela, respectively. Vets such as Endy Chavez and Franklin Gutierrez are also playing abroad.
Finalizing a trade that sends Casey McGehee to the Giants for pitching prospects Kendry Flores and Luis Castillo caps one of the busiest three-week offseason stretches in Marlins history.
On second thought, give Matt Silverman, the Tampa Bay Rays' "rookie" general manager credit. What Silverman has done is far more than tweaking the roster. Call it a major overhaul.
Braves president of baseball operations John Hart made his latest big move on Friday when he sent Justin Upton and Aaron Northcraft to the Padres in exchange for left-handed pitcher Max Fried, infielder Jace Peterson, third baseman Dustin Peterson and outfielder Alex Smith. Hart took time early Friday evening to discuss the Upton deal and the direction he might take.
Top prospects Byron Buxton and Jose Berrios headline the list of 18 non-roster invitees to Major League Spring Training for the Twins, the club announced Friday.
As A.J. Preller has worked tirelessly to remake the San Diego Padres' big league roster, he has not been afraid to send prospects or young players away to get the Major League pieces he desires. Once the Justin Upton trade becomes official, a total of 12 players who appeared on the Padres' Top 20 list at some point in 2014 will have been dealt.
No one can accuse new Padres general manager A.J. Preller of standing pat. News of the huge three-team, 11-player deal that netted him Wil Myers had just settled in when the Matt Kemp deal was finalized. The ink on that one had barely dried when Preller was at it again, this time sending young players to the Atlanta Braves in return for Justin Upton. Here's a closer look at who the Braves are getting in return for Upton.
Francisco Lindor is very much in the plans as the Indians' shortstop of the future, but the club does not plan on expediting his timeline to the Majors.
Matt Kemp passed his physical exam, Commissioner's approval was granted and the Dodgers' deal with the Padres was made official on Thursday. The trade of Kemp, catcher Tim Federowicz and $32 million in offset salary to San Diego brings to the Dodgers catcher Yasmani Grandal and pitchers Joe Wieland and Zach Eflin. Eflin was sent to Philadelphia with pitcher Tom Windle for shortstop Jimmy Rollins and $1 million on Friday.
Oakland traded catcher Derek Norris, right-hander Seth Streich and an international signing slot to the Padres on Thursday night in exchange for right-handers Jesse Hahn and R.J. Alvarez.
The Cardinals announced on Thursday that they selected left-hander Marco Gonzales and outfielder Magneuris Sierra as the 2014 recipients of the Minor League Pitcher and Player of the Year Awards that the organization has presented annually since 1995.
With all quiet on the Major League front, the Brewers on Thursday continued addressing Minor League needs via a three-player trade with the Dodgers. Milwaukee sent catcher Shawn Zarraga to Los Angeles in exchange for versatile outfielder Matt Long, who was actually traded twice Thursday, and left-hander Jarret Martin.
The news of improved diplomatic relations between the United States and Cuba has the baseball world buzzing about the future of Cuban players in the Major Leagues, and many will be arriving in MLB stadiums soon.
The 2014 Australian Baseball League All-Star Game featured a late comeback from Team Australia, who topped the World All-Stars, 11-8, on Wednesday night in Melbourne. The Australians trailed, 8-3, before erupting for eight runs in the bottom of the eighth inning.
Was keeping track of all the moving parts in the massive three-team deal involving the Tampa Bay Rays, San Diego Padres and Washington Nationals a difficult task? To help sort things out, Jonathan Mayo helped break down who went where.
In 28 games and 109 plate appearances, mostly in September last season, Ryan Rua made a solid-enough impression on Rangers management to enter Spring Training as a leading candidate for the starting job in left field.
In terms of big-name acquisitions and blockbuster trades, the Rangers have been relatively quiet this offseason, but general manager Jon Daniels says that's all part of the plan, given the young depth he will have when Spring Training begins in February.
After spending the past month evaluating multiple options, the Braves finally found a suitor for right-handed reliever Anthony Varvaro. Varvaro was traded to the Red Sox on Wednesday in exchange for Minor League pitcher Aaron Kurcz and cash considerations.
The Mariners acquired Justin Ruggiano, who can play all three outfield positions and could platoon in right, for Minor League pitcher Matt Brazis.
The Red Sox bolstered their bullpen on Wednesday, acquiring right-hander Anthony Varvaro from the Braves in exchange for Minor Leaguer Aaron Kurcz and cash considerations.
Working as a scouting director automatically brings a certain amount of job instability. This offseason made the scouting director's chair a true hotseat. There were no less than eight new scouting directors named
Delino DeShields Jr. joins the Rangers with a chance to make the big league club as a fourth outfielder/super-utility man. As a Rule 5 Draft selection, he will remain with the Rangers if he can stick on their 25-man roster for the entire 2015 season.
The Padres' efforts to bolster a weak offense has led them to two very unlikely players -- a two-time NL All-Star slugger and a former AL Rookie of the Year. After landing Matt Kemp in a trade that has yet to be announced, first-year GM A.J. Preller swung big again, this time landing Wil Myers as part of a wild 11-player, three-team deal between the Padres, Nationals and Rays.
Rockies right-handed pitching prospects Eddie Butler and Jon Gray, whose 2014 plans were squashed by shoulder injuries, hope to make the most of their second chances to make a big splash.
Bernie Pleskoff had an opportunity to scout Taylor in the recently concluded Arizona Fall League. Taylor played 18 games in center for the Glendale Desert Dogs. He handled 48 chances without making an error. Offensively, Taylor hit .271 in 93 plate appearances. He stole three bases in four attempts. Taylor made the AFL West Division Fall Stars team.
Back on July 30, the Red Sox traded left-hander Felix Doubront to the Cubs for a player to be named. Boston finally collected its return on Monday, acquiring Minor League shortstop Marco Hernandez from Chicago to complete the deal.
Jacob Nix, the Astros' fifth-round pick in the 2014 First-Year Player Draft, has come to a settlement with the club over a grievance filed after he wasn't signed by Houston.
As Major League Baseball's annual Winter Meetings stoked the hot stove last week, winter ball action continued throughout Latin America. As usual, several top prospects took center stage.
The right-handed Stamets is 6-foot and 190 pounds. The Los Angeles Angels selected him in the sixth round of the 2012 First-Year Player Draft. He is now No. 18 on the Angels Top 20 Prospects list. He may well be the best defender and fastest player in the Angels organization.
Jim Callis answers' fans questions about Jeff Hoffman, Cuban players, Eddie Rosario and more in this week's Pipeline Inbox
The biggest game of Oliver Marmol's season came not in front of the 3,000 folks packed into Tri-City's Joseph L. Bruno Stadium for the short-season Class A New York-Penn League title game in early September, but rather on an unkempt lot in the high-poverty Nicaraguan town of Cristo Rey just a little more than two months later.
Bernie Pleskoff watched Robertson play in the recently concluded Arizona Fall League. He easily made his list of top players he scouted during the autumn season. He finished the Fall League with a batting average of .310. Among his 22 hits were a double and a home run.
In addition to big league stars changing addresses during the Winter Meetings, a number of talented prospects also found new homes. Below is our ranking of the 10 best prospects who got swapped at the Winter Meetings, starting with one so coveted he got swapped twice: Andrew Heaney.
Bernie Pleskoff breaks down the Arizona Fall League's Top Prospects Team with a player-by-player analysis.
For all but a few clubs in Major League Baseball, the Winter Meetings were a wild, action-packed week full of dramatic changes. Here's a team-by-team look at who's going where from the very busy week in San Diego.
Jim Callis gives scouting reports from the selections in the 2014 Rule 5 Draft, including top pick Oscar Hernandez.
The Phillies selected two players in Thursday's Rule 5 Draft, which capped a busy week at the Winter Meetings. They took outfielder/infielder Odubel Herrera from the Rangers before selecting left-hander Andrew Oliver from the Pirates.
The Cubs selected shortstop Taylor Featherston in the Major League phase of the Rule 5 Draft on Thursday, but they did not keep him long. Shortly after picking Featherston, 25, off the Rockies' Triple-A roster, the Cubs dealt him to the Angels for cash considerations.
The Rockies added Minor League right-handed pitching depth by acquiring reliever Austin House from the Athletics at the end of the Rule 5 Draft on Wednesday morning.
The Marlins' acquisitions of All-Star second baseman Dee Gordon and starter Mat Latos during the Winter Meetings -- just weeks after signing Giancarlo Stanton to a massive deal -- show Miami is committed to building a winner in the near future.
The Twins added a pitching prospect on the last day of the Winter Meetings, as they selected right-hander J.R. Graham from the Braves with the No. 5 pick in the Rule 5 Draft on Thursday. MLB.com ranked Graham as the Braves' No. 13 prospect.
The Rangers came to the Winter Meetings looking for starting pitching and left with an outfielder taken in the Rule 5 Draft. It could be a significant selection. The Rangers took outfielder Delino DeShields Jr. from the Astros with the third pick.
The Rays saw one of their prospects announced as the top pick of the Rule 5 Draft on Thursday morning, but they believe there's a good chance Oscar Hernandez will be back with the organization.
On the lookout for catching help, the D-backs selected Oscar Hernandez from the Rays' organization with the first pick in Thursday's Rule 5 Draft. After trading Miguel Montero, the D-backs left themselves with only one catcher -- Tuffy Gosewisch -- on the 40-man roster. They now have two.
The Angels added another infielder in the Rule 5 Draft on Thursday morning, acquiring Taylor Featherston from the Cubs in a prearranged deal.
The A's made one final trade at the Winter Meetings on Thursday morning, acquiring first baseman/outfielder Mark Canha from the Rockies in exchange for Minor League right-hander Austin House and cash considerations.
The buzz heading into Thursday's Rule 5 Draft was that this year's pool of eligible players was better than it had been in recent years. The activity in the Major League phase, at least compared to a year ago, did seem to reflect that.
David Rollins, a left-hander in the Astros' organization, was selected by the Mariners in Thursday's Rule 5 Draft and general manager Jack Zduriencik said the 24-year-old will be given a shot at winning a job in the bullpen.
Still seeking to fill out their bullpen with a second left-hander, the Mets added a candidate to the mix when they selected Sean Gilmartin from the Twins in Thursday's Rule 5 Draft.
Tyler Waldron and Luis Urena, another right-hander taken by Tampa Bay, were both plucked off Double-A Altoona's roster in the Draft's Triple-A phase. The Pirates did lose one pitcher in the Major League phase of the annual draft -- left-hander Andy Oliver was selected by the Phillies.
The Astros lost three players in the Rule 5 Draft, including former first-round Draft pick outfielder Delino DeShields Jr., who was taken by the Rangers with the No. 3 overall pick. They also lost right-handed pitcher Jandel Gustave (Boston) and left-handed pitcher David Rollins (Seattle).
The Padres filled their need for a marquee bat by acquiring Matt Kemp from their NL West rival Dodgers, who continued their dizzying 24-hour makeover.
The Marlins selected left-handed pitcher Andrew McKirahan from the Chicago Cubs in the Major League phase of the Rule 5 Draft on Thursday. The 24-year-old reliever will be given a chance to make the big league roster out of Spring Training.
The Reds traded All-Star starter Alfredo Simon to the Tigers for right-handed pitcher Jonathon Crawford and infielder Eugenio Suarez. A short time later, the Reds announced they had also dealt power arm Mat Latos to the Marlins for 24-year-old right-hander Anthony DeSclafani and catcher Chad Wallach.
The final day of the Winter Meetings began with the annual Rule 5 Draft. Teams were only able to make a selection if it had space on its 40-man roster.
The Braves lost a former top prospect with shoulder concerns in Thursday's Rule 5 Draft, but they gained a reliever who could prove to be a future asset if he makes a successful return from Tommy John surgery.
The Orioles added two pitchers to their 40-man Major League roster during Thursday's Rule 5 Draft, selecting right-hander Logan Verrett from the Mets' Triple-A affiliate and trading for Astros selection right-hander Jason Garcia.
The trade of Matt Kemp to the Padres, continuing the jaw-dropping Winter Meetings makeover of the Dodgers, could lead to the acquisition of Phillies pitcher Cole Hamels, a baseball source said. Although the clubs have not yet confirmed it, the five-player deal will send Kemp, catcher Tim Federowicz and a reported $30 million to San Diego for catcher Yasmani Grandal.
The Padres have acquired outfielder Matt Kemp from the Dodgers as part of a five-player swap. San Diego also receives catcher Tim Federowicz in exchange for catcher Yasmani Grandal, pitchers Joe Wieland and Zach Eflin, a source told MLB.com. Neither team has confirmed the trade.
The Angels sent homegrown second baseman Howie Kendrick to the Dodgers for pitching prospect Andrew Heaney late Wednesday night, and also acquired infielder Jeff Rutledge from the Rockies.
Mike Brito was honored Wednesday night at the Winter Meetings, when he was named International Scout of the Year at the 31st annual Scout of the Year banquet. Orrin Freeman (West Coast) of the Marlins, Tom Kotchman (East Coast) of the Red Sox and the late Paul Provas (Central) won Scout of the Year awards as well.
One day, it was the Windy City blowing everybody away with all the major moves. The next, it's the City of Angels -- and Dodgers -- making headline after headline. The 2014 Winter Meetings are heading for destinations unknown as the final day of the annual convention of decision-makers dawns, but the two teams from Los Angeles took over the proceedings on Day 3.
Maybe this is a good time to remind Dodgers fans to trust the process. Andrew Friedman's plan will gain clarity over the next few weeks as he reshapes the roster to add youth, athleticism and depth.
Dee Gordon, with his thrilling, game-breaking speed, is joining the Marlins to reshape the lineup and crank up the electricity in the wake of a blockbuster Winter Meetings swap that rocked both coasts on Wednesday.
Every Winter Meetings has a coda to it, an event that doesn't generate the same kind of buzz as all of the trade and free-agent rumors that fill the hotel lobby throughout the Meetings' first three days. But it does involve players changing organizations and, invariably, new big league careers come out of it.
Left-hander Antonio Bastardo is headed to the Pirates for Minor League lefty Joely Rodriguez, who the Phillies project as a starting pitcher. Bastardo, who will become a free agent following the 2015 season, became expendable with the emergence of young left-handers Jake Diekman and Mario Hollands.
Alex Jackson doesn't turn 19 until Christmas Day, but the Mariners' 2014 first-round Draft choice already finds himself garnering awards as one of baseball's top young prospects. He was honored as Baseball America's High School Player of the Year on Tuesday.
While acknowledging that Tuesday's Winter Meetings work gave him a better feel for which right-handed-hitting first baseman may be a fit for the Cardinals' roster hole, general manager John Mozeliak also shed light on some internal candidates that could potentially address the need.
The Arizona Fall League announced its 2014 Top Prospects Team, highlighted by league Most Valuable Player Greg Bird and baseball's top prospect Byron Buxton.
Yasmany Tomas is no longer available, but Cuban prospects remain a popular topic of discussion at the Winter Meetings. Switch-hitting middle infielder Yoan Moncada, 19, and right-handed pitcher Yoan Lopez, 21, are among the players generating the most buzz in international circles this week.
Recently acquired Oakland Athletics right-handed pitching prospect Chris Bassitt is a long and lean right-hander with the ability to start or pitch in relief.
Jeff Samardzija returned to Chicago, this time to the White Sox, in a deal that also featured five young players. Oakland acquired infielder Marcus Semien, catcher Josh Phegley, right-hander Chris Bassitt and first baseman Rangel Ravelo in exchange for Samardzija and righty Michael Ynoa.
The A's traded All-Star right-hander Jeff Samardzija and pitching prospect Michael Ynoa to the White Sox in exchange for four players on Tuesday. Oakland received infielders Marcus Semien and Rangel Ravelo, right-hander Chris Bassitt and catcher Josh Phegley in the deal on Day 2 of the Winter Meetings. Semien is expected to be the A's shortstop next season.
The D-backs acquired a pair of Minor League right-handed pitchers, Jeferson Mejia and Zack Godley, from the Cubs on Tuesday in exchange for catcher Miguel Montero.
Kris Bryant picked up what he thinks was his final award for the 2014 season on Monday. It's time to move on, he said, and hopefully that means a spot in the Cubs' 2015 Opening Day lineup.
Infielders Alexi Amarista and Cory Spangenberg got off to fast starts last week as six Padres reported to Winter Leagues teams while the Latin American leagues opened the second halves of their seasons.
While some might think the A's didn't get enough from the Indians for Brandon Moss, those who have watched Joe Wendle play regularly have high praise for the 5-foot-11, 190-pound left-handed-hitting second baseman.
Winter ball action continued last week throughout Latin America, highlighted by All-Star festivities in Puerto Rico and Venezuela. As usual, there were several top prospects in the heart of it all.
A light week of Australian Baseball League play saw the Sydney Blue Sox and Brisbane Bandits sit idle while the Melbourne Aces took two of three from the Perth Heat in a rain-shortened series. Meanwhile, the Adelaide Bite took three of four from the Canberra Cavalry in Adelaide.
Yet another big bat is headed out of Oakland, with Brandon Moss on his way to Cleveland in a trade that brought Minor League infielder Joe Wendle to the A's on Monday morning.
The Indians wasted no time in making some noise at this year's Winter Meetings. On Monday morning, Cleveland finalized a trade with Oakland to land slugger Brandon Moss in exchange for Minor League infield prospect Joe Wendle, sources confirmed to MLB.com. The Indians have not yet confirmed the deal, which has been in the works for the past week.
The Indians have added some depth to their roster, agreeing to terms on Minor League contracts with outfielder Destin Hood and catcher Adam Moore on Sunday. The Indians have not confirmed the signings.
The Marlins have what teams want -- talented, controllable pitching. Although numerous teams have inquired about Miami's pitching, nothing is close to being finalized as the Winter Meetings approach on Monday.
With the release of our Draft Top 50 prospects list, there's some good Draft talk going on, even if the event is still six months away. So this week's Inbox is dedicated to questions about the 2015 First-Year Player Draft.
Didi Gregorius has nice range, good instincts and a big-time arm. At times, he will dazzle. Beyond that, he'll make the plays a starting Major League shortstop is supposed to make. In this most basic of ways, Yankees general manager Brian Cashman did a nice job finding the apparent guy to replace Derek Jeter.
The D-backs continued their quest to build pitching depth as they acquired left-hander Robbie Ray and Minor League infielder Domingo Leyba from the Tigers for shortstop Didi Gregorius.
MLB.com's Jonathan Mayo believes Duke righty Michael Matuella should be the No. 1 pick in the 2015 First-Year Player Draft.
MLB.com's Jim Callis believes high school shortstop Brendan Rodgers should be the No. 1 pick in the 2015 First-Year Player Draft.
Our First-Year Player Draft experts, Jim Callis and Jonathan Mayo, take their first crack at projecting how the top 10 selections in 2015 will unfold.
Ten years after grabbing Justin Upton, the D-backs could follow a similar path in the 2015 First-Year Player Draft. Lake Mary (Fla.) High School shortstop Brendan Rodgers sits atop MLBPipeline.com's initial Draft Top 50 rankings, thanks to his three plus tools (bat, power, arm) complemented by two solid ones (speed, defense).
It's unclear what the next step is for Cuban prospect Yoan Moncada, 19, but his arrival could mark the beginning of private workouts for teams within the month or at the beginning of 2015. The teenager, who began playing professionally for Cienfuegos in Cuba at 17, has been compared to Cubs outfielder Jorge Soler and Yasiel Puig at the same age.
Week 5 in the Australian Baseball League saw another competitive slate of games. The Canberra Cavalry and Adelaide Bite split their four-game series, while the Perth Heat and Sydney Blue Sox split four as well. The Brisbane Bandits, meanwhile, moved into sole possession of first place by taking three of four from the Melbourne Aces.
Thanksgiving meant a relatively slow week in baseball in the United States. But winter ball was in full swing in several Latin American countries, with many Minor Leaguers playing key roles for their teams.
The Reds completed some coaching-staff moves on Monday, which included the naming of Delino DeShields as the manager at Triple-A Louisville.
To reach the next level, the Marlins are open to wheeling and dealing some of their Minor League talent. This is a slight shift in philosophy from a year ago, when the club was protective of its own, especially its promising pitching.