Link-O-Rama: Ken Williams' expensive day

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* Yesterday was an expensive one for White Sox general manager Ken Williams. Not only did he drop $60 million on Alex Rios, he also got a $56 jaywalking ticket for illegally crossing a street in front of Safeco Field in Seattle.
* After appearing in four games as a reliever since his call-up last month, 21-year-old Rockies prospect Jhoulys Chacin will make his first big-league start tonight against the Pirates.
* Bill Ladson of MLB.com confirmed that Cristian Guzman has cleared waivers, but also reports that “the Nationals have no intentions of trading Guzman.” Apparently the Red Sox will have to look elsewhere for shortstop help.
* Henry Schulman of the San Francisco Chronicle speculates that Rich Aurilia will be let go by the Giants after having a conversation with bench coach Ron Wotus that “ended with the two men hugging.” Aurilia is hitting just .222 with a .565 OPS in 119 plate appearances, but ranks 15th in Giants history with 1,281 games played.
* Scott Spiezio has signed with the Orange County Flyers of the independent Golden Baseball League, where the 37-year-old former World Series hero joins Robert Fick, Damian Jackson, and Ben Johnson in playing for manager Phil Nevin.
* Splash News has photos of Alex Rodriguez’s girlfriend, Kate Hudson, hanging out with the Yankees’ wives. The blurb attached to the pictures amused me, because it was clearly written by someone who’s never watched a baseball game: “Maybe Kate is his A-Rod’s luck charm? He’s averaging more points now than his season average.” Heh.

Report: Arquimedes Caminero likely to sign with Yomiuri Giants

SEATTLE, WA - AUGUST 21: Arquimedes Caminero #48 of the Seattle Mariners delivers a pitch during a game against the Milwaukee Brewers at Safeco Field on August 21, 2016 in Seattle, Washington. The Brewers won the game 7-6. (Photo by Stephen Brashear/Getty Images)
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Mariners’ right-hander Arquimedes Caminero is nearing a deal with the Yomiuri Giants of Nippon Professional Baseball, according to Bob Dutton of the Tacoma News Tribune. The club has reportedly agreed to sell the 29-year-old’s contract, Dutton writes, though no official move has been announced by either team yet. Caminero is under club control through 2020 and currently ineligible for arbitration.

The right-hander began the 2016 season with the Pirates but was sent to the Mariners in a trade for Seattle minor leaguers Jake Brentz and Pedro Vasquez in order to clear space in the Bucs’ bullpen. With the Mariners, Caminero produced a 3.66 ERA and 8.2 K/9 through 19 2/3 innings in the second half of the year. Although he boasts an electric fastball, one which consistently averaged 98.7 m.p.h. in 2016, his success rate has been tempered by poor control throughout his major league career. According to Dutton, the Mariners’ willingness to sell Caminero’s contract was a strong indication that they did not see him as a viable contender for their 2017 bullpen or as a potential trade chip further down the line.

Should the deal go through, the right-hander will be the second former Mariner to sign with a Japanese club for the 2017 season. Per Dutton’s report, outfielder Stefen Romero also picked up a contract with the Orix Buffaloes of NPB in late November.

Gerrit Cole set to begin throwing program

PITTSBURGH, PA - AUGUST 24:  Gerrit Cole #45 of the Pittsburgh Pirates sits in the dugout in the second inning during the game against the Houston Astros at PNC Park on August 24, 2016 in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. (Photo by Justin Berl/Getty Images)
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During the Pirates’ FanFest on Saturday, right-hander Gerrit Cole announced that he is back up to full health after being shut down with elbow inflammation in September. Per Rob Biertempfel of the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review, Cole said he’ll start a throwing program on Monday as he works on regaining his form for the 2017 season.

The 26-year-old pitched through 116 innings for the Pirates in 2016, delivering a 3.88 ERA and 2.5 WARP before landing on the disabled list in June with a triceps strain and again in August with elbow inflammation. It was a steep drop for the right-hander, who saw a considerable spike in his ERA and BB/9 rate and struggled to strike out batters at the 8.7 mark he managed in 2015.

The upside? Inflammation was the worst of Cole’s issues in 2016, and while the newfound health issues didn’t help his case for an extension, a more serious injury doesn’t appear to be on the horizon.