Former Ranger Lewis to return to MLB

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Citing family health problems, Colby Lewis has decided to leave Japan and return to MLB for the 2010 season.
Lewis was viewed as one of the game’s best pitching prospects for a time at the beginning of the decade, but he was a complete bust for the Rangers. He had a 6.29 ERA in 34 1/3 innings in 2002 and a 7.30 ERA in 26 starts in his first and only full season in 2003. Shoulder surgery followed in May 2004, and he didn’t pitch in the majors against until Aug. 2006. He threw three innings for the Tigers then and 37 2/3 innings for the A’s in 2007, racking up a 6.45 ERA during the latter stint.
While MLB success was still beyond him, Lewis did show pretty good stuff during his time with the A’s and he caught the eyes of the Hiroshima Carp. He turned out to be a smashing success in Japan, going 15-8 with a 2.68 ERA and a 183/27 K/BB ratio in 178 innings. Last season, he finished 11-9 with a 2.96 ERA and a 186/19 K/BB in 176 1/3 IP. In both cases, he led the Central League in strikeouts.
The 30-year-old Lewis throws 89-92 mph these days. His curveball is a strikeout pitch. The changeup might not be there to make him a middle-of-the-rotation guy in the majors, but he’d definitely be worth a shot in the $1 million-$2 million range. That’s especially the case since he has less than four years of service time. Unless he has special language written into his contract, the team that signs him would be able to control him through 2012.

Nationals acquire Adam Eaton from White Sox for three top prospects

MINNEAPOLIS, MN - SEPTEMBER 02: Adam Eaton #1 of the Chicago White Sox hits an RBI double against the Minnesota Twins during the ninth inning of the game on September 2, 2016 at Target Field in Minneapolis, Minnesota. The White Sox defeated the Twins 11-4. (Photo by Hannah Foslien/Getty Images)
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Update (5:04 PM EST): The White Sox will receive pitchers Lucas Giolito, Reynaldo Lopez, and Dane Dunning from the Nationals, per Dan Hayes of CSN Chicago. MLB Pipeline rated them No. 1, 3, and 6 in the Nationals’ minor league system.

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Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports reports that the Nationals are close to acquiring outfielder Adam Eaton from the White Sox. He notes that outfielder Victor Robles, the Nationals’ No. 2 prospect according to MLB Pipeline, is not included in the deal.

Eaton, 28, is signed to a very team-friendly contract. He’ll earn $4 million in 2017, $6 million in ’18, and $8.4 million in ’19. His controlling team then has a club option worth $9.5 million in 2020 with a $1.5 million buyout and a $10.5 million club option in ’21 with a $1.5 million buyout.

This past season, Eaton was worth 3.9 Wins Above Replacement according to Baseball Reference after playing significantly above-average defense while batting .284/.362/.428 with 14 home runs, 59 RBI, 91 runs scored, and 14 stolen bases in 706 plate appearances.

If the deal goes through, the Nationals would move Trea Turner from center field to shortstop. Meanwhile, the White Sox continue their teardown after trading Chris Sale to the Red Sox on Tuesday.

Marlins sign A.J. Ellis to a one-year, $2.5 million deal

NEW YORK, NY - AUGUST 28:  A.J. Ellis #34 of the Philadelphia Phillies reacts after the final out of a game against the New York Mets at Citi Field on August 28, 2016 in the Flushing neighborhood of the Queens borough of New York City.  (Photo by Jim McIsaac/Getty Images)
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ESPN’s Buster Olney reports that the Marlins have signed veteran catcher A.J. Ellis to a one-year, $2.5 million deal.

Ellis, 35, began the 2016 season with the Dodgers but went to the Phillies in the Carlos Ruiz trade near the end of August. Overall, he hit .216/.301/.298 in 196 plate appearances.

Ellis will back up J.T. Realmuto behind the dish.