Pirates acquire Chris Snyder from D-Backs

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UPDATE: The deal is done. The Pirates will receive catcher Chris Snyder and prospect shortstop Pedro Ciriaco from the Diamondbacks for infielder Bobby Crosby, outfielder Ryan Church and right-hander D.J. Carrasco. The D-Backs are sending $3 million to the Pirates, according to Jenifer Langosch of MLB.com.

10:44 AM: According to Steve Gilbert of MLB.com, the Diamondbacks will acquire Bobby Crosby, Ryan Church and D.J. Carrasco from the Pirates in exchange for catcher Chris Snyder.

In other words, the D-Backs are taking some unwanted players from the Pirates for a little bit of salary relief. Carrasco is the only one of any real value here. Dejan Kovacevic of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette speculated that the team was about to cut bait on Crosby and Church, anyway.

10:07 AM: We already know that the Pirates are about to add Chris Snyder from the Diamondbacks, but according to Jenifer Langosch of MLB.com, they might have something else brewing.

A source tells Langosch that the Pirates have summoned infielder Argenis Diaz and first baseman Jeff Clement from Triple-A Indianapolis, so it’s assumed that two position player spots are about to open.

Langosch speculates that the Pirates may have decided to trade Garrett Jones. The 28-year-old outfielder-first baseman is batting .277/.339/.448 with 14 homers and 61 RBI this season. He’s a lefty bat that could add some versatility to a contender’s bench, but the team has given no indication that they are actively shopping him.

There’s always the chance that the Pirates could be trading players to the Diamondbacks off the active roster in exchange for Snyder, but Langosch writes that the Pirates “weren’t necessarily expected to be dealing position players.” Stay tuned.

Orioles reconsidering signing Yovani Gallardo

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In an article for MASN on Friday, Steve Melewski noted that the Orioles were reluctant to forfeit their first round draft pick (14th overall) in order to sign free agent starter Yovani Gallardo. The club is now reconsidering its stance and rechecking the right-handers medicals, MASN’s Roch Kubatko reports.

Gallardo, who turns 30 on February 27, posted a 3.42 ERA with 121 strikeouts and 68 walks over 184 1/3 innings for the Rangers last season. The Rangers had acquired him in a trade with the Brewers, sending Luis Sardinas, Corey Knebel, and minor leaguer Marcos Diplan to Milwaukee.

Gallardo has posted an ERA below 4.00 in six of his last seven seasons. He remains unsigned into February, however, because his strikeout rate has rapidly decreased with each year since 2012. Per FanGraphs, that rate was 23.7 percent in 2012, then went to 18.6 percent, 17.9 percent, and 15.3 percent progressively. Some of that may have to do with diminishing fastball velocity, as Gallardo’s 90.4 MPH average marked a career low among his eight full seasons with at least 100 innings pitched.

The Orioles lost starter Wei-Yin Chen, who signed with the Marlins, and the back end of their rotation is highly speculative with Kevin Gausman, Mike Wright, Odrisamer Despaigne, and Tyler Wilson. Adding a veteran like Gallardo, even if he is apparently declining, may be stabilizing.

Freddy Garcia is calling it a career

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MLB.com’s Jesse Sanchez passes along word from the Dominican Republic that right-hander Freddy Garcia will hang up his cleats for good after Sunday’s Caribbean Series championship game.

Garcia will start that game for the Tigres de Aragua out of Venezuela. He’s taking on Mexico’s Venados de Mazatlan.

“Venezuelan fans are expecting something good from Freddy and so is everybody,” said Tigres de Aragua manager Eddie Perez, who also serves as the bullpen coach for the Atlanta Braves. “Knowing that it’s his last game is going to make it very special. We all hope he pitches a really good game so he can retire in a good way and bring the title for Venezuela. Everybody who is rooting for Venezuela expects him to do well.”

Garcia’s last major league game was in the 2013 postseason. The 39-year-0ld will finish with a 4.15 ERA, 1.30 WHIP, and 6.4 K/9 in 2,264 career regular-season innings. He had a 3.26 ERA in 11 playoff starts, winning a World Series title with the White Sox in 2005.

Video: 2016 will be a season to remember

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MLB.com put together this very cool video montage reviewing the 2015 season and setting us up for what should be a wild 2016. Young stars, veterans chasing milestones, unpredictable divisional races.

It’s so close to spring training. Let’s do this.

Reds hire Lou Pinella as a senior advisor to baseball operations

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The Reds announced on Twitter that the club has hired former manager Lou Pinella in a consultant capacity as a senior advisor to baseball operations. John Fay of the Cincinnati Enquirer adds that Pinella will also spend time with the team at spring training.

Pinella, 72, was last seen with the Giants in 2011, also in a consultant capacity, but he spent only the one season there. He has 23 seasons of experience as a manager, with his most recent four coming with the Cubs between 2007-10.