Padres will receive compensation from Cubs for losing Jed Hoyer and Jason McLeod

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According to Scott Miller of CBSSports.com, the Padres will receive compensation if (or really, when) general manager Jed Hoyer and assistant general manager Jason McLeod leave to join the new-look Cubs’ front office.

Hoyer, who has served as GM for the past two seasons, is under contract with the Padres through 2013 with a club option for 2014. He is expected to receive a five-year contract with “a significant bump in pay from his current salary” to join his friend Theo Epstein in Chicago. Hoyer previously served as one of Epstein’s top assistants with the Red Sox while McLeod was director of amateur scouting.

Initial reports suggested that the Padres would not demand compensation, but Miller writes that they will likely receive one or two lower-level minor leaguers in return. The good news is that talks between the Cubs and Padres aren’t likely to be as complicated as the Epstein situation, as Dan Hayes of the North County Times notes that Chicago chairman Tom Ricketts and San Diego majority owner Jeff Moorad are close. Josh Byrnes, who is currently the Padres’ vice president of baseball operations, is expected to take over as GM once Hoyer and McLeod leave for Chicago.

Tigers sign Edwin Espinal to minor league deal

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Free agent first baseman Edwin Espinal has signed a minor league deal with the Tigers, the infielder announced Saturday. The move has yet to be confirmed by the team.

Espinal, 23, capped a seven-year run with the Pirates’ minor league affiliates in 2017. He split his season between Double-A Altoona and Triple-A Indianapolis, batting a cumulative .294/.327/.447 with 15 home runs and 31 doubles in 532 plate appearances. While he’s raked at nearly every level so far, he also profiles well on defense, and rounded off his 2017 performance with a perfect fielding percentage, 208 putouts and a Gold Glove award.

Espinal is untested at the major league level and it’s not yet clear if he’ll make the jump in 2018. He showed some positional versatility during his time in the minors, however, and could take reps at third base or DH if necessary. The Tigers are reportedly on the lookout for pitching depth and left-handed bats — two bills the right-handed Espinal doesn’t fit — and presumably have a lot of moves left to make this winter.