josh johnson, mark buehrle getty

Blue Jays getting Johnson, Buehrle, Reyes, Buck and Bonifacio in megatrade with Marlins

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UPDATE, 8:58 PM: Olney says the 12-player trade might not be finalized until sometime Wednesday.

UPDATE, 7:49 PM: Juan C. Rodriguez of the South Florida Sun-Sentinel adds that right-handed prospect Anthony DeSclafani is going to Miami. That’s the final piece of the puzzle. Here’s the breakdown:

BLUE JAYS GET:
SS Jose Reyes
RHP Josh Johnson
LHP Mark Buehrle
INF Emilio Bonifacio
C John Buck
$4 million

MARLINS GET:
SS Yunel Escobar
INF Adeiny Hechavarria
RHP Henderson Alvarez
LHP Justin Nicolino
OF Jake Marisnick
RHP Anthony DeSclafani

UPDATE, 7:45 PM: The Marlins will also receive catcher Jeff Mathis from the Blue Jays, according to Bob Elliott of the Toronto Sun. Elliott also says it’ll be a 12-player swap when all is said and done.

UPDATE, 7:34 PM: ESPN’s Keith Law says there is “zero” chance the trade gets nixed by Bud Selig.

UPDATE, 7:20 PM: Rosenthal notes that the trade is “not yet official” because Major League Baseball has not been given all the details. Trades involving money require approval from the commissioner.

UPDATE, 6:58 PM: ESPN’s Buster Olney reports that Jake Marisnick, a 21-year-old outfield prospect with a .278/.351/.436 career batting line in the minor leagues, will also be joining the Marlins organization.

UPDATE, 6:41 PM: The Fish will get shortstop Yunel Escobar, infield prospect Adeiny Hechavarria, right-handed starter Henderson Alvarez and lefty prospect Justin Nicolino, according to various reports.

UPDATE, 6:34 PM: Morosi says Johnson, Buehrle and Reyes are all going to the Blue Jays, along with catcher John Buck and infielder-outfielder Emilio Bonifacio. The firesale of all firesales.

6:13 PM: According to FOX Sports’ Jon Paul Morosi and Ken Rosenthal, the Blue Jays are on the “verge of acquiring” right-handed starter Josh Johnson and left-handed starter Mark Buehrle from the Marlins. Shortstop Jose Reyes may also be heading north. Much, much more to come, obviously.

Jason Kipnis could join Team Israel for 2017 World Baseball Classic

CLEVELAND, OH - NOVEMBER 02:  Jason Kipnis #22 of the Cleveland Indians throws during batting practice prior to Game Seven of the 2016 World Series against the Chicago Cubs at Progressive Field on November 2, 2016 in Cleveland, Ohio.  (Photo by Gregory Shamus/Getty Images)
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With the 2017 World Baseball Classic around the corner, Team Israel has reportedly reached out to Indians second baseman Jason Kipnis, per MLB Network’s Jon Morosi. Tournament rules stipulate that a player’s roster eligibility can be achieved in one of several ways: they were born in the country in question or hold citizenship/permanent legal residence there (or are simply capable of qualifying for citizenship), or one of their parents was born in the country or holds citizenship/permanent legal residence there.

For Kipnis, it’s the latter. Kipnis’ father, Mark Kipnis, is Jewish. That gives Kipnis the status he needs to suit up for Team Israel, despite the fact that he is a practicing Roman Catholic. He has yet to confirm or deny his participation in the competition.

Fifteen players have confirmed for Team Israel so far, including Mets’ infielder/outfielder Ty Kelly and free agents Sam Fuld, Nate Freiman, Jason Marquis and Jeremy Bleich. Per MLB.com’s Chad Thornburg, eight minor leaguers will also appear for the team. Like Kipnis, at least three other major leaguers are eligible for Team Israel’s roster but have yet to accept or decline involvement in the WBC: Dodgers center fielder Joc Pederson, Mariners infielder/outfielder Danny Valencia and free agent left-hander Craig Breslow.

Rangers to sign James Loney to minor league deal

SAN FRANCISCO, CA - AUGUST 21: James Loney #28 of the New York Mets tosses to first base against the San Francisco Giants during the second inning at AT&T Park on August 21, 2016 in San Francisco, California.  The New York Mets defeated the San Francisco Giants 2-0. (Photo by Jason O. Watson/Getty Images)
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Free agent first baseman James Loney has reportedly signed a minor league deal with the Rangers, per FanRag Sports’ Jon Heyman. The deal includes an invite to spring training and a $1 million salary if he makes the major league roster in 2017.

Loney picked up a one-year stint and starting role with the Mets in 2016, slashing .265/.307/.397 with nine home runs in 336 PA. While his numbers were down a hair from the .280/.322/.357 batting line he produced with the Rays in 2015, he provided the Mets with a necessary, if underwhelming upgrade over an injured Lucas Duda through most of the season.

The 32-year-old infielder is expected to have some competition at first base, with at least five other candidates in the mix: Jurickson Profar, Ronald Guzman, Ryan Rua, Joey Gallo and Josh Hamilton. Rumor has it that the team is planning on platooning Rua and Profar in 2017, barring any impressive breakouts or injuries during spring training, though Loney could still provide the club with some veteran depth and a decent left-handed bat off the bench.