Mark Trumbo

D’backs, Angels, White Sox agree to three-team Mark Trumbo deal

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3:00 p.m. EST update: A source told the Arizona Republic’s Nick Piecoro that the deal is done. The Diamondbacks will get Trumbo and two players to be named, and they give outfielder Adam Eaton to the White Sox and left-hander Tyler Skaggs to the Angels. Left-hander Hector Santiago will go from Chicago to Anaheim.

Trumbo is expected to play left field for the Diamondbacks and could bat fourth or fifth behind Paul Goldschmidt. A.J. Pollock will serve as Arizona’s primary center fielder, with Gerardo Parra facing righties and Cody Ross starting against lefties in right field.

Jeff Fletcher of the Orange County Register says that right-hander A.J. Schagel is one of the PTBNs going to Arizona. He had a 7.05 ERA in Triple-A last year and wasn’t protected on the Angels’ 40-man for the Rule 5 draft.

2:25 p.m. EST update: FOXSports.com’s Jon Morosi says the three-team trade is close to being finalized.

1:25 p.m. EST update: MLB.com’s Alden Gonzalez hears that the three-team deal is “getting pretty close” and that Howie Kendrick is not involved.

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ESPN.com’s Keith Law hears the White Sox are now part of the trade talks designed to send Mark Trumbo to Arizona, with the White Sox getting outfielder Adam Eaton and sending Hector Santiago to Anaheim.

Diamondbacks prospect Tyler Skaggs is also expected to go to the Angels in the trade.

Santiago, who went 4-9 with a 3.56 ERA in 23 starts and 11 relief appearances for the White Sox last season, would jump right into the Angels rotation while carrying only a minimum salary. With Trumbo’s approx. $5 million salary off the books, the Angels would then have the ability to pursue a more expensive free agent to join Jered Weaver, C.J. Wilson and Garrett Richards. Skaggs would also be a rotation possibility, but probably not until after another month or two in Triple-A.

Eaton’s addition in Chicago would free up Alejandro De Aza for a trade, and he’d be pretty attractive in a market that just saw Nate McLouth and Rajai Davis land two-year deals in the $10 million range. De Aza hit .264/.323/.405 with 17 homers and 20 steals in 607 at-bats for the White Sox last season. He’s due about $4.5 million in arbitration and will be eligible for free agency for the first time after 2015. Eaton would probably be a downgrade in the short term, but he may offer better defense in center and he’s making the minimum for  a couple of more years.

It’s the Diamondbacks who would likely lose out in the deal if they sent both Skaggs and Eaton packing for Trumbo, even if they wouldn’t realize it while he’s hitting 35 homers next season. He just probably wouldn’t contribute much of anything besides the homers to their cause.

Update: MLB.com’s Steve Gilbert is hearing that the Diamondbacks will also receive a pair of prospects if the deal is completed, which could even things up some.

Update 2: Bill Shaikin of the L.A. Times says that while the White Sox have talked to the Angels about catcher Hank Conger this winter, he’s not believed to be in the current deal.

Zach Britton settles with the Orioles for $6.75 million

Baltimore Orioles relief pitcher Zach Britton delivers a pitch against the Boston Red Sox in the ninth inning of a baseball game at Fenway Park, Tuesday, June 23, 2015, in Boston. The Orioles won 6-4. (AP Photo/Steven Senne)
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The Orioles and closer Zach Britton avoided an arbitration hearing, agreeing to a $6.75 million salary for the 2016 season, Jon Heyman reports. The club has now handled all of its remaining arbitration cases and won’t have to go to a hearing with any players.

Britton, in his second of four years of arbitration eligibility, filed for $7.9 million while the Orioles countered at $5.6 million. $6.75 million is exactly the midpoint between the two submitted figures.

The 28-year-old lefty saved 36 games in 40 chances last season for the O’s while putting up a 1.92 ERA with a 79/14 K/BB ratio over 65 2/3 innings.

The Blue Jays will also try to sign Josh Donaldson to a multi-year deal

Toronto Blue Jays third baseman Josh Donaldson gets up after being unable to handle an infield single by Boston Red Sox's Mookie Betts during the fourth inning of a baseball game at Fenway Park in Boston Monday, Sept. 7, 2015. (AP Photo/Winslow Townson)
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Tacking onto Friday’s report that the Blue Jays will attempt to sign Jose Bautista and Edwin Encarnacion to multi-year deals, Sportsnet’s Ben Nicholson-Smith reports that the club will try to do the same with third baseman and defending American League Most Valuable Player Josh Donaldson. Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports notes that Donaldson’s arbitration hearing is scheduled for February 15, so the two sides will have 10 days to hammer out a contract.

Donaldson, 30, is entering his second of four years of arbitration eligibility. After earning $4.3 million last season, Donaldson filed for $11.8 million and the Blue Jays countered at $11.35 million. The $450,000 difference isn’t much compared to some of the other disparities among arbitration-eligible players and their respective clubs. Jake Arrieta and the Cubs, for example, had a gap of $6.5 million.

This past season, Donaldson let the league in runs scored and RBI with 122 and 123, respectively, while batting .297.371/.568 with 41 home runs and 41 doubles. He earned 23 of 30 first place votes in AL MVP balloting, with runner-up Mike Trout of the Angels grabbing the other seven votes.

Reds prospect Juan Duran suspended 80 games

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Juan Duran, a minor-league outfielder in the Reds’ farm system, has been suspended 80 games following positive tests for the performance-enhancing drugs Drostanolone, Stanozolol, and Nandrolone.

Duran is 6-foot-7 with big-time power, averaging 23 homers per 150 games since 2011, but he also strikes out a ton and struggles to control the strike zone. He spent last season at Double-A, missing a lot of time with injuries and hitting .256 with six homers and a .728 OPS in 59 games as a 23-year-old.

Duran is on the 40-man roster and is considered a quasi-prospect, but he’ll be ineligible to play until July and figures to head back to Double-A once reinstated.

The Blue Jays will talk long term deals with Jose Bautistia and Edwin Encarnacion

Jose Bautista Blue Jays
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Ever since Alex Anthopoulos resigned as Blue Jays’ GM and Mark Shapiro took over as team president, a distinct air of frugality has set in over Rogers Centre. The go-for-broke attitude that fueled Toronto’s fantastic second half last year was repudiated and long-term, sustainable building has seemed to be the order of the day.

But the Jays aren’t going to go crazy with that: ESPN’s Jayson Stark reports that the Blue Jays plan to have long-term extension talks with the agents of Jose Bautista and Edwin Encarnacion during spring training. This, combined with the still-remaining possibility that they can avoid arbitration with MVP Josh Donaldson and hammer out a long-term deal could mean some serious spending by the Jays before Opening Day.

Or this could just be talk from the front office designed to buoy the spirits of fans. Locking up all three of them to long-term deals may be hella expensive and may not be possible. It’s also the case that, given their ages — Bautista is 35 and Encarnacion is 33 — it may not be advisable to lock the both up. As always, it depends on the terms and how generous Rogers Communications plans on being with the Jays’ budget.

But the chatter is now out there and expectations are poised to be set.