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Report: Alex Guerrero close to signing with Chunichi Dragons

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Free agent Alex Guerrero could be headed for Japan, according to Sanspo and J.P. Hoornstra of the Los Angeles Daily News. Hoornstra reported that the 30-year-old appears close to signing with the Chunichi Dragons of the Nippon Professional Baseball league, who have also featured former MLB players like Wei-Yin Chen, Kosuke Fukudome, and Matt Clark in recent years.

After getting his first cup of coffee with the Dodgers in 2014, Guerrero split time in left field and third base during the club’s 2015 run. Any chance of snagging a starting role was sidelined in 2016, however, when he was released following a knee injury and three unsuccessful rehab stints in the Dodgers’ minor league circuit. In 16 games with High-A Rancho Cucamonga, Double-A Tulsa, and Triple-A Oklahoma, the righty batted .136/.162/.197 with a home run and a stolen base in 68 PA.

Per Hoornstra, Guerrero stands to receive $7.5 million in 2016 and 2017.

The Cubs send Kyle Schwarber to the minors

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Kyle Schwarber broke into the bigs in 2015 with a big bat. After missing almost all of the last season with an injury, he reemerged as a postseason hero, posting a .971 OPS in the World Series. As 2017 began he was supposed to be one of the key parts of a potent Cubs offense.

Then the baseball games actually started and he has hit a mere .171/.295/.378. Indeed, he has the lowest batting average among qualified MLB hitters in 2017. Given that he has very little if any defensive value, he has been a significant drag on the Cubs, who are just a single game over .500.

Now this:

The Cubs are also putting Jason Heyward on the disabled list, so the outfield is a bit of a mess these days. Lucky for them, they’re only trailing the Brewers by a game and a half.

The A’s designate Stephen Vogt for assignment

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A surprising move out of Oakland: the Athletics have designated catcher Stephen Vogt for assignment.

Vogt is suffering through a bad season at the plate, hitting .217/.287/.357, so on the basis of pure performance it’s understandable that the A’s may want to part ways with the 32-year-old former All-Star. That said, Vogt is considered to be a leader in the Oakland clubhouse and is one of the last players remaining from the A’s 2013-14 playoff teams.

Catcher Bruce Maxwell has been recalled from Triple-A to take Vogt’s place on the roster. Main catching duties will belong to Josh Phegley.