Free agent infielder Asdrubal Cabrera has agreed to a deal with the Rays, according to Ken Rosenthal of FOXSports.com.
Cabrera finished this year with the Nationals after spending the first seven-and-a-half seasons of his career with the Indians. He’s been primarily a shortstop, but the 29-year-old has also played plenty of second base.
There have been lots of rumors that the Rays may trade Ben Zobrist, so Cabrera could be viewed as his potential replacement as a switch-hitter with some defensive versatility. Of course, he’s not as good offensively or as versatile defensively as Zobrist.
Cabrera hit .241 with 14 homers and a .694 OPS in 146 games this past season and hit .242 with 14 homers and a .700 OPS in 136 games in 2013.
It’s no secret that the Phillies are trying to trade 37-year-old outfielder Marlon Byrd and Jon Morosi of FOXSports.com reports that they “were close to a deal” that would send him to the Reds but “it fell apart.”
Byrd is owed $8 million in the final year of his contract and is coming off a season in which he hit .264 with 25 homers and a .757 OPS in 154 games, including a terrible 185/35 K/BB ratio and poor defense.
Cincinnati is looking for a left fielder, so perhaps the two sides will re-visit talks later.
In their search for a Nick Markakis replacement the Orioles are “having ongoing dialogue” with free agent outfielder Colby Rasmus, according to Jon Morosi of FOXSports.com.
Rasmus has been a center fielder for his entire career, but the 28-year-old may be willing to shift to a corner spot for the right situation.
He’s failed to live up to the early promise he showed with the Cardinals, striking out a lot and struggling to post decent batting averages, but Rasmus has 25-homer power and posted a .792 OPS for the Blue Jays in 2013/2014. By comparison, Markakis had a .707 OPS for the Orioles during that same time.
Dan Uggla has signed a minor-league contract with the Nationals, who’ll see if the 35-year-old former All-Star has any chance of breaking out of a years-long funk.
Uggla hit .179 in 2013 and .149 this year, getting released by the Braves and then lasting just four games before being released by the Giants. He’s been about as bad as a major leaguer can be and is also 35 years old, but there’s no risk involved in a minor-league deal and the Nationals have been looking for potential second base options.
Dating back to 2012–a span of three seasons, 342 games, and 1,324 plate appearances–Uggla has hit .194 with a .671 OPS and a strikeout in 30 percent of his trips to the plate.
Designated for assignment and dropped from the 40-man roster by the Giants last month, right-hander J.C. Gutierrez has re-signed with San Francisco on a minor-league contract.
Gutierrez would have been due for a raise to around $1.5 million via arbitration, so the Giants definitely saved money this way, but it’s a little surprising he didn’t generate any interest from other teams after throwing 64 innings with a 3.96 ERA and 44/16 K/BB ratio this past season.
He’ll get an invitation to spring training and the hard-throwing 31-year-old seems likely to see action as a middle reliever at some point in 2015.