Author: Aaron Gleeman

Casey Janssen, Dioner Navarro

Blue Jays “drawing interest” in Dioner Navarro after signing Russell Martin


Not surprisingly Toronto is shopping Dioner Navarro after signing Russell Martin to a five-year, $82 million contract to replace him at catcher and Ken Rosenthal of reports that the Blue Jays “are drawing interest.”

It makes sense, because Navarro is a veteran catcher with a reasonable $5 million salary for 2015 and hit .274 with 12 homers and a .712 OPS in 139 games this season. He’d be an upgrade behind the plate for plenty of teams and it seems unlikely that the Blue Jays would want a $5 million backup, so expect a deal to get done.

No one wants Ubaldo Jimenez, so the Orioles might be shopping Bud Norris

Bud Norris AP

Previous reports suggested the Orioles are trying to dump the remainder of Ubaldo Jimenez’s four-year, $50 million contract, but not surprisingly there apparently hasn’t been much interest and now Ken Rosenthal of writes that they “may consider moving” Bud Norris.

Baltimore acquired Norris from Houston in mid-2013 and he’s thrown 216 innings with a 3.92 ERA since the trade, striking out 196 and walking 72. Norris is 30 years old and will be eligible for free agency next offseason, so it’s hard to imagine the Orioles getting a ton considering he’s got a 4.23 career ERA and has never topped 190 innings.

But if the Orioles are stuck with Jimenez and feel the need to clear a spot in the rotation for him, dealing Norris is one solution that wouldn’t have major long-term consequences at least. Clearing his projected $9 million salary off the books might help too.

Pirates sign Brad Lincoln

Brad Lincoln

Brad Lincoln is back where it all started, signing a minor-league deal with the Pirates nearly a decade after they made him the No. 4 overall pick.

Lincoln proved to be a bust as a starter prospect, but resurrected his career as a reliever and had a few nice years for the Pirates and Blue Jays. Traded to the Phillies last December, he spent nearly all of this season pitching at Triple-A as a starter and struggled.

Lincoln is 30 years old and getting knocked around by Triple-A hitters isn’t a good sign regardless of the role he was in, but he does have a 3.74 career ERA as a reliever and the price for the Pirates was certainly right.

Dodgers acquire Kyle Jensen from Marlins

Kyle Jensen Marlins

Minor league outfielder Kyle Jensen, who smacked 27 homers in 133 games at Triple-A for the Marlins this season, has been traded to the Dodgers for a player to be named later or cash.

It’s an odd move because Jensen isn’t really considered much of a prospect. For one thing he’s 26 years old. For another, except for having 25-homer power he hasn’t shown much promise offensively, posting poor batting averages with lots of strikeouts and sub par plate discipline.

Beyond that, it’s unclear why the Dodgers really need more corner outfield and first base depth considering they’re already trying to trade one of their veteran outfielders and first baseman Adrian Gonzalez almost never misses a game. If anything, you’d think the Marlins might actually have been able to find a spot for Jensen.

Cardinals hire Bill Mueller as assistant hitting coach

Bill Mueller

Tacking on to an already busy day of acquiring Jason Heyward in a blockbuster trade, the Cardinals have hired Bill Mueller as their new assistant hitting coach.

Mueller resigned as the Cubs’ hitting coach in early October after one season on the job at least in part because he was unhappy with the firing of his assistant hitting coach, Mike Brumley.

It’s possible Mueller wouldn’t have stuck around in Chicago once the manager switch was made from Rick Renteria to Joe Maddon anyway. And now he’ll get to work with Heyward and a previously very good lineup that struggled in 2014.