Jon Heyman of FanRag Sports reports that the Diamondbacks are close to signing free agent reliever Fernando Rodney.
Rodney, 39, has been inconsistent over the past two seasons. This past season, he was lights-out with the Padres, posting a 0.31 ERA in 28 appearances. After the Marlins acquired him at the end of June, he struggled to a 5.89 ERA in 39 appearances.
Brad Ziegler, who closed for the Diamondbacks in the first half last season, went to the Red Sox in a midseason trade and is now a free agent. The Diamondbacks had six other relievers register a save, but only Daniel Hudson and Jake Barrett recorded more than one. Adding Rodney will give the club some stability in the ninth inning.
Joel Sherman of the New York Post reports that the Rays and catcher Wilson Ramos have agreed to a two-year contract. Jon Heyman of FanRag Sports provides the details: the deal has $12.5 million guaranteed with an additional $5.75 million available in playing time incentives.
Ramos, 29, tore his ACL and meniscus in his right knee near the end of the regular season. Prior to that, he was in the midst of a career year, batting .307/.354/.496 with 22 home runs and 80 RBI in 523 plate appearances. Had Ramos not suffered his injury, he likely would have commanded an even longer contract for more money.
Ramos will begin the 2017 season on the disabled list but could be available before summer begins. At any rate, the two-year deal affords Ramos the ability to rehab with no pressure to return earlier than necessary. Luke Maile and Curt Casali will handle catching while Ramos is out.
Update (10:33 PM EST): The Royals are expected to receive outfielder Jorge Soler in return from the Cubs, per Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports.
Update (9:28 PM EST): The Nationals have jumped into the mix, ESPN’s Jayson Stark reports.
Jeff Passan of Yahoo Sports reports that the Cubs are close to acquiring closer Wade Davis from the Royals. It’s been widely speculated today that the Royals would move their talented ninth-inning man and the Cubs were one of the teams listed as interested, so this isn’t a shocker. The Cubs have been looking for a closer as Aroldis Chapman is a free agent.
Davis, 31, transitioned full-time to the bullpen in 2014 and instantly became one of the most dominant relievers in baseball. Over the last three seasons, Davis owns a 1.18 ERA with 47 saves and a 234/59 K/BB ratio in 182 2/3 innings.
The Royals picked up the $10 million club option for Davis for the 2017 season. He can become a free agent heading into 2018.
We’ll update you as more details come in about the potential trade.