D.J. Short

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MLB.com names Corey Seager as baseball’s top prospect

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MLB.com has named Dodgers shortstop Corey Seager as the No. 1 prospect in the game, unseating Twins outfielder Byron Buxton. Buxton, who has held that distinction for the past two years, checks in at No. 2 on this year’s list.

It’s no surprise to see Seager at the top. After a strong season between Double-A and Triple-A last year, the 21-year-old made his major league debut in September and quickly took over the starting shortstop job from Jimmy Rollins. It was a small sample, but Seager proved worthy of the hype by batting .337/.425/.561 with four homers over 27 games. He only logged 113 plate appearances, so he still qualifies as a rookie for this season, where he’s expected to be the regular shortstop for Los Angeles.

Rounding out MLB.com’s top five are right-hander Lucas Giolito from the Nationals, teenage left-hander Julio Urias from the Dodgers, and shortstop J.P. Crawford from the Phillies.

You can see the full top 100 list here.

Reds sign left-hander Jonathan Sanchez to a minor league contract

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In a bit of a blast from the past, Mark Sheldon of MLB.com reports that the Reds have signed veteran left-hander Jonathan Sanchez to a minor league contract.

Sanchez, now 33, is best known for his time with the Giants from 2006-2011. He pitched a no-hitter for the club in 2009 and had his best season in 2010 when San Francisco went on to win the World Series. His career quick veered off track after that, mostly due to an inability to throw strikes. He struggled in stops with the Royals, Rockies, and Pirates and has spent much of the last two years pitching in his native Puerto Rico.

The Reds apparently got an endorsement from their Double-A manager Pat Kelly, who managed Sanchez in winter ball. He had a good showing there, posting a 2.72 ERA with 32 strikeouts over 36 1/3 innings. He also walked 20 batters, so it’s unlikely he reinvented himself. But he’s still fairly young and throws left-handed, so who knows.

Rays finalize one-year deal with Steve Pearce

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In addition to acquiring outfielder Corey Dickerson from the Rockies today, the Rays have finalized a one-year contract with free agent Steve Pearce. FOX Sports’ Ken Rosenthal reports that the deal is worth $4.75 million and carries incentives based on plate appearances.

Pearce came out of nowhere with 21 homers and a .930 OPS for the Orioles in 2014, but he failed to maintain that level of production last season, batting .218/.289/.422 over 92 games. Still, he provided some pop while making starts between first base, both corner outfield spots, and even second base.

With Dickerson and Pearce now in the fold, the Rays suddenly have a bunch of moving parts. At the very least, Pearce will serve as a right-handed bat off the bench, but he could get some starts against left-handed pitching.