Braves sign Pedro Ciriaco to minor league deal

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From Baseball America‘s transaction page comes word that the Braves have signed utilityman Pedro Ciriaco to a minor league contract. It presumably will come with an invitation to spring training, where the 29-year-old will try to win an Opening Day roster spot.

Ciriaco batted just .213/.229/.255 with only two extra-base hits in 49 plate appearances this season for the Royals and his career line is .270/.299/.372, but he has played every position except catcher and pitcher.

The Royals cut Ciriaco from their 40-man roster in July and sent him outright to Triple-A Omaha. He elected free agency last week.

Report: Phillies ‘shopping the hell’ out of Carlos Santana

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In today’s column for The Athletic, Ken Rosenthal reports that the Phillies are “shopping the hell” out of first baseman Carlos Santana, according to a rival executive. Doing so would allow the Phillies to move Rhys Hoskins back to first base and open up a spot in the outfield for free agent Bryce Harper, with whom the Phillies have been commonly connected.

Santana, 32, is coming off of a mediocre season in which he hit .229/.352/.414 with 24 home runs and 86 RBI in 679 plate appearances. His 1.7 WAR, per Baseball Reference, was his lowest output since 2015. He has $35 million remaining on his contract. The Phillies would presumably eat a significant portion of that $35 million in order to make a trade work.

If the Phillies can’t move Santana but still end up signing Harper, Santana could share third base with Maikel Franco and first with Hoskins. Right now, the Phillies have a glut of outfielders with Hoskins, Odúbel Herrera, Nick Williams, and Aaron Altherr. Hoskins rated among the worst outfielders defensively in 2018, so moving him back to first base is likely one of the Phillies’ bigger priorities.