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Report: Dodgers sign Zach Neal to a minor league deal

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The Dodgers signed right-handed sinkerballer Zach Neal to a minor league contract, Ken Rosenthal of The Athletic reported Saturday. Neal elected free agency from the Athletics in October and was said to be seeking another minor league arrangement this offseason. He’s expected to receive an invitation to spring training, though the deal has yet to be officially confirmed by the club.

The 29-year-old righty has seen limited time in the majors since his debut with the A’s in 2016. He logged just 14 2/3 innings at the big league level in 2017, racking up a 7.98 ERA, 0.6 BB/9 and 6.1 SO/9 in six relief appearances. He bounced back and forth between Oakland and Triple-A Nashville several times throughout the year and was able to produce slightly more palatable numbers at a lower level, finishing his Triple-A run with a cumulative 4.82 ERA, 0.9 BB/9 and 3.9 SO/9 in 99 innings.

Part of Neal’s appeal, Rosenthal adds, is his familiarity with current Dodgers GM Farhan Zaidi, who was serving as the Athletics’ Director of Baseball Operations when the right-hander signed his first minors deal with the team in 2013. While it’s hard to see Neal carving out a full-time role in the Dodgers’ bullpen next spring, his exceptional control and prior major league experience could give him a leg up as he looks for his next big league tryout.

Royals acquire Brian Goodwin from Nationals

Brian Goodwin
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The Royals have acquired outfielder Brian Goodwin from the Nationals, the teams announced Sunday. The Nationals received minor league right-handed reliever Jacob Condra-Bogan in the deal.

Goodwin, 27, was working through his third campaign with the Nationals in 2018. He saw limited playing time in the outfield (mostly due to the trifecta of talent the club already had in Bryce Harper, Adam Eaton, and Juan Soto), and finished the first half of the season with a .200/.321/.354 batting line, three home runs, three stolen bases and a .674 OPS in just 79 plate appearances. The Royals, who appear thin on compelling center field options at the moment, are expected to utilize him on a more frequent basis once he’s added to the active roster.

The 23-year-old Condra-Bogan has yet to break into the majors with any team so far. He got his start in pro ball in 2017 with the independent Washington WildThings of the Frontier League and issued three runs, three walks and 15 strikeouts over 15 1/3 innings before signing on with the Royals as a free agent. This season, he pitched to an impressive 2.08 ERA, 0.7 BB/9 and 13.5 SO/9 through 26 innings in Single-A Lexington before getting transferred to High-A Wilmington for a single appearance. The Nationals have not announced where he’ll be assigned for the remainder of 2018.