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American League

Cardinals Trade 2016 All-Star Rookie Shortstop Aledmys Diaz To Blue Jays

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The Toronto Blue Jays have added to their infield, as shortstop Aledmys Diaz was acquired in a trade with the St. Louis Cardinals on Friday for Minor League outfielder J.B Woodman.

Diaz, 27, made the National League All-Star squad as a rookie for St. Louis in 2016. Overall that season, he hit .300/.369/.510 with 17 homers and 65 RBIs in 404 at-bats, finishing fifth in NL Rookie of the Year voting.

Woodman, 22, was a second-round pick for Toronto in 2016. He was the organization’s No. 28 prospect prior to the trade, MLB.com reported per MLBPipeline.com. In 96 games for the class-A Lansing Lugnuts in 2017, Woodman posted a less-than-impressive .699 OPS.

This past season, Diaz regressed from his impressive rookie campaign, hitting .259/.290/.392 with just 24 extra-base-hits in 79 games. Midway through the year, he was demoted to the minors after rookie Paul DeJong’s offensive production landed him the starting job at shortstop.

Blue Jays general manager Ross Atkins listed a versatile infielder (Diaz made appearances at second base, third base, and even left field in 2017) as a top priority during last month’s general manager meetings.

“Our priority is complementing our infield in some way with versatility. Someone not that can just play when needed, but someone who could potentially get 600 plate appearances across our infield in some form or fashion,” said Atkins at the time.

Diaz, who signed a four-year, $8 million deal with the Cardinals out of Cuba prior to 2016, is excited to begin fresh with Toronto.

“I want to be an everyday player in the big leagues. That’s why I wanted to get work at second base and third base. It gives me more options, and hopefully an organization will give me a chance to play every day. That’s what I want to do,” said Diaz, who’s under control with Toronto through 2022.

The signing of Diaz came one day after the Blue Jays announced that infielder Ryan Goins wouldn’t be returning in 2018. Goins appeared in 87 games at shortstop in 2017 out of his 143 totals games.

Diaz is expected to make starts consistently throughout the middle-infield for the Blue Jays next year, with an occasional outfield start if needbe.

American League

Mariners to Sign Cory Gearrin

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The Seattle Mariners have agreed to terms on a one-year, Major League contract with right-handed reliever Cory Gearrin, according to the Seattle Times’ Ryan Divish.

The Mariners will now have to clear a spot on their 40-man roster, thanks to the addition of Gearrin and Tim Beckham.

Gearrin, 32, was well traveled last season, spending time with the Texas Rangers, San Francisco Giants, and the Oakland Athletics, posting a combined 3.77 on the season.

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American League

Mariners to Sign Tim Beckham

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The Seattle Mariners have agreed to terms on a one-year deal with infielder Tim Beckham, according to USA Today’s Bob Nightengale.

Beckham was non-tendered by the Baltimore Orioles earlier this winter, posted a slash line of .230/.287/.374 during the 2018 season.

It’s likely that Beckham will become a key utility contributor for Seattle moving forward.

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American League

Rangers Sign Shelby Miller

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The Texas Rangers have agreed to terms on a one-year, major league deal with right hander Shelby Miller, according to The Athletic’s Ken Rosenthal.

Miller, who has already passed his physical, missed most of the 2018 season due to numerous elbow issues, and underwent Tommy John surgery back in 2017, so there is risk involved with his signing.

Prior to the injuries, Miller was considered one of the major’s most promising young pitchers.

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