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American League

Indians Sign Melvin Upton Jr. And Alexi Ogando To Minor League Deals

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After not appearing in a single Major League game this past season, two certain individuals will have a chance to do so in 2018.

The Cleveland Indians officially signed outfielder Melvin Upton Jr. and right-hander Alexi Ogando to Minor League contracts last Thursday after the pair passed physicals.

Both signings mark the eighth and ninth newcomers for the Indians this offseason who’ve been offered Minor League deals with invitations to Spring Training.

Upton Jr., 33, was limited to just 12 games for the Sacramento River Cats in 2017- the triple-A affiliate of the San Francisco Giants- due to thumb and shoulder injuries.

Ogando, 34, spent last season for the Hanwa Eagles in Korea, going 10-5 with a 4.34 ERA in 19 games/starts across 110 innings.

According to Cleveland.com’s Paul Hoynes, the Indians will reportedly seek to use Ogando as a starter, although a bullpen role isn’t out of the question either as the team has lost relievers Bryan Shaw, Joe Smith, and Boone Logan to free agency.

In a seven-year Major League career with the Texas Rangers (2010-14), Boston Red Sox (2015) and Atlanta Braves (2016), Ogando is 33-18 with a 3.47 ERA in 283 games (48 starts). His lone All-Star appearance was 2011, as he went 13-8 with a 3.51 ERA in 31 games (29 starts).

As for Upton Jr., he will look for a fresh start to rejuvenate his career. The once promising five-tool Tampa Bay Devil Rays prospect hasn’t been the same since departing the organization following the 2012 season. From 2013-14 for the Atlanta Braves, he hit .198 in 267 games. From 2015-16 for the San Diego Padres, he hit .257 in 179 games; but just .196 in 148 at-bats for the Toronto Blue Jays to end 2016 after the Padres traded him.

Overall in his 12-year Major League career (2004, 2006-16), Upton is a .243/.321/.402 hitter with 164 homers, 586 RBIs, and 300 stolen bases in 392 attempts.

American League

White Sox Acquire Ivan Nova

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The Chicago White Sox have acquired right handed starter Ivan Nova from the Pittsburgh Pirates, according to The Athletic’s Ken Rosenthal and Robert Murray.

According to Fancred’s Jon Heyman, the Pirates will receive a “young pitcher” and an unstated amount of international bonus pool availability in return for Nova.

Nova posted a 9-9 record with a 4.19 ERA last season for the Pirates.

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American League

Yankees “Open To Moving” Miguel Andujar

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The New York Yankees have a future superstar in Miguel Andujar, a fan favorite, yet they have been constantly linked to rumors of being open to dealing him, despite his huge rookie season.

This one, just doesn’t make much sense if the plan is to move Andujar to make room for the likes of Manny Machado.

According to The Athletic’s Ken Rosenthal and Robert Murray, the Yankees are “open to moving” Andjuar via trade, but there is no clear trade path to reference at this time.

This development clearly shows the Yankees desire to sign Machado to a free agent deal.

The Yankees and Mets have also been linked in a potential deal that could see Noah Syndergaard end up in New York, with Andujar on his way out.

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American League

Rangers Sign Rafael Montero

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The Texas Rangers have agreed to terms on a minor-league deal with right handed pitcher Rafael Montero, according to the Dallas Morning News’ Evan Grant.

Montero is still working back from Tommy John surgery, and was once a top prospect in the New York Mets organization , but struggled transitioning to the major league level, putting together a woeful 5.38 ERA over 192 1/3 innings pitched.

 

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