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American League

Rays, Mariners Agree on Trade Involving Mike Zunino

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The Tampa Bay Rays have agreed to send outfielder Mallex Smith and minor league outfielder Jake Fraley to the the Seattle Mariners for catcher Mike Zunino, minor league left hander Michael Plassmeyer, and part-time outfielder Guillermo Heredia, according to a report from the Seattle Times.

Seattle is rumored to be considering a “full-fledged teardown” this offseason per a recent Yahoo report, with a number of players rumored to be available on the trade market despite Jerry DiPoto’s attempts to calm the rumor flames during the GM meetings this week.

“Clearly overdramatized is the best way to put that,” Dipoto said, according MLB.com. “We’re open-minded to different ways we can get better, but what we’re hoping to achieve is to reimagine our roster to look at it in terms of what is our quickest path to a championship club.

“We know what the Astros, Red Sox, A’s, Yankees and Indians look like. We don’t want to be a perpetual competitor for the second wild card. We want to build a championship roster. If that means in 2019 we field as competitive a team as we can while earmarking and gathering talent, we’re not looking to rip our club down. We’re just too talented to do that.”

Heredia, 27, hit .236 with five home runs, 19 RBIs and 29 runs scored in 2018.

While Zunino only mustered a lowly .210 average this season, he smacked 20 homers and has been excellent behind the plate.

Smith, 25, batted .296 with 65 runs scored and 40 RBIs this past season, mostly in a leadoff spot for Tampa Bay.

Dipoto released the following statement regarding the trade:

“Bringing Mallex back home to Seattle is exciting for us all, his combination of speed, base running impact, defense and on-base abilities are unique in today’s game. We believe his breakout 2018 performance reflects the many ways his skills will positively impact the Mariners for years to come. Jake Fraley exhibits a similarly exciting set of athletic and baseball skills. His offensive game blossomed in 2018 and creates an exciting profile when coupled with his exceptional defense and overall instincts. Both players fit our desire to build a younger, more athletic and exciting roster.”

 

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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American League

Astros Sign Robinson Chirinos to One-Year Deal

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The Houston Astros are signing free agent catcher Robinson Chirinos to a one-year deal with $5.75 million, according to The Athletic’s Ken Rosenthal.

Chirinos had a career year in 2017 while playing for the Texas Rangers, but had a dramatic dip in production during the 2018 season and was no brought back by the team. Chirinos isn’t considered a defensive stud behind the plate either, and will join Max Stassi in the Astros catching rotation.

 

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American League

Angels Announce Coaching Staff

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The Los Angeles Angels have announced the coaching staff for brand new manager Brad Ausmus.

Pitching coach Doug White, hitting coach Jeremy Reed, and assistant hitting coach Shawn Wooten have already been announced as additions to Ausmus’ staff.

Long-time MLB infielder Mike Gallego will work with infielders and coach third base. Jose Molina, the former big league catcher, will work with catchers. Additionally, Jesus Feliciano will be slated to work with the outfielders and former slugger Paul Sorrento will join the hitting coaches team.

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