The Kansas City Royals are working on a new contract with catcher Salvador Perez, Jon Heyman of MLB Network and Jeffrey Flanagan of MLB.com reported.
Perez, 25, is signed to an extremely team-friendly contract.
Signed in February of 2012, Perez was guaranteed $7 million over five seasons. When he signed the deal, Perez had just 39 games of Major League experience. This made the contract a possible risk for the Royals if Perez did not pan out.
In reality, Kansas City has reaped the benefits of locking Perez up early.
Perez has hit .279/.306/.431 with 65 home runs and 279 RBIs in parts of five seasons with the club, amassing 11.9 FanGraphs Wins Above Replacement. He led the team to the 2015 World Series title, hitting for a .845 OPS in 64 plate appearances.
Next season, Perez is scheduled to make $2 million. Then, he has team options for 2017 ($3.75 million), 2018 ($5 million), and 2019 ($6 million). If Perez does want to make more money in a new contract, it is possible he will have to give up free agent seasons, or years after his current contract has expired.
When Flanagan asked about the new contract, Perez was blunt.
"I don't care. I'll just play hard and keep my concentration and help my teammates. [And] try to get back to the World Series," he said.
The Arizona Diamondbacks have acquired Jean Segura from the Milwaukee Brewers in exchange for Aaron Hill in a five-player trade, they announced on Saturday.
Other pieces in the deal include Tyler Wagner, who is headed to the Diamondbacks, as well as Chase Anderson and Isan Diaz, who are headed to the Brewers. The trade was first reported by ESPN's Keith Law.
The Diamondbacks have wanted to deal Hill for quite some time now, as Robert Murray of Baseball Essential reported. He is owed $12 million in 2016 and has underperformed as he ages.
In order for the Brewers to take on Hill, the Diamondbacks rewarded them with the addition of Diaz, their 2nd round pick in 2014. He has developed beautifully, posting an eye popping 1.076 OPS in 312 plate appearances last year in Rookie ball.
From the Brewers' perspective, they had to pull this deal off as they look to rebuild. The team went 68-94 last season and are not near contention anytime soon.
For them, Segura was expendable due to the emergence of top infield prospect Orlando Arcia. He is rated as the sixth-best prospect in baseball, according to MLB.com. Arcia is going to be the centerpiece of the next contending Brewers team, so they felt they needed to clear the path for him by dealing Segura.
But it will be Hill who heads to Milwaukee's big league club in the meantime. The 33-year-old hit .230/.295/.345 with six homers and 32 RBIs in 353 plate appearances last season. He was worth 0.1 FanGraphs Wins Above Replacement.
As for the the Diamondbacks, they have wanted infield depth after committing to contention this offseason.
They signed Zack Greinke to a long-term deal and acquired Shelby Miller from the Braves, solidifying themselves as a force in the National League. But they didn't see themselves as complete, wanting another infield piece and an upgrade over Hill.
That's where Segura came in. The only issue is, however, he has no big league experience at second base. He last played there in 2012, while still in the Angels organization.
The soon-to-be 26-year-old hit .256/.281/.336 with six home runs and 50 RBIs in 584 plate appearances last season. He stole 25 bases in 31 attempts. Known for his defense, Segura was worth 0.3 FanGraphs Wins Above Replacement (fWAR).
Tyler Wagner and Chase Anderson were also exchanged in the deal.
Wagner, 25, made three starts for the Brewers in 2015, allowing 11 earned runs in 13 2/3 innings.
Anderson, 28, has been with the Diamondbacks for two seasons and owns a career 4.18 ERA and a 216 to 80 strikeout-to-walk ratio in 267 innings pitched, making 48 starts.
The Los Angeles Dodgers have agreed to re-sign second baseman Howie Kendrick, Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports reported.
The sides have agreed to a two-year, $20 million contract, according to Jon Heyman of MLB Network.
Kendrick has had a fascinating offseason.
Right from the get-go, the Dodgers offered Kendrick a $15.8 million qualifying offer. He declined, meaning that if he signed elsewhere, the Dodgers would get an extra draft pick and the team signing him would lose their first unprotected selection. This was apparently a big turn off.
Kendrick played the waiting game, but his market never really seemed to pick up. The Diamondbacks and Angels were connected to him at different points of the offseason, but nothing materialized.
In his new deal, Kendrick doesn't get quite the value of the qualifying offer, but gets the long-term security he so desired.
Kendrick's contract doesn't compare quite favorably to other top second baseman who signed this offseason. Daniel Murphy and Ben Zobrist, both considered superior options to Kendrick, signed for $12.5 and $14 million per year, respectively. They also both got deals of three years or more.
Regardless of the terms, Kendrick is an interesting fit now that he's back in LA.
Los Angeles re-signed Chase Utley this offseason. They have Enrique Hernandez, who can play the middle infield as well. But neither will start, as the team has Kendrick, top prospect Corey Seager, and Justin Turner playing second, short, and third in 2016. This signing gives the Dodgers an extremely deep bench and makes them even more versatile.
Last season, Kendrick hit .295/.336/.406 with nine home runs and 64 RBIs in 495 plate appearances. According to FanGraphs, he was worth 2.1 Wins Above Replacement.
The 32-year-old was the Angels' 10th round pick in the 2002 MLB Draft. In 10 big league seasons, Kendrick is a career .293/.333/.423 hitter and has been worth 25.9 fWAR with the Angels and Dodgers.
The Colorado Rockies and Tampa Bay Rays completed a four player trade on Thursday, as Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports and Joel Sherman of the New York Post reported.
Two Major Leaguers are involved in the trade. Outfielder Corey Dickerson is headed to the Rays in the deal, and relief pitcher Jake McGee heads to the Rockies.
Two minor league prospects, one from each team, are involved in the deal as well. High-A right-hander German Marquez is Rockies-bound. The Rays are receiving Single-A third baseman Kevin Padlo.
This swap had already been mentioned as a possibility earlier this week.
Rosenthal and Mark Topkin of the Tampa Bay Times reported a that the Rockies might be more inclined to deal Dickerson as compared to other outfielders Carlos Gonzalez or Charlie Blackmon. Topkin even mentioned McGee as a possible target for Colorado.
This is a curious trade from the Rockies perspective. I wrote a column two days ago about what Colorado's course of action is. A back-end relief pitcher is a luxury for a non-contending team, but yet the Rockies went out and got one in McGee.
The Rockies have revamped their bullpen this offseason, signing free agent righties Chad Qualls and Jason Motte and now going out and getting McGee. Last year, the team had the highest bullpen ERA in the Majors, so they established that as a need this offseason and went out and got three new relievers.
McGee, 29, has little closing experience in Tampa Bay, but is one of the most dominant relief pitchers in the game.
He went 1-2 last year and sported a 2.41 ERA and a 48 to 8 strikeout-to-walk ratio in 37 1/3 innings, adding six saves in 10 opportunities. McGee missed the beginning of the 2015 season due to minor elbow surgery.
In giving up a good relief pitcher, the Rays got four seasons of control of outfielder Corey Dickerson. He slides right into the heart of their order and will likely play right field.
The 26-year-old Dickerson, who does not become a free agent until after the 2019 season, broke out in 2014. Like McGee, Dickerson missed time this season, his injuries coming in the form of plantar fasciitis and two fractured ribs.
Last year, Dickerson hit .304/.333/.536 with 10 home runs and 31 RBIs in 234 plate appearances. He was worth 0.5 Wins Above Replacement, according to FanGraphs.
The Rays are basically turning two years of control of McGee into four years of control of Dickerson.
The Houston Astros have signed right-hander Doug Fister to a one-year deal, they announced Thursday.
According to Chris Cotillo of SB Nation, Fister will be guaranteed $7 million in 2016 and could make $12 million if all performance bonuses are reached.
The Astros had reportedly been interested in rotation depth throughout the offseason. Prior to the signing, the rotation included the likes of Dallas Keuchel, Collin McHugh, Mike Fiers, Scott Feldman, and Lance McCullers. It's possible that Feldman could now be used in a relief role.
Fister appears to be a possible bounce-back candidate for the team next year. Always one of the best control pitchers in the league, Fister's walk rate took an unusual spike last season, resulting in the loss of a spot in the Nationals' rotation.
The Astros hope that Fister will be able to return to his 2014 form, when he went 16-6 with a 2.41 ERA. He struck out 98 but walked just 24 over 164 innings pitched.
If the signing does not work out, however, Houston may not have a problem. They had the eighth-best rotation ERA in the Majors last year.
Fister is just one of the handful free agent pitchers that is looking to bounce back in 2016. Others include Bronson Arroyo, Cliff Lee, Mike Minor, and Tim Lincecum. Outside of Arroyo, they are all still looking for new teams.
Last season, the soon-to-be 32-year-old Fister went 5-7 with a 4.19 ERA and a 63 to 24 strikeout-to-walk ratio in 103 innings pitched with the Nationals. According to FanGraphs, he was worth 0.2 Wins Above Replacement.