The Cleveland Indians announced that they had resigned right-hander Dan Oteroto a two-year deal worth $2.5-million. The deal included a $1.5-million team option for 2020 that includes a $100K buyout. Otero has previously agreed to a one-year deal to avoid arbitration but has now added another season onto his contract. Otero, who will be 33 before opening day next season, put together his second consecutive effective season with the Tribe going 3-0 with a 2.85 ERA and 1.02 WHIP. The righty sinkerballer who pitched to a 63% ground ball rate was utilized frequently in 2017 in various situations throwing 60 innings in 52 appearances out of the bullpen. Despite his effectiveness, he was left off the 2017 postseason roster. Still, Otero has gone 8-1 with a 2.14 ERA and 1.04 WHIP in his two seasons in Cleveland.
The Royals have signed right-handed pitcher Wily Peralta to a one-year contract with a club option for a second year. Peralta will receive $1.525 million guaranteed, a $1.5 million salary for 2018, with a $3 million club option for 2019, or a $25,000 buyout if the option isn’t exercised. Peralta, 28, has made 120 of his 132 major-league appearances—all of which have been for the Brewers—as a starter. But much like many of the other veteran starters that the Royals have signed in recent years—including Joe Blanton, Dillon Gee, Kris Medlen, Mike Minor, Travis Wood, and Chris Young (not to mention their most famous convert, trade acquisition Wade Davis)—the Royals will consider the possibility of using Peralta out of the bullpen, as Flanagan relayed Tuesday. Peralta averaged 95.9 MPH on both his four-seam fastball and sinker last season, and there’s plenty of reason to believe that he could see an uptick in velocity working out of the bullpen full-time. Peralta undoubtedly has some work to do; he posted a career-worst 7.85 ERA and 1.83 WHIP over 57.1 innings in 2017, and he has largely struggled over the past three seasons. While the Royals already have a fair amount of rotation depth with Danny Duffy, Ian Kennedy, Jason Hammel, Jakob Junis, Sam Gaviglio, Nate Karns, and Eric Skoglund returning from last season, Peralta could also perhaps provide extra starting depth if Kansas City struggles to get innings out of its rotation like it did in 2017.
The Cubs met Shohei Ohtani and they made their pitch to the two-way Japanese superstar for why he should come to Chicago. Ohtani and his agents have met with six of his seven finalists, except the Padres. The other clubs are the Giants, Dodgers, Mariners, Angels and Rangers. A right-handed pitcher and left-handed slugger, Ohtani has until Dec. 22 to sign with a Major League team. The team that signs him also will need to pay a $20 million posting fee to the Nippon-Ham Fighters. Ohtani got an up-close look at the Cubs’ Spring Training facility in Mesa, Ariz., last year while doing rehab work in February, according to the Kyodo News. The Cubs’ state-of-the-art complex opened in 2014 and includes a 7,500-square-foot workout and training facility. The Fighters have held the first phase of Spring Training at the Padres’ complex in Peoria, Ariz., the past few years. The Cubs have been quiet about negotiations, but team president of baseball operations Theo Epstein does know how to make a strong presentation. When the Cubs were courting free agent Jon Lester, they created a recruiting video that included a fake World Series play-by-play call by the team’s broadcasters. In the video, Lester was starting Game 7 of the World Series. The video also featured highlights of the Cubs’ talented young players, such as Kris Bryantand Anthony Rizzo, and focused on why it was a good time to play for Chicago. The Cubs did a similar video presentation for then-free agents Jason Heyward and Ben Zobrist, and that one included Lester and David Ross saying, “Everything they told us last year came true.”
As the San Francisco Giants continue waiting for Giancarlo Stanton to decide if he will waive his no-trade clause, details of their trade offer to the Miami Marlins have reportedly been made public. The Giants’ offer includes right-handed pitcher Tyler Beede, outfielder Heliot Ramos, infielder Christian Arroyo and first baseman/outfielder Chris Shaw. The Marlins would accept a deal of Beede, Shaw and Joe Panik if the Giants committed to paying at least $250 million of the $295 million remaining on Stanton’s contract. Arroyo is the highest-ranked prospect, No. 56 overall, and he made his MLB debut last season with a .192/.244/.304 slash line in 34 games. Until Stanton makes his decision, nothing can happen with the Giants, Cardinals or any other team. The reigning National League MVP is a hot commodity after hitting .281/.376/.631 with 59 home runs and 132 RBI last season.
The first significant move of the offseason is in the books for the Cardinals, but it’s hardly one that everyone has been expecting. St. Louis announced Tuesday that it has signed right-hander Miles Mikolas, to a two-year contract. The 29-year-old Mikolas, who was known to be seeking a return to the Majors after a dominant three-year run with the Yomiuri Giants in Japan’s Nippon Professional Baseball, will reportedly be guaranteed $15.5MM. He’s represented by Octagon. Mikolas, a former Padres/Rangers farmhand, didn’t establish himself in parts of three seasons with those two teams earlier this decade. From 2012-14, he turned in 91 1/3 innings with a 5.32 ERA 6.1 K/9, 3.4 BB/9, 1.18 HR/9 and a 44 percent ground-ball rate. However, Mikolas had a sharp track record in the minors, highlighted by excellent control in the upper levels, which piqued the interest of NPB’s Giants. Adding Mikolas to their rotation will only further the speculation that the Cardinals are prepared to deal some arms as they look to bolster their lineup. St. Louis has been one of the two primary teams in pursuit of reigning NL MVP Giancarlo Stanton on the trade market (joined by the Giants), and if that doesn’t pan out the Cards could also look to pry Marcell Ozuna or Christian Yelich out of Miami or turn to other bats on the market.
The Tigers announced that they’ve signed outfielder Leonys Martin to a one-year, Major League contract for the 2018 season. He’ll earn a guaranteed $1.75MM with the opportunity to pick up another $1.1MM via incentives. Meanwhile, catcher Derek Norris, right-hander Enrique Burgos and outfielder Jim Adduci have signed minor league deals that contain invites to Spring Training, per the team. The Tigers also confirmed their previously reported minor league deal with first baseman Edwin Espinal. Martin, 30 next March, should have ample opportunity to pick up at-bats with the Tigers, who enter the offseason with a thin outfield mix. Mikie Mahtook, JaCoby Jones and Nicholas Castellanos currently sit atop the depth chart in Detroit, though Jones has yet to establish himself in the Majors while Castellanos is a trade candidate. Martin could supplant Jones, and at the very least the two will compete for regular at-bats during Spring Training this year. In Martin, the Tigers are adding a left-handed bat and a fleet-footed defender that can handle all three outfield spots. The former Rangers/Mariners outfielder hasn’t hit much in recent years, but Martin has consistently drawn top-notch reviews for his defensive work, most of which has come in center field.
The Angels have agreed to a deal with infield prospect Kevin Maitan. The former Braves prospect was declared a free agent by commissioner Rob Manfred following his office’s investigations into Atlanta’s circumvention of rules on the international free agent market and in the domestic amateur draft. The addition of Maitan will be a jolt to an Angels farm system that has long rated as one of the game’s worst but has steadily improved in recent seasons. The 17-year-old Maitan didn’t perform well in his first professional season, hitting just .241/.290/.340 in 176 plate appearances between the Rookie-level Gulf Coast League and Appalachian League. The switch-hitting Maitan was still considered by some to be one of the game’s top overall prospects and should slot in at or near the top of his new organization’s prospect rankings. It would be misleading, though, to suggest that Maitan’s struggles didn’t hamper his value to some extent; Baseball America’s J.J. Cooper, for instance, tweetsthat he’s spoken to several scouts who wouldn’t rank Maitan among the game’s 100 best prospects at this juncture.