MLB Player News

  • Oneil Cruz SS | PIT

    Pirates' Oneil Cruz: Back in action in instructionals

    Pirates manager Derek Shelton confirmed Monday that Cruz (ankle) has resumed participating in instructional games in the Dominican Republic this offseason, Jason Mackey of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette reports.

    Cruz hasn't yet taken part in any official Dominican Winter League games and may not before the 50-game regular season ends in late December, but the fact that he's taking live at-bats again as well as playing the field suggests that he's made a full recovery from the fractured left ankle he suffered April 9. Assuming the 25-year-old avoids any setbacks in his offseason program while he continues to train in the Dominican Republic, he should report to spring training with no restrictions. Though he essentially lost a season of development at the big-league level while recovering from ankle surgery, Cruz has youth in his favor as he looks to bounce back from the major injury. His impressive bat speed and sprint speed has been matched by few players during his time in the majors and should translate to some solid power and stolen-base numbers in 2024 even while he shakes off some rust, but Cruz's lengthy absence didn't do anything to quell the concerns about his plate discipline that existed even before he fractured his ankle.

  • Edwin Diaz RP | NYM

    Mets' Edwin Diaz: Deemed fully healthy

    Mets manager Carlos Mendoza said Monday that Diaz is "fully healthy" after completing his recovery from the patellar tendon surgery he required on his right knee last March, Tim Healey of Newsday reports.

    Coming off a brilliant 2022 campaign in which he converted 32 of 35 save chances while posting a 1.31 ERA and striking out 118 over 62 innings, Diaz profiled as arguably the top closer in fantasy drafts heading into last spring, but his season was quickly torpedoed before it even started after he injured his knee while celebrating a win for Team Puerto Rico in the World Baseball Classic. Diaz didn't experience any setbacks while completing what had been expected to be a six-month recovery from surgery, and though he had hoped to pitch at some point in September, the Mets chose not to activate him as they played out the string on a non-contending season. Mendoza wasn't willing to fully commit to Diaz being in store for a normal spring training, but the right-hander is seemingly facing no restrictions in his throwing program so far this offseason and should settle back into the closer's role for the Mets by the time Opening Day arrives.

  • Victor Robles CF | WAS

    Nationals' Victor Robles: Not yet fully healthy

    Nationals manager Dave Martinez said Monday that Robles (back) hasn't yet been cleared to participate in games during the Dominican Winter League, Mark Zuckerman of reports.

    Robles didn't play after June 20 this past season while dealing with lumbar spine spasms, an injury that proved to be more significant than the Nationals initially anticipated. The outfielder was expected to make up for the three-plus months of lost action by playing regularly in his native Dominican Republic this offseason, but he apparently has yet to fully move past the back issue. Though he's still just 26 years old, Robles' prospect star has long since faded, and he no longer appears to be viewed as a key part of the Nationals' long-term plans after he had his $3.3 million club option for 2024 declined earlier this winter. Robles is still on the books for the upcoming season after renegotiating a new one-year deal with Washington at a lower salary, but he'll probably need to overcome the back injury and turn in solid production in what's left of winter ball to enter spring training as the clear frontrunner for the starting job in center field.

  • Mookie Betts RF | LAD

    Dodgers' Mookie Betts: Will be everyday second baseman

    Dodgers manager Dave Roberts said Monday in an interview on MLB Network that Betts will be the team's everyday second baseman in 2024.

    The Dodgers had confirmed previously that Betts was going to play extensively at the keystone again during the upcoming season, but Roberts' statement Monday was more definitive in that second base will be the 31-year-old's regular spot in the field. Betts made 107 appearances in right field and 70 appearances at second base in 2023, in addition to 16 appearances at shortstop. Though Roberts indicated that Betts will still see the occasional start in right field versus left-handed pitching, he looks like he'll mostly be on the dirt moving forward. Jason Heyward is slated to draw most of the starts in right field when the Dodgers face righties.

  • Wade Miley SP | MIL

    Brewers' Wade Miley: Returns to Milwaukee

    Miley agreed Monday with the Brewers on a one-year, $7 million contract, Jesse Rogers of reports.

    Miley is guaranteed $8.5 million in the deal, and the contract includes a $12 million mutual option or $1.5 million buyout for 2025. The veteran southpaw is coming off a strong showing for Milwaukee in 2023, having collected a 3.14 ERA, 1.14 WHIP and 79:38 K:BB over 120.1 innings. He turned 37 years old in November and can't be counted on to make every start, but Miley should offer the Brewers a high floor when healthy.

  • Marco Gonzales SP | SEA

    Braves' Marco Gonzales: Will be flipped to another team

    Atlanta is expected to flip Gonzales (forearm) to a new team in another trade, Ken Rosenthal of The Athletic reports.

    Gonzales was acquired from the Mariners on Sunday as part of the Jarred Kelenic trade, but it appears his stay in Atlanta will be a brief one. It is not yet known which club will be acquiring the left-hander, but it sounds like Atlanta already has something in the works. Gonzales posted a 5.22 ERA over just 10 starts in 2023 before requiring season-ending surgery in mid-August to address a nerve issue in his left forearm. He is expected to be healthy for spring training.

  • Vaughn Grissom SS | ATL

    Braves' Vaughn Grissom: Could platoon with Kelenic

    Grissom could platoon in left field with Jarred Kelenic while also serving as Atlanta's top reserve infielder, David O'Brien of The Athletic reports.

    Atlanta wants to get Grissom's bat in the lineup, but it just needs to find a spot for him. He is playing left field in the Puerto Rican Winter League beginning this month, and it seems like he and the lefty-hitting Kelenic will be legitimately competing for at-bats this season. General manager Alex Anthopoulos told reporters Sunday that Kelenic's arrival from Seattle signals an end to their left-field pursuits this winter. If any of Atlanta's infielders get injured, the righty-hitting Grissom could step into more playing time.

  • Cole Phillips SP | ATL

    Mariners' Cole Phillips: Traded to Seattle

    Phillips (elbow) and Jackson Kowar were traded from Atlanta to Seattle on Sunday in exchange for Jarred Kelenic, Marco Gonzales and Evan White, Jeff Passan of reports.

    Phillips underwent Tommy John surgery in the spring of 2022 before being selected by Atlanta with the 57th overall pick in the 2022 First-Year Player Draft. Prior to his procedure, the 20-year-old touched triple digits with his fastball, and it's fair to think he could do so again if his recovery process goes smoothly. It's not clear where Phillips currently stands in his rehab, but it wouldn't be surprising to see him return to the mound and make his minor-league debut early in 2024.

  • Evan White 1B | SEA

    Braves' Evan White: Traded to Atlanta

    White (hip) was traded from Seattle to Atlanta on Sunday along with Jarred Kelenic and Marco Gonzales in exchange for Jackson Kowar and Cole Phillips.

    White is entering his age-28 campaign and is owed $8 million over the next two seasons, but Seattle didn't use him in the majors in 2022 or 2023. Last season was a lost campaign for White, who ended up having hip surgery in May. He hasn't been a league-average hitter since his stint at Triple-A in 2021, and this was primarily a salary dump move by Seattle. White has a career .165/.235/.308 MLB slash line in 306 plate appearances.

  • Mariners' Jackson Kowar: Shipped to Seattle

    Kowar and Cole Phillips (elbow) were traded from Atlanta to Seattle on Sunday in exchange for Jarred Kelenic, Marco Gonzales and Evan White, Jeff Passan of reports.

    Kowar was traded from Kansas City to Atlanta in mid-November, and he'll be on the move once again as the Winter Meetings get underway. The 27-year-old was once a highly-regarded prospect, but he's largely struggled in the big leagues. Over 39 appearances (eight starts), he's posted a 9.12 ERA and 2.09 WHIP in 74 innings. If he earns a spot on Seattle's Opening Day roster in 2024, it's possible he has to settle for a role as a long reliever early in the year.

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