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MLB Trade Rumors and News: Rays ink Zunino to one year deal, White Sox put Yolmer Sanchez on waivers

The White Sox stayed active and teh

MLB: Tampa Bay Rays at Toronto Blue Jays Kevin Sousa-USA TODAY Sports

The MLB Daily Dish is a daily feature we’re running here at MLBDD that rounds up roster-impacting news, rumors, and analysis. Have feedback or have something that should be the shared? Hit us up at @mlbdailydish on Twitter or @MLBDailyDish on Instagram.

  • The Rays found themselves in need of a catcher when Travis d’Arnaud inked a two year deal with the Braves earlier this week. They decided to stay in house for the moment as they signed Mike Zunino to a cheap one year deal.
  • The White Sox had gone a couple of days without doing something, so based on their track record so far this offseason, they were do. They did shake up their roster a bit as they placed Gold Glove winner Yolmer Sanchez on waivers yesterday.
  • The White Sox showed interest in basically every big free agent last offseason. While they came up empty, that is not the case this offseason as they landed the best catcher on the market, Yasmani Grandal, on a four year deal worth $73 million. The team has gone on to say that this is likely only the beginning of their moves as they look to become relevant again.
  • Stop the presses. The Mariners are making some critical moves for their future, signing top prospect Evan White to a long term deal. The first baseman is ranked number 58 in the MLB Pipeline, and will receive $24M over the first six years, and his contract also includes three club options. We love when young baseball players have finical security! Now institute actual salaries instead of slashing MLiB teams, Manfred.
  • This time of year is an important one for all teams from a roster management perspective as teams have to plan for incoming free agents in addition to potentially having open roster spots to be able to pick players in the upcoming Rule 5 Draft. The Yankees made the “biggest” waves thus far in that arena as they released Jacoby Ellsbury (leaving them on the hook for $26 million) and designated Greg Bird for assignment.
  • The White Sox are ringing in this offseason with a significant extension. Jose Abreu will be sticking with Chicago for three more years to the tune of $50M. Abreu was offered this year’s qualifying offer at the deadline, which he signed. It looks like both sides want his average-30-home-runs-a-season to stick around for a little longer.
  • In addition to removing players from rosters to make room, teams were also very busy in adding eligible prospects to their 40 man rosters in order to protect them from the Rule 5. To make keeping track of who got added and who didn’t, our own Patrick Karraker put together a tracker with all of the roster additions from the past couple of days.
  • The Phillies are a reborn team and ready for the world to know it. Philadelphia is reportedly aggressively pursuing Didi Gregorius and Madison Bumgarner this offseason. Sir Didi has no qualifying offer attached to him and would be an easy snag for the Phillies this winter. MadBum has some higher stakes to him, requiring draft compensation if signed. Next thing you know they’ll be texting you “u up?” at 2am, followed by several unasked for pictures of Bryce Harper’s hair.
  • Rob Manfred made his first public comments on the Astros sign-stealing scandal Tuesday, saying that MLB’s investigation is currently limited to Houston and that the team could face severe, unprecedented discipline if they are found guilty. We’ll keep you updated on this situation as it evolved, as it certainly seems to be getting worse by the day.
  • Have you ever had an ex that gave you a few good years but towards the end of the relationships became draining, dead weight? And when that relationship finally withered and died they continued to hold on to some of your items, despite you asking for them back as penance for putting up with their sh*t? (I still want those sweats back, JAKE). Then you can relate to what the Yankees are dealing with right now as they attempt tp recoup the money owed to Jacoby Ellsbury in 2020. The Yankees were due to payout just over $26M to the outfielder, who hasn’t been on a major league baseball field since 2017. However, the plot has thickened as the team alleges that Ellsbury went behind their back to receive medical treatment from personal not authorized by the team. Now, they want that money to stay firmly in Cashman’s Awesome Starting Pitcher piggybank. Huh, going behind someone’s back, where have I heard that before...
  • Someone forgot to inform us, but apparently the Braves are the only team allowed to sign free agents this offseason. They made another addition to a bullpen that will likely be significantly improved in 2020, re-signing reliever Chris Martin to a two-year deal after acquiring him from the Rangers in a deadline deal this past July.
  • It may come as a shock and surprise to some of you that Travis d’Arnaud is still playing baseball and even more of a shock that the Braves have just signed him for a two year, $16M contract. The veteran will replace Brian McCann behind home plate, sharing his time with Tyler Flowers and 100% now taking on the role of “Team Dad” and honestly we’re kind of here for that.
  • If you were one of those who bet that Will Smith, the top reliever on the free agent market who was widely expected to sign his qualifying offer, was going to be the first major free agent signing of the offseason...you are likely very rich. The Braves struck early as they signed Smith to a lucrative three year deal and the team has, for the moment, a bullpen that should be a strength even if it is rather pricey.
  • The Pirates were next up in the good old fashion general manager shuffle, hiring Ben Cherington as the team’s new GM. The 45-year-old was at the home of three World Series-winning Red Sox teams and can hopefully end Pittsburgh’s World Series drought. After leaving the Red Sox in 2015, he moved on to become the Blue Jays’ vice president of baseball operations.
  • New manager, who dis? The Phillies are in the midst of negotiating an extension with catcher J.T. Realmuto, reports Jim Salisbury of NBC Sports Philadelphia. As of now, Realmuto is only under team control through the 2020 season. If he hits the free-agent market after that, he is set to have a big payday and be one of the biggest names of next winter‘s class. Currently, he is projected to earn $10.3M in his last year of arbitration eligibility. If the Phillies are smart to work something out with the young catcher now before they have to deal with negotiation talks next off-season, with said extension not taking effect until 2021.
  • Stealing signs is no new baseball phenomena, but the lengths to which the Astros took it are both astounding and stomach-churning.
  • The Cardinals made a rather unsurprising move, re-signing starter Adam Wainwright to a one-year deal. The new contract, which will allow Wainwright to spend a 16th season wearing the Birds on the Bat, pays Wainwright a $5 million base salary with $5 million in incentives based on games started.
  • Contrary to last offseason, when he had to sign a one-year prove-it deal with the Braves, Josh Donaldson has quite a few interested suitors on the free-agent market this winter.
  • The Giants have hired Scott Harris as their new general manager. The former assistant general manager for the Cubs will now be the Robin to what was for the past year Farhan Zaidi’s solo Batman show in San Francisco’s baseball operations Gotham. Harris is now the youngest person with the title of general manager in Major League Baseball.
  • After snapping a three-year playoff drought and reaching the NLCS, the Cardinals rewarded their key leadership figures by handing out contract extensions all around, re-upping with president of baseball operations John Mozeliak through 2023 and general manager Michael Girsch and manager Mike Shildt through 2022.
  • Excited (or nervous) to find out where your favorite free agent is going to end up this offseason? Our Andersen Pickard made his best guess, predicting landing spots and contract values for each of MLB Trade Rumors’ top 50 free agents.
  • The Yankees and Aroldis Chapman have agreed on a contract extension through 2022. This extra year includes $18M on top of the $30M he was set to earn in the two years remaining on his five-year, $86M deal. Which will come first, the end of the contract or Chapman’s arm falling off from sheer torque? Stay tuned, kiddos.
  • Tommy John surgery has historically been reserved for major-league pitchers and washed up Division III sidearmers who injure themselves trying to show off in a company softball game. But in recent years we’ve seen an uptick in non-pitching position players go under the knife for UCL injuries. SB Nation’s Ginny Searle looks into this phenomenon and if there’s anything players or athletic trainers can do to stop it.