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MLB Trade Rumors and News: Royals sign Michael Taylor, Jose Urena DFAed as non-tender deadline looms

The Marlins just designated their 2020 Opening Day starter for assignment.

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Miami Marlins v New York Yankees Photo by Sarah Stier/Getty Images

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 Royals have been busy the last couple of days. After locking up Mike Minor to help solidify their rotation, Kansas City turned their attention to the outfield as they signed Michael Taylor to a one year deal. While Taylor has been hit and miss on offense, he is a quality defender in the outfielder...a quality that the Royals have historically valued highly.
  • The Marlins were one of the bigger stories from the 2020 season both because of their improbable playoff and also because they nearly torpedoed the whole MLB season thanks to a COVID outbreak that spread throughout their roster. Now, the team continued to overhaul its roster as they acquired reliever Adam Cimber from the Indians for cash and immediately designated their 2020 Opening Day starter, Jose Urena, for assignment. He was likely an upcoming casualty of the non-tender deadline anyways, but its still wild to see it happen nonetheless.
  • In a move that really jazzed up the weekend, the Reds and Rockies swapped Robert Stephenson and Jeff Hoffman in a four-player deal. The former top pitching prospects will start fresh in new places, hopefully with much better ERAs and living up to their initial hype.
  • The Royals have signed a deal with southpaw Mike Minor, reports The Athletic’s Ken Rosenthal. The veteran pitcher hit the market as a free agent this offseason after a rocky 2020 split between the Rangers and the Athletics. He averaged a 5.56 ERA this season, a far cry from his 2019 All-Star season that saw a whopping 200 strikeouts. We’ll have more details on the deal as the story develops.
  • George Springer has begun to get very serious in his talks with the Blue Jays, according to Sportsnet.ca’s Shi Davidi. Many have hypothesized that the Blue Jays have offered at least one contract to Springer. The Blue Jays have already made some early moves, bringing back Robbie Ray for another year. While the so-called talks may only be talks, it isn’t so off base to say that the Blue Jays are trying to strike while the iron is hot, before other teams can even consider a budget for free agency. A new stadium and new slugger? Not a bad looking for Toronto.
  • While young starters Max Fried and Ian Anderson showed great hope for the future, one could argue that the Braves’ downfall in 2020 was the inconsistency in their rotation. They’ve made multiple moves to boost their starting pitching in 2021, first signing Drew Smyly to a one-year, $11 million deal, then bringing back old friend Charlie Morton on a one-year, $15 million contract Tuesday. While Smyly and Morton both carry some level of risk, it’s hard to go wrong with one-year contracts, and if Smyly and Morton are at their best, the Braves’ rotation could return to being one of the strengths of the team next season.
  • Michael Brantley’s consistency makes him a solid free agent play.
  • Who would’ve guessed that the Rays would consider trading Blake Snell before the end of his five-year, $50 million contract? (Numerous hands in the room go up.) Tampa is considering trading its ace, per MLB.com’s Mark Feinsand, in order to — you guessed it — create financial flexibility as his salary increases from $7 million to $10.5 million in 2021. With all due respect to Trevor Bauer, this news makes Snell the most desirable pitcher with a realistic change of changing teams this offseason.
  • There has been quite a bit of re-arranging across the league in terms of the leaderships of various front offices. That trend continued on Thursday when the Brewers promoted Matt Arnold, who had served as the team’s assistant general manager, to the posts of senior vice president and general manager. Arnold had been a candidate for several top jobs around the league and the Brewers made sure that he wasn’t going anywhere for the foreseeable future.
  • Will Yankees starter Masahiro Tanaka remain in pinstripes?
  • Hot take alert: the Giants should still pursue a multi-year deal with Kevin Gausman.
  • Mets second baseman Robinson Canó tested positive for a banned substance for the second time and has been suspended for the entire 2021 season as a result. His subsequent silence on the matter has been, well, deafening and telling.
  • After nine seasons as the Cubs’ president of baseball operations, including one that resulted in a drought-ending World Series victory, Theo Epstein is stepping down and says he’s going to take a break from baseball (though that hasn’t stopped some from connecting him to the Mets and Phillies front office openings). He’ll be replaced by his longtime right-hand man, Jed Hoyer, and the Cubs will have an opportunity to install another executive (perhaps one of their highly-regarded VPs, Jason McLeod or Dan Kantrovitz?) as GM if they so choose.
  • A time honored tradition each and every year is the release of the Hall of Fame ballot and having the internet shout about who is and who isn’t worthy of induction. That process began yet again last week as the 2021 ballot was released. With the list of newly eligible players being somewhat underwhelming, it will be interesting to see which players see a boost in their chances.
  • The Marlins have named Kim Ng their general manager. On top of being the first female GM in the history of major North American men’s professional sports, she’s also the first Asian-American GM in MLB history. She’s also been on “Great GM Candidates” lists for about 10 years now and was repeatedly passed over for a flurry of less qualified candidates ... but I digress.
  • Jake Odorizzi is gaining a lot of attention this offseason, most notably from the Blue Jays, Giants, and Mets, reports ESPN.com’s Buster Olney. The Twins haven’t ruled out re-signing him, but the 30-year old is coming off an injury riddled season that only saw him pitch 13 2⁄3 innings. That would certainly be enough to give any team pause.
  • Unlike some awards where there was a certain amount of suspense as to who was going to win the award, the BravesFreddie Freeman was the overwhelming favorite to take home the NL MVP award. He was arguably the best hitter in the league in 2020 and was on one of the best teams in the league. That combination is usually a good predictor of success and he did, in fact, take home the NL MVP award with 28 out of a possible 30 first place votes. Jose Abreu of the White Sox ended up taking home the AL MVP in a closer result over Jose Ramirez.
  • There are a lot of things that the Braves owe their recent success to, and one of those is the work of Perry Minasian, who has been an assistant to general manager Alex Anthopoulos the last three seasons and who has a lengthy family pedigree in baseball. The Angels took notice and managed to snag Minasian to be their new general manager.
  • MLB continued its awards week with the announcement of the Cy Young Awards for each of the respective leagues. To the surprise of no one, Shane Bieber took home the American League award after dominating throughout the 2020 season and Trevor Bauer held off Yu Darvish to win the the NL Cy Young.
  • Marcus Stroman was an interesting case amongst those who received qualifying offers this offseason. While he has been fairly highly regarded and could have normally been expected to get a nice payday in free agency, the tight purse strings we are expecting this offseason combined with the fact that he is coming off an injury lent some credence to the idea of him signing the QO and trying again next offseason. Stroman made the news official as he signed the offer and expressed excitement about the Mets direction under its new ownership.
  • If you had Jason Vosler as the first position player to score a major-league free-agent deal this offseason, come collect your prize. The Giants signed the 27-year-old third baseman, who has spent time in the Cubs and Padres organizations, to a big-league contract. Vosler is a veteran of six minor-league seasons and spent time at the Padres’ alternate training site over the summer but has yet to make his major-league debut. However, the Giants were still intrigued enough to give him a 40-man roster spot, perhaps because of his righty-mashing ability — the left-handed hitter hit .300/.371/.563 with 19 homers in 339 plate appearances against right-handers at Triple-A El Paso in 2019.
  • Florida was heavily represented as baseball’s 2020 Managers of the Year were announced, with Don Mattingly winning in the National League and Kevin Cash winning in the AL. Good thing World Series performance wasn’t part of the criteria.
  • When the White Sox hired Tony La Russa to be their next manager, it got a lot of attention mainly because everyone just assumed that La Russa was done managing in the big leagues and had moved on to the twilight of his career in baseball. Now, the hiring is getting some additional scrutiny because apparently La Russa was charged with his second DUI just one day before the White Sox announced the hiring. The team making the move despite knowing about the charge is ... interesting to say the least.
  • The Rookie of the Year awards were announced, and the MarinersKyle Lewis was the unanimous pick over in the American League, while Brewers reliever Devin Williams, who was all but unhittable this year, took home the hardware in the National League over Alec Bohm and Jake Cronenworth.
  • A new regime is starting in Queens and they’re already making big moves. The Mets have parted ways with several top executives, including the one and only Brodie Van Wagenen. Steve Cohen is wasting no time in getting business done.
  • The Red Sox have re-hired Alex Cora as their manager.
  • No surprise here. The Tigers have hired A.J. Hinch as their new manager. Some may even say this is an extension of Hinch’s punishment from the Astros’ cheating scandal.
  • In another bizarre but fantastic move, the White Sox have hired Tony La Russa as their manager. Why yes, he is coming out of a decade long retirement to manage the White Sox. I’m almost excited as you are for what chaos will transpire.
  • The Dodgers snapped the 10th-longest championship drought in baseball — one that was often infuriating for fans of a team that is consistently near the top of the league in payroll and has won the NL West for eight straight seasons — by defeating the Rays in Game 6 of the World Series. Los Angeles took advantage of an extremely puzzling decision by Rays manager Kevin Cash to pull starter Blake Snell after he threw just 73 pitches and allowed just one hit over 5.1 innings. With the potential tying run on first base, Cash inserted reliever Nick Anderson, who had allowed runs in six straight appearances, and sure enough, he extended the streak to seven games, as he first allowed Austin Barnes to score from third on a wild pitch, then gave up the go-ahead run as Corey Seager grounded into an RBI fielder’s choice. Mookie Betts hit a solo homer in the eighth to finish off the Dodgers’ scoring in a 3-1 victory.
  • Unfortunately, the good vibes surrounding the Dodgers’ World Series victory were quickly sullied as it was revealed that Dodgers third baseman Justin Turner had tested positive for COVID-19, explaining manager Dave Roberts’ decision to pull him prior to the eighth inning of Game 6. As if MLB’s decision to proceed with a game involving an infected player wasn’t controversial enough, Turner then returned to the field to celebrate with the trophy, participate in a non-socially distant team photo (he pulled his mask down for the occasion), and kiss his wife on the field. When asked how Turner managed to participate in the celebration, president of baseball operations Andrew Friedman was quoted as saying, “I don’t think there was anyone that was going to stop him from going out,” per the New York Daily News’ Bradford William Davis.
  • Astros reliever Josh James underwent surgery to repair a labral tear in his left hip, Chandler Rome of the Houston Chronicle reports. He’ll be out of commission for 6-8 months, meaning he’ll miss the beginning of the 2021 season...that is, granted, if it starts on time next year. The 27-year old threw for a 7.27 ERA this season.
  • The Red Sox owners group might be taking the company public, in case you want to get a little piece of the action. Fenway Sports LLC is in special negations with a special acquisitions company that would bring them public, reports Cara Lombardo and Miriam Gottfried of the Wall Street Journal. After going public, Fenway Sports would be valued at $8B, giving the acquisition company, RedBall Acquisitions, a $1.575B minority share. Don’t worry Red Sox fans, John Henry will still maintain majority control of the group.
  • The Reds got some less than ideal news recently as their president of baseball operations, Dick Williams, resigned. There isn’t really a sordid reason for Williams’ decision, as he just wants to spend more time with family and work on ventures outside of baseball. His former right-hand man, Nick Krall, will now oversee the team’s baseball operations department.
  • After five disappointing and cringeworthy seasons, Matt Klentak has stepped down as Phillies’ GM. The 40-year old with be reassigned a new role within the club, one that the Phillies have yet to announce and frankly we’re scared to hear. While Klentak was great when it came to blockbuster and exciting deals like Bryce Harper and J.T. Realmuto, he could never quite seem to get lasting depth in the bullpen.
  • Francisco Cervelli has announced his retirement on Instagram, reports Jason Mackey of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. Signed by the Yankees out of Venezuela in 2003, the veteran backstop didn’t make his name in the league until 2008. After bouncing to Pittsburg and a brief stint in Atlanta, he signed a one-year deal with the Marlins last season. Cervelli slashed a career average .268/.358/.382, earning what FanGraphs has has doled out to him: a career 18 WAR.