2018 MLB Draft Guide: Avoiding Injury-Prone Players Cover Image
2018 MLB Draft Guide: Avoiding Injury-Prone Players
Colby Conway
Kevin McGowan (R) Headshot

McGowan was designated for assignment by the Mets on Wednesday, Matt Ehalt of The Bergen Record reports.

The Mets needed to clear a spot on their 40-man roster for the signing of Jay Bruce, and it appears McGowan was the roster casualty. The 26-year-old spent most of his time in 2017 with Triple-A Las Vegas, compiling a 4.15 ERA and 1.35 WHIP across 65 innings. He did appear in eight games for the big club, though he posted a lackluster 5.19 ERA and 1.62 WHIP in 8.2 innings. McGowan will report to Las Vegas if he goes unclaimed.
1:08 am (EST)
José Iglesias (R) Headshot

Iglesias signed a one-year contract with the Tigers on Wednesday, thus avoiding arbitration.

The deal is worth a reported $6.275 million, according to Anthony Fenech of the Detroit Free Press. Iglesias is set to reprise his role as the Tigers' starting shortstop in 2018 after appearing in 130 games for the club last season. Despite his regular playing time, not much should be expected from the glove-first shortstop from a fantasy standpoint, as he hit just .255/.288/.369 with six homers and seven stolen bases in 2017.
Yesterday 6:55 pm (EST)
Tyler Collins (L) Headshot

Collins (ribs) signed a minor-league contract with the Royals on Wednesday, Chris Cotillo of SB Nation reports.

Collins split time between Triple-A Toledo and Detroit last season, slashing a respectable .288/.358/.462 for the Mud Hens but struggling to a .193/.278/.333 line with the Tigers. The 27-year-old has seen major-league action with the Tigers in each of the previous four seasons, but his lackluster .235/.299/.380 slash line over that stretch will likely limit him to an organizational depth role in 2018.
Yesterday 6:35 pm (EST)
Shane Carle (R) Headshot

Carle was traded to the Braves on Wednesday in exchange for cash considerations or a player to be named later.

The right-hander was recently designated for assignment by the Pirates after being claimed off waivers by the club in early January. During the 2017 season with Triple-A Albuquerque in Colorado's system, he posted a pedestrian 5.37 ERA and 1.55 WHIP over 62 innings. He did appear in three games with the Rockies, but is likely headed for another campaign at the Triple-A level in 2018.
Yesterday 4:23 pm (EST)
Ichiro Suzuki (L) Headshot

Suzuki's agent, John Boggs, indicated Tuesday that his client could finish his career in Japan if he's unable to attract interest at the MLB level, Barry M. Bloom of MLB.com reports.

Boggs said that he has held extensive conversations with the Mariners and Padres during the offseason about signing Suzuki, but with those talks having since stalled out, it's looking unlikely that the 44-year-old outfielder will be signed before spring training gets underway in February. Though he's turned in a Hall-of-Fame career since arriving in North America in 2001, Suzuki no longer looks like an overly appealing fourth or fifth outfielder and pinch-hitting option at this point, given his paucity of pop and the sharp decline he noticed with his baserunning and contact skills last season with the Marlins. Suzuki has previously stated that he intends to keep playing professional baseball until he turns 50, but a return to Japan may be the only way he's able to meet that goal.
Yesterday 12:36 pm (EST)
Michael Conforto (L) Headshot

General manager Sandy Alderson stated that Conforto (shoulder) likely won't be ready to return at the beginning of the year, as the club is targeting May 1 for his first appearance of the 2018 season, Anthony DiComo of MLB.com reports.

This remains in line with what Alderson said in mid-December, as the star outfielder continues to recover from September surgery that repaired a torn posterior capsule in his left shoulder. Conforto will likely begin the year on the DL, but more should be known regarding his status once he's able to begin baseball activities with a more concise timetable coming into focus around the start of spring training.
Yesterday 11:37 am (EST)
Brian Duensing (L) Headshot

Duensing and the Cubs agreed Wednesday on a two-year, $7 million contract, Jon Heyman of FanRagSports.com reports.

An unremarkable reliever for much of his nine big-league seasons, Duensing earned a slight pay increase after submitting a career-best 2.74 ERA (3.41 FIP) across 62.1 innings in 2017, his first year with the Cubs. The 34-year-old lefty supported the ERA with an 8.8 K/9 rate -- also a career-best mark -- with increased usage in his off-speed pitches seemingly keying his success. Duensing, who proved similarly effective against both right- and left-handed hitters last season, should factor prominently into the setup mix ahead of new closer Brandon Morrow.
Yesterday 9:56 am (EST)
Carson Fulmer (R) Headshot

Fulmer is expected to be given a shot to earn a spot in the starting rotation during spring training, Vinnie Duber of NBC Sports Chicago reports.

The 24-year-old right-hander made a cameo late last season and fared well in his final four starts, giving up just three runs in 17.1 innings while striking out 16 batters. But his success should be viewed with circumspection. He walked 11 batters in 18.1 innings as a starter, and a minuscule .204 BABIP is due for a correction as opponents develop a book on him. Prior to his callup to Chicago, Fulmer was tagged at Triple-A Charlotte, posting a 5.79 ERA. That suggests his unfamiliarity to major-league hitters played a role in his effectiveness. Nevertheless, there's a spot in the 2018 rotation available and he'll be given an opportunity to earn it. The question the White Sox are looking to answer is if there's a rotation spot beyond this season.
Yesterday 7:44 am (EST)
Rey Navarro (B) Headshot

Navarro signed a minor-league contract with the Mariners which includes an invitation to spring training.

Navarro hasn't appeared in the majors since 2015, spending each of the previous two seasons with the Angels' minor-league affiliates. He hit a respectable .278/.342/.380 across 126 games with Triple-A Salt Lake last season, but that wasn't enough for him to make it back to the show. Navarro will get a chance to compete for a bench role in spring, though he'll likely wind up as organizational infield depth in 2018.
Jan 16 7:18 pm (EST)
Matt Hague (R) Headshot

Hague signed a minor-league contract with the Mariners on Tuesday which includes an invitation to spring training.

After spending 2016 in Japan, Hague returned stateside in 2017 and spent the entire season with Triple-A Rochester. While he hit a respectable .297/.373/.416 for the Red Wings, it wasn't enough to earn him a promotion to the majors. Hague will now look to work his way back to the majors with the Mariners, though he'll more likely spend the year as organizational depth.
Jan 16 7:07 pm (EST)
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