Pirates trade Agrazal to Tigers

DETROIT — The Detroit Tigers have acquired right-hander Dario Agrazal from the Pittsburgh Pirates for cash.

The Tigers announced the deal Monday. The 24-year-old Agrazal made 14 starts and one relief appearance for the Pirates last season. He went 4-5 with a 4.91 ERA.

The Tigers also announced they have requested unconditional release waivers on right-hander Drew VerHagen so he can pursue an opportunity in Japan. VerHagen pitched mostly in relief in 2019, going 4-3 with a 5.90 ERA.

M’s trade for Cortes

NEW YORK — Nestor Cortes Jr. has been traded from the New York Yankees to Seattle for $28,300 in international signing bonus pool allocation, the remainder of what the Mariners had available to deal.

A right-hander who turns 25 on Dec. 10, Cortes was 5-1 with a 5.67 ERA in 32 relief appearances and one start this year after making four relief appearances in his first big league season with the Yankees in 2018.

He was designated for assignment last week to open a roster spot for prospects protected ahead of the winter meeting draft next month.

New York’s 2019-20 pool total increased to $5,835,800 with Monday’s trade. The Yankees have used $5,762,000 of that, including $5.1 million on Dominican outfielder Jasson Dominguez, $377,500 on Dominican third Enger Castellano and $187,500 on Venezuelan catcher Manuel Palencia.

Seattle has now spent its entire $5.37 million pool and is limited to signing bonuses of $10,000 or less for the current signing year, which ends June 15.

Zunino signs

ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. — The Tampa Bay Rays have agreed to a $4.5 million, one-year contract with catcher Mike Zunino, avoiding arbitration.

The deal announced Monday, one day after free agent Travis d’Arnaud signed with the Atlanta Braves, includes a $4.5 million club option for 2021. The option price would increase by $250,000 each for 300, 400 and 500 plate appearances in 2020, making a second year potentially worth $5.25 million.

If the option is declined, Zunino would become eligible for free agency.

Zunino was acquired from Seattle in a five-player trade in November 2018 and started 78 of 90 games he played last season, when d’Arnaud finished the year as the team’s primary catcher. Zunino hit .165 with 10 doubles, nine home runs and 32 RBIs, while throwing out 34 percent of attempted base stealers.

The 28-year-old has a .202 average with 104 homers and 273 RBIs over seven big league seasons.

Hill has surgery

Free agent left-hander Rich Hill had surgery on his pitching elbow and is likely to miss the first half of next season, a person familiar with the situation told The Associated Press on Monday.

The person spoke on condition of anonymity because Hill’s surgery was not announced.

Rather than have Tommy John surgery to repair a torn ulnar collateral ligament, Hill had what is called primary revision surgery, the person said. This type of surgery usually requires a shorter recovery time, and Hill is expected to start throwing by the end of April, the person said.

Hill, who turns 40 in March, had Tommy John surgery while with Boston in 2011.

He was 4-1 with a 2.45 ERA in 13 starts this year for the Los Angeles Dodgers, completing a $48 million, three-year contract. He was sidelined between June 19 and Sept. 12 with a strained flexor tendon in his pitching forearm and then in his first start back felt right knee pain that delayed his next outing until Sept. 24. Hill started Game 4 of the Division Series against Washington and did not get a decision, allowing one run over 2 2/3 innings in a 6-1 defeat.

Hill was 30-16 with a 3.16 ERA with the Dodgers, who acquired him from Oakland on Aug. 1, 2016. He is 65-42 in 15 big league seasons.

His surgery was first reported by WEEI.

Reds make trade

CINCINNATI — The Reds acquired right-handed reliever Justin Shafer from the Blue Jays for cash on Monday.

Shafer has pitched for Toronto the last two seasons. He appeared in six games in 2018 and made 34 appearances last season, going 2-1 with a save and a 3.86 ERA. Shafer walked 32 batters in 48 innings during his two seasons with Toronto.

The Reds also claimed outfielder Nick Martini off waivers from the San Diego Padres. Outfielder Brian O’Grady and right-hander Jimmy Herget were designated for assignment.

Martini split last season between Oakland and San Diego, batting .226 in 32 games with one homer and seven RBIs.


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