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The 31-year-old went 1-0 with a 2.64 ERA in 47 2/3 innings split between Oakland and Washington in 2016 and would fit well in a Mariners bullpen that lost southpaws Mike Montgomery and Vidal Nuno in trades over the past four months, while Charlie Furbush declined a Minor League outright as he recovers from shoulder surgery that will sideline him for the upcoming season.

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Dipoto said Tuesday that a lefty reliever and an experienced starter were the two primary goals remaining as the club prepares for next week's Winter Meetings in Washington, D.C.

The club has not confirmed the report and the deal is pending a physical, according to sources. No terms of the contract have been confirmed. Rzepczynski made $2.95 million last season before becoming a free agent.

Jordan Bastian has covered the Indians for since 2011, and previously covered the Blue Jays from 2006-10. Read his blog, Major League Bastian, follow him on Twitter @MLBastian and listen to his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

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Kinzer did not comment on which teams specifically were involved in discussions to sign Encarnacion, but, per Morosi, the Astros and Yankees are believed to be among the remaining clubs seeking the designated hitter/first baseman's services. and MLB Network will have wall-to-wall coverage of the 2016 Winter Meetings from the Gaylord National Resort & Convention Center outside Washington, D.C. Fans can watch live streaming of all news conferences and manager availability on, including the Rule 5 Draft on Dec. 8 at 6 a.m. PT.

On Tuesday, ESPN's Jerry Crasnick had reported that Houston was one potential landing spot for Encarnacion. The Astros had made a serious effort to sign Yoenis Cespedes with wholesale NBA jerseys, arguably the top position player on the market, but Cespedes re-signed with the Mets on Wednesday.

"We have a good relationship and I'm looking forward to working with him every day," Jay said. "We talk during the season. We communicated during the postseason; I was super happy that he was able to win a ring. I look forward to helping him develop in his career."

On Thursday, the Indians signed both Martinez and catcher Erik Kratz to Minor League contracts that include invitations to attend Spring Training with the Major League club. That brings Cleveland's non-roster invitees list up to four, including catcher Guillermo Quiroz and outfielder Daniel Robertson.

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The Dodgers' remaining players eligible for arbitration include catcher Yasmani Grandal, first baseman Darin Ruf, left-handers Luis Avilan, Alex Wood and Vidal Nuno, and right-handers Louis Coleman and Josh Fields.

On Monday, some pessimism started to creep in. But beginning on Tuesday, both sides zeroed in on finding common ground on a myriad of issues.

"The big thing that appealed to me was that Albert Almora is there, a young stud that's a great center fielder," Jay said, referring to the 22-year-old, former first-round Draft pick who got his first taste of the Major Leagues in 2016. "[I want to] help him out any way I can. I was lucky enough to have Carlos Beltran kind of mentor me in my years in St. Louis, and I'm looking forward to doing that with cheap China jerseys."

The 2015 Winter Meetings saw one No. 1 overall pick traded (Dansby Swanson from the D-backs to the Braves) and the groundwork laid for another to change addresses shortly thereafter (Mark Appel from the Astros to the Phillies). We likely won't see another No. 1 overall choice on the move in Washington, D.C., next week, but is there a scenario where a No. 2 could be used to obtain one of the best pitchers in baseball? Let's take a look in the latest installment of the MLBPipeline Inbox.

Jay is a familiar name to Cubs fans because he played parts of six seasons with the Cardinals before spending 2016 in San Diego. The 32-year-old called his union with Chicago a "perfect match," in part because the Cubs are World Series champions, with most of their core coming back to bid for a repeat in 2017.

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Hatcher, 31, was also sidelined due to injury and pitched just 40 2/3 innings in a setup role out out of the bullpen. His velocity dipped a bit, but he still averaged just under 95 mph on his fastball. However, he struggled with a 5.53 ERA.

The Mariners have acquired two young left-handed relievers in recent trades, with James Pazos coming from the Yankees and Zac Curtis from the D-backs. Dipoto also claimed southpaw Dean Kiekhefer from the Cardinals. But Rzepczynski would add a much-needed experienced arm to that mix.

The 36-year-old Kratz has spent parts of seven Major League seasons with five teams. Last year, the catcher went to Spring Training with the Padres, but then had tours with the Astros, Angels, Pirates and Blue Jays during the regular season. Kratz hit .094 (8-for-85) in 33 big league games with Houston and Pittsburgh and had a .186 (18-for-97) average in 31 Triple-A games between stints with Los Angeles and Toronto. Kratz has caught would-be basestealers at a rate of 32 percent over his 15 professional seasons.

The Tigers have had some inquiries on Victor Martinez, as Nick Cafardo of the Boston Globe reported. That in itself isn't really a surprise, given how many ideas are thrown around in the month or so between baseball's General Managers Meetings and the Winter Meetings. The question as discussions become more focused is how serious that interest becomes.

Lobaton, 32, provides a veteran presence on the roster and could compete for the starting job and authentic jerseys from China. Although he hit just .223/.292/.316 over the past three years in Washington, the team raves about the job he does handling the pitching staff and his pitch-framing ability. Injuries limited him to just 39 games in 2016 as Ramos' backup, but Lobatón is one of the more popular members in the clubhouse. He also delivered a mammoth three-run home run to help the Nationals win Game 2 of the National League Division Series against the Dodgers.

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