Rumors and signings: Gavin Floyd close to deal with Braves

Jayne Kamin-Oncea-US PRESSWIRE

Plus: Juan Uribe returns to Dodgers after thinly sourced rumors tied him to White Sox, and Twins triple down on questionable pitchers

When the White Sox signed Felipe Paulino to be their coming-off-injury right-handed rotation depth, it seemed to push Gavin Floyd out of the picture. The trade of Hector Santiago then turned Paulino from "depth" into "possible season-opening fifth starter," renewing the need for some possible midseason reinforcements.

Nevertheless, it looks like Floyd may be moving on. In a vague-even-for-the-rumor-mill developing story, the Baltimore Sun was reported Friday that Floyd was close to a deal with a team that wasn't the Orioles. On Saturday, the Atlanta Journal-Constitution said the mystery team appears to be the Braves, who are close to finalizing a one-year deal.

This rumor isn't the most self-assured one I've seen, so there could be some last-minute maneuvering. Assuming the Sox don't swoop in, this would be good news for Andre Rienzo. At the moment, he's the incumbent fifth starter. Rick Hahn said they think Paulino can be ready for Opening Day, but they're in a position to be patient.

If Paulino is able to answer the bell, Rienzo's still in good shape, because John Danks has a surgically repaired shoulder, and Erik Johnson has a tendency to miss chunks of time. Beyond Rienzo is murky territory -- Charlie Leesman might be in the bullpen, and after him, you're looking at prospects who still need to take a couple steps (Chris Beck and Scott Snodgress).

My guess is that the Sox aren't done angling for rosterable pitchers. Perhaps there's another Paulino-type signing in the future, or they may be an appealing landing spot for a non-roster invitee.


*Juan Uribe is set to return to the Dodgers on a two-year, $15 million deal. That's probably more than they wanted to give him, but floating Michael Young as a possible replacement looks like leverage for Uribe instead.

*Mike Pelfrey is coming back to the Twins on a two-year, $11 million deal. Terry Ryan has committed $84 million to Pelfrey, Ricky Nolasco and Phil Hughes this season, which really shows you how weak Minnesota's best in-house options were last year.

*The Royals lured Omar Infante away from the Yankees with a four-year, $30 million contract. That looks like a good fit for 2014, and one to endure for 2017, but 2014 is way more important.

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