The most significant Hot Stove news to break on Monday likely wasn't a trade or a signing. Instead, it might have been Major League Baseball's announcement that it had reached an agreement with Nippon Professional Baseball on revised protocols for the leagues' posting system for Japanese players.
The agreement allows NPB's Rakuten Golden Eagles to post right-hander Masahiro Tanaka this offseason, a move that likely would make him the most sought-after pitcher on the market. While Rakuten would not have to let Tanaka go, owner Hiroshi Mikitani will allow him to leave, reports the Los Angeles Times' Dylan Hernandez, relaying the news from the Japanese website, Sanspo.
In other news from around the league:
• The D-backs, one of many teams that could go after Tanaka, made a move for another pitcher, trading third-base prospect Matt Davidson to the White Sox for closer Addison Reed.
While Davidson was ranked as Arizona's No. 2 prospect by MLB.com, Reed saved 40 games for Chicago last season. Meanwhile, D-backs general manager Kevin Towers is hoping to work out a contract with veteran third baseman Eric Chavez, tweets our Steve Gilbert.
#DBacks GM Kevin Towers is hoping to get something done with infielder Eric Chavez soon before holiday break.- Steve Gilbert (@SteveGilbertMLB) December 16, 2013
• The Dodgers are closing in on a two-year deal to re-sign left-handed reliever J.P. Howell, a source tells MLB.com's Ken Gurnick. Howell would make $11.25 million, with a $6.25 million vesting option for 2016.
• The Braves signed free-agent right-hander Gavin Floyd to a one-year contract, taking a chance on a pitcher who is still recovering from Tommy John surgery.
• The Indians also will give a shot to a veteran pitcher coming off injury, after agreeing to a Minor League deal with righty Shaun Marcum.
• The Astros added another piece to their bullpen, signing Matt Albers to a one-year contract.
• The Yankees are considering veteran free-agent infielders Mark Reynolds, Michael Young and Brian Roberts, tweets Jon Heyman of CBSSports.com and MLB Network.
in addition to mark reynolds, also on #yankees radar are michael young and brian roberts- Jon Heyman (@JonHeymanCBS) December 17, 2013
• The Phillies have let other teams know they are "very willing" to trade shortstop Jimmy Rollins, according to ESPN's Buster Olney, but Rollins has a no-trade clause and will make $11 million this season, with an $11 million vesting option for 2015.