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Cole Hamels told Jim Salisbury of CSNPhilly.com that he's made "tremendous progress" with his shoulder injury.

"I’m feeling like my body is ready to make a big jump," the left-hander said. "I feel right where I usually am about February 1 going into spring training. That’s about the time I’m usually ready for my first ‘pen. I’m happy where I am." Nursing some shoulder tendinitis, Hamels is still expected to miss his first start or two of the season, but more will be known about his timetable after he intensifies his workouts starting on Tuesday.
Sun, Feb 23, 2014 02:55:00 PM

Blue Jays signed RHP Ronald Belisario to a minor league contract with an invitation to spring training.

The non-guaranteed deal will pay Belisario a salary of $1.7 million if he makes the Jays' 25-man roster. Belisario had a disappointing 5.56 ERA and 1.45 WHIP in 66 1/3 innings last season for the White Sox and was removed from their 40-man roster on November 20. The 32-year-old right-hander is capable of putting his career back on track with Toronto.
Jan 29 - 2:23 PM

Jayson Werth will begin serving his five-day jail sentence in Fairfax County, Virginia on Friday.

Werth was handed the five-day sentence Thursday in the Fairfax County General Circuit Court after pleading guilty to reckless driving. He got busted back in July for driving his Porsche 105 mph in a 55 mph zone along Interstate 495. The 35-year-old outfielder will be on time for spring training, though January 9 shoulder surgery is going to keep him from activities for the first several weeks of camp. Werth is questionable for Opening Day.
Jan 29 - 1:46 PM

Brandon Beachy isn't planning to sign with a team until sometime in early- to mid-February.

Beachy was said to be close to a deal with an undisclosed club late last week, but those talks apparently fell apart. Here's the statement from Beachy's agent, Rob Martin: "Brandon has decided not to sign a contract at this time. With each day his arm is getting stronger and he’s feeling even more confident about his progress. Thus, he is going to continue with his throwing program and make a decision closer to spring training." The 28-year-old right-hander is recovering from his second Tommy John elbow surgery.
Jan 29 - 1:20 PM

The Blue Jays have been in contact with the representatives for Francisco Rodriguez, according to Jon Morosi of FOX Sports.

Casey Janssen signed with the Nationals in free agency, guaranteeing that the Jays will need to look elsewhere to find saves next year. Morosi said the club is also talking to reps for Rafael Soriano and Burke Badenhop, so they're keeping their options open. The Brewers are another team that has been linked to K-Rod in recent days.
Jan 28 - 10:42 PM

Giants released 2B Marco Scutaro.

Scutaro was designated for assignment on January 21 to make room for Norichika Aoki. The 39-year-old is due $6.67 million this year, a number the Giants were obviously more comfortable eating than keeping him on the 40-man roster. His career may very well be over.
Jan 28 - 8:15 PM

Mets and RHP Jenrry Mejia avoided arbitration by agreeing to a one-year, $2.595 million contract.

Mejia had asked for $3 million and the Mets had offered $2.1 million when the sides exchanged figures, so Mejia appears to be the winner in the deal. Mejia posted a 3.65 ERA with 98 strikeouts in 93 2/3 innings this past season, registering 28 saves while filling in for Bobby Parnell. Parnell should be back early in the season, so Mejia will likely return to a setup role.
Jan 28 - 7:34 PM

Angels and 3B David Freese avoided arbitration by agreeing to a one-year, $6.425 million contract.

Freese asked for $7.6 million and was offered $5.25 million from the Angels when arbitration figures were exchanged on January 16. The two sides found the midpoint. Freese batted just .260/.321/.383 in 2014 for Anaheim, but he'll open the 2015 season as the club's starting third baseman. He can become a free agent next fall.
Jan 28 - 5:04 PM

White Sox designated OF Dayan Viciedo for assignment.

The move clears a spot for the newly-signed Gordon Beckham on the 40-man roster. The White Sox and Viciedo recently avoided arbitration by agreeing to a one-year, $4.4 million contract, but he became the odd man out on the roster after Melky Cabrera and Adam LaRoche were brought into the fold over the winter. Viciedo batted just .231 with a .686 OPS last season, but he should draw some interest with his pop from the right side of the plate.
Jan 28 - 2:24 PM

White Sox signed INF Gordon Beckham to a one-year, $2 million contract.

Beckham failed to live up to expectations before his first stint with the White Sox came to an end last August, but now he's back. We're not expecting much from a fantasy perspective, but the 28-year-old gives the White Sox as a platoon option against lefties, either at second base or third. GM Rick Hahn now has a handful of options at both positions and we might not know until later on in spring training how it will shake out, especially with Carlos Sanchez and Micah Johnson.
Jan 28 - 2:23 PM

Tom Haudricourt of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel gets the impression that the Brewers would like to pull off a trade with the Phillies for closer Jonathan Papelbon.

As Haudricourt notes, the situation is complicated, as Papelbon is owed $13 million in 2015 and carries a $13 million vesting option for 2016 should he finish 48 games. He has a no-trade clause, so he may ask for the option to be fully guaranteed in order to accept a deal. If the Brewers are unable to work out a deal for Papelbon, they could still look to Francisco Rodriguez as a fallback.
Jan 28 - 1:49 PM

FOX Sports' Ken Rosenthal reports that the Nationals have signed reliever Casey Janssen to a one-year, $5 million contract.

The deal includes a mutual option for 2016. Janssen should at least be a candidate for the set-up role following the Tyler Clippard trade, but he could find himself in the mix for saves if Drew Storen stumbles. The 33-year-old posted a 3.94 ERA and 28/7 K/BB ratio over 45 1/3 innings last season while going 25-for-30 in save chances.
Jan 28 - 10:45 AM




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