Player News

Date: Team: Pos:

Indians manager Terry Francona said Sunday that Corey Kluber may not take the ball on Opening Day.

Francona is concerned over the heavy workload that his star right-hander shouldered in 2016 and has said it's okay if Kluber isn't ready to start on Opening Day. It sounds as though the club is going to take it easy on Kluber this spring after logging 249 1/3 innings in 2016.
Feb 19 - 11:44 PM

Mike Minor (shoulder) is preparing as a reliever in spring training, competing for a job in the club's Opening Day bullpen.

Minor was limited to just 10 minor league appearances in 2016 due to his troublesome shoulder. Both Minor and the Royals are hopeful that pitching out of the bullpen will lead to less wear and tear on his shoulder and keep him healthier. The move to the pen should also boost his velocity and effectiveness.
Feb 19 - 10:49 PM

Jayson Werth told reporters on Sunday that he and the Nationals have yet to discuss a contract extension to keep the outfielder in Washington beyond the 2017 season.

Werth acknowledged that while the two sides hadn't talked yet, "there's always a possibility" that something could get worked out. He's entering the final season of a seven-year, $126 million contract signed in 2011. Werth believes he has plenty left in the tank and has no plans to retire after the upcoming season.
Feb 19 - 10:06 PM

Dodgers manager Dave Roberts said Sunday that he doesn't envision having a platoon partner for Joc Pederson, indicating that the 24-year-old slugger could get more at-bats against left-handed pitching.

Pederson clubbed 25 home runs in just 476 plate appearances in 2016. His at-bats were limited in part due to his struggles against southpaws where he hit just .125/.250/.219 with 22 strikeouts in 64 at-bats. While the extra at-bats could be a boon to his fantasy value, extra exposure against lefties will certainly bring down his already questionable batting average.
Feb 19 - 9:13 PM

Kennys Vargas spent a week over the winter taking hitting lessons in the Dominican Republic from Manny Ramirez.

Vargas was introduced by teammate Miguel Sano who declined Ramirez' invitation. Along with working on the mental aspect of hitting, the 26-year-old slugger was encouraged by Ramirez to elevate the ball more. While it isn't a guarantee of success, taking the advice of future Hall of Famers can't hurt Vargas' chances of success in 2017.
Feb 19 - 8:42 PM

Eric Hosmer said Sunday that he and his agent were discussing a long-term contract extension with the Royals.

Hosmer understands the nature of the business though and has said that if the two sides don't reach a deal before Opening Day, that he'll test out the free agent market next winter. Hosmer joins a long list of Royals veterans who are entering their walk year, making it a strong possibility that the club could sell off and start rebuilding if they fall out of playoff contention.
Source: FOX Sports
Feb 19 - 7:09 PM

Yankees signed LHP Jon Niese to a minor league contract with an invitation to spring training.

Niese will get a look as both a starter and reliever in spring camp. The club had been in the market for a left-handed setup man, but found the cost of Jerry Blevins and Boone Logan to be too prohibitive.
Feb 19 - 6:27 PM

Joel Sherman of the New York Post reports that Jon Niese is taking a physical for the Yankees and will sign a minor league deal with the club if all goes well.

The veteran southpaw threw a bullpen session for interested teams earlier in the month in Port St. Lucie, Florida. Niese registered a 5.50 ERA, 1.59 WHIP and 88/47 K/BB ratio across 121 innings between the Pirates and Mets in 2016.
Feb 19 - 6:20 PM

Orioles designated LHP T.J. McFarland for assignment.

The move creates a spot on the 40-man roster for the newly-acquired Vidal Nuno. According to reports, the O's are hopeful that McFarland will pass through waivers unclaimed and could still fight for a spot in the club's bullpen.
Feb 19 - 6:16 PM

Orioles acquired LHP Vidal Nuno from the Dodgers for RHP Ryan Moseley.

The 29-year-old southpaw has now been traded four times in the past three years. Nuno compiled a 3.53 ERA, 1.33 WHIP and 7.8 K/9 over 58 2/3 innings primarily out of the bullpen for the Mariners in 2016. He'll add valuable depth to the Orioles with his ability to both start and pitch effectively out of the bullpen.
Feb 19 - 6:09 PM

Dodgers acquired RHP Ryan Moseley from the Orioles for LHP Vidal Nuno.

The Dodgers needed to clear a spot on the 40-man roster to announce the Franklin Gutierrez signing and given their strong depth on the pitching side it was determined that Nuno was the odd-man out. Moseley, 22, appeared in 12 games at Low-A Aberdeen in 2016, posting a 3.20 ERA, 1.12 WHIP and 8.2 K/9.
Feb 19 - 6:05 PM

Cubs manager Joe Maddon said Sunday that Mike Montgomery and Brett Anderson will each get a chance to pitch in the first week of spring training games.

The two southpaws are among those competing for the fifth spot in the Cubs' Opening Day rotation, so the club wants to get as many looks at them as possible. Maddon also wants ease the rest of his starters into spring action after the extra innings they logged on the Cubs' march to the World Series in 2016.
Source: MLB.com
Feb 19 - 5:52 PM

Eduardo Encina of the Baltimore Sun reports that the Orioles are closing in on deal to acquire Vidal Nuno from the Dodgers.

Minor league right-hander Ryan Moseley would head back to the Dodgers in the reported deal. Given the current state of the O's starting pitching depth, Nuno could challenge for a spot in the Opening Day rotation or serve as a valuable cog in a long-relief role.
Feb 19 - 5:16 PM

Mariners' manager Scott Servais confirmed Sunday that Ariel Miranda is preparing as a starting pitcher this spring and would be the first in line should an injury strike any member of the rotation.

Miranda pitched very well in 10 starts down the stretch for the M's after a mid-season trade from the Orioles, but there isn't room for him in the Opening Day rotation at the moment. It's unclear if he'll make the big league club in a swingman role, or bide his time in Triple-A until an extra starter is needed.
Source: MLB.com
Feb 19 - 4:45 PM

Phillies manager Pete Mackanin said Saturday that he would consider Adam Morgan and Alec Asher options to pitch out of the bullpen if they don't crack the Opening Day rotation.

Barring injury, the rotation appears to be set with Jeremy Hellickson, Clay Buchholz, Jerad Eickhoff, Vince Velasquez and Aaron Nola, which means that the only options for guys like Morgan and Asher are to pitch out of the pen or in the rotation at Triple-A Lehigh Valley. Morgan appeared in 23 games (21 starts) for the Phillies in 2016, registering a 6.04 ERA, 1.50 WHIP and 95/29 K/BB ratio across 113 1/3 innings.
Source: MLB.com
Feb 19 - 4:41 PM



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