Player News

Date: Team: Pos:

According to Ken Rosenthal of Fox Sports, the Angels' decision to sign Luis Valbuena had more to do with the uncertainty surrounding Albert Pujols' health than a desire to shop C.J. Cron.

Some have suggested that Cron could be a goner now that Valbuena is on board but apparently that isn't the case. Pujols is coming off foot surgery and may not be ready for Opening Day. In that scenario, Valbuena would likely handle first base with Cron filling in at DH. If the Angels let Yunel Escobar walk in free agency next offseason, Valbuena could move to third base full time in 2018.
Source: Fox Sports
Jan 21 - 8:22 PM

According to Nick Cafardo of the Boston Globe, the market for free agent Ryan Hanigan "has started to pick up."

That's according to Hanigan's agent, Tom O'Connell. Hanigan hit just .171 for the Red Sox last year but has been in the league a long time and is still an excellent defensive catcher both in terms of pitch-framing and game-calling. The 36-year-old should land on his feet before spring training rolls around next month.
Source: Boston Globe
Jan 21 - 7:27 PM

Nick Cafardo of the Boston Globe is hearing the Rays could trade Jake Odorizzi before the start of spring training.

Even after shipping Drew Smyly to the Mariners, the Rays still have a surplus of arms and could move one of them in the near future. Cafardo believes it's unlikely the Rays would move either Chris Archer or Alex Cobb, leaving Odorizzi as the most likely trade candidate. Odorizzi enjoyed one of his best seasons last year, logging a 3.69 ERA over a career-high 187 2/3 innings.
Source: Boston Globe
Jan 21 - 7:18 PM

According to Nick Cafardo of the Boston Globe, Bronson Arroyo is "making great progress" in his recovery from an elbow injury.

Arroyo plans to be ready for Opening Day and is hoping to latch on with a team by late February. Shoulder and elbow issues have sidelined Arroyo for most of the last three seasons. The 15-year veteran turns 40 next month.
Source: Boston Globe
Jan 21 - 7:08 PM

Free agent Sergio Romo drew interest from the Brewers before they signed Netfali Feliz.

That doesn't necessarily mean the Brewers are done pursuing him, though Romo wouldn't have a chance to close now that Feliz is on board. Romo has been met by crickets on the open market this winter. The Yankees were linked to him a month ago but obviously nothing came of that. The 33-year-old posted a respectable 2.64 ERA over 40 relief outings for the Giants last year.
Jan 21 - 6:53 PM

Astros manager A.J. Hinch said Charlie Morton is "softly" in the starting rotation.

In other words, the job will be his to lose. Morton missed most of last year with a severe hamstring strain but has been throwing off a mound since November and will be ready in plenty of time for Opening Day. The right-hander holds a 4.54 ERA across 893 major league innings.
Jan 21 - 6:23 PM

Drew VerHagen (shoulder) will throw off a mound next week.

It will be the first time he's thrown off a mound since undergoing thoracic outlet surgery in August. The right-hander seems to be making good progress and could be ready for the start of spring training. VerHagen wasn't much help last year, producing an ugly 7.11 ERA over 19 relief outings.
Jan 21 - 6:03 PM

Red Sox president Dave Dombrowski doesn't expect Eduardo Rodriguez to pitch in the upcoming World Baseball Classic.

Rodriguez suffered a minor knee injury while playing winter ball but should be fine for the start of spring training. E-Rod hasn't completely shut the door on representing his native Venezuela in the WBC, telling reporters Saturday, "If I can, I'll go." Rodriguez is competing with Steven Wright and Drew Pomeranz for one of the last two spots in Boston's starting rotation.
Jan 21 - 5:39 PM

Jeff Manship has signed with the NC Dinos of the Korean Baseball Organization.

Apparently the 32-year-old didn't find any offers to his liking in America, so he'll continue his career overseas. Manship has had his ups and downs but has done some of his best pitching over the last two seasons, recording a 2.07 ERA across 85 relief appearances for the Indians. Cleveland non-tendered him in early December.
Jan 21 - 5:24 PM

Andrew Baggarly of the San Jose Mercury News reports free agent Tim Lincecum has no plans to retire.

Lincecum didn't look like he had much left in the tank last season but isn't ready to hang up his cleats just yet. The two-time Cy Young winner is still hoping to get another shot as a big-league starter, though a minor league deal is probably the best he can hope for. Lincecum logged a dismal 9.18 ERA over nine starts for the Angels last season. He turns 33 in June.
Jan 21 - 5:02 PM

Tigers manager Brad Ausmus said Anibal Sanchez will stretch out to be a starter this spring.

Mike Pelfrey will also compete for a spot in the rotation. Sanchez spent 2016 bouncing between the bullpen and starting rotation while compiling a career-worst 5.87 ERA. Justin Verlander, Michael Fulmer and Jordan Zimmermann are locks for the rotation but the other two spots are up for grabs. Sanchez is entering the last year of a five-year contract.
Jan 21 - 4:46 PM

Blake Swihart said his ankle is "perfect" and won't have any impact on his catching.

He wound up missing the last four months of the 2016 season after injuring his ankle in left field. Swihart said he's done playing the outfield and will return to his usual position behind the plate this year. He's spent the offseason honing his catching skills under the tutelage of catching instructor Dana LeVangie and former Red Sox captain Jason Varitek. Swihart will face competition from Sandy Leon and Christian Vazquez in spring training.
Jan 21 - 4:33 PM

Astros signed RHP Dayan Diaz to a minor league contract with an invitation to spring training.

The 27-year-old right-hander spent the 2016 season in the Reds' organization, posting a 3.05 ERA, 1.21 WHIP and 46/16 K/BB ratio across 56 innings at Triple-A Louisville and struggling in six outings with the big league club. He adds bullpen depth for the Astros but is unlikely to crack the Opening Day roster.
Jan 21 - 2:26 PM

According to Jerry Crasnick of ESPN, the Angels, Rockies and possibly the Reds are the best fits remaining for free agent catcher Matt Wieters.

The Braves are no longer an option after signing Kurt Suzuki, the Nationals seem set behind the plate after acquiring Derek Norris and the Orioles landed Welington Castillo. It's looking more and more likely that Wieters could settle for a one-year pillow contract and try again to cash in next offseason on the free agent market.
Jan 21 - 2:19 PM

Drew Pomeranz underwent a stem cell injection in his pitching elbow in October.

Pomeranz pitched through elbow discomfort which seemed to really hurt his performance in the second half of the 2016 season. The southpaw has indicated that his arm feels strong and pain-free since he began throwing, which is a very encouraging sign heading into 2017.
Jan 21 - 12:29 PM



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