Player News - National - National

Date: Team: Pos:

Chris Cotillo of MLBDailyDish.com reports that "some in the game believe" the Rangers "may make a push" to acquire Dillon Gee.

The Rangers have been connected to Gee as far back as the Winter Meetings, though they've traded for Yovani Gallardo, Ross Detwiler and Anthony Ranaudo since then. Cotillo notes that it's "unclear if the sides are in active discussions." He also reports that "one scenario that is being thrown about in baseball circles" is a deal that would send Gee and "some additional pieces" to Texas for Jurickson Profar. It's hard to see that one having any legs, but it's certainly interesting and worth noting.
Mar 2 - 10:38 PM

Nationals signed OF Tony Gwynn Jr. to a minor league contract with an invitation to spring training.

Gwynn, 32, hit just .152/.264/.190 over 80 games for the Phillies last season and had to wait it out until March to find a job, but he finally has one. He'll face a major uphill battle to win an Opening Day roster spot but offers the Nats some veteran depth in the minors.
Mar 2 - 8:59 PM

Matt Purke (elbow) is hoping to throw off a mound within the next couple weeks.

Purke is currently limited to long-tossing as he works his way back from Tommy John surgery. The injury-prone left-hander will be out until around midseason and is no longer on the Nats' 40-man roster.
Mar 2 - 8:01 PM

Jose Tabata re-worked his swing with the help of Marlon Byrd over the offseason.

The Pirates encouraged Tabata to seek out Byrd, who has had a power surge late in his career. Byrd said the most important lesson he taught Tabata was "transferring the energy of your swing to the ball." Pittsburgh removed Tabata from their 40-man roster twice last season, and he's in camp now as a non-roster invitee. While it will be interesting to see whether the new swing takes hold, Tabata has little chance of breaking through with the Pirates given their loaded outfield.
Mar 2 - 7:40 PM

Jason Mastrodonato of the Boston Herald reports that "there are no signs of any progress" in trade talks between the Red Sox and Phillies involving Cole Hamels.

Mastrodonato's report says that Charley Kerfeld, a special assistant to the general manager in Philly, was at the Red Sox' spring training complex Monday talking to Red Sox coaches and watching live batting practice. However, Mastrodonato was told by two sources that it's not a sign trade talks between the two clubs are heating up. The Red Sox want Hamels, but the Phillies aren't backing down from demanding Blake Swihart or Mookie Betts in return.
Mar 2 - 7:16 PM

Carlos Martinez will start the Cardinals' Grapefruit League opener Thursday against the Marlins.

Martinez is expected to throw around 40 pitches, which the Cardinals hope will be enough for him to finish two innings. The 23-year-old right-hander aims to secure the fifth spot in the starting rotation this spring and should be relevant in mixed fantasy leagues if he gets it. He'll hope to get off on the right foot Thursday.
Mar 2 - 5:45 PM

Donovan Solano reached all three times he was up and scored twice Monday as the Marlins beat Florida International 7-2.

Several Marlins backup infield candidates had nice days, with Reid Brignac going 2-for-2 with a double and two RBI, Don Kelly delivering a two-run double and Jordany Valdespin going 1-for-2 with a walk from the leadoff spot. The Marlins are committed to Jeff Baker, Ichiro Suzuki and backup catcher Jeff Mathis for the bench, leaving two spots for Solano, Brignac, Kelly, Valdespin, Derek Dietrich, Miguel Rojas, Reed Johnson and Tyler Colvin. Solano and Rojas probably have the edge for one spot, with the other going to another outfield option, most likely Kelly or Johnson.
Mar 2 - 4:09 PM

Sean Marshall (shoulder) has been throwing off flat ground for a week.

Marshall was recently shut down following a setback with his surgically-repaired shoulder, but he's making some progress. However, it's not clear when he'll start throwing from a mound. The veteran southpaw has been limited to just 31 appearances over the past two seasons.
Source: Reds.mlb.com
Mar 2 - 4:06 PM

Homer Bailey (elbow) threw another bullpen session Monday.

Bailey threw around 26 or 27 pitches, all of them fastballs. It was his second time on the mound this spring as he makes his way back from right flexor tendon surgery. The Reds aren't counting on him to be ready for the start of the season, but Bailey hasn't given up hope. "It's still so far away," said Bailey. "We have over a month. I haven't ruled out anything but I haven't completely kept the door open. We just have to continue with the process. After the first three or four bullpens, we'll have a better idea of where it's at. Right now, it's still so new. It would be like that if you're healthy."
Source: Reds.mlb.com
Mar 2 - 4:02 PM

Juan Lagares (elbow) is due to make his Grapefruit League debut Wednesday against the Braves.

Lagares had to be shut down early last season due to a sprained right elbow and the Mets reportedly have concerns that the injury might pop back up in 2015. But everything looks fine for now. The 25-year-old center fielder is a .262/.302/.368 hitter in 237 major league games.
Mar 2 - 3:54 PM

Cubs manager Joe Maddon said Monday that Travis Wood, Tsuyoshi Wada, and Edwin Jackson are in a competition for the final spot in the starting rotation.

Jon Lester, Jake Arrieta, Jason Hammel, and Kyle Hendricks are all locked in. The fifth spot will almost definitely go to either Wood or Wada, with Jackson heading to long relief (or, more accurately, mop-up duty). Wood has much more experience than Wada, but Wood struggled to the tune of a 5.03 ERA and 1.53 WHIP in 31 starts last season while Wada produced a 3.25 ERA and 1.24 WHIP in 13 outings. Maddon might not pick a winner until the final week or two of Cactus League play.
Mar 2 - 3:26 PM

Reds manager Bryan Price said Monday that Joey Votto (quad) is not up to game speed.

But that was by design heading into the spring, and the 31-year-old first baseman should start seeing his name in Cactus League lineups soon. "I feel really, really good," Votto told reporters Monday. "I'm surprised at how good I feel this early. I feel like I'm trending toward being able to play games here in the not too distant future." He logged only 272 plate appearances in 2014 due to a distal quad strain. The potential is there for a big-time rebound.
Mar 2 - 2:16 PM

Cubs manager Joe Maddon said Monday that Kyle Hendricks is a lock for the starting rotation.

Hendricks posted an excellent 2.46 ERA, 1.08 WHIP, and 47/15 K/BB ratio over 80 1/3 frames (13 starts) last season with the Cubs. It was an easy call for Maddon to commit a rotation spot to the 25-year-old righty, who should carry decent value in most standard fantasy leagues.
Mar 2 - 2:11 PM

Jon Lester has been named the Cubs' Opening Night starter.

The Cubs will kick off their regular-season schedule under the lights on Sunday, April 5 against the visiting Cardinals. Lester gets the nod after joining the rapidly-improving Northsiders roster this winter on a massive six-year, $155 million free agent contract. Adam Wainwright should be the starter for rival St. Louis in the first Major League Baseball game of 2015.
Mar 2 - 2:07 PM

Brandon League has given up drinking alcohol.

League told the Los Angeles Daily News that he never had a problem with alcohol but "was enjoying myself more than I should've been" and feels much more energized off the booze. He dropped 20 pounds this winter. The right-hander will work as a setup man in 2015.
Mar 2 - 1:51 PM



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