Player News

Date: Team: Pos:

Christian Bethancourt has been alternating two days catching and one day pitching at spring training.

Because mastering one position wasn't enough for Bethancourt, he'll see work behind the plate, in the outfield and on the mound this season. It sounds gimmicky but Bethancourt's pitching prowess is no joke. His fastball sits in the mid-90s and he's also been developing a changeup. Bethancourt won't put up huge numbers but his versatility makes him one of the most fascinating players in baseball.
Feb 23 - 11:45 PM

Stephen Strasburg pitched in an intrasquad game on Thursday.

It was Strasburg's first time throwing to live hitters since partially tearing the pronator tendon in his right elbow on September 7. He wasn't particularly sharp, needing 23 pitches to get through four batters. On the plus side, Strasburg was able to use his whole repertoire. Strasburg pitched exclusively out of the stretch, a move designed to speed up his delivery to home plate. The 28-year-old is always great when healthy but that hasn't been a frequent occurrence.
Source: MASN Sports
Feb 23 - 10:26 PM

Max Scherzer (finger) is hoping to be game-ready in a couple of weeks.

Scherzer is healing from a stress fracture in his right ring finger but is scheduled for a bullpen session on Saturday. With spring training expanded this year to accommodate the World Baseball Classic, Scherzer should have a chance to be ready by Opening Day. "We do have the extra week this year to pace ourselves, needless to say," said pitching coach Mike Maddux. "So Max, if all goes well, he’ll be maybe a start or two behind the other guys." Scherzer led the National League in wins last season en route to his second Cy Young Award.
Source: MASN Sports
Feb 23 - 10:05 PM

According to Jon Heyman of FanRag Sports, the Padres and Twins both inquired about Jose Iglesias this offseason.

Obviously nothing came from these discussions but it reinforces the idea that no one on Detroit is untouchable. Iglesias, Miguel Cabrera, J.D. Martinez, Victor Martinez and Justin Verlander have all popped up in trade rumors this offseason. It's no secret the Tigers are trying to cut payroll but getting Iglesias' $4.1 million salary off the books wouldn't make much of a dent. Iglesias set career-highs with four homers and 32 RBI last season but hit for his lowest average since 2012.
Feb 23 - 8:57 PM

Braves signed OF Sanders Commings to a minor league contract.

Commings was a fifth-round pick of the Kansas City Chiefs in 2013 but his NFL career lasted all of two games. The former defensive back was an accomplished baseball player in high school, hitting .520 in his senior year before being selected by the Diamondbacks in the 37th round of the 2008 Draft. He passed on signing and instead went on to play college football at the University of Georgia. It's doubtful Commings will advance past the lower levels of the minor leagues, but it will be interesting to watch his development.
Feb 23 - 7:10 PM

According to Jon Heyman of FanRag Sports, the Dodgers "asked" about Justin Verlander this offseason but ultimately thought his price tag was too high.

Verlander owns a home in Beverly Hills with fiancée Kate Upton and it sounds like he would have been willing to waive his no-trade clause to join the Dodgers. However, the Dodgers are trying to get under the luxury tax and weren't willing to pay Verlander's $28 million salary. Though a deal for Verlander was never close, the two sides could resume talks at a later date. Verlander enjoyed a resurgent 2016 campaign, finishing second in AL Cy Young voting behind former teammate Rick Porcello.
Feb 23 - 6:49 PM

According to Jon Heyman of FanRag Sports, the Mets "seriously discussed" trading Michael Conforto straight up for Tigers outfielder J.D. Martinez during the offseason.

It's unclear when these discussions took place though the Mets ultimately balked because Martinez is entering the last year of his contract. The Mets have a glut of outfielders but at least two (Jay Bruce and Curtis Granderson) are likely to leave in free agency next winter if they aren't traded before then. After hitting just .220 last year, Conforto isn't a lock for the Mets' Opening Day roster.
Feb 23 - 6:24 PM

Mariners manager Scott Servais said he's been most impressed by Mitch Haniger in the early portion of spring training.

"He has a plan every time he’s in the outfield, on the bases or in the batter’s box," said Servais. "It’s a very professional approach." Haniger finally made the big leagues with the Diamondbacks last year, hitting .229 with five homers and 17 RBI over 34 appearances. After trading Seth Smith, letting Franklin Gutierrez walk in free agency and waiving Nori Aoki this offseason, Haniger should open the year as Seattle's starting right fielder. Haniger may not develop into a fantasy asset right away but he's someone to keep an eye on.
Feb 23 - 6:06 PM

Marco Gonzales (elbow) threw a 30-pitch bullpen session on Thursday.

Beat reporter Derrick Goold of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch watched the session, noting that Gonzales threw with "greater intensity" than in previous bullpens. Goold suspects Gonzales will advance to facing live hitters after a few more sessions. Gonzales is only throwing fastballs at the moment. The left-hander may need some fine-tuning in Triple-A to begin the year but is hoping to be up in the majors by late May. Gonzales is 12 months removed from Tommy John surgery.
Feb 23 - 5:30 PM

Jeff Locke (biceps) threw 15-20 light tosses from 60 feet on Thursday.

It was Locke's first time throwing since encountering biceps tendinitis over the weekend. Locke said he feels "a lot better" but still isn't 100 percent. It's unclear when he'll resume mound work or begin facing live hitters. The left-hander is looking for a fresh start in Miami after recording a disappointing 5.44 ERA with the Pirates in 2016.
Feb 23 - 5:18 PM

According to Jon Heyman of FanRag Sports, "several" teams have shown interest in free agent Tim Lincecum.

That's surprising after Lincecum fell flat in his brief stint with the Angels last season. The 32-year-old has reportedly been throwing in his native Seattle in preparation for an upcoming showcase. The best he can probably hope for is a minor league deal.
Feb 23 - 5:04 PM

According to Jon Heyman of FanRag Sports, the Rangers have not discussed a contract extension with Jonathan Lucroy.

The sides aren't talking yet but Heyman believes they will in the near future. Lucroy was arguably the league's top offensive catcher last season, collecting a .292 average to go with a career-high 24 homers and 81 RBI. If a deal isn't reached, Lucroy will hit the market next offseason.
Feb 23 - 4:48 PM

Zack Cozart (knee) is expected to make his Cactus League debut on Monday or Tuesday.

He won't be in the lineup for Friday's opener against the Giants but should debut early next week. Cozart claims to be 100 percent after missing time with knee tendinitis late last season. "He's fine. He could play tomorrow," said manager Bryan Price. "But why rush it with the length of Spring Training?" The contract-year shortstop hit .252 with 16 homers and 50 RBI last season.
Source: reds.mlb.com
Feb 23 - 4:31 PM

Dylan Cozens had a two-run homer and a two-run single as the Phillies topped the University of Tampa 6-0 on Thursday.

The 22-year-old Cozens is coming off a huge season in Double-A, in which he hit 40 homers and drove in 125 runs. There's still plenty of skepticism about him as a prospect, largely because he struck out 32 percent of the time last year, but he'll be one to watch in Triple-A this year. Between injuries and trade possibilities, the Phillies could have a corner outfield spot open at some point come July or August.
Feb 23 - 4:00 PM

Roman Quinn went 2-for-3 with a homer and a steal against the University of Tampa on Thursday.

Quinn seemed a lot more interesting for fantasy purposes six months ago, before the Phillies committed to Odubel Herrera going forward and brought in Michael Saunders and Howie Kendrick for the outfield corners. Quinn needs some Triple-A time anyway, so that he's been blocked for now isn't a big problem. Still, center field is now spoken for in Philly and it doesn't seem all that likely that Quinn will have the bat to be a regular in a corner.
Feb 23 - 3:58 PM



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