Player News

Date: Team: Pos:

Anthony Fenech of the Detroit Free Press believes that Tyler Collins will claim one of the final bench spots on the Tigers' Opening Day roster.

The Tigers have been in the market for a left-handed power bat for their bench, and the best option may already be in-house with Collins. The 24-year-old outfielder hit .263/.335/.423 with 18 homers and 62 RBI in 121 contests at Triple-A Toledo in 2014.
Dec 26 - 10:12 PM

According to multiple reports, the Phillies are nearing a minor league deal with free agent left-hander Wandy Rodriguez.

The 35-year-old was an abomination for the Pirates in 2014, posting a 6.75 ERA and 1.69 WHIP over 26 2/3 innings while battling arthritis in his pitching elbow. It would make for a nice low-risk signing for the Phillies, though Rodriguez shouldn't be counted on for much.
Dec 26 - 7:37 PM

Dionisio Soldevila of ESPNDeportes.com reports that Rafael Furcal will miss the Dominican Winter League playoffs after tearing his hamstring.

It's not clear which hamstring he tore, but it's obviously bad news for Furcal after he missed nearly all of the 2014 season with left hamstring issues. A timetable for his rehab isn't known at this time, but it would now seem unlikely that Furcal is able to land a contract before spring training. The 37-year-old infielder has played just nine games over the last two seasons due to injury.
Dec 26 - 5:50 PM

Chugoku Shimbun and Sports Nippon report that Hiroki Kuroda will return to Japan to play for the Hiroshima Toyo Carp next season.

Kuroda could have had another one-year contract with the Yankees if he wanted it, but it appears he'll return to his native country instead. The veteran right-hander will turn 40 in February but is coming off another fine season, having put up a 3.71 ERA, a 1.17 WHIP and 146/35 K/BB ratio over 199 innings.
Dec 26 - 3:53 PM

Nationals re-signed RHP Scott McGregor to a minor league contract with an invitation to spring training.

McGregor had an ugly 5.56 ERA over 113 1/3 Triple-A frames last season. He'll just be an extra arm in camp for the Nats.
Dec 26 - 3:31 PM

Nationals re-signed RHP Mitch Lively to a minor league contract with an invitation to spring training.

Lively held a 4.72 ERA with 116 strikeouts over 127 2/3 frames at the Triple-A level last season. He'll give the Nats some minor league depth.
Dec 26 - 3:28 PM

Nationals signed 1B Clint Robinson to a minor league contract with an invitation to spring training.

Robinson spent almost all of last season at Triple-A with the Dodgers, batting .312/.401/.534 with 18 homers and 80 RBI. He's merely organizational depth.
Dec 26 - 3:25 PM

CBS Sports' Jon Heyman reports that A.J. Pierzynski will make a base salary of $2 million in his one-year contract with the Braves.

He'll have the opportunity to make more through incentives. Pierzynski will serve as Christian Bethancourt's backup in 2015 after batting .251/.288/.337 over 362 plate appearances last season for the Red Sox and Cardinals.
Dec 26 - 3:00 PM

Nationals signed 2B Dan Uggla to a minor league contract with an invitation to spring training.

General manager Mike Rizzo has history with Uggla, as he drafted him back in 2001 when he was Director of Scouting for the Diamondbacks. Uggla will turn 35 in March and batted just .149/.229/.213 in 157 plate appearances last season. There's a good possibility he's done, but he did at least land in a good spot, as the Nats have an opening at second base. That said, it's unlikely that they're done shopping for upgrades at the position.
Dec 26 - 11:28 AM

Rays signed RHP Jhan Marinez to a minor league contract.

Marinez struck out 46 over 40 1/3 innings but held a 6.69 ERA between Double- and Triple-A last season. The 26-year-old is merely an organizational add.
Dec 26 - 10:02 AM

Giants re-signed RHP J.C. Gutierrez to a minor league contract.

The pact likely contains an invitation to spring training. Gutierrez held a 3.96 ERA, 1.19 WHIP and 44/16 K/BB ratio over 63 2/3 innings for the World Champion Giants in 2014. He should get a legit shot at an Opening Day bullpen spot.
Dec 26 - 9:58 AM

Diamondbacks signed LHP Dan Runzler to a minor league contract.

Runzler held a 3.30 ERA and 53/36 K/BB ratio over 46 1/3 innings at Triple-A for the Giants last season before finishing the year in Japan. He gives the D'Backs some left-handed relief depth.
Dec 26 - 9:51 AM

Rick VandenHurk has signed with the Fukuoka SoftBank Hawks of Japan’s Nippon Professional Baseball.

VandenHurk has pitched the last two seasons in Korea, posting a 3.55 ERA for the Samsung Lions. The 29-year-old hasn't pitched in the majors since 2012.
Dec 26 - 9:35 AM

Astros sent LHP Darin Downs outright to Triple-A Fresno.

He's now off the 40-man roster but will be invited to spring training. Downs posted a 5.45 ERA and 1.36 WHIP across 45 appearances for the Astros in 2014.
Dec 26 - 8:41 AM

Japanese right-hander Chihiro Kaneko has signed a four-year deal with the Orix Buffaloes.

Kaneko had been drawing interest from a range of MLB clubs, but he wasn't posted this winter by his Nippon Professional Baseball team and might now remain with them through 2018. The 31-year-old starting pitcher registered a fantastic 1.98 ERA and 199/42 K/BB ratio in 191 innings this past season for the Buffaloes. He would have commanded a sizable MLB contract.
Source: Japan Times
Dec 25 - 11:22 AM



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