Reds signed LHP Paul Maholm to a minor league contract.
The deal includes an invitation to spring training where Maholm will compete for a spot in the Reds starting rotation. He had his 2014 season cut short after just 70 2/3 innings due to a torn ACL that required surgery in August. He's had a normal offseason and is expected to be ready for spring training.
Jeff Samardzija's agent, Mark Rodgers, said in an interview on SiriusXM Sunday that his client would consider signing an extension with the White Sox.
However, Rodgers noted that Samardzija will likely want to see "how it is" with the White Sox for half of a season before making any decision. Samardzija has seemed pretty adamant in the past about testing free agency next winter, but it sounds like the door could be cracked open a bit. Ultimately, it seems unlikely that the White Sox will lock him up before next offseason.
Nick Cafardo of the Boston Globe reports that Andruw Jones wants to return to major league baseball in 2015.
Jones, who will turn 38 in April, has spent the last two seasons in Japan, batting .243/.391/.454 with 26 homers in 2013 and .221/.394/.426 with 24 homers in 2014. His agent, Scott Boras, told Cafardo that "at least two teams" are interested in his client for a designated hitter/platoon role. Jones will undoubtedly have to accept a minor league deal and have to earn his way onto the Opening Day roster. He hit just .197/.294/.408 for the Yankees in 2012 in his last year in the majors, though he did launch 14 homers in 269 plate appearances.
Zack Greinke said Saturday that he's undecided on whether he'll exercise the opt-out clause in his contract after the 2015 season.
Greinke has stated previously that how Max Scherzer and Jon Lester fared in free agency "will say a lot." Given that they ended up getting a combined $365 million between them, it's fair to say Greinke will probably opt out as long as he stays healthy this season. He'll have three years and $71 million left on his contract after 2015 and would likely get a better deal than that on the open market even though he'll turn 32 in October. Dodgers president Andrew Friedman has said the team did not plan to discuss an extension with Greinke this winter.
Matt Harrison (back) will not extend his throwing program to 105 feet this week as previously hoped.
Harrison is recovering from spinal fusion surgery, and while his back is feeling fine, his hip has been a little tight and that's throwing off his mechanics. "Being able to rotate and being able to square back up when I throw the ball," Harrison said. "Kind of cutting stuff off [in my delivery] because I wasn’t able to to rotate like I want to. So that’s one thing we’ve been really working on is getting that hip loose." The Rangers are hoping it's only a one-week delay and Harrison will be able to extend his throwing program to 105 feet next week. Back issues have limited Harrison to six major league starts over the last two seasons and he's not expected to pitch for the Rangers before June.
Lynn Henning of the Detroit News reports that the Tigers have held a private workout for Cuban infielder Yoan Moncada.
Add another one to the list. A bunch of teams have worked out Moncada privately, but Henning sees the Tigers' chances of signing the Cuban defector as a long shot due to the penalties that would be imposed for them going well over their international bonus pool. Moncada is expected to be allowed to sign with a major league club fairly soon.
Luke Hochevar (elbow) is currently throwing 30-pitch bullpen sessions.
Hochevar has been limited to fastballs and changeups so far, but he'll be allowed to mix in breaking balls once spring training begins. "I’m conditioning my arm," Hochevar said. "Once spring training comes around they’re going to monitor me for a little while, but once they cut me loose I become a regular guy again." Hochevar sounds hopeful of being ready for Opening Day as he works his way back from Tommy John surgery, but it's not a given. The Royals are well-stocked in the bullpen, so they can afford to take it slowly with him.
Jhoulys Chacin said Saturday that his arm "feels better than it has in a year and a half."
Chacin was limited to just 11 starts last season due to rotator cuff issues and was horrible when on the mound, producing a 5.40 ERA. However, the righty feels healthy now after skipping his usual stint in winter ball, instead focusing on rehabbing in Arizona. "We made a commitment with Jhoulys about a strict plan, and what each week would be," Rockies general manager Jeff Bridich said. "He has stuck to that plan. He's now in a much better spot than he was in 2014. He's ready to go for spring training. I think he understands our sense of urgency. He has a chance to be a solid member of our rotation." Chacin held a career 3.61 ERA prior to last season, which is quite good for a pitcher at Coors Field. That said, the righty has seen his velocity and strikeouts drop in recent years, so even if he stays healthy it's hard to get too excited about him for fantasy purposes.