Twins signed LHP Wil Ledezma to a minor league contract.
The 33-year-old southpaw hasn't appeared in a major league game since he was a member of the Blue Jays during the 2011 season. He spent the 2014 campaign toeing the slab for Yucatan in the Mexican League where he compiled a 1.91 ERA, 0.95 WHIP and 29/9 K/BB ratio in 28 1/3 innings. He could emerge as situational left-hander in Minnesota.
Ryan Lawrence of the Philadelphia Inquirer and Daily News reports that the Padres have had discussions with the Phillies regarding Cole Hamels.
Lawrence notes that any trade package for Hamels could revolve around the newly-acquired Wil Myers. The Padres have pulled off several blockbuster moves in the past week, and acquiring an elite top of the rotation left-hander would be another strong acquisition.
Justin Upton's agent, Larry Reynolds, said in an interview on SiriusXM Sunday that his client is open to a contract extension with the Padres.
Upton is not, however, willing to negotiate a deal in-season, which is pretty common among impending free agents. Whether the Padres have any real interest or would be capable of locking Upton up remains to be seen. If they don't extend the outfielder, they can make him a qualifying offer next winter and pick up a draft pick.
Agent Scott Boras has said that his client, Matt Wieters (elbow), will be ready to play on Opening Day.
Orioles manager Buck Showalter said last week that it's possible Wieters won't be ready for the opener as he works his way back from Tommy John surgery, but Boras doesn't seem to think it will be an issue. The O's will no doubt take things slowly with the catcher in spring training and we likely won't know for sure until he starts playing in Grapefruit League action whether he can be penciled into the lineup on April 6 versus the Rays.
Nick Cafardo of the Boston Globe reports that "there seems no urgency on either side" when it comes to extension talks between the Orioles and Matt Wieters.
The two sides are known to have had discussions early in the 2013 season, but nothing materialized and it's looking at this point like Wieters will play out his final year before free agency. The talented backstop was limited to just 26 games last season before having Tommy John surgery, which could sideline him past Opening Day next year.
Nick Cafardo of the Boston Globe reports that James Shields' contract demands are expected to be around five years and $110 million.
It's the same amount left on Cole Hamels' contract, assuming Hamels' option is picked up, and is a reasonable demand after Jon Lester landed a $155 million deal from the Cubs. Cafardo says that the Giants and Red Sox are "in the picture" for Shields, while the Yankees "may be another suitor." Shields, who just turned 33, holds a 3.64 ERA over his eight full seasons and has made at least 31 starts every year during that stretch.
Phillies general manager Ruben Amaro has indicated that Chase Utley still has no desire to waive his no-trade clause.
"I've had some dialogue with Wolfie [agent Joel Wolfe] but frankly, he doesn't want to go anywhere," Amaro said. "He has no desire to go anywhere... He wants to honor his contract and that's how we have to perceive it." The Phillies are obviously in rebuilding mode, but it appears that Utley would rather stay where he's comfortable than go to a potential playoff contender. The veteran second baseman will make $10 million in 2015 and has $45 million in three vesting options from 2016-18.
Yankees general manager Brian Cashman said following the Martin Prado trade that Rob Refsnyder and Jose Pirela are currently in line to compete for the second base job.
"It’s a competition right now and I’ll evaluate any other opportunities that legitimately present themselves,’’ he said, "but clearly if spring training started today, that would be the competition." Refsnyder is the better prospect of the two, having batted .318/.387/.497 with 14 homers, 63 RBI and nine steals between Double- and Triple-A in 2014. Pirela is coming off a fine season of his own with a .305/.351/.441 with 10 homers, 60 RBI and 15 steals at Triple-A while also getting a cup of coffee in the majors. It's a situation to keep an eye on in spring training.