Cardinals manager Mike Matheny has indicated that Jason Heyward is likely to start off next season hitting second in the batting order.
"I can see Jason as a ‘2’ or ‘3’ guy," said Matheny. "And I really like him in the ‘2’ hole." General manager John Mozeliak said last month that the team was toying with the idea of moving Matt Carpenter down in the order, but it appears at this point Matheny is leaning towards keeping the third baseman in the leadoff spot directly ahead of Heyward. The former Braves spent 94 of his 148 starts last season in the leadoff spot.
Nick Cafardo of the Boston Globe reports that Dan Uggla played through an undetected concussion last season.
It's not clear when Uggla suffered the concussion, but Cafardo says the condition "was confirmed by doctors this offseason." While it's hard to entirely blame Uggla's hideous .149/.229/.213 batting line in 2014 on the concussion issue, it's certainly something worth noting. Uggla inked a minor league deal with the Nationals on Friday and could get a chance to compete for their second base job.
Brendan Kennedy of the Toronto Star reports that Japanese infielder Takashi Toritani is "mulling offers" from the Blue Jays and Padres.
A Scott Boras client, Toritani could potentially start at his familiar position of shortstop with the Padres, while the Blue Jays would ask him to move to second base. Toritani, 33, batted .313/.406/.415 with eight home runs and 10 stolen bases in 144 games with the Hanshin Tigers of Nippon Professional Baseball in 2014. He's a free agent, so it will not require a posting fee to sign him. However, it's not a given that he'll come to the states, as Toritani could ultimately decide to re-sign with Hanshin. The infielder is expected to require only a 1-2 year contract and will make a decision sometime next month.
Starlin Castro has been cleared of any involvement in a shooting in the Dominican Republic.
Six people were injured in the shooting, which took place early Saturday morning at a nightclub. While early reports indicated that Castro was arrested or detained, his agent, Paul Kinzer, said that he went to the police station voluntarily and video proved his innocence. Dominican police rep Jacobo Mateo Moquete later announced that Castro was free after being cleared of any wrongdoing.
A source tells CSNPhilly.com that the Phillies have signed Wandy Rodriguez to a minor league contract.
The deal is pending a physical, per the report. Multiple reports late Friday said the two sides were close to a deal, so it's not surprising that they got the details worked out. Rodriguez, 35, had a disastrous 6.75 ERA and 1.69 WHIP in 26 2/3 innings with the Pirates this past season, but he's been a decent pitcher when healthy.
Bill Shaikin of the Los Angeles Times hears the Dodgers are expected to announce their signing of Brett Anderson on Monday.
The one-year, $10 million deal was reported nearly two weeks ago, but the team waited to announce the deal until Anderson passed a physical and they were able to consult with medical specialists. The 26-year-old makes for a nice one-year gamble, as he's been good when healthy. Anderson had a 2.91 ERA over eight starts with the Rockies this past season.
The Dodgers are close to signing RHP Chin-Hui Tsao, according to Bill Shaikin of the Los Angeles Times.
Tsao last pitched in the majors in 2007, and he's been out of baseball entirely since being expelled from the Taiwanese league on game-fixing charges in 2009. Tsao, 33, has a 5.40 ERA in 88 1/3 innings in MLB for his career. The right-hander was previously a member of the Dodgers before leaving the majors.
Steve Johnson (shoulder) has been cleared to begin playing catch.
Johnson underwent surgery near the end of the season to have gone spurs removed after fighting through shoulder injuries the majority of the season. He should be ready to go for spring training.