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Twins' Joe Mauer says he is in 'good place' heading into spring


by Sean d'Oliveira | CBSSports.com
(1/24/2015) Twins first baseman Joe Mauer said he feels great physically after being able to spend the entire offseason working out and not recovering from an injury, reports the St. Paul Pioneer Press.

Mauer spent last offseason recovering from a concussion, but it appears spending the entire the offseason working out has paid off for Mauer.

"I haven't had an offseason like this in a long time," Mauer said. "Made some great strides in the gym."

In 2014, Mauer hit .277 with four home runs and 55 RBI in 455 at-bats.


Tigers GM: Avila could see 1B time if Cabrera isn't ready for opener


by Igor Mello | CBSSports.com
(1/24/2015) Tigers president and general manager Dave Dombrowski said Saturday that if Miguel Cabrera is unable to play when the season opens, the team will look to Alex Avila as a possible short-term replacement at first base, per MLB.com.

"If he's not ready by opening day, it's gonna be very, very close. We'll know more Feb. 15," Dombrowski said.

Cabrera underwent right ankle surgery to remove bone spurs and to repair a stress fracture in a bone at the top of his foot on Oct. 22. He was cleared to remove his walking boot earlier in January and is expected to be reexamined on Feb. 15, right before Detroit's first full-squad workouts.


White Sox first baseman Jose Abreu could see more days off in 2015


by Brandon Wise | CBSSports.com
(1/24/2015) White Sox first baseman Jose Abreu might see a dip in playing time at first with the addition of Adam LaRoche, but he is preparing to be ready all season long.

"I'm excited about the depth we have right now," Abreu said. "That is something good and will put us in the position to compete and I'm very excited about that. 

"I've been working the same way on my defense. It doesn't matter if I'm playing more or less games because that is part of my game. I have to be a complete player and I can't work less and still be that. I have the same mentality, it doesn't matter who will be on the team. I just prepare myself to be successful and 100 percent on the field."

Abreu hit .317 in 2014 with 36 home runs and 107 RBI. He was also unanimously voted the AL Rookie of the Year.


Indians' Brandon Moss hoping to be in starting lineup Opening Day


by Brandon Wise | CBSSports.com
(1/23/2015) Newly acquired outfielder Brandon Moss is hoping to be in the starting lineup for the Indians Opening Day, but knows he needs to be healthy for the duration of the season.

"It's important to be healthy throughout the season," Moss said. "At the same time, my goal is to be ready for Opening Day. That should be everyone's goal, and be there for 162 games. I'm not afraid to say that. At the same time, what is best for the team and myself is to be 100 percent."

Moss is coming off of hip surgery in October after playing through pain for much of the 2014 season. He hit .234 with 25 home runs with 81 RBI with the Athletics last season.

I want to be healthy and do the things I do," Moss said. "And hopefully do what I can do with a full year of at-bats and health. Last year, before everything started to go south, I was figuring out my approach to all pitchers. Now, it's just a game of adjustments. I'm not going to put numbers on it, but I can have a special year, especially coming to this park."


Nick Swisher finds himself, ready for new season in Cleveland


by Brandon Wise | CBSSports.com
(1/23/2015) Indians outfielder Nick Swisher knew Cleveland was shopping him during the offseason. While recovering from a knee injury that forced him to miss 65 games, Swisher was beached on the couch, reading the Internet, filled with rumors about him.

"When you're going through those tough times," Swisher said Thursday to cleveland.com, "the love and passion for the game start to go away a little bit and you have to find something inside yourself to bring all that back. Whatever it was, I found it and I have it again and I could not be more happy for that."

Swisher found the motivation he needed to get back in shape and lost 15 pounds. After trying to play through the knee injury, Swisher admitted he should have had the surgery much sooner.

"I tried to battle through and be a tough guy," Swisher said. "To go out and not perform the way that you want to is obviously very stressful."

He hit a career low in 2014, going for a .208 average with eight home runs and 42 RBI.

"This organization paid me a lot of money for me to come over here and be on the field," Swisher said. "Whether I was healthy, I wanted to be out there every single day. Maybe that was the right call. Maybe it wasn't."


Rangers first baseman Prince Fielder says he's at 100 percent


by Brandon Wise | CBSSports.com
(1/23/2015) Rangers first baseman and designated hitter Prince Fielder told reporters Friday he's back to 100 percent and he could play in a pick up game and "I'm in there," according to ESPNDallas.com

"I'm just going to try to be healthy, that's my main goal," Fielder said. "I know I always said that before. But this was the first time I wasn't healthy, so it really means a lot to me now to try to stay healthy. That's just my goal -- to stay healthy and make sure I'm doing everything I can to be ready to play."

Fielder played in just 42 games in 2014 after having to have neck surgery. He hit .247 with three home runs and 16 RBI in 150 plate appearances.

"It was real difficult because I wasn't used to missing games," Fielder said. "So to miss a lot of the season, it was difficult at first, but I had to be an adult about it, kind of try to just get back healthy to be ready this year. I'm good, I'm 100 percent -- whatever it was before is back."


Reds' Price: Last report on Joey Votto was 'very, very good'


by Michael Hurcomb | CBSSports.com
(1/22/2015) Reds manager Bryan Price delivered another positive update Thursday on the status of first baseman Joey Votto, who missed 100 games last season with a distal strain of his left quadriceps.

Votto has been monitored by Reds strength and conditioning coach Sean Marohn during the offseason.

“The last report when Sean was up in Toronto earlier this month was very, very good,” Price said. “The strength was outstanding, the stamina was good and the agility. Right now, we’re looking to hit the ground running when Joey gets to Goodyear and being able to see with our own eyes where he’s at. I’m confident that he’s going to be ready to go.”

Votto, who is a career .310 hitter, batted just .255 with six home runs, 16 doubles and 23 RBI in 62 games in 2014.


A's catcher Vogt (foot) expects to be ready for spring training


by Michael Hurcomb | CBSSports.com
(1/21/2015) Athletics catcher Stephen Vogt, who had surgery on his right foot in mid-October, was cleared to start running last week and expects to be ready when spring training opens in February, according to the Bay Area News Group.

“There is soreness, but there is no pain, so that’s a huge improvement for me,’’ Vogt said. “I played in pain for the last three months of the year, and that’s gone. So even with the soreness, I’m feeling good physically."

Last season, Vogt was part of a three-man rotation at catcher with John Jaso and Derek Norris. However, both players have been traded, so now Vogt will share playing time behind the plate with Josh Phegley.

“In losing Norris and Jaso, those are two friends of mine,’’ Vogt said. “We all fed off each other. So it will affect the team. On a personal level, I’m excited to get a chance to catch.’’

Vogt hit .279 with two triples, nine home runs, 10 doubles and 35 RBI in 84 games last season.


Gattis to play at 1B, DH for Astros; Bad news for Singleton, Carter?


by Michael Hurcomb | CBSSports.com
(1/21/2015) With the signing of Colby Rasmus, the Astros have an even more crowded outfield, but it also means Houston won't have to lean on Evan Gattis to play primarly in left field.

In fact, Astros general manager Jeff Lunhow expects Gattis to occasionally play in left field, but to primarily play at first base and DH. Although, that doesn't bode well for playing time for Jon Singleton and Chris Carter.

“We don’t know what Gattis is going to look like in left field,” Luhnow said, per the Houston Chronicle. “If he’s good out there or adequate, I’m sure he’ll get some at-bats out there. Is he going to be our everyday left fielder? I can’t imagine that happening with the guys that we have, but we want to have that bat in the lineup.

“Guys that have options are going to have to prove to us that they belong in the big leagues. I don’t think it’s just Singleton. Like I said, we’ve got multiple options at every position on the diamond now. So, you know, players may not be playing their preferred position -- that puzzle will come together in spring training. We’re only guessing to try to figure it out right now.”


Indians' Francona: Right now, David Murphy is our right fielder


by Michael Hurcomb | CBSSports.com
(1/20/2015) Indians manager Terry Francona said Tuesday outfielder David Murphy is penciled in as the starting right fielder since there are too many unknowns with Nick Swisher (knee) and Brandon Moss (hip) coming off surgeries.

"Right now, Murph's our right fielder," Francona said, per MLB.com.

Murphy started a team-high 109 games in right field for Cleveland in 2014. He hit .262 with eight home runs, 25 doubles and 58 RBI in 129 games.


Brewers designate Hunter Morris for assignment on Monday


by Chris Cwik | CBSSports.com
(1/19/2015) The Brewers have designated first baseman Hunter Morris for assignment on Monday.

The team had to clear space off the 40-man roster after making a deal with Texas earlier in the day. The 26-year-old Morris hit .275/.322/.434 over 371 at-bats over three levels on the minors last year. 


Nationals sign Kila Ka'aihue to a minor-league deal


by Chris Cwik | CBSSports.com
(1/18/2015) The Nationals have signed first baseman Kila Ka'aihue to a minor-league deal, according to MLB.com.

Ka'aihue hasn't appeared in the majors since 2012, and spent the past year and a half in Japan. The 30-year-old owns a career .221/.305/.382 slash line over 411 major-league at-bats. 


Amaro: Ryan Howard will have to earn Phillies' starting 1B job


by Igor Mello | CBSSports.com
(1/17/2015) Phillies general manager Ruben Amaro Jr. stood by his recent comments on the future of Ryan Howard, reiterating that he'll have to earn the team's starting job at first base if he's with the Phillies this season, according to the Philadelphia Daily News.

"I think that if Ryan's with us, and he's likely to be with us in spring training, I think Ryan's got to prove to us that he's ready to play every day at first base for us. I mean I'm kind of looking forward to him being ready and healthy and contributing. Right now, there's nobody really that can unseat him."

Howard led the majors last season in strikeouts. He slashed .223/.310/.380 with 23 homers and 95 RBI over 569 at-bats in his first full season in three years. He is under contract through the 2016 season and is set to make $25 million the next two seasons. He also has a $23 million team option for 2017, which includes a $10 million buyout.


Report: Giants swap arbitration figures with Belt, Blanco


by R.J. White | CBSSports.com
(1/16/2015) Giants first baseman Brandon Belt has filed for $4.5 million in arbitration while outfielder Gregor Blanco has filed for $4 million, 16 WAPT Sports reports.

The team has offered Belt $3 million and Blanco $3.3 million. Belt is in his first year of arbitration eligibility while Blanco is eligible for arbitration for a second year.


Report: Orioles 1B Chris Davis to earn $12 million in 2015


by R.J. White | CBSSports.com
(1/16/2015) Orioles first baseman Chris Davis will earn $12 million in 2015 after agreeing to a one-year deal with the team and avoiding arbitration, the Baltimore Sun reports.

Davis' contract also includes incentives for reaching 550 and 575 plate appearances as well as bonuses for All Star, Gold Golve and Silver Slugger awards. Eligible for arbitration for the final time this offseason, the first baseman hit .196/.300/.404 with 26 home runs and 72 RBI in 450 at-bats in 2014.


Report: Mariners, Austin Jackson agree to $7.7-million deal


by R.J. White | CBSSports.com
(1/16/2015) The Mariners have avoided arbitration with outfielder Austin Jackson by agreeing to a one-year deal worth $7.7 million, the Seattle Times reports.

The team was able to avoid arbitration with five players in all Friday by agreeing to the terms of one-year contracts for each player. First basman Logan Morrison is scheduled to make $2.725 million with incentives for reaching 500 and 600 plate appearances. Outfielder Dustin Ackley will take in $2.6 million as well as another $50,000 bonus for reaching 500 plate appearances.

Outfielder Justin Ruggiano, who was acquired from the Cubs earlier this offseason, will make $2.5 million and can earn another $20,000 if he reaches 375 plate appearances. Pitcher Charlie Furbush will earn $1.3 million.


Report: Mets' Lucas Duda files for $4.7 million in arbitration


by R.J. White | CBSSports.com
(1/16/2015) Mets first baseman Lucas Duda has filed for $4.7 million in arbitration, while the team has offered $3.75 million, ESPNNewYork.com reports.

Duda is in his first year of arbitration eligibility this offseason. He hit .253/.349/.481 with 30 home runs and 92 RBI in 514 at-bats in 2014.


Report: First baseman Steve Pearce files for $5.4 million in arbitration


by Brandon Wise | CBSSports.com
(1/16/2015) The Orioles and first baseman Steve Pearce have begun the process for arbitration with Pearce asking for $5.4 million and Baltimore offering $2 million, according to the Baltimore Sun.

Pearce earned $850K in 2014, when he hit .293 with 21 home runs and 49 RBI.


Royals swap arbitration figures with Eric Hosmer, Greg Holland


by R.J. White | CBSSports.com
(1/16/2015) Royals first baseman Eric Hosmer has filed for $6.7 million in arbitration, while closer Greg Holland has filed for $9 million, CBSSports.com baseball insider Jon Heyman reports.

The Royals offered $4.6 million to Hosmer, who hit .270/.318/.398 with nine home runs and 58 RBI in 503 at-bats in 2014. He's in his first year of arbitration eligibility.

Holland, who is in his second year of arbitration eligibility, was offered $6.65 million by the team. He tallied 46 saves while posting a 1.44 ERA and 90:20 K:BB ratio in 62 1/3 innings.


Orioles send Ryan Lavarnway outright to Triple-A


by Igor Mello | CBSSports.com
(1/16/2015) The Orioles sent catcher/first baseman Ryan Lavarnway outright to Triple-A Norfolk, per the Baltimore Sun. Lavarnway was designated for assignment on Jan. 9 when Baltimore signed Delmon Young. Lavarnway hit .201/.249/.315 over 279 career major-league at-bats

Padres' Tyson Ross, Yonder Alonso avoid arbitration


by Igor Mello | CBSSports.com
(1/16/2015) Padres right-hander Tyson Ross and Yonder Alonso both avoided arbitration by agreeing to a one-year contracts, per the team's official website. Ross has settled for $5.25 million, per MLB.com. Alonso is set to make $1.65 million in 2015, per ESPN.

Ross registered a 2.81 ERA and 195 strikeouts over 195 2/3 innings last season. Alonso slashed .240/.285/.397 with seven homers and 27 RBI over 267 at-bats.


Mets lock up Dillon Gee, Ruben Tejada before arbitration deadline


by Igor Mello | CBSSports.com
(1/16/2015) The Mets reached a settlement with starting pitcher Dillon Gee and shortstop Ruben Tejada prior to Friday's arbitration deadline, reports ESPN. Gee agreed to a one-year deal, worth $5.3 million, while Tejada settled for $1.88 million.

Jenrry Mejia and Lucas Duda did not reach an agreement before the 1 p.m. deadline.


Mariners avoid arbitration with five players


by Michael Hurcomb | CBSSports.com
(1/16/2015) The Mariners reached agreements with five players Friday, avoiding arbitration with reliever Charlie Furbush, first baseman Logan Morrison and outfielders Dustin Ackley, Austin Jackson and Justin Ruggiano, according to The New Tribune.

Indians' Brandon Moss agrees to $6.5 million in 2015


by Igor Mello | CBSSports.com
(1/16/2015) The Indians have agreed to terms with first baseman/outfielder Brandon Moss on Friday, avoiding arbitration, CBSSports.com Baseball Insider Jon Heyman confirms. He's expected to make $6.5 million in 2015.

Moss was traded from the A's to the Indians in December. He was a first-time All-Star in 2014. He has 20-plus homers in three straight seasons. Last season he hit .234/.334/.438 with 25 home runs and 81 RBI in 500 at-bats in 2014.


O's avoid arbitration with Wieters, Tillman, Davis, Matusz


by Igor Mello | CBSSports.com
(1/16/2015) The Orioles have locked up catcher Matt Wieters, starter Chris Tillman, first baseman Chris Davis and reliever Brian Matusz on Friday, avoiding arbitration, according to MASN Sports, the Baltimore Sun and CBSSports.com Baseball Insider Jon Heyman.

Wieters will make $8.3 million and Matusz will make $3.2 million. Meanwhile, Tillman reached a $4.315 million settlement for 2015. He earned $546,000 last year.


 
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Fan Poll

Which of these third basemen would you want on your teams for the second half?

Nolan Arenado, Rockies
17%
Manny Machado, Orioles
25%
Todd Frazier, Reds
33%
Martin Prado, Diamondbacks
4%
Kyle Seager, Mariners
17%
Pedro Alvarez, Pirates
4%

Total Votes: 3,689