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George Kottaras nets minor-league deal from White Sox


by Michael Hurcomb | CBSSports.com
(2:48 pm ET) The White Sox have agreed to a minor-league deal with catcher George Kottaras, according to CBSSports.com Baseball Insider Jon Heyman. The deal includes an invite to spring training.

Showalter: Machado appears more likely for O's opener than Wieters


by Michael Hurcomb | CBSSports.com
(11:38 am ET) Orioles manager Buck Showalter conveyed third baseman Manny Machado has a better chance of being ready for the Orioles season opener than catcher Matt Wieters, according to CSNBaltimore.com. 

Machado had right knee surgery in August and Wieters underwent Tommy John surgery in June.

"With both of these guys, it will be when and not if. I think if you held a gun up to my head, I think Manny makes the start of the year, and I think Matt is very close thereafter, but we won’t put either one of these guys on the field until it’s time to go, and try to keep the finish line in mind," Showalter said.


Padres, Rays and Nationals on the verge of three-team deal


by Brandon Wise | CBSSports.com
(12/17/2014) The Nationals, Padres and Rays are on the verge of a three-team deal, which would send outfielder Wil Myers to San Diego, according to CBSSports.com Baseball Insider Jon Heyman. 

Heyman has confirmed the multiple media reports outlining the full details of the trade. The Padres are set to receive Myers, catcher Ryan Hanigan, pitcher Gerardo Reyes and pitcher Jose Castillo from the Rays.

The Rays are getting two players from the Nationals -- outfielder Steven Souza and pitcher Travis Ott -- and three players from the Padres -- catcher Rene Rivera, first baseman Jake Bauers and pitcher Burch Smith.

The Nationals are getting pitcher Joe Ross from the Padres, as well as a player to be named later, which will be shortstop prospect Trea Turner. Because Turner was a 2014 draft pick, he can't be traded until June.


Indians sign four players to minor-league deals


by Michael Hurcomb | CBSSports.com
(12/15/2014) The Indians announced Monday they signed catcher Brett Hayes, outfielder Destin Hood, catcher Adam Moore and outfielder/first baseman Jerry Sands to minor-league deals. They all received invites to major-league spring training.

Rays sign Bobby Wilson, Eugenio Velez to minor-league deals


by Chris Cwik | CBSSports.com
(12/12/2014) The Rays have signed catcher Bobby Wilson and infielder Eugenio Velez to minor-league deals.

Both players will receive an invite to spring training. Wilson hit .267/.324/.341 over 270 at-bats at Triple-A. Velez hit .309/.363/.441 over 404 at-bats at the same level. Velez has not appeared in the majors since 2011. 


Stewart: Alex Avila, Dioner Navarro could be fits for Diamondbacks


by R.J. White | CBSSports.com
(12/10/2014) Diamondbacks general manager Dave Stewart said Wednesday that Tigers catcher Alex Avila or Blue Jays catcher Dioner Navarro could be fits with the team in potential trade scenarios, the Arizona Republic reports.

The Diamondbacks moved on from Miguel Montero this week, sending the catcher to the Cubs, and Avila or Navarro could end up behind the plate as Montero's successor. The Blue Jays are likely willing to part ways with Navarro after signing Russell Martin earlier this offseason.


Tigers' Avila could lose some playing time to James McCann in 2015


by Michael Hurcomb | CBSSports.com
(12/10/2014) Tigers manager Brad Ausmus has indicated catcher Alex Avila could see a lighter workload behind the plate in 2015, which means more work for rookie James McCann. Avila was behind the plate for 122 games in 2014.

"It's certainly open at this point," Ausmus said, per The Detroit News. "Clearly Alex has shown he has the ability to be an everyday catcher. He works well with the pitchers, they trust him. But I also think a guy like McCann has a very bright future. I like the way he catches."

Ausmus added Avila has no health limitations after enduring several concussions last season.

"A decision on who's No. 1 or No. 2 won't be made until spring training, or even if there is a No. 1 and a No. 2," Ausmus said. "Maybe there will be a split. I can't give you a full answer. All I can say is Alex is an established big-league catcher and I really like McCann. And (Bryan) Holaday did a really nice job as a backup last season. But a decision won't be made until March."


John Jaso past concussion, hopes to stay with the Athletics


by Michael Hurcomb | CBSSports.com
(12/9/2014) With the additions of DH Billy Butler and first baseman Ike Davis, there might be less playing time for Athletics catcher John Jaso in 2015 -- if he remains with the team. Even Jaso is bracing for the potential he could be traded this offseason, according to the Bay Area News Group.

"I talked to (general manager) Billy (Beane) and I don’t know anything about where I’ll be," Jaso said. "I told him I’m open to addition positions like first base and the outfield, whatever he needs, but as of right now my priority is being a catcher.

"I have no idea if I will be traded. If you’d asked me two years ago when I was with the Mariners, I would have said, 'Hell, yeah, I’m staying,’ but then I was traded. I love this organization and my teammates and I would love to stay with the A’s."

Jaso said he has been cleared to resume catching after he missed the end of the season due to a concussion.

"I think that’s ancient history now," Jaso said. "I’m moving on, starting my workouts and I’m ready to go. As of right now, I’m still planning on taking up catching again, whatever team I’m on."


Angels acquire C Drew Butera from Dodgers


by Igor Mello | CBSSports.com
(12/9/2014) The Angels have acquired backup catcher Drew Butera from the Dodgers for a player to be named later or cash consideration, per the Dodgers' official website on Tuesday. Jim Bowden of ESPN first reported the deal.

Butera slashed .188/.267/.288 with three homers and 14 RBI over 170 at-bats in 2014.


Report: Rangers not interested in dealing prospect Gonzalez for Gattis


by Michael Hurcomb | CBSSports.com
(12/9/2014) While the Rangers are interested in Braves catcher/outfielder Evan Gattis, Atlanta asked for starting pitcher prospect Alex Gonzalez as part of the trade. However, that turned into a deal-breaker for Texas, according to MLB.com.

The 2013 first-round pick Gonzalez went 12-6 with a 2.66 ERA and 1.18 WHIP last season between high Class A and Double-A.


Semien among four players A's acquire in trade with White Sox


by Michael Hurcomb | CBSSports.com
(12/9/2014) The Athletics announced Tuesday they completed a six-player trade with the White Sox. The Athletics acquired infielder Marcus Semien, pitcher Chris Bassitt, catcher Josh Phegley and infielder Rangel Ravelo in exchange for pitchers Jeff Samardzija and Michael Ynoa.

Semien has hit .240 with eight home runs and 35 RBI in 85 career games for Chicago. He was considered a top-100 prospect (No. 91) by Baseball America heading into 2014. He has appeared at second base, third base and shortstop in his MLB career.

Bassitt went 1-1 with a 3.94 ERA and 1.58 WHIP in six outings (five starts) for the White Sox last season. He was 22-10 with a 2.97 ERA and 1.26 WHIP in 96 career appearances (44 starts) in the minors.

Phegley hit .207 with seven home runs and 29 RBI in 76 games over the last two seasons for Chicago. 

Ravelo hit .309 with a .473 slugging percentage, .859 OPS, 11 home runs, 37 doubles and 66 RBI in 133 games for Double-A Birmingham last season. He has a career .301/368/.424/.792 slash line. The 22-year-old Ravelo has played at both first base and third base in the minors.


Blue Jays' Gibbons views Martin as 'ideal fit' for second spot in order


by Michael Hurcomb | CBSSports.com
(12/9/2014) Blue Jays manager John Gibbons called recently signed catcher Russell Martin an "ideal fit" for the second spot in the team's batting order, per MLB.com. Gibbons said Martin fits well near the top of the order because he makes consistent contact and is coming off a season in which he had a .402 on-base percentage.

"He's a guy that everybody in the organization wanted to be able to get," Gibbons said. "That was big to set the tone ... One thing about him is he's a complete player, really good behind the plate and can really handle the bat."

Martin has just a .235 average in 79 career games batting second. However, he has a career .341 on-base percentage with 12 stolen bases out of the No. 2 spot in the order.


Duquette optimistic Orioles C Wieters will return by opener


by Marty Gitlin | CBSSports.com
(12/8/2014) Orioles general manager Dan Duquette said there is a "good chance" that catcher Matt Wieters will return by opening day after having undergone Tommy John surgery in May, per the Baltimore Sun.

Wieters was off to a hot start in 2014, compiling a .308/.339/.500 slash line in 104 at-bats before going down.


Yost to lessen time behind plate for Royals C Perez in 2015


by Marty Gitlin | CBSSports.com
(12/8/2014) The Royals will seek to lighten the load of catcher Salvador Perez next season. He led the majors in 2014 with 146 games behind the plate.

"I can't catch Sal 150 games again," Ned Yost told CBSSports.com baseball writer Matt Snyder. "I'll kill the kid."

Including the postseason, Perez caught 161 games last year.


Report: Braves wanted Yordano Ventura in return for Evan Gattis


by Igor Mello | CBSSports.com
(12/8/2014) According to MLB.com reporter Mark Bowman, when the Royals expressed interest in trading for catcher Evan Gattis, the Braves asked for pitcher Yordano Ventura in return. The Royals aren't expected to trade their young right-hander in the offseason, per the report.

The Braves have been shopping Gattis around to multiple teams, including the Astros, Athletics and Marlins. If he stays put in Atlanta, the Braves are expected to move him to left field to start the season.


White Sox claim catcher Rob Brantly off waivers from Marlins


by Michael Hurcomb | CBSSports.com
(12/8/2014) The White Sox claimed catcher Rob Brantly off waivers from the Marlins on Monday.

Brantly, who was acquired by Miami in a July 2012 trade from Detroit that included Jacob Turner, hit just .235 with four home runs and 26 RBI in 98 games for the Marlins. He spent the 2014 season in the minors.


Diamondbacks sign three to minor-league deals


by R.J. White | CBSSports.com
(12/6/2014) The Diamondbacks have signed pitcher J.C. Ramirez, catcher Blake Lalli and outfielder Carlo Testa to minor-league deals.

Ramirez made 35 appearances between Double-A and Triple-A in 2014, posting a 3.05 ERA and 29:19 K:BB ratio in 44 1/3 innings. Lalli hit .275/.340/.373 with three home runs and 29 RBI in 284 at-bats for Triple-A Reno. Testa spent 2014 with Wichita of the independent American Association, hitting .338/.398/.521 with 10 home runs, 58 RBI and 24 stolen bases in 397 at-bats.


Indians sign C Adam Moore to minor league deal


by Marty Gitlin | CBSSports.com
(12/5/2014) The Indians have signed catcher Adam Moore to a minor league contract with an invite to spring training.

Moore played briefly for San Diego down the stretch in 2014, but hasn't earned more than 11 at-bats in a season since 2010 with Seattle.


Dodgers add Ryan Lavarnway, designate Drew Butera


by Marty Gitlin | CBSSports.com
(12/5/2014) The Dodgers have claimed former Red Sox catcher Ryan Lavarnway and designated fellow catcher Drew Butera for assignment.

Lavarnway was limited to 10 at-bats last season due to wrist surgery, rehab assignment and stretch in the minors.


Astros tender seven arbitration-eligible players


by Igor Mello | CBSSports.com
(12/3/2014) The Astros have tendered contracts to all seven arbitration-eligible players prior to Tuesday's deadline, reports the Houston Chronicle. Those players were: Catchers Jason Castro, Carlos Corporan and Hank Conger, outfielder Dexter Fowler, reliever Tony Sipp, designated hitter Chris Carter and shortstop Marwin Gonzalez.

Ellis, Jansen, Gordon among Dodgers tendered players


by Igor Mello | CBSSports.com
(12/3/2014) Dodgers tendered contracts for all eight arbitration-eligible players, including agreeing to a one-year deal for Darwin Barney prior to Tuesday's midnight deadline, per the team's official website. Those players include: Catcher A.J. Ellis, closer Kenley Jansen, infielder Dee Gordon, third baseman Justin Turner, catcher Drew Butera, pitcher Juan Nicascio and newly-acquired outfielder Chris Heisey.

Cubs tender eight arbitration-eligible players


by Igor Mello | CBSSports.com
(12/2/2014) The Cubs tendered contracts to eight arbitration-eligible players prior to Tuesday's deadline. Those players included: Pitchers Travis Wood and Jake Arrieta, outfielder Chris Coghlan,  third baseman Luis Valbuena, reliever Pedro Strop, outfielder Justin Ruggiano, pitcher Felix Doubront and catcher Welington Castillo.

O's tender contracts to all 11 arbitration-eligible players


by Igor Mello | CBSSports.com
(12/2/2014) As expected, the Orioles announced Tuesday they have tendered contracts to all 11 arbitration-eligible players. Those players include: Catcher Matt Wieters, infielders Chris Davis, Ryan Flaherty and Steve Pearce, outfielder Alejandro De Aza, right-handers Miguel Gonzalez, Tommy Hunter, Bud Norris and Chris Tillman and left-handers Zach Britton and Brian Matusz.

Nationals tender contracts to 10 players


by Sean d'Oliveira | CBSSports.com
(12/2/2014) The Nationals announced they tendered contracts to the following arbitration-eligible players: Jerry Blevins, Tyler Clippard, Ross Detwiler, Danny Espinosa, Doug Fister, Jose Lobaton, Wilson Ramos, Craig Stammen, Drew Storen and Stephen Strasburg.

Report: Braves/Astros discussed deal for Evan Gattis


by Chris Cwik | CBSSports.com
(12/2/2014) The Braves and Astros discussed a possible trade for catcher Evan Gattis, according to FoxSports.com.

The deal comes with a twist, as Atlanta reportedly told Houston that they would have to take B.J. Upton as well. Upton still has $46.35 million on his contract, and the Astros were hesitant to take on that much money. The Braves were said to be targeting center fielder Dexter Fowler. Catcher Carlos Corporan's name also came up in conversations. 


 
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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