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White Sox C Tyler Flowers: 'It's my job to lose' behind the plate


by Igor Mello | CBSSports.com
(1/24/2015) White Sox catcher Tyler Flowers told reporters he doesn't plan on giving up his starting job easily, per MLB.com. On Thursday, Geovany Soto signed a minor-league deal with an invite to spring training.

"I really don't think there's much of a question going in there," Flowers said. "I would definitely say it's my job to lose. Barring an injury, there's really no doubt I'll be the guy catching opening day."

Flowers avoided arbitration by agreeing to a one-year deal, worth $2.675 million for this season. The 28-year-old hit .241/.297/.396 with 15 homers and 50 RBI over 407 at-bats in 2014.

"At this point, there's no reason to move off of that," general manager Rick Hahn said. "Competition is good. It brings out the best in people. And if someone comes in and fights for that job and earns it, I'm sure we'll be flexible. But certainly, we view Tyler as the starter."


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.


Tigers C Alex Avila cleared for all physical activities


by Igor Mello | CBSSports.com
(1/24/2015) After an injury-plagued season in which he suffered several concussions, Tigers catcher Alex Avila has been cleared by doctors for all physical activities, he told reporters on Thursday, per MLive.com.

"I'm feeling great," Avila said. "After the season, there were a few days of just kind of relaxing, recovering from the concussion. After that, I was cleared by the doctors on everything. I feel great and moving along as normal."

Avilla will enter spring training without any restrictions. Manager Brad Ausmus indicated in December that he could see a lighter workload behind the plate in 2015. Because of the injuries, Avilla is open to wearing a hockey-style catcher's mask this season.

"I tried it one time my very first spring training in a bullpen," Avila said. "I didn't give it much of a chance. I never really thought how much of a difference it would make as far as kind of withstanding those impacts from the ball. But you live and you learn."

Avilla struggled last season, hitting just .218/.327/.359 over 390 at-bats. He noted that he never considered hanging up his cleats after a rough 2014 campaign.

"Never," Avila said. "That's never even crossed my mind."


Penny, Carroll among players signed to minor-league deals by ChiSox


by Michael Hurcomb | CBSSports.com
(1/22/2015) The White Sox announced Thursday they signed 15 players to minor-league contracts, which included invites to spring training.

The 15 players were pitchers Jairo Asencio, Scott Carroll, Jesse Crain, Logan Kensing, Arcenio Leon, J.D. Martin, Brad Penny, Zach Phillips, Joe Savery, catchers George Kottaras and Geovany Soto, infielders Juan Diaz and Andy LaRoche, and outfielders Tony Campana and Michael Taylor


Veteran catcher Soto signs minor-league deal with White Sox


by Michael Hurcomb | CBSSports.com
(1/22/2015) Catcher Geovany Soto signed a minor-league deal with the White Sox, according to CBSSports.com Baseball Insider Jon Heyman. He will receive an invite to spring training.

Soto is a 10-year MLB veteran. He spent the 2014 season with Texas and Oakland, batting .250 with one home run, six doubles and 11 RBI in 24 games. Soto missed a good portion of the season due to knee and foot injuries.


Rockies confident catcher Wilin Rosario can play 1B, OF


by Michael Hurcomb | CBSSports.com
(1/21/2015) Rockies general manager Jeff Birdich said the team is confident catcher Wilin Rosario can make the transition from playing primarily at catcher to also playing at first base and in the outfield, according to The Denver Post.

“I think Wilin has the athletic ability to do this, and he certainly has the work ethic,” Bridich said.


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.”


Robinson Chirinos still expected to be Rangers' starting catcher


by Michael Hurcomb | CBSSports.com
(1/21/2015) Rangers assistant general manager Thad Levine indicated Wednesday that Robinson Chirinos will remain the team's starting catcher, despite the acquisition of Carlos Corporan, according to the Fort Worth Star-Telegram. Levine said Corporan is expected to be Chirinos' backup.

Chirinos has appeared in 126 MLB games, starting 110. He hit .239 with 13 home runs, 15 doubles and 40 RBI in 93 games for Texas in 2014.


Astros trade Corporan to Rangers for Bostick; RP Germen DFA'd


by Michael Hurcomb | CBSSports.com
(1/21/2015) The Rangers acquired catcher Carlos Corporan from the Astros on Wednesday in exchange for pitcher Akeem Bostick. Rangers pitcher Gonzalez Germen was designated for assignment to clear a spot on the 40-man roster for Corporan.

The 31-year-old Corporan joins the Rangers after spending the last four seasons with the Astros. He is a career .226 hitter with 17 home runs, 21 doubles and 63 RBI in 199 games. Rangers assistant general manager Thad Levine said Corporan will be the backup catcher to Robinson Chirinos, per the Fort Worth Star-Telegram.

The 19-year-old Bostick was a second-round draft pick in 2013. He is 9-7 with a 4.46 ERA and 1.35 WHIP in 35 career appearances (26 starts) in the minors. He played at Class A Hickory in 2014.

Germen was acquired in a trade with the Yankees on Tuesday. It is the third time this offseason he has been designated for assignment.


Report: Astros to trade catcher Carlos Corporan to Rangers


by Sean d'Oliveira | CBSSports.com
(1/21/2015) The Rangers are on the verge of acquiring catcher Carlos Corporan from the Astros on Wednesday, a source told the Houston Chronicle.

Corporan was recently designated for assignment by the Astors. In 2014, he hit .235 with six home runs and 19 RBI in 170 at-bats.


Astros designate Carlos Corporan for assignment


by Brandon Wise | CBSSports.com
(1/20/2015) The Astros have officially designated catcher Carlos Corporan for assignment to make room for newly acquired Colby Rasmus, the team announced Tuesday.

Corporan appeared in 55 games in 2014 for Houston, hitting .235 with a .302 on-base percentage. He also had six home runs and 19 RBI for the Astros.


Rockies' Wilin Rosario immersed in learning how to play 1B, OF


by Michael Hurcomb | CBSSports.com
(1/20/2015) Rockies catcher Wilin Rosario has spent the offseason working at first base and in the outfield, and will continue to work at both positions at the team's academy in the Dominican Republic before spring training begins, Rockies manager Walt Weiss said Monday.

With the Rockies considering carrying three catchers -- Rosario, Nick Hundley and Michael McKenry -- Rosario has embraced learning new positions in order to keep his bat in the lineup.

"He's been great," Weiss said, per MLB.com. "He's a great kid, and I didn't expect anything different. He has embraced learning to play the different spots. He realizes he is an offensive weapon."


Cubs not impressed with trade talks regarding Welington Castillo


by Michael Hurcomb | CBSSports.com
(1/19/2015) Cubs general manager Jed Hoyer said Monday he has had no compelling trade discussions regarding catcher Welington Castillo, according to the Chicago Daily Herald. Castillo has been mentioned in trade rumors since the Cubs acquired Miguel Montero from the Diamondbacks.

The Cubs avoided arbitration with Castillo, agreeing to a $2.1 million salary for 2015. Castillo hit .237 with a career-best 13 home runs and 46 RBI in 110 games last season.


Blue Jays' Dickey has faith in Russell Martin catching his knuckleball


by Brandon Wise | CBSSports.com
(1/16/2015) Blue Jays pitcher R.A. Dickey is excited about new catcher Russell Martin and believes he can catch his knuckleball, SportsNet.com reports.

“Nothing is going to replace time spent together, and so I think from the get-go, we’re probably going to be spending a lot of time on the side, bullpens, playing catch so that he can get a feel for what that pitch does and see if he feels like it’s something he can do every day that I pitch, that’s 34 starts,” Dickey said.

Martin said he expects to be the catcher when Dickey starts and doesn't believe the knuckleball will be a problem.

Dickey went 14-13 in 2014, posting a 3.71 ERA in 215 2/3 innings.


Report: Rockies' Wilin Rosario files for $3.3 million in arbitration


by R.J. White | CBSSports.com
(1/16/2015) Rockies catcher Wilin Rosario has filed for $3.3 million in arbitration, while the team has offered $2.8 million, MLB.com reports.

Rosario is eligible for arbitration for the first time this offseason. He hit .267/.305/.435 with 13 home runs and 54 RBI in 382 at-bats in 2014.


Reds, Devin Mesoraco swap arbitration figures


by R.J. White | CBSSports.com
(1/16/2015) Reds catcher Devin Mesoraco has filed for $3.6 million in aribtration, while the team has offered $2.45 million, CBSSports.com baseball insider Jon Heyman reports.

Mesoraco is eligible for arbitration for the first time this offseason. He hit .273/.359/.534 with 25 home runs and 80 RBI in 384 at-bats in 2014.


Rays sign five to minor-league deals


by Igor Mello | CBSSports.com
(1/16/2015) The Rays signed catcher Mayo Acosta, outfielder Joey Butler, infielder Juan Francisco, right-hander Jhan Marinez and left-hander Everett Teaford all to minor-league deals, according to the team's official Triple-A website.

Astros avoid arbitration with Hank Conger, Tony Sipp


by Igor Mello | CBSSports.com
(1/16/2015) The Astros have avoided arbitration with Hank Conger and Tony Sipp prior to Friday's deadline, per the team's official website. Conger signed a one-year, $1.075 million contract, while Sipp settled for $2.4 million.

Conger hit .221 with four homers and 21 RBI over 231 at-bats in 2014. Sipp registered a 3.38 ERA, a 0.89 WHIP over 50 2/3 innings of work last season.


White Sox C Tyler Flowers agrees to one-year, $2.675 million deal


by Igor Mello | CBSSports.com
(1/16/2015) White Sox catcher Tyler Flowers avoided arbitration by agreeing to a one-year deal, worth  $2.675 million, according to the Chicago Sun-Times. Flowers, 28, slashed .241/.297/.396 with 15 homers and 50 RBI over 407 at-bats in 2014.

Rays reach settlements with six remain arbitration-eligible players


by Igor Mello | CBSSports.com
(1/16/2015) The Rays have reached settlements with the six remaining players on one-year deals, reports the Tampa Bay Times on Friday.

Alex Cobb is due to make $4 million, while Jake McGee will make $3.55 million. John Jaso will make $3.175 million, Rene Rivera is set for $1.2M, and Logan Forsythe will earn $1.1 million next season. Drew Smyly settled for $2.65 million, plus the chance at an additional $25,000 if he makes 28 starts and $25,000 more if he gets to 30, per the report.


Rockies, Michael McKenry able to avoid arbitration


by Michael Hurcomb | CBSSports.com
(1/16/2015) The Rockies and catcher Michael McKenry avoided arbitration Friday, agreeing to a one-year, $1.0876 million contract, according to MLB.com. McKenry, who was in his first year of arbitration, made $750,000 in 2014.

McKenry hit .315 with a .398 on-base percentage, .512 slugging percentage and .910 OPS in 57 games for Colorado in 2014. He also had eight home runs, nine doubles and 22 RBI.


Astros avoid arbitration with Jason Castro


by Igor Mello | CBSSports.com
(1/16/2015) The Astros have agreed to terms on a one-year deal, worth $4 million with catcher Jason Castro, avoiding arbitration, CBSSports.com Baseball Insider Jon Heyman confirms. Castro, 27, hit .222 with 14 homers and 56 RBI over 465 lasts eason.

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.


Pirates, Cervelli come to terms on one-year, $987,500 deal


by Michael Hurcomb | CBSSports.com
(1/16/2015) The Pirates and catcher Francisco Cervelli avoided arbitration Friday by agreeing to a one-year, $987,500 contract, according to CBSSports.com Baseball Insider Jon Heyman. Cervelli, who is in his second year of arbitration, made $700,000 in 2014.

The Pirates acquired Cervelli in a November trade with the Yankees. He has a .278 average, .348 on-base percentage, .381 slugging percentage and .729 OPS in 250 MLB games.


Tuffy Gosewisch is front-runner to be D-Backs' starting catcher


by Michael Hurcomb | CBSSports.com
(1/16/2015) Diamondbacks general manager Dave Stewart confirmed once again to MLB.com on Thursday that the team's search for a catcher is over. The team will head to camp with Tuffy Gosewisch as the starter, Rule 5 pick Oscar Hernandez as the backup and prospect Pete O'Brien on the cusp of making the major-league roster.

"We sat back and thought about it and talked to our guys internally, our coaching staff, and we're not going do to anything," Stewart said. "Tuffy Gosewisch has never had the opportunity to be a front-line guy, but we do know he's capable of handling the [pitching] staff. If we get some offense from him, it would be great.

"The kid Hernandez we know, through our scouting reports, is a good catch-and-throw guy. And we're not expecting any offense from him. So if we get it, that would be great. But even more importantly, we think that Peter O'Brien is going to be ready. Our coaching staff says he has a chance to break with us from spring training. And if not spring training, we expect to see him by May or June."


 
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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