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Reds sign Brennan Boesch to minor league deal


by Brandon Wise | CBSSports.com
(11/26/2014) The Reds have signed outfielder Brennan Boesch to a minor league contract with an invite to spring training. Boesch, 29, is a career .256/.309/.412 hitter over five seasons for the Tigers, Yankees and Angels.

He was in the minors for most of last season, hitting .332 with 25 homers for the Angels Triple-A affiliate. 


Brewers' Ryan Braun 'cautiously optimistic' coming off thumb surgery


by Michael Hurcomb | CBSSports.com
(11/26/2014) Brewers outfielder Ryan Braun is optimistic coming off October thumb surgery. Braun underwent a cryotherapy procedure in Los Angeles on Oct. 2, in which a needle was inserted at the base of his right thumb to essentially freeze a nerve.

"It definitely worked," Braun said Wednesday, per MLB.com. "It makes a huge difference."

Braun swung a bat 10 days after the procedure and was happy the pain in his thumb was gone.

"Right now, I don’t feel any [discomfort], and I haven’t been able to say that for two years," he said. "I think I’ve told you guys, it [bothered him] shaking hands, writing -- you know, just everyday activities. Now I don’t feel it at all, so I’m excited."

While Braun is definitely optimistic, he is also a bit cautious because he isn't in the grind of playing baseball every day. He has received full clearance, however, for all offseason activities.

"I’m encouraged by how it feels, but at the same time, I think I have to be cautiously optimistic [until] I get into spring training and see how it responds," Braun said. "But it hasn’t felt this good in a really long time."


Red Sox GM: Cespedes 'in our plans for next year'


by Brandon Wise | CBSSports.com
(11/26/2014) Red Sox general manager Ben Cherington said in a radio interview Wednesday that outfielder Yoenis Cespedes is in the team's plans for next year. 

“We acquired him at the deadline in the [Jon] Lester trade because we felt that was the best deal at the time, we still feel that way. He’s in our plans for next year and his versatility and skill in the outfield and gives us the flexibility, could play any of the three positions," Cherington said. "We’ll just see what the rest of the offseason brings. We have a long way to go, and as we get to January, closer to spring training, we’ll know more about who’s here and how it all adds up.”

Cespedes hit .260 with 100 RBI last season between Oakland and Boston. 


Giants turn attention to Cruz, Scherzer after Sandoval departure


by Sean d'Oliveira | CBSSports.com
(11/25/2014) With the Red Sox officially signing Pablo Sandoval, the Giants have begun talks with a variety of free agents including pitcher Max Scherzer and outfielder Nelson Cruz, reports CBSSports.com Baseball Insider Jon Heyman.

Sandoval’s departure allows the Giants to focus their assets elsewhere and the Giants have also expressed interest in Nick Markakis, Torii Hunter and Chase Headley.


Red Sox' Yoenis Cespedes open to playing in CF and RF


by Michael Hurcomb | CBSSports.com
(11/25/2014) Red Sox manager John Farrell said Tuesday he talked to outfielder Yoenis Cespedes following the news Boston was signing Hanley Ramirez to play in left field. Farrell said Cespedes is open to playing in center and right field.

Cespedes continues to be at the center of trade rumors. He is in the final year of his contract.


Ezequiel Carrera opts for free agency


(11/25/2014) Outfielder Ezequiel Carrera has opted for free agency after he declined an assignment to Triple-A Toledo. Carrera was designated for assignment Thursday after the Tigers claimed Josh Zeid off waivers. 

Carrera hit .261 in 69 plate appearances last season. 


Report: M's have discussed trades for Kemp, Cespedes, Upton


by Michael Hurcomb | CBSSports.com
(11/25/2014) The Mariners have discussed trades on multiple right-handed hitting outfielders, including Dodgers outfielder Matt Kemp, Red Sox outfielder Yoenis Cespedes and Braves outfielder Justin Upton, according to FOX Sports reporter Jon Morosi.

All three players have been mentioned in trade rumors, and the Cespedes speculation has picked up in the last day with the Red Sox signing Hanley Ramirez, who is expected to move to the outfield. Cespedes and Upton are in the final year of their contracts, while Kemp is signed through 2019.


Report: Blue Jays looking at Jay Bruce


by Chris Cwik | CBSSports.com
(11/25/2014) The Blue Jays are considering trading for Reds outfielder Jay Bruce, according to FoxSports.com.

The team is searching for a left-handed hitter, and Bruce hits the bill. Bruce will make a little over $12 million in both 2015 and 2016. He was a $13 million club option for 2017. 


Report: Rangers have inquired about Mariners OF Saunders


by Michael Hurcomb | CBSSports.com
(11/24/2014) The Rangers have inquired about Rangers outfielder Michael Saunders, according to ESPN. However, the Rangers' interest is mild.

Saunders has a .231 average, .384 slugging percentage and .685 OPS in 553 games over six seasons for the Mariners. He also has 51 home runs, 82 doubles and 182 RBI.


Jim Adduci headed to play overseas after release by Rangers


by Michael Hurcomb | CBSSports.com
(11/24/2014) The Rangers announced Monday outfielder Jim Adduci was placed on unconditional release waivers for purpose of playing in Asia in 2015. Adduci was designated for assignment Friday.

Adduci hit .189 with one home run, four doubles and eight RBI in 61 games for the Rangers since 2013.


Hanley Ramirez agrees to deal with Red Sox


by Michael Hurcomb | CBSSports.com
(11/24/2014) Hanley Ramirez has agreed to a contract with the Red Sox, pending a physical, sources told CBSSports.com Baseball Insider Jon Heyman.

The terms of the deal are a four-year contract worth $88 million, a source told FOX Sports. The deal includes a fifth-year vesting option valued at $22 million.

Ramirez is expected to play in left field with the Red Sox also agreeing to a contract with third baseman Pablo Sandoval and with Xander Bogaerts remaining at shortstop for Boston.


Twins, Torii Hunter have 'common interest'


by Michael Hurcomb | CBSSports.com
(11/24/2014) Veteran outfielder Torii Hunter said Saturday he favors the Twins in free agency and he could make a decision soon about which team he signs with, according to the Pioneer Press.

"(Twins general manager) Terry Ryan and I have talked several times, and there's definitely a common interest there, for sure," Hunter said.

The Twins drafted Hunter in the first round of the 1993 draft. He appeared in games for Minnesota from 1997-2007 before playing for the Angels and Tigers. 

"I would come over to win," he said of his reasons for potentially returning to Minnesota. "All that stuff everybody talks about, 'a great guy in the clubhouse,' that's extra -- that's not No. 1. The No. 1 thing is look at my numbers. They're still the same, one of the most consistent hitters in baseball over my career.

"But sometimes I guess my character and clubhouse presence and just that fire that I have, I think, overshadows a lot. But no matter what, if I didn't put up those numbers, I don't care what kind of personality or drive you have, not many people are going to want you. The only reason you're going to want me is because of my play."


Report: Melky Cabrera could be 'fallback option' for Orioles


by Michael Hurcomb | CBSSports.com
(11/24/2014) Free agent outfielder Melky Cabrera could be a "fallback option" for the Orioles, if Baltimore doesn't re-sign outfielder Nick Markakis, multiple sources told MASNsports.com. He is on the Orioles' radar and the team has discussed signing him.

Cabrera has been previously linked to the Blue Jays, White Sox and Royals this offseason.


Report: Rangers, Astros have inquired about Justin Upton


by Michael Hurcomb | CBSSports.com
(11/24/2014) The Rangers have inquired about Braves outfielder Justin Upton, according to FOX Sports. The New York Post reported over the weekend the Astros have also inquired about Upton.

According to FOX Sports, the Rangers have shown interest in Upton in the past, but their current offseason focus is more on pitching.


Report: Rusney Castillo (thumb) will play in winter ball


by Michael Hurcomb | CBSSports.com
(11/24/2014) Red Sox outfielder Rusney Castillo, who had his stint in the Arizona Fall League end early due to a bruised thumb, is slated to resume playing in the Puerto Rican winter league, according to WEEI.com. Rusney will head down to Puerto Rico on Friday and hopes to play in his first game Dec. 2.

The plan is for Castillo to play get close to 100 at-bats in Puerto Rico, while playing in right and center field.


Hanley Ramirez close to deal with Red Sox


by Michael Hurcomb | CBSSports.com
(11/24/2014) The Red Sox are close to a deal with free agent Hanley Ramirez, sources told CBSSports.com Baseball Insider Jon Heyman. FOX Sports reports Ramirez is traveling to Boston to finalize the deal.

With the Red Sox also agreeing to a deal with third baseman Pablo Sandoval and shortstop Xander Boagerts still on the roster, Ramirez has said he is willing to play other positions, with left field a possibility.


Red Sox, Hanley Ramirez growing more serious in FA talks


by R.J. White | CBSSports.com
(11/23/2014) Talks between the Red Sox and free-agent shortstop Hanley Ramirez have grown more serious in recent days, CBSSports.com baseball insider Jon Heyman reports.

The Red Sox are also in play for another high-priced free-agent infielder in Pablo Sandoval, and there are indications that the team could sign both players rather than choosing between one or the other. Ramirez has told teams he's willing to play any position requested, and it's unclear where he'd fit in Boston if the team is able to land both free-agent targets. Throw in the team's talks with former Red Sox pitcher Jon Lester, and it could be shaping up to be a huge offseason in Boston.


Diamondbacks sign Nick Buss to minor league deal


by Sean d'Oliveira | CBSSports.com
(11/22/2014) The Diamondbacks signed outfielder Nick Buss to a minor league contract.

Buss has played in eight games at the major league level and is a career .105 hitter.


Royals continue to be in contact with Torii Hunter


by Chris Cwik | CBSSports.com
(11/21/2014) The Royals continue to remain in contact with outfielder Torii Hunter, according to the St. Paul Pioneer Press

Hunter would take the place of Norichika Aoki in left. The 39-year-old is coming off a season in which he hit .286/.319/.446 over 549 at-bats. 


Dodgers' Matt Kemp drawing plenty of interest


by Chris Cwik | CBSSports.com
(11/21/2014) Dodgers outfielder Matt Kemp is drawing plenty of interest on the trade market, according to CBSSports.com Baseball Insider Jon Heyman.

The club is hesitant to deal Kemp, though a trade is possible. Kemp had an up-and-down season with Los Angeles in 2014. He started slowly after coming back from a leg injury, and was initially upset when moved out of center. Things turned in the second half, and Kemp finished with a .287/.346/.506 slash line. The Orioles, Mariners and Blue Jays could all have interest, according to Heyman.


Orioles, Giants in on Torii Hunter


by Chris Cwik | CBSSports.com
(11/21/2014) The Orioles and Giants are considering outfielder Torii Hunter, according to ESPN.

Hunter is on the back-burner for both clubs. He's an option for those clubs if other things fall through. The 39-year-old hit .286/.319/.446 over 549 at-bats last year.


Report: Rays put Matt Joyce on the trade block


by Chris Cwik | CBSSports.com
(11/21/2014) The Rays have put outfielder Matt Joyce on the trade block, according to FoxSports.com.

The 30-year-old Joyce hit .254/.349/.383 over 418 at-bats last year. Joyce has always been a superior hitter against righties, and has often been utilized in a platoon role. 


Raul Ibanez a finalist for Rays job


by Chris Cwik | CBSSports.com
(11/21/2014) Royals outfielder Raul Ibanez is one of the three finalists for the Rays manager position, according to the Tampa Bay Times

The 42-year-old hit .167 over 246 at-bats last season, and was a surprise candidate for the position. He'll have to beat out Kevin Cash and Dom Wakamatsu. It's unclear if Ibanez will continue to look for work as a player if he doesn't get the job.


Tigers sign Xavier Avery to a minor-league deal


by Chris Cwik | CBSSports.com
(11/21/2014) The Tigers have signed outfielder Xavier Avery to a minor-league deal, according to SBNation.

The 24-year-old Avery hit .275/.344/.413 over 447 at-bats at Triple-A. With the deal, Avery will receive an invite to major-league camp during spring training. 


Report: Braves outfielder Justin Upton 'will be moved'


by Sean d'Oliveira | CBSSports.com
(11/21/2014) The Braves are looking to trade outfielder Justin Upton, and sources have indicated it’s only a matter of time before he is dealt.

“Justin Upton will be moved,” said another team executive, per the New York Post.

However, if any team is going to trade for Upton, the price will not be cheap. Reports have shown the Braves are asking for more in return than what they received for Jason Heyward.

Upton will make $14.5 million in 2015 and then become a free agent. In 2014, Upton hit .270 with 29 home runs and 102 RBI.

 
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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