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Scott Boras: Matt Wieters will be ready by opening day


by Chris Cwik | CBSSports.com
(12/21/2014) Orioles catcher Matt Wieters will be ready by opening day, according to his agent, Scott Boras. 

Wieters underwent Tommy John surgery is June, and is working his way back from the injury. It's unclear if Wieters will be able to catch full-time at the beginning of the year, or if he'll have to be worked in slowly. Manager Buck Showalter recently told reporters he wasn't sure Wieters would be ready by opening day, but he expected him to good shortly after. Wieters hit .308/.339/.500 over 104 at-bats before having surgery. 


A's C Stephen Vogt expects to be ready for opening day


by Chris Cwik | CBSSports.com
(12/18/2014) Athletics catcher Stephen Vogt believes he'll be ready for opening day, according to MLB.com.

Vogt had foot surgery in October, but had his walking boot removed Thursday. Vogt admitted that he may not be 100 percent by spring training, but said he expects to be ready for opening day. After playing multiple positions due to the injury last season, Vogt said he's eager to get behind the plate again. 

The 30-year-old Vogt hit .279/.321/.431 over 269 at-bats last year. 


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


by Michael Hurcomb | CBSSports.com
(12/18/2014) 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.


Indians' Jason Kipnis undergoes surgery on damaged finger tendon


by Brandon Wise | CBSSports.com
(12/17/2014) Indians second baseman Jason Kipnis underwent surgery for a damaged tendon in his finger Tuesday, but is expected to be ready for the beginning of the upcoming season, the team announced Wednesday.

Kipnis, who was in and out of the lineup for Cleveland in 2014 with a hamstring injury, hit .240 last year with six home runs and 41 RBI. He has spent his four-year career in Cleveland, managing a .262 career average.


Cubs, Mariners agree on deal for OF Justin Ruggiano


by Brandon Wise | CBSSports.com
(12/17/2014) Cubs outfielder Justin Ruggiano has been sent to the Mariners in a deal that will send minor league pitcher Matt Brazis to Chicago, the team announced Wednesday. 

Ruggiano, who played in 81 games in 2014, hit .281 with six home runs and 28 RBI for the Cubs. He spent the previous two seasons with the Marlins, where in 2012, he hit a career high .313 with 23 doubles and 36 RBI.

Brazis went 8-6 with 14 saves and 2.89 ERA in three years with four teams in the Mariners minor league organization. 


Rangers' Matt Harrison could return to throwing in January


by Brandon Wise | CBSSports.com
(12/16/2014) Rangers pitcher Matt Harrison's back came back as clean after an X-ray was performed Monday. Harrison, who displaced a vertebra in his back in May, has a CT scan scheduled for Wednesday, which he hopes will allow him to start throwing in January. 

Harrison only made four appearances in 2014, throwing 17.1 innings with 4.15 ERA. 


Rays' Jake McGee will open year on DL following elbow surgery


by Michael Hurcomb | CBSSports.com
(12/16/2014) The Rays announced reliever Jake McGee underwent arthroscopic elbow surgery Friday to remove "a loose body," according to the Tampa Bay Times.

While the Rays said McGee is doing well following the surgery, he will start the season on the disabled list and the team won't have a timetable for his return until spring training.

McGee, who said he had been pitching with a loose body in his elbow for at least a year, added he expects to be back in late April or early May.

McGee went 5-2 with a 1.89 ERA and 0.90 WHIP in 73 games in 2014. He also had a career-high 19 saves last season.


Showalter: Chris Davis gets approval 'for what he got suspended for'


by Michael Hurcomb | CBSSports.com
(12/16/2014) Orioles manager Buck Showalter said in an interview with 105.7 The Fan on Tuesday slugger Chris Davis received approval "for what he got suspended for" during the 2014 season, according to MASNsports.com. Davis was suspended 25 games late in the season for using Adderall without a therapeutic-use exemption.

Davis, who hit an MLB-best 53 home runs in 2013, struggled offensively in 2014. He hit just .196 in 127 games. He did hit 26 home runs, while also posting 16 doubles, 65 runs and 72 RBI.


Daniels: Rangers won't trade Profar, not likely to make opening day roster


by Michael Hurcomb | CBSSports.com
(12/11/2014) Rangers general manager Jon Daniels said at the Winter Meetings on Thursday he has no plans to trade infielder Jurickson Profar, according to the Fort Worth Star-Telegram.

However, Daniels indicated Profar -- who missed the 2014 season due to a shoulder injury -- is not likely to make the opening day roster.

"Probably not. We're not keeping him as our utility guy," Daniels said.


Rangers' Matt Harrison hoping to throw in January


by Chris Cwik | CBSSports.com
(12/10/2014) Rangers pitcher Matt Harrison is hoping to begin throwing in January, according to FoxSports.

Harrison is coming off back surgery, and is expected to meet with doctors next week. While Harrison could start throwing soon, general manager Jon Daniels has said he doesn't expect Harrison to be at 100 percent by spring training. Harrison was limited to four starts last season due to the injury. 


Angels not expecting Garrett Richards to be ready by opener


by Michael Hurcomb | CBSSports.com
(12/10/2014) The Angels are not expecting starting pitcher Garrett Richards (knee) to be ready for the start of the season. Manager Mike Scioscia said Wednesday they are hoping Richards will return within the first six weeks of the season.

Richards has been cleared to throw as he works his way back from a torn petallar tendon, which he suffered in late August. He was expected to need 6-9 months to recover from surgery.


Johan Santana expected to pitch in Venezuela in January


by Michael Hurcomb | CBSSports.com
(12/10/2014) Free agent pitcher Johan Santana is preparing to pitch in Venezuela in January, his agent Edward Greenberg said, per the New York Post. Santana has been rehabbing since suffering a torn Achilles tendon in June.

Report: Rays' Moore's return to the rotation likely targeted for June


by Michael Hurcomb | CBSSports.com
(12/10/2014) Rays starting pitcher Matt Moore remains on track in his recovery from Tommy John surgery, according to the Tampa Bay Times. His return to the rotation will likely be targeted for June.

Report: Royals' Hochevar to start as RP, but might transition to SP


by Michael Hurcomb | CBSSports.com
(12/9/2014) Royals pitcher Luke Hochevar, who is working his way back from Tommy John surgery, will go into spring training as a reliever. However, both sides are talking about Hochevar transitioning to the rotation during the season, according to New York Post columnist Joel Sherman.

Hochevar is 38-59 with a 5.44 ERA as a starter, and he is 5-2 with a 2.06 ERA as a reliever.


Report: Angels showing some interest in Red Sox's Brock Holt


by Michael Hurcomb | CBSSports.com
(12/9/2014) The Angels have shown some interest in Red Sox infielder/outfielder Brock Holt, according to ESPN. The Angels view Holt as shortstop insurance.

Holt had the best season of his MLB career in 2014, batting .281 with a .331 on-base percentage, 23 doubles and 68 runs in 106 games. He was a very valuable utility player for Boston, as he played seven different positions last season. The only positions he didn't make an appearance were pitcher and catcher.


Rangers' Yu Darvish starting to throw again after elbow injury


by Brandon Wise | CBSSports.com
(12/9/2014) Rangers pitcher Yu Darvish began an offseason throwing program Monday, after missing the final month and a half of the 2014 season with elbow inflammation.

Darvish, who went 10-7 in 22 starts, threw from a flat surface 50 feet away 25 times. Rangers manager Jeff Banister said Darvish has done some conditioning and he is impressed with what he saw. 

He had 182 strikeouts with a 3.06 ERA last year. 


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.


Report: Teams asking Rangers about Jurickson Profar, Rougned Odor


by Michael Hurcomb | CBSSports.com
(12/8/2014) The Rangers are receiving a lot of interest in their middle infielders, including Jurickson Profar, according to MLB.com. Many clubs are showing heavy interest in Rougned Odor, but the Rangers aren't shopping him.

The 21-year-old Profar missed the 2014 season due to a shoulder injury. However, he was considered the top propsect in baseball in 2013 by multiple outlets.

Odor didn't quite make it as high in the prospect rankings as Profar, but the 20-year-old infielder was considered a top-100 prospect in 2014 by Baseball America (No. 42) and MLB.com (No. 59). Odor hit .259 with seven triples, nine home runs, 14 doubles and 48 RBI in 114 games as a rookie last season.


Tigers 1B Miguel Cabrera ditches walking boot


by Igor Mello | CBSSports.com
(12/8/2014) Tigers first baseman Miguel Cabrera is no longer in a walking boot, per his social media account on Monday.

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.

The injuries caused a drop in Cabrera's power numbers in 2014, as he finished the year with a .313 batting average, 25 homers and 109 RBI over 611 at-bats. He is still on track to be re-evaluated once he's three months removed from the procedure. However, there's no update on when he'll be fully recovered this spring, per the Detroit News.


A's trade Brandon Moss to Indians for prospect Joe Wendle


by Michael Hurcomb | CBSSports.com
(12/8/2014) The Athletics have traded first baseman/outfielder Brandon Moss to the Indians in exchange for infielder Joe Wendle.

Moss was a first-time All-Star in 2014. He has hit more than 20 home runs in three straight seasons. Moss is a career .248 hitter with a .326 on-base percentage, .460 slugging percentage and .786 OPS in 625 games.

Wendle is considered the Indians' ninth-best prospect by MLB.com. He has a .292 average, .357 on-base percentage, .471 slugging percentage and .828 OPS in 261 career minor-league games. He spent most of the 2014 season at Double-A, batting .253 with eight home runs, five triples, 20 doubles and 50 RBI in 87 games.


Report: A's, Indians likely to finalize Moss deal at winter meetings


by Michael Hurcomb | CBSSports.com
(12/8/2014) The Indians and Athletics are moving close to finalizing a trade involving Brandon Moss, according to New York Post baseball columnist Joel Sherman. The deal is likely to be completed at the winter meetings.

Angels RHP Garrett Richards cleared to throw


by Marty Gitlin | CBSSports.com
(12/5/2014) Angels ace Garrett Richards has been cleared to throw as part of his recovery from a torn petallar tendon, per MLB.com.

Richards emerged as one of the premier pitchers in baseball before going down in late August. He finished the 2014 season 13-4 with a 2.61 ERA.


Report: Resolution on Indians, A's Moss talks expected Friday


by R.J. White | CBSSports.com
(12/4/2014) A resolution on trade talks between the Indians and Athletics involving outfielder/first baseman Brandon Moss is expected Friday, the Cleveland Plain Dealer reports.

The Indians were reported to be "guardedly optimistic" that a deal would eventually be completed earlier Thursday, but it appears that the team is ready to move on if a deal can't be reached Friday. Moss hit .234/.334/.438 with 25 home runs and 81 RBI in 500 at-bats in 2014.

If a deal does get done, Indians second base prospect Joe Wendle could be headed to Oakland, according to the Plain Dealer. A sixth-round pick in 2012, Wendle is one of several players the two teams have discussed in trade talks involving Moss.


Royals announce two-year deal with Luke Hochevar


by R.J. White | CBSSports.com
(12/4/2014) The Royals announced Thursday that pitcher Luke Hochevar has been signed to a two-year contract with a mutual option for 2017.

CBSSports.com baseball insider Jon Heyman reported Wednesday that the two-year deal is worth $10 million. Hochevar is coming off a lost 2014 season due to Tommy John surgery but posted a 1.92 ERA and 82:17 K:BB ratio in 70 1/3 innings during the 2013 season, his first in a full-time relief role.


Report: Indians 'guardedly optimistic' Moss deal will happen


by R.J. White | CBSSports.com
(12/4/2014) The Indians are "guardedly optimistic" that a trade for Athletics outfielder/first baseman Brandon Moss will be completed, the Cleveland Plain Dealer reports.

The two teams were reported to be in discussions on a Moss deal Wednesday, and the Athletics appear likely to trade the slugger away this offseason. He hit .234/.334/.438 with 25 home runs and 81 RBI in 500 at-bats in 2014 and has collected 76 home runs in 1,211 at-bats over the last three seasons.


 
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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