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Rockies OF Carlos Gonzalez resumes hitting


by R.J. White | CBSSports.com
(12/24/2014) Rockies outfieler Carlos Gonzalez revealed this week that he has been cleared to practice hitting for the first time since undergoing knee surgery in August, MLB.com reports.

Gonzalez had been having issues with the troublesome knee for more than a year before undergoing a procedure to repair a patella tendon on Aug. 18. He also dealt with appendicitis in January and a persistent finger injury throughout the season. The issues led to a down year for the outfielder, as Gonzalez hit just .238/.292/.431 with 11 home runs and 38 RBI in 260 at-bats.


Sabean: Giants 2B Scutaro has back surgery, career in peril


by Marty Gitlin | CBSSports.com
(12/22/2014) Giants general manager Brian Sabean has announced that second baseman Marco Scutaro, who lost almost all of last season to back issues, had fusion surgery Sunday that won't reveal if he can return to action for at least 4-6 months.

"This is the type of thing, it's four-to-six months before we can know if baseball is possible," Sabean said. "I don't want to speak for the doctor or the procedure but you'd have to how he responds to the surgery and that's months away."

Scutaro came back in mid-July, but was sidelined again after just 11 at-bats and done for the year.


Yankees have inquired about Rockies SS Tulowitzki


by Marty Gitlin | CBSSports.com
(12/22/2014) The Yankees have thrown their hat in the ring in the pursuit of Rockies star shortstop Troy Tulowitzki, CBSSports.com Baseball Insider Jon Heyman has reported.

Tulowitzki is open to a trade to a contender and the Yankees have a significant need at shortstop. But it remains to be seen how committed Colorado is to dealing him.

>> Want more Hot Stove? Free agent tracker | Trade tracker


Mets P Syndergaard center of Tulowitzki talks with Rockies


by Marty Gitlin | CBSSports.com
(12/19/2014) Premier Mets pitching prospect Noah Syndergaard is the centerpiece of trade talks involving Rockies star shortstop Troy Tulowitzki, per CBSSports.com Baseball Insider Jon Heyman, who is further reporting that the teams are not close to finalizing a trade.

The pitching-rich Mets are dangling the 22-year-old Syndergaard, who struggled at the Triple-A level in 2014 with a 4.60 ERA and career-worst 1.48 WHIP. Syndergaard has fanned 474 in just 426 2/3 innings.


Mets, Rockies still in talks for Troy Tulowitzki


by Igor Mello | CBSSports.com
(12/19/2014) The Mets and Rockies have been discussing a potential deal that would sent shortstop Troy Tulowitzki to New York this offseason, CBSSports.com Baseball Insider Jon Heyman reports. However, it remains to be seen how likely of a chance New York will have of acquiring Tulowitzki via trade. A source told Heyman the likelihood of a trade to the Mets appear to be "slim" at the moment.

Tulowitzki was hitting a league-best .340 with 21 home runs and 52 RBI before suffering a hip injury in the middle of the year. He has $118 million remaining over the next six seasons.


Hart: Braves expecting Markakis to be 'full go' in spring training


by Michael Hurcomb | CBSSports.com
(12/18/2014) Braves outfielder Nick Markakis underwent fusion surgery to repair a herniated disk in his neck Wednesday, per MLB.com. The team expects Markakis to resume baseball activities before the start of spring training. 

"We talked to (Dr.) Steve Wray after the surgery and he said it really went well," Braves president of baseball operations John Hart said. "He said [the procedure] really went well, and he thinks that this guy will be ready to go full go in spring training. The only thing is that there will be a little bit of a disruption for his normal routine getting ready for spring training."

Markakis is expected to be cleared for physical activities within the next month, and the hope is he will be fully cleared within six weeks. Markakis agreed to a four-year, $44 million deal with the Braves in early December.


Marlins' Derek Dietrich to miss rest of winter ball with ankle injury


by Brandon Wise | CBSSports.com
(12/17/2014) Marlins infielder Derek Dietrich is going to miss the rest of the winter ball season after suffering an ankle injury that required him to be carried off the field Tuesday, according to the Sun Sentinel.

Dietrich was hurt while playing in the Dominican league when covering second base and a runner collided with him trying to grab the ball. 

Dietrich played in 20 games for Miami in 2014, hitting .290 with two triples and 11 RBI. It is unknown if this injury will keep Dietrich out into spring training and the beginning of the regular season. 


Markakis set for neck surgery Wed.; expects to be ready by opener


by Michael Hurcomb | CBSSports.com
(12/15/2014) Braves outfielder Nick Markakis said he will have a "single-level neck fusion" surgery and also have a bulging disk removed Wednesday in Atlanta, according to The Baltimore Sun. He expects to begin baseball activities in six weeks and be ready for opening day.

"I have no doubt," Markakis said about being ready for the opener.

Markakis agreed to a four-year, $44 million deal with the Braves in early December. He has spent his entire nine-year MLB career with the Orioles, producing a .290/.358/.435/.793 slash line in 1,365 games.


Dodgers' Chris Withrow undergoes back surgery


by R.J. White | CBSSports.com
(12/11/2014) Dodgers reliever Chris Withrow underwent surgery last week to repair a herniated disk in his lower back, MLB.com reports.

Withrow is still recovering from June Tommy John surgery, and the three-month timetable for rehab after his back surgery won't affect his overall timetable, which should have him back in action in midseason. He posted a 2.95 ERA with 28 strikeouts in 21 1/3 innings in 2014 before going under the knife.


Giants SP Matt Cain will start throwing three times a week


by Michael Hurcomb | CBSSports.com
(12/9/2014) Giants starting pitcher Matt Cain, who is coming off surgery in August to remove bone chips from his elbow, will begin throwing from 45-60 feet next week, according to the San Francisco Chronicle. He will throw three times a week as he continues his rehab.

Marlins' Redmond expecting a June/July return for ace Fernandez


by Michael Hurcomb | CBSSports.com
(12/9/2014) Marlins manager Mike Redmond said Tuesday starting pitcher Jose Fernandez (elbow) is throwing from 90 feet and should throw off a mound during spring training, according to MLB Network Radio.

Redmond is expecting a return around June or July for Fernandez, who is coming off Tommy John surgery.


Diamondbacks SS Owings won't be ready for spring training


by Marty Gitlin | CBSSports.com
(12/8/2014) Chip Hale has stated that Diamondbacks middle infielder Chris Owings will not be recovered from offseason left shoulder surgery in time for spring training.

He should, however, be 100 percent by opening day.

Owings lost much of the season to injury, but performed decently when healthy. He managed a slash line of .261/.300/.406.


Rockies GM listening to offers for Tulowitzki, nothing 'serious'


by Brandon Wise | CBSSports.com
(12/8/2014) Rockies General Manager Jeff Bridich said Sunday he is listening to offers for short stop Troy Tulowitzki at the Winter Meetings, but nothing "serious" has developed, according to CBSSports.com Baseball Insider Jon Heyman. 

Tulowitzki is set to make over $118 million through 2020. He was hitting a league best .340 with 21 home runs and 52 RBI before suffering a hip injury in the middle of the year. 

"There hasn't been anything serious enough yet with Tulo -- just talk, ideas thrown out," Bridich said.


Phillies OF Ben Revere's ankle pain-free


by R.J. White | CBSSports.com
(12/6/2014) Phillies outfielder Ben Revere said Saturday that he's finally pain-free after dealing with an ankle injury all season, MLB.com reports.

"I feel no pain," he said. "I've been running and cutting. No pain. I feel good. It slowed me up definitely. Some jumps after the ball I hesitated because of it. I knew it was there. Some bases I tried to steal, running down the line I'd slow down, hitting, trying to get out of the box, diving for a ball. It was tough. It was so frustrating."

Revere broke his ankle in July 2013 and played with screws in the ankle in 2014, resulting in a frequent pained expression on his face throughout the season. He had the screws removed at the end of September and believes he can improve on his statistics next season. Revere hit .306/.325/.361 with two home runs, 28 RBI and 49 stolen bases in 601 at-bats in 2014.


Reds SP Homer Bailey 'ahead of schedule'


by R.J. White | CBSSports.com
(12/6/2014) Reds starting pitcher Homer Bailey said Saturday that he's about seven-to-ten days ahead of schedule as he rehabs five days a week, MLB.com reports.

"I'm rehabbing every Monday through Friday ... fun stuff," Bailey said. "You're rehabbing instead of getting the time off you'd want. Once you're done with rehab, it's time to start working everything."

Bailey had surgery on Sept. 5 to repair a torn flexor mass tendon near his elbow.

"I'm about a week or a week and a half ahead of schedule. Everything looks fine," Bailey said. "I can't think of anything right now that I can't do. I haven't tried throwing yet, but even if I was healthy, I wouldn't start throwing until Christmas. That's the timetable they want me to start throwing, rehab-wise."

Bailey's status for the regular-season opener remains up in the air.


Report: Braves OF Nick Markakis leaning toward neck surgery


by Igor Mello | CBSSports.com
(12/5/2014) Newly-acquired Braves outfielder Nick Markakis is leaning toward opting for surgery to repair a bulging disc in his neck, Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports reports.

Braves were aware of the injury, and prior to signing Markakis to a four-year, $44 million deal, members of the front office viewed a report from an independent specialist who evaluated him in the offseason. If Markakis opts for surgery, he will need approximately 12 weeks of recovery and should be on track to be ready come opening day.


Nick Markakis agrees to deal with Braves


by Chris Cwik | CBSSports.com
(12/3/2014) Free-agent outfielder Nick Markakis has agreed to a four-year deal with the Braves, according to Yahoo! CBSSports.com Baseball Insider Jon Heyman has confirmed the deal.

Markakis will make $44 million over four seasons, according to Heyman. The Braves had been mentioned as a popular candidate for Markakis recently, and there were reports that talks had intensified on Wednesday. The 31-year-old Markakis hit .276/.342/.386 over 642 at-bats last year.


Report: Braves negotiations with Nick Markakis heating up


by Chris Cwik | CBSSports.com
(12/3/2014) Negotiations between the Braves and outfielder Nick Markakis are heating up, according to ESPN.

The two sides are talking about a possible deal that could be four-years, $45 million. CBSSports.com Baseball Insider Jon Heyman mentioned that Atlanta was a candidate for Markakis on Tuesday. Markakis grew up in the area, and still has a house in Georgia. Markakis was initially considered a strong favorite to wind up back in Baltimore, but negotiations seemed to fall through in recent weeks. 

The 31-year-old Markakis hit .276/.342/.386 over 642 at-bats last year.


Reds still in market for outfielder following trade of Chris Heisey


by Michael Hurcomb | CBSSports.com
(12/3/2014) The trade of Chris Heisey to the Dodgers hurts the outfield depth for the Reds, but general manager Walt Jocketty indicated Tuesday the team is still in the market to add an outfielder and feels a healthy Skip Schumaker will also provide depth, per the Cincinnati Enquirer.

"We think (Skip) Schumaker's going to be healthy and help us," Jocketty said. "We'll give him an opportunity. We may push some of our younger guys. But we'd still think we're going to add someone."


Nats' Span has hernia surgery, should be ready for spring


by Michael Hurcomb | CBSSports.com
(12/3/2014) The Nationals announced Wednesday center fielder Denard Span underwent sports hernia surgery. He is expected to be ready for the start of spring training.

Span said he should be recovered in six weeks, according to MLB.com. Span said he sustained the injury late in the 2014 season, but it wasn't bad enough to miss any games. Span hoped rest would be enough for the pain to subside, but it didn't after he started offseason workouts.

Span hit .302 in 2014, which was the second-highest batting average of his career. He hit .311 in 2009 with the Twins. He also had a .355 on-base percentage, .416 slugging percentage, .771 OPS and a career-high 31 stolen bases in 147 games this season.


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.

Report: Braves making 'real push' to sign Nick Markakis


by Igor Mello | CBSSports.com
(12/2/2014) The Braves are making a "real push" to sign free agent right fielder Nick Markakis, per the Baltimore Sun on Tuesday. According to their source, a Braves contigent that included manager Fredi Gonzalez flew to Baltimore and had dinner with Markakis on Monday night. Markakis went to high school and played college ball for Young Harris College in Georgia.

The 31-year-old hit .276/.342/.386 in 642 at-bats last season with Baltimore.


Nick Markakis listening to offers as likelihood of return to O's fades


by Michael Hurcomb | CBSSports.com
(12/2/2014) Outfielder Nick Markakis, who seemed likely to return to the Orioles, is listening to outside offers, according to CBSSports.com Baseball Insider Jon Heyman. The Braves, Blue Jays and Giants are among the teams showing interest in the 31-year-old outfielder.

Less than 50-50 chance Nick Markakis returns to Orioles


by Chris Cwik | CBSSports.com
(12/1/2014) There's a less than 50-50 chance outfielder Nick Markakis will return to the Orioles, according to the Baltimore Sun

The two sides were reportedly in contact near the beginning of the offseason, but negotiations have come to a halt. There are those within the organization who are uncomfortable handing out a four-year deal for Markakis, and that could be the reason behind the latest news. Markakis hit .276/.342/.386 in 642 at-bats last season. 


Marlins have offered Jose Fernandez a six-year, $40 million deal


by Michael Hurcomb | CBSSports.com
(12/1/2014) The Marlins have made a six-year, $40 million offer to starting pitcher Jose Fernandez, according to CBSSports.com Baseball Insider Jon Heyman. However, there appears to be plenty of work ahead if the Marlins have a realistic chance of signing Fernandez to a long-term deal.

The six-year deal would guarantee Fernandez, who is recovering from Tommy John surgery, remains with the team through all his arbitration years and two free-agent years. If the contract calls for two team options as well, then Fernandez could be with the Marlins until he is 30 years old.

"We've had some great exchanges. I feel like we're moving in the right direction," Marlins general manager Dan Jennings said. "We'd love to have (Fernandez) for a long time … shoot, he's good."


 
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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