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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


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. 


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.


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.


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. 


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.


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.


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.


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.


 
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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