Nolan Reimold
Orioles have made an offer to Nolan Reimold
Nolan Reimold, RF, ARI
1/29/2015
News: The Orioles have offered a contract to Nolan Reimold, according to the Baltimore Sun.

Team executive Dan Duquette confirmed the team made the offer, but said there are multiple teams interested in Reimold. The 31-year-old spent the first five seasons of his career in Baltimore. He spent last season with the Blue Jays and Diamondbacks, hitting .232 over 69 at-bats. 

Analysis: 

Jayson Werth
Nationals' Jayson Werth pleads guilty, sentenced to 5 days in jail
Jayson Werth, RF, WAS
1/29/2015
News: Nationals outfielder Jayson Werth will serve five days in jail after pleading guilty to reckless driving, reports The Washington Post.

Werth was pulled over in July by Virginia State Police after driving 105 mph in a 55 mph zone and Werth did not necessarily disagree with the assessment.

"It's possible I exceeded 90 miles per hour," Werth said in court.

Werth was initially convicted of reckless driving Dec. 5, but appealed the verdict. He was originally sentenced to 10 days in jail, but it was reduced to five after Werth's guilty plea.

The prosecutor said Werth will turn himself in Friday and begin serving his sentence, according to NBC4's Northern Virginia Bureau. 

Analysis: 

Dian Toscano
Braves' Dian Toscano to start season in Triple-A
Dian Toscano, OF, ATL
1/28/2015
News: Braves outfielder Dian Toscano is expected to start the season in Triple-A, according to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution.

The 25-year-old recently signed a four-year deal with the club. While he could have started the season in the majors, the team wants to get him more experience after not playing all that much last year. Toscano hit .356/.400/.452 in 86 plate appearances back in 2012-2013, his final season in Cuba. 

Analysis: 

Ichiro Suzuki
Marlins announce signing of Ichiro Suzuki
Ichiro Suzuki, RF, MIA
1/27/2015
News: The Marlins announced Tuesday they signed outfielder Ichiro Suzuki to a one-year contract.

The deal was expected to be announced once Suzuki passed his physical. He is expected to be the Marlins fourth outfielder as well as a left-handed bat off the bench.

Analysis: 

Jay Bruce
Infield shifts have become an issue for players like Reds' Bruce
Jay Bruce, RF, CIN
1/27/2015
News: Reds outfielder Jay Bruce is not going to use infield shifts as an excuse for his low batting average, but he admits it does play a factor, according to the Cincinnati Enquirer.

"That's definitely taken some hits away from me," Bruce said. "I don't use it as an excuse. But the bottom line is it takes hits away. You smoke a ball up the middle and you think it's a hit. But the shortstop is playing right behind second base.

"It's definitely cut down on average. You look at a player like Mark Teixiera. He was a .300, .280 hitter. You put the shift on him. He's a guy who drives the ball, pull hitter. He uses the other side of the field some. But guys like that are hitting in the .250s."

Bruce added that beating the shift is difficult. 

"Everyone's like, 'Hit a ground ball to shortstop or hit one down the line.' Like you can do whatever you want." he said. "A lot of times, pitchers pitch to the shift. And shifts are getting more sophisticated. In New York, (shortstop Derek) Jeter was playing third, in on the grass. So you can't bunt. Ideally, you want to get a hit. It's hard to do."

Reds hitting coach Don Long said eventually hitters will be taught in the minors to beat the shift.

"Not everybody's going to be the perfect hitter and be able to do everything," he said. "But I think you're going to find guys who want to have the ability to hit to both sides of the field."

Analysis: 

Ryan Braun
Ryan Braun says his thumb feels 'significantly better'
Ryan Braun, RF, MIL
1/25/2015
News: Brewers right fielder Ryan Braun, who underwent a thumb procedure last October, said his thumb feels "significantly better" than at this time last year, reports the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel. Braun was plagued throughout last season by a nerve issue at the base of his thumb, the paper noted.

"Knock on wood, I feel great; it feels really good," Braun told reporters.

"Everything is going well. Regular offseason, regular routine. I started hitting a little bit earlier than I typically do, just to see how it felt. So far, so good. It feels really good.

"I do everything I regularly do. I don't hit off live pitching but I take regular batting practice like we would during the season, and it feels good. I don't feel anything at all."

Added Braun: "I know it's significantly better than where it was this time last year, which I'm encouraged by. But as I told you guys the last time I saw everybody (at Thanksgiving) the real test will come in spring training, once we've played games for a couple of weeks and that everyday wear and tear. See how it recovers, see how it responds."

Analysis: 

B.J. Upton
Braves encouraged B.J. Upton can bounce back in 2015
B.J. Upton, CF, ATL
1/24/2015
News: Braves hitting coach Kevin Seitzer recently worked with outfielder B.J. Upton and said he's encouraged on the progress Upton has made on his swing, reports MLB.com.

"I feel really, really good about it, because [Upton] was very open to everything that I suggested," Seitzer said. "We had a really good three days together -- three pretty intense days together. I think he feels pretty good about what I'm going to bring, and I feel good about the adjustments he has made."

Upton struggled throughout 2014, hitting .208 with 12 home runs and 35 RBI. With no teams willing to absorb the more than $46 million left on Upton's contract, the Braves have no choice, but to hope Upton can improve his hitting numbers.

"He did great [this week]," Seitzer said. "He made great adjustments, and I'm very encouraged that he's going to be able to come back and play the way he wants to play."

Seitzer added that he worked on Upton's mechanics and approach at the plate and he wants Upton to shorten his swing.

"Any hitter that has a tendency to be long [with their swing], where their hands get away from the body, is going to have a tough time catching up to fastballs," Seitzer said. "They will also be vulnerable to offspeed pitches and inside pitches."

Analysis: 

Eury Perez
Braves claim OF Eury Perez off waivers
Eury Perez, CF, ATL
1/23/2015
News: The Braves announced they have claimed outfielder Eury Perez off waivers from the Yankees, according to the club's official website

Perez hit .311 with one home run and 20 steals in 212 at-bats for Triple-A Syracuse before he was claimed by the Yankees in late-September. He had two hits in 10 at-bats for the Yankees during the final stretch of the 2014 season.

Analysis: 

Carlos Gonzalez
Rockies' Bridich: CarGo 'on schedule' in recovery from knee surgery
Carlos Gonzalez, LF, COL
1/23/2015
News: Rockies general manager Jeff Bridich said outfielder Carlos Gonzalez, who had surgery to repair the patellar tendon in his left knee in August, is "on schedule" in his recovery, per MLB.com. 

"CarGo is in town right now," said Bridich, who added that Gonzalez's left index finger, where a benign tumor was removed last year, also has healed and the outfielder is throwing. "He's going through the routine check-ins, and he's exactly on schedule. We're hopeful to get him on the field sometime soon. Obviously, it's winter here, so it's tough."

Analysis: 

Dexter Fowler
Cubs OF Dexter Fowler settles on $9.5M salary for 2015 season
Dexter Fowler, CF, CHC
1/23/2015
News: The Cubs and outfielder Dexter Fowler avoided arbitration Friday, agreeing to a $9.5 million salary for the 2015 season, according to CBSSports.com Baseball Insider Jon Heyman. It was $150,000 below the midpoint of the numbers the two sides exchanged.

Fowler was in his final year of arbitration. He made $7.35 million in 2014 with the Astros.

Analysis: 

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