Fernando Rodney
Padres' Fernando Rodney: Dealing with leg tightness
Fernando Rodney, RP, SD
2/6/2016
News: Rodney was taken out of a Caribbean Series game earlier this week as a precautionary measure after feeling some leg tightness, MLB.com's Jesse Sanchez reports.

This came a day after the Padres agreed to terms with Rodney to presumably get the first crack at closing for them this year. In three games this month for the Dominican Republic he has allowed three runs (one earned) and struck out five. There is no reason to believe the injury is anything serious, but it's worth noting as spring training approaches.

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Juan Duran
Reds' Juan Duran: Suspended 80 games for multiple drug tests
Juan Duran, LF, CIN
2/5/2016
News: Duran was suspended 80 games for testing positive for Drostanolone, Stanzolol, and Nandrolone, C. Trent Rosencrans of the Cincinnati Enquirer reports.

Duran hasn't excelled so far in the minors, hitting a .243/.304.415 line in a professional career that hasn't moved past Double-A. He certainly won't get any help from a suspension that will wipe out half his season. He's still on the Reds' 40-man roster, but that could change in the next few months.

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Wilmer Flores
Mets' Wilmer Flores: Says he'll be 100 percent after working out at full strength
Wilmer Flores, SS, NYM
2/4/2016
News: Flores worked out at full strength and said he'll be 100 percent for spring training, Marc Carig of Newsday Sports reports.

Flores removed his walking boot just over a week ago, so it's a good sign that he's progressing fairly quickly. He'll likely act as a super utility man going forward for the Mets as long as he recovers fully from the injury.

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Ryan Butler
Padres' Ryan Butler: Suspended 50 games for second positive drug test
Ryan Butler, RP, SD
2/4/2016
News: Butler has been suspended for 50 games following a second positive test for a drug of abuse, Dennis Lin of the San Diego Union-Tribune reports.

Butler is one of the Padres' better pitching prospects, as he already reached the Double-A level in his second professional season. Butler moved up quickly thanks to his ability to keep the ball in the park (two home runs allowed in two years), but his progression will have to wait until his suspension is completed in late May.

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Don Kelly
Marlins' Don Kelly: Signs minor league contract with Marlins on Wednesday
Don Kelly, 3B, MIA
2/3/2016
News: Kelly signed a minor league contract with the Marlins on Wednesday that includes an invitation to spring training, Joe Frisaro of MLB.com reports.

Kelly signed with the Marlins last season, but was limited to one at bat in the majors due to a broken finger and then Tommy John surgery. If he's healthy for spring training, he'll likely compete for a reserve role as a utility player, thanks to his experience in playing almost every position on the field.

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Zack Wheeler
Mets' Zack Wheeler: Targeting July 1 return date
Zack Wheeler, SP, NYM
2/3/2016
News: Wheeler and the Mets are targeting a July 1 return date from Tommy John surgery, Adam Rubin of ESPN reports.

The Mets previously had not ruled out an early-June return, but now the timetable has been pushed back a bit. Wheeler is hoping that an altered arm angle can help him recover more effectively and improve his command going forward, similar to what Jacob deGrom did after his Tommy John surgery.

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Jesse Biddle
Pirates' Jesse Biddle: Traded to Pirates
Jesse Biddle, SP, PIT
2/3/2016
News: Biddle (elbow) was traded to the Pirates on Wednesday, CSN Philadelphia's Jim Salisbury reports.

He was designated for assignment last week, but considering his previous status as a highly-touted prospect, it is not surprising that the Phillies received interest in Biddle. Back in 2012 he was electric at times, flashing a beautiful curveball with great shape and depth, but poor command and a fringe fastball led to him getting hit hard in the upper levels of the minors, and he now serves as a cautionary tale for prospect hounds who fall in love with pitchers with incomplete repertoires in the lower levels. That said, the Pirates might be the best developmental organization for pitchers, so this is an ideal spot for Biddle to try to salvage his professional career. This has very little fantasy impact, however, as Biddle will miss all of 2016 after undergoing Tommy John surgery in the fall, so it won't be clear what the Pirates have in Biddle until 2017. He will likely spend all of 2016 on the 60-day DL.

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Mike Foltynewicz
Braves' Mike Foltynewicz: Could begin season on DL
Mike Foltynewicz, SP, ATL
2/2/2016
News: Foltynewicz (illness) could begin the season on the disabled list, MLB.com reports.

A blood clot in his right arm gave Foltynewicz a major scare at the end of last season -- doctors said it was life-threatening -- and forced him to undergo surgery in September to remove the anterior half of his first rib. Fortunately, the 24-year-old was said to be looking good physically and emotionally as he played long toss at Turner Field on Monday, but he will be a couple weeks behind schedule when spring training begins later this month. Down approximately 15 pounds from a season ago, Foltynewicz seems to have the floor of a late-inning reliever, but the rebuilding Braves could give him another chance in the rotation once he's back to full strength.

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Ryan Braun
Brewers' Ryan Braun: Behind schedule in recovery
Ryan Braun, RF, MIL
2/2/2016
News: Braun said Sunday that he is behind schedule in his recovery from offseason back surgery, MLB.com reports. "I won't be 100 percent at the start of spring training, no," Braun said. "I think it will kind of be a gradual process to work my way back to 100 percent. But I feel pretty good. I don't foresee any reason that it wouldn't be [ready for Opening Day], but until I get out there and start doing things at full speed, it's hard to say."

The 32-year-old estimated that he's about two weeks behind schedule, having just been cleared to resume swinging a bat a little over a week ago. Braun went under the knife days after the end of the regular season to repair a bulging disk in his lower back, an issue which kept him out for the final few weeks. On a positive note, Braun suggested his right thumb is no longer a concern, saying he is pain-free and has no plans to undergo another cryotherapy procedure.

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Keyvius Sampson
Reds' Keyvius Sampson: Offseason elbow surgery
Keyvius Sampson, SP, CIN
2/1/2016
News: Sampson had surgery to repair loose bodies in his pitching elbow over the offseason, the Cincinnati Enquirer reports.

Sampson had troubles with the elbow at the beginning of the season but tried to pitch through them all season. He expects to be ready at the beginning of spring training. "There were times my parents and my agent would call and they could see I wasn't getting fully extended and I didn't look like I was 100 percent," Sampson said.

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