Report: Athletics to release Nick Punto
by Igor Mello | CBSSports.com
(3:19 pm ET) The Athletics will release infielder Nick Punto, according to  Susan Slusser of the San Francisco Chronicle on Friday. Punto hit .207/.296/.293 with two home runs, 14 RBI and three stolen bases in 198 at-bats while spending most of his playing time at second base and shortstop in 2014.

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.


Jed Lowrie agrees to three-year, $23 million deal with Astros
by Michael Hurcomb | CBSSports.com
(12/15/2014) The Astros announced Monday they signed infielder Jed Lowrie to a three-year contract. Lowrie is guaranteed to make $23 million, according to CBSSports.com Baseball Insider Jon Heyman.

Lowrie will make $8 million in 2015, $7.5 million in 2016 and $6.5 million in 2017, according to Heyman. The team has a $6 million option for 2018, which includes a $1 million buyout.

The deal runs through 2017 and includes a team option for 2018. Lowrie is back for his second stint with Houston after batting .244 with a career-high 16 home runs, 18 doubles and 42 RBI in 97 games for the Astros in 2012.

Lowrie has a career .261/.330/.411/.741 slash line in seven MLB seasons. He has a .279/.370/.505/.875 slash line in 61 games at Minute Maid Park. He also has 11 home runs, 15 doubles and 31 RBI.

Astros manager A.J. Hinch said Lowrie will play at shortstop, per MLB.com.


Cubs trade Featherston to Angels after selection in Rule 5 draft
by Michael Hurcomb | CBSSports.com
(12/11/2014) The Cubs selected Rockies pitcher Taylor Featherston in Thursday's Rule 5 draft. The Cubs then traded Featherston to the Angels.

The 25-year-old Featherston hit .260 with 16 home runs, 33 doubles and 57 RBI in 127 games for Double-A Tulsa in 2014. He has a .276/.346/.457/.802 slash line in 397 career games.


Rangers nab former first-round DeShields in Rule 5 draft
by Michael Hurcomb | CBSSports.com
(12/11/2014) The Rangers selected outfielder Delino DeShields Jr. from the Astros in Thursday's Rule 5 draft. 

The 22-year-old DeShields, who was selected eighth overall in the 2010 MLB draft, hit .236 with 11 home runs, 14 doubles, 57 RBI, 75 runs and 54 stolen bases in 114 games at Double-A in 2014. He had 101 stolen bases during the 2012 season.


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.


Angels acquire Josh Rutledge from Rockies
by R.J. White | CBSSports.com
(12/11/2014) The Angels acquired infielder Josh Rutledge from the Rockies in exchange for pitcher Jairo Diaz, the Rockies announced Wednesday.

Rutledge has spent three seasons in the majors and hit .269/.323/.405 with four home runs and 33 RBI in 309 at-bats in 2014. While he proved much more dangerous against lefthanders last season, posting a .309/.371/.469 line in 81 at-bats against southpaws, he's delivered virtually identical splits against lefties and righties in his career. Where he's struggled is away from Coors Field, hitting just .230/.274/.354 with eight home runs and 36 RBI in 418 road at-bats in his career. Rutledge will likely compete for the starting second-base role vacated by the Howie Kendrick deal.

Diaz started 2014 in high Class A and ended the season in the majors, giving up two earned runs on four hits and three walks in 5 2/3 innings while striking out eight over five appearances. He posted a 3.48 ERA and 85:20 K:BB ratio in 64 2/3 innings between high Class A Inland Empire and Double-A Arkansas.


Dodgers pick up Howie Kendrick from Angels
by Chris Cwik | CBSSports.com
(12/11/2014) The Dodgers have traded pitcher Andrew Heaney to the Angels for second baseman Howie Kendrick, confirms CBSSports.com Baseball Insider Jon Heyman. Ken Gurnick of MLB.com was the first to report Kendrick would be going to the Dodgers.

The Dodgers acquired Heaney earlier on Wednesday in a six player deal with Miami. Once that trade was processed, the team dealt the 23-year-old pitcher to the Angels for Kendrick. Kendrick, 31, hit .293/.347/.397 over 617 at-bats last year. Kendrick is owed just under $10 million, and is entering the final year of his contract.

Heaney appeared in seven games for the Marlins last year, including five starts. He posted a 5.83 ERA over 29 1/3 innings. He was considered a top-20 prospect entering last season, according to MLB.com.


Report: Jed Lowrie talking to multiple teams, including Astros
by Chris Cwik | CBSSports.com
(12/10/2014) Free-agent infielder Jed Lowrie is talking to multiple teams, including the Astros, according to FoxSports.com.

The 30-year-old Lowrie hit .249/.321/.355 over 502 at-bats last season. Houston has reportedly been interested in bringing back Lowrie for some time. Lowrie was a member of the club in 2012 before being dealt to Oakland prior to the 2013 season.


Report: Marlins/Dodgers discussing Gordon for Heaney swap
by Chris Cwik | CBSSports.com
(12/10/2014) The Marlins and Dodgers are in "serious talks" about a deal involving Dee Gordon and Andrew Heaney, according to ESPN.

The 26-year-old Gordon hit .289/.326/.378 over 609 at-bats last season. Gordon is entering his first season of arbitration, and wouldn't become a free-agent until after the 2019 season. The 23-year-old Heaney got his first taste of the majors last year. He posted a 5.83 ERA over seven appearances. Heaney made five starts. It's possible other players are involved in the trade discussions. 


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