Phillies' Maikel Franco: Focused on conditioning this offseason
by RotoWire Staff | Special to CBSSports.com
(1/20/2017) Franco said he spent the offseason focusing on his conditioning, Ryan Lawrence of the Philly Voice reports. "I've lost five to seven pounds right now," Franco said. "I feel better. I feel great. My body is in good shape right now."

Every year before spring training there are stories of athletes claiming they are in the best shape of their life. Improved conditioning does not necessarily equate to improved performance on the field, but it is good to see Franco, who is entering his third season, focused on making improvements to try to become a better player. Franco had a solid first half last season, hitting .269 with 18 homers, but he slumped after the All-Star break and finished with an OPS more than 100 points lower than in 2015. The Phillies have added some additional offensive firepower this offseason in Michael Saunders and Howie Kendrick, which will help take some pressure off of Franco. He has the talent to reach 30 homers this season if he puts everything together.


Padres' Yangervis Solarte: Signs extension with Padres
by RotoWire Staff | Special to CBSSports.com
(1/13/2017) Solarte and the Padres agreed to a two-year contract extension, with team options for two additional years, on Friday.

The terms of the contract were not disclosed, but the contract buys out two of Solarte's arbitration year and could be extended through 2020 at the Padres' discretion. Solarte is coming off his best year with the bat, one which saw him hit .286/.341/.467 with 15 home runs and 71 RBI over just 109 games. He will head into the 2017 season as the Padres' regular third baseman, and figures to slot into a spot near the top of the Padres' batting order.


Giants' Eduardo Nunez: Avoids arbitration
by RotoWire Staff | Special to CBSSports.com
(1/13/2017) Nunez agreed to a one-year, $4.2 million deal with the Giants on Friday, avoiding arbitration, FanRag Sports' Jon Heyman reports.

He is coming off a huge year, but as it was his first year with regular playing time since 2011, he would not have been handsomely rewarded in the arbitration process. Nunez enters 2016 as the Giants' everyday third baseman. He should hit in the back half of the lineup.


Nationals' Anthony Rendon: Avoids arbitration with Nationals
by RotoWire Staff | Special to CBSSports.com
(1/13/2017) Rendon and the Nationals avoided arbitration with a one-year, $5.8 million deal, Chelsea Janes of the Washington Post reports.

Rendon bounced back from a disappointing 2015 season with a solid .270/.348/.450 line and 20 home runs in 2016. He'll get a $3 million raise for that uptick, his second year in arbitration.


Rockies' Nolan Arenado: Inks two-year deal, avoiding arbitration
by RotoWire Staff | Special to CBSSports.com
(1/13/2017) Arenado agreed to a two-year, $29.15 million deal with the Rockies on Friday, avoiding arbitration, FanRag Sports' Jon Heyman reports.

He will receive $11.75 million in 2017 and $17.75 million in 2018 and will have one more arbitration-eligible year in 2019 before becoming a free agent after the 2019 season. Arenado was never in danger of leaving Colorado, so his long-term fantasy value does not change as a result of this two-year deal. He enters the year as a clear first-round fantasy talent.


Giants' Conor Gillaspie: Agrees to deal to avoid arbitration
by RotoWire Staff | Special to CBSSports.com
(1/11/2017) Gillaspie agreed to a one-year, $1.4 million contract with the Giants on Wednesday, avoiding arbitration, Jon Heyman of FanRag Sports reports.

He signed a minor league contract with the Giants last offseason, returning to the organization that drafted him with the 37th overall pick in 2008. Gillaspie was the hero for San Francisco in the Wild Card Game, but he hit just .262/.307/.440 with six homers and one steal in 101 games during the regular season (205 plate appearances). The 29-year-old will provide depth in the corner infield again in 2017.


Tigers' Gabriel Quintana: Signs minor league deal with Tigers
by RotoWire Staff | Special to CBSSports.com
(1/10/2017) Quintana signed a minor league contract with the Tigers on Tuesday.

He washed out of the Padres' system last year after posting a 105 wRC+ at Double-A as a 23-year-old. His struggles with making contact have been apparent at every stop, and will likely prevent him from ever being a big leaguer. Look for him to serve as organizational third base depth in 2017.


Pirates' Jung Ho Kang: Status still unclear for start of 2017
by RotoWire Staff | Special to CBSSports.com
(1/6/2017) Pirates president Frank Coonelly declined to say whether Kang's status could be cleared up by the start of spring training, the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review reports. "Our sole focus at this point is helping Kang address any issues that he needs to address to be the person and the player that we know him to be," Coonelly said.

Kang is awaiting the outcome of his initial evaluation by MLB's Treatment board after being charged with a third DUI in eight years in South Korea. He's expected to enter a voluntary treatment facility, which could serve as a mitigating factor to whatever disciplinary punishment the Pirates and the commissioner's office determine to be appropriate.


Padres' Brett Wallace: Returns to Padres on minor league deal
by RotoWire Staff | Special to CBSSports.com
(12/29/2016) Wallace has signed a minor league contract with the Padres, the San Diego Union-Tribune reports.

Although the report did not say so explicitly, Wallace will presumably attend major league camp for spring training. He failed to build on the momentum from a strong run over the second half of 2015, batting just .189/.309/.318 in 256 plate appearances last season. Now 30, Wallace is unlikely to fall into 250-plus plate appearances again, even on a rebuilding Padres team.


Reds' Richie Shaffer: Claimed by Reds
by RotoWire Staff | Special to CBSSports.com
(12/23/2016) Shaffer was claimed off waivers by the Reds on Friday.

Just days removed from being designated for assignment by the Phillies, Shaffer has found a new club after being claimed by the Reds. Shaffer spent most of the 2016 season at Triple-A Durham in the Rays' organization, slashing .227/.329/.367 with 11 home runs over 428 at-bats. He'll add organizational depth at first base, but it's far from a guarantee that he'll break camp with the big league club.


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