GM Brian Cashman: Yankees plan to keep Alex Rodriguez on roster
by Igor Mello | CBSSports.com
(4:08 pm ET) The Yankees have no intentions of parting ways with Alex Rodriguez prior to opening day, general manager Brian Cashman told reporters on Thursday, per NJ.com.

"He's on the team. He's got a three-year contract," Cashman said.

Rodriguez missed all of last season while serving a suspension for using performance enhancing drugs. He is owed $61 million in the final three seasons of his 10-year, $275 million contract. He is expected to work as DH and may see occasional time as a corner infielder this season. Rodriguez hit .244/.348/.423 over 156 at-bats back in 2013.


White Sox prospect Matt Davidson humbled by down year in 2014
by Michael Hurcomb | CBSSports.com
(2:34 pm ET) White Sox third base prospect Matt Davidson entered the 2014 season as a consensus top-100 prospect, but unfortunately didn't look the part, as he hit a disappointing .199 with 164 strikeouts in 130 games at Triple-A Charlotte last season.

“It was very humbling,” Davidson said Thursday, per the Chicago Tribune. “Last year, this jersey with the Sox logo on it and my name on the back felt non-existent, like I would never reach it. To kind of come back here with the same number and see it, it’s a really cool experience, to just play this game of baseball. Last year, I felt like it was gone, which was a very scary feeling that I’ve never felt before. I took things for granted for sure.”

While last spring Davidson entered camp with a chance to win the starting job at third base that won't be the case this year with Conor Gillaspie entrenched as the starter. Davidson instead will focus on mechanics and thought processes rather taking a results-based approach.

“They still believe in me,” Davidson said. “I could be in a lot worse position than I am right now, so I understand that. I take that and all the positives I can because last year, it was negative first.”


Blue Jays' Gibbons: Valencia, Colabello will see time at LF
by Igor Mello | CBSSports.com
(1:46 pm ET) Blue Jays manager John Gibbons hinted that Danny Valencia and Chris Colabello will see some time at left field this spring, according to Sportsnet.ca. Toronto is hoping to fill a void at left field after the team announced Thursday that Michael Saunders will be sidelined until July with a torn meniscus in his left knee.

In his career, Valencia played left field in only five games in the minors. Colabello has logged 30 career games in the majors at left field.


Juan Francisco took Rays offer because of chance to DH
by Michael Hurcomb | CBSSports.com
(2/25/2015) Juan Francisco chose to sign a minor-league deal with the Rays this offseason since he felt the team presented him with the best opportunity to make a major-league roster, according to MLB.com.

"I think here I have a better chance to play DH, a position," said Francisco, adding that he's comfortable at first or third base. "So I have better chances to play here, get some playing time with the Rays."

Francisco added his experience playing in the AL East last season with Toronto was also a factor in his decision to take the Rays offer over the other ones he had on the table.

"I feel more comfortable playing in the American League East. I know the league. I know the pitchers," Francisco said through an interpreter. "It's better for me to play in the American League because of the DH, so I have a better chance to play."


Brewers manager Ron Roenicke eyeing infield depth this spring
by Igor Mello | CBSSports.com
(2/25/2015) Brewers manager Ron Roenicke will spend spring training judging his infielder's versatility for depth behind Jean Segura and Scooter Gennett, per MLB.com.

Milwaukee has three shortstops on its 40-man roster with the chance to break camp with the big-league club. Hector Gomez, 26, and Luis Sardinas, 21, are expected to see time at second base behind Scooter Gennett.

"We want to give Scooter a chance against lefties, but if there's a day off we want to give him, or if it works out that we need to have a [right-handed hitting] guy there more often, who's it going to be?" Roenicke said. "Is it going to be Sardinas? Jimenez, because we know he hits lefties well? Who's that other guy who's going to be there?"

Yadiel Rivera, 22, should see some work at third behind Aramis Ramirez.


Royals prospect Cheslor Cuthbert moving from 3B to 2B
by Michael Hurcomb | CBSSports.com
(2/25/2015) Royals prospect Cheslor Cuthbert is making the transition to second base this spring with his path at third base blocked by Mike Moustakas at the major-league level. Cuthbert has also fallen behind prospect Hunter Dozier as a potential future third baseman for Kansas City.

"I like it," Cuthbert said of the position change, per MLB.com. "It's different. You have to really work to learn the double play at second. But it's been fun.

"I'll do whatever it takes. The main thing is just to get better overall as a player and everything else will take care of itself."

The 22-year-old Cuthbert hit .274 with 12 home runs, 24 doubles and 64 RBI in 121 games between Double-A and Triple-A in 2014.


Nationals' Anthony Rendon taking a status-quo approach into 2015
by Michael Hurcomb | CBSSports.com
(2/25/2015) Coming off a breakout season in 2014, Nationals third baseman Anthony Rendon said he doesn't plan to change anything in his game.

It should come as no surprise since he finished fifth in the NL MVP race last season after batting .287 with a .473 slugging percentage, .824 OPS, 21 home runs, 39 doubles, 83 RBI and 111 runs.

“My game is simple,” Rendon said Wednesday, per The Washington Times. “I just try to put the barrel on the ball. When I put the barrel on the ball, good things come out most of the time.

“That’s what’s awesome about this game. A guy with two years [of experience] and a guy with 20 years, he’s still trying to improve himself in every part of the game. This game, you learn something new each and every day, so take it one day at a time and try to better yourself.”


Girardi: Yankees' Alex Rodriguez is open to playing some 1B
by Igor Mello | CBSSports.com
(2/25/2015) When asked if Alex Rodriguez has issued him an apology, Yankees manager Joe Girardi said "that sort of thing I'll keep between us, but we had a good conversation, and he's ready to go to work," according to Daniel Barbarisi of the Wall Street Journal.

Rodriguez released a hand-written apology for the mistakes he made that lead to his season-long suspension for his involvement in the Biogenesis scandal on Feb. 17.

Outside of a possible apology, Girardi indicated that he's talked to Rodriguez about playing some first base this season and that the embattled infielder open to contributing at first.

Said Rodriguez on Girardi, per NJ.com: "I would go through a wall for Joe."

The 39-year-old completed batting practice on Wednesday alingside Yankees prospect Michael O'Neil. New York's first officiall full-squad workpit is on Thursday. Rodriguez is expected to open the year as the team's designated hitter. He hit .244/.348/.423 over 156 at-bats back in 2013.


Red Sox's Brock Holt ready to show versatility again in 2015
by Igor Mello | CBSSports.com
(2/25/2015) Red Sox infielder/outfielder Brock Holt, who started seven different positions in 2014, told reporters he's ready to prove he's just as versatile as he was last season, according to WEEI.com on Wednesday.

Holt indicated that he expects to be mostly used in the infield, despite the addition of Pablo Sandoval and Hanley Ramirez in the offseason and the emergence of Mookie Betts.

"I think kind of similar spot as last year, move around, give guys days off when they need them but be ready to play all the time," Holt said. "I'm looking forward to the opportunity to do that again and it's something I enjoyed last year and something I'm looking forward to doing again.

The majority of my [work] is probably going to be in the infield and then I'll definitely go out in the outfield and do some stuff," Holt said. "During [batting practice] it's easy to go out there and get some reads during BP, too. I'll probably spend most of my time in the infield but move around, depending on how I feel and how the day is going, move to do some outfield."


Rays' Evan Longoria gives vote of confidence to new manager
by Chris Cwik | CBSSports.com
(2/24/2015) Rays third baseman Evan Longoria gave a vote of confidence to new manager Kevin Cash on Tuesday, according to the Tampa Bay Times

"I just think there comes a time when it's just the right time for somebody new," Longoria said. While that may come off as an indictment of former manager Joe Maddon, Longoria stressed that is not the case. "That's no knock on Joe. Obviously he did so many great things for the franchise and so many great things for me as a player. But I guess all good things come to an end at some point."

Having Cash around should inject some excitement into the team, according to Longoria. "I think it's a great time for Kevin to be able to step in and kind of experience the sense of newness with a lot of people. And the guys who have been here are excited for what he's going to bring."

The 29-year-old hit .253/.320/.404 over 624 at-bats last year. 


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