Orioles' Matt Wieters throwing from 150 feet
by Chris Cwik | CBSSports.com
(1/26/2015) Orioles catcher Matt Wieters has begun throwing from 150 feet, according to MASN.

Wieters underwent Tommy John surgery last season, and is working his way back from the surgery. He was cleared to start throwing from 150 feet on Monday. Wieters had previously been throwing from 120 feet. He said he's preparing as if he'll be ready for opening day.

Wieters hit .308/.339/.500 over 104 at-bats last year.

White Sox C Tyler Flowers: 'It's my job to lose' behind the plate
by Igor Mello | CBSSports.com
(1/24/2015) White Sox catcher Tyler Flowers told reporters he doesn't plan on giving up his starting job easily, per MLB.com. On Thursday, Geovany Soto signed a minor-league deal with an invite to spring training.

"I really don't think there's much of a question going in there," Flowers said. "I would definitely say it's my job to lose. Barring an injury, there's really no doubt I'll be the guy catching opening day."

Flowers avoided arbitration by agreeing to a one-year deal, worth $2.675 million for this season. The 28-year-old hit .241/.297/.396 with 15 homers and 50 RBI over 407 at-bats in 2014.

"At this point, there's no reason to move off of that," general manager Rick Hahn said. "Competition is good. It brings out the best in people. And if someone comes in and fights for that job and earns it, I'm sure we'll be flexible. But certainly, we view Tyler as the starter."

Tigers GM: Avila could see 1B time if Cabrera isn't ready for opener
by Igor Mello | CBSSports.com
(1/24/2015) Tigers president and general manager Dave Dombrowski said Saturday that if Miguel Cabrera is unable to play when the season opens, the team will look to Alex Avila as a possible short-term replacement at first base, per MLB.com.

"If he's not ready by opening day, it's gonna be very, very close. We'll know more Feb. 15," Dombrowski said.

Cabrera underwent right ankle surgery to remove bone spurs and to repair a stress fracture in a bone at the top of his foot on Oct. 22. He was cleared to remove his walking boot earlier in January and is expected to be reexamined on Feb. 15, right before Detroit's first full-squad workouts.

Tigers C Alex Avila cleared for all physical activities
by Igor Mello | CBSSports.com
(1/24/2015) After an injury-plagued season in which he suffered several concussions, Tigers catcher Alex Avila has been cleared by doctors for all physical activities, he told reporters on Thursday, per MLive.com.

"I'm feeling great," Avila said. "After the season, there were a few days of just kind of relaxing, recovering from the concussion. After that, I was cleared by the doctors on everything. I feel great and moving along as normal."

Avilla will enter spring training without any restrictions. Manager Brad Ausmus indicated in December that he could see a lighter workload behind the plate in 2015. Because of the injuries, Avilla is open to wearing a hockey-style catcher's mask this season.

"I tried it one time my very first spring training in a bullpen," Avila said. "I didn't give it much of a chance. I never really thought how much of a difference it would make as far as kind of withstanding those impacts from the ball. But you live and you learn."

Avilla struggled last season, hitting just .218/.327/.359 over 390 at-bats. He noted that he never considered hanging up his cleats after a rough 2014 campaign.

"Never," Avila said. "That's never even crossed my mind."

Penny, Carroll among players signed to minor-league deals by ChiSox
by Michael Hurcomb | CBSSports.com
(1/22/2015) The White Sox announced Thursday they signed 15 players to minor-league contracts, which included invites to spring training.

The 15 players were pitchers Jairo Asencio, Scott Carroll, Jesse Crain, Logan Kensing, Arcenio Leon, J.D. Martin, Brad Penny, Zach Phillips, Joe Savery, catchers George Kottaras and Geovany Soto, infielders Juan Diaz and Andy LaRoche, and outfielders Tony Campana and Michael Taylor

Veteran catcher Soto signs minor-league deal with White Sox
by Michael Hurcomb | CBSSports.com
(1/22/2015) Catcher Geovany Soto signed a minor-league deal with the White Sox, according to CBSSports.com Baseball Insider Jon Heyman. He will receive an invite to spring training.

Soto is a 10-year MLB veteran. He spent the 2014 season with Texas and Oakland, batting .250 with one home run, six doubles and 11 RBI in 24 games. Soto missed a good portion of the season due to knee and foot injuries.

Rockies confident catcher Wilin Rosario can play 1B, OF
by Michael Hurcomb | CBSSports.com
(1/21/2015) Rockies general manager Jeff Birdich said the team is confident catcher Wilin Rosario can make the transition from playing primarily at catcher to also playing at first base and in the outfield, according to The Denver Post.

“I think Wilin has the athletic ability to do this, and he certainly has the work ethic,” Bridich said.

Gattis to play at 1B, DH for Astros; Bad news for Singleton, Carter?
by Michael Hurcomb | CBSSports.com
(1/21/2015) With the signing of Colby Rasmus, the Astros have an even more crowded outfield, but it also means Houston won't have to lean on Evan Gattis to play primarly in left field.

In fact, Astros general manager Jeff Lunhow expects Gattis to occasionally play in left field, but to primarily play at first base and DH. Although, that doesn't bode well for playing time for Jon Singleton and Chris Carter.

“We don’t know what Gattis is going to look like in left field,” Luhnow said, per the Houston Chronicle. “If he’s good out there or adequate, I’m sure he’ll get some at-bats out there. Is he going to be our everyday left fielder? I can’t imagine that happening with the guys that we have, but we want to have that bat in the lineup.

“Guys that have options are going to have to prove to us that they belong in the big leagues. I don’t think it’s just Singleton. Like I said, we’ve got multiple options at every position on the diamond now. So, you know, players may not be playing their preferred position -- that puzzle will come together in spring training. We’re only guessing to try to figure it out right now.”

Robinson Chirinos still expected to be Rangers' starting catcher
by Michael Hurcomb | CBSSports.com
(1/21/2015) Rangers assistant general manager Thad Levine indicated Wednesday that Robinson Chirinos will remain the team's starting catcher, despite the acquisition of Carlos Corporan, according to the Fort Worth Star-Telegram. Levine said Corporan is expected to be Chirinos' backup.

Chirinos has appeared in 126 MLB games, starting 110. He hit .239 with 13 home runs, 15 doubles and 40 RBI in 93 games for Texas in 2014.

Astros trade Corporan to Rangers for Bostick; RP Germen DFA'd
by Michael Hurcomb | CBSSports.com
(1/21/2015) The Rangers acquired catcher Carlos Corporan from the Astros on Wednesday in exchange for pitcher Akeem Bostick. Rangers pitcher Gonzalez Germen was designated for assignment to clear a spot on the 40-man roster for Corporan.

The 31-year-old Corporan joins the Rangers after spending the last four seasons with the Astros. He is a career .226 hitter with 17 home runs, 21 doubles and 63 RBI in 199 games. Rangers assistant general manager Thad Levine said Corporan will be the backup catcher to Robinson Chirinos, per the Fort Worth Star-Telegram.

The 19-year-old Bostick was a second-round draft pick in 2013. He is 9-7 with a 4.46 ERA and 1.35 WHIP in 35 career appearances (26 starts) in the minors. He played at Class A Hickory in 2014.

Germen was acquired in a trade with the Yankees on Tuesday. It is the third time this offseason he has been designated for assignment.

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